Quilting Bees 2016

A few days ago I sewed my last bee block for 2016. I participated in both The Bee Hive and Stash Bee in order to increase my piecing skills and to connect with other quilters who share my passion. Below I have photos of all the blocks I’ve sewn and the tutorials for each block underneath the photo. They are in reverse order from the last block I sewed in December to the first blocks I sewed in January. In the interest of full-disclosure, I did not actually sew the April ’16 Hidden Gems block. The queen bee, Linda Seltser, helped me out as I was experiencing debilitating shoulder pain at that time that resulted in severe sleep deprivation, and I just didn’t have it in me to sew that complicated paper-pieced block. A few months of PT and a couple cortisone injections, and I feel so much better. I have been able to sew two easier paper-pieced blocks, Wanta Fanta, and the Busy block.

I know for me (and hopefully for others) it will be useful to have this post available to reference because there are a few of these blocks I would like to sew enough of to make a quilt. I particularly like that all the Bee Hive blocks were designed to create a secondary pattern when sewn together, and they won’t require any sashing. I was the queen bee for both of my online bees in August, and am especially excited  to sew the 21 Quatrefoil blocks in teal, navy, lime, and low volume fabrics that  I received from my Bee Hive and Stash Bee hivemates (plus 2 example blocks I sewed and 2 surprise blocks from Sarah Goer) to make a 5 x 5 block quilt sometime in 2017.



Alpine Block Tutorial



Busy Block Nov ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Busy Block Tutorial


Plus Blocks Nov ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Charming Plus Block Tutorial



Homebase Block Oct ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Homebase Block Tutorial


Which Way Block Oct ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in My Blood

Which Way Block Tutorial



Jagged Little Pill Block Sept ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Jagged Little Pill Block Tutorial


Modern HST Block Sept ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Modern Half Square Triangle Block Tutorial



Quatrefoil Block for The Bee Hive & Stash Bee Aug ’16 by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Quatrefoil Block Tutorial



Jagged Little Pill Block July ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Jagged Little Pill Block Tutorial


X and +(Cross) Block July ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

X and + (Cross) Block Tutorial



Tic Tac Toe Block Jun ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Tic Tac Toe Block


Umbrella Block Jun’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Umbrella Block Tutorial



Wanta Fanta Block May ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Wanta Fanta Block


Greek Cross Block May ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Greek Cross Block


Hidden Gems Block (Material cut using templates by Mary Ringer, block paper-pieced by Linda Seltser), Apr ’16 for The Bee Hive

Hidden Gems Block


Modern Pinwheel Block April ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood

Modern Pinwheel Block Tutorial



Wanta Fanta Block March ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Wanta Fanta Block


Scrappy Block Cross March ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Scrappy Block Cross



Spinwheel Block Feb’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Spinwheel Block Tutorial


Carpenter Star Block Feb ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Carpenter Star Block



Quatrefoil Block Jan ’16 for The Bee Hive by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Quatrefoil Block


Scrappy Diamond Block Jan ’16 for Stash Bee by Mary Ringer@Quilting is my Blood

Scrappy Diamond Block

I will be taking 2017 off from participating in online quilting bees. I have several projects planned that I want to dedicate my time to, but I will continue to follow Stash Bee posts and certainly will be checking out Instagram posts from the immensely talented quilters I’ve gotten to know online this year whose work continually inspires me.

Linking up to Quilter in the Closet: Building Blocks Tuesday and Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

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December ’16 OMG

At first I was going to make my One Monthly Goal for December ’16 one of the Christmas presents I am making for my family and friends, but I’m actually not sure who regularly reads my blog. I know my sister does, so sorry, Jackie, no sneak peeks to what you are getting for Christmas from me!

My December OMG will at first seem quite simple. I am going to make my last block for The Bee Hive online quilting bee I have been a part of this year using the colors our December queen bee has picked out: vivid pink, sunshine yellow, and low volume. Here’s my fabric pull:


We will be sewing the Alpine block which should be a fun block to make. By the way, this is breaking news. Because I am the swarm mama, our December queen bee was nice enough to let me know her color and block choices a couple days early. Hopefully she will let the rest of the swarm know her choices very soon as the 1st of the month is when we’re supposed to let our hive-mates know what we’ve chosen. Probably at least a couple other hive-mates will be relieved that our queen bee has not chosen a paper-pieced block. I know I did a little happy dance when she shared her block choice with me.

In addition to making the Alpine block, I plan to send a little hand-made, quilt-related extra with this block, and since I haven’t sent any extras all year long, I’m going to send an extra to all eleven of my swarm members to thank them for their participation. It wasn’t totally stress-free being a swarm mama this year, but overall my swarm has done a good job fulfilling their obligations. I know some other swarms have had members drop out, and it has put a lot of pressure on the swarm mamas to make sure everybody receives their eleven blocks.

Be sure to check in at the end of December to see a pic of my finished block and my mystery extras!

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: OMG December Goal Setting Party.

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Charming Plus Baby Quilt Finished

I started two quilt-alongs in October, and I am really happy that it is almost the end of November, and I have one finished: my Charming Plus Baby Quilt. This quilt-along is being hosted by Tisha of QuiltyTherapy.com. When I decided to make finishing this baby quilt my November ’16 OMG goal, I knew it would conflict with making some Christmas presents, but I just pushed back those deadlines a wee bit. And maybe they’ll be New Year’s gifts or if I get really desperate, Chinese New Year’s gifts!


I did the quilting myself on this project. The front looks mostly fine, but the back has to be described as “organic straight lines.” In order to see the back, that will involve an in-person visit, so it ought to narrow down the number of people who will think I was QUI (quilting under the influence, honestly I just had a little bit of wine,  but perhaps it was the coffee!).

I actually really quite like this quilt. It has scraps from many projects I’ve completed the last two years and bee blocks this past year. And those colors quite float my boat. I machine stitched the binding on as I will sharing this “baby” quilt with the kitties who like to lie on my bed (and hopefully it will help protect my huge labor of love, my Terra Australis Quilt), and I suspect it will washed a fair amount.

If you have a moment, check out some other Charming Plus quilts on Instagram #charmingplusquilt and #charmingplusqal. I love all the different color schemes.

As far as my other quilt-along, look for a WIP post sometime soon.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: OMG Nov ’16 Finishes.



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WIP Wednesday Quilt-Alongs

I haven’t written a Work in Progress post for a long time but have been inspired to do so by my friend, Sarah Goer, who has written several WIP Wednesday posts lately letting us know all the wonderful things she has been working on, and in her last WIP Wednesday post, she also let us know what projects she has cut loose which I think is important to do every so often. Life is too short to work on things that don’t bring us joy and satisfaction.

I am currently participating in two quilt-alongs, and I’m getting so much pleasure and enjoyment sewing blocks (or units) for both of them. The first one is Quilty Therapy’s Charming Plus Quilt-Along, and it’s coming along nicely. I’ve sewn four of the rows together and have three more to go. I love these colors and fabrics so much!


The other quilt-along that I am participating in is Inquiring Quilter’s Berry Cross Quilt-Along. Jennifer and I both participated in the 2016 Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop. That’s where I first saw her Berry Cross block. I really like the versatility of this block and how using blocks with opposite color layouts in the same quilt can produce such awesome results. And I’m so fond of the Berry Harvest palette that Yvonne, Cheryl, and Stephanie chose for the Cloud 9 blog hop that I decided to replicate this color scheme in Kona solids.

I’ve completed units for four blocks so far though the pic below just shows units for two blocks:


Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

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November ’16 OMG

My November ’16 OMG goal is to finish my Charming Plus baby quilt in grey and teal/turquoise/aqua fabrics using the tutorial from Tisha at Quilty Therapy. So far I have the blocks sewn for four of seven rows.


Most of the fabric are scraps from previous projects or bee blocks. I think I only cut into one fresh fat quarter. It is so fun to see and use some of my favorite fabrics.

I am planning to quilt this project myself using straight-line quilting. I hope to turn it into a usable quilt by the end of this month.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: November OMG Goal-Setting.

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OMG Oct ’16 Goal Completed

My main Oct ’16 OMG Goal was finishing my Diamond Stars Quilt, but it was dependent upon me getting my quilt back from ThreadBear where it was being long-armed quilted. They were having a lot of problems with the machine, but Michael somehow coaxed it into cooperation. I picked it up last weekend and was absolutely thrilled with how the quilting added to the overall design. I was too busy last weekend to get the quilt trimmed up and the binding sewn on (sometimes life gets in the way of my quilting!). Even when I am sewing the binding on with my sewing machine on both sides of the quilt (instead of hand-sewing the binding to the front side), it takes me at least 2-3 hours from start to finish, and I like to start early in the day when I have my most energy and best focus. I did do one thing differently this time, and it worked really well. I used glue to secure my mitered corners before I sewed them down, and they are my best corners ever.


My friend was able to choose the quilting motif, and she chose one with hummingbirds and flowers that complements the fabric I used in the stars.


I had a back-up goal of finishing my Birthday Gifts Walling Hanging Quilt which I am happy to report that I was also able to finish. And I was really happy with the photo of this finish because quilt photography is definitely not my forte.


Linking up to Red Letter Quilts OMG Oct ’16 Finishes and Sew Can She: Show Off Saturday.

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Lucky Me

I took my first quilting class at ThreadBear two years ago and was immediately hooked. I started to read and follow blogs shortly after that class, and one of the first blogs I followed was Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl. Fast forward to the end of May 2015, and I read a blog post on Quilting Jetgirl informing new quilt bloggers there was a closed Facebook group available that offered support and technical help for modern quilters who were new to blogging (less than two years). At that time I had set up an account with WordPress but had not written my first blog post yet. I wrote my first blog post on an airplane and completed a request to join the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers group in a layover in Las Vegas, Nevada with hours left before the deadline to join the group. Yvonne was one of four mentors for the group, and she personally helped me so much with the technical side of blogging. When Yvonne wrote a post the end of 2015 asking people to consider becoming patrons and supporting the development of her quilting/blogging business through Patreon, I immediately decided that I wanted to be a patron to thank her for all her support. Now, this was not an entirely selfless choice. I have received some lovely Patron gifts including a pattern just for patrons and a mini mini quilt. And after I had supported Yvonne for six months, I qualified for a mini quilt made by Yvonne with an approximate size of 24″ square. When she asked me for feedback on what I would like, I requested a Kaleidoscope quilt using the colors of teal, aqua, coral, orange, grey, and low volume. I knew Yvonne would make something very nice, but I had no idea it would be so AWESOME!


Here’s a close-up of the quilting on the front:


Check out the quilting on the back of the quilt:


And a close-up of the beautiful quilting on the back:


For more information about this amazing mini quilt, please read Yvonne’s Kaleidoscope Mini Quilt Finish post.

Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

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Birthday Gifts Walling Hanging Finished

I have an early Quarter 4 2016 Finish-Along Goals finish to share. It is my Birthday Gifts Quilt that I started in April 2015 and finished sewing the binding on 10/14/16. This wall hanging measures 36″ by 29 1/2″. One of my 2016 Mid-Year Review Goals was to improve the photography of my quilts, and I have to say that I am really pleased with the photo below that I took yesterday of this finished quilt. I took my best friend to the restaurant at Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe to celebrate her birthday and actually thought to bring my Birthday Gifts Quilt with me in hopes of a good photograph opportunity which definitely presented itself.


Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

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2016 Finish-Along Quarter 4 Goals

I have three projects to roll over from my 2016 Quarter 3 Goals.

The first one is a project I started back in Spring 2015 with fabric given to me for my birthday by my sister, stepdaughter, and two friends. I’ve been calling this project my Birthday Gifts Quilt. I made some of the blocks from Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book, but more of the blocks are from Color Girl Quilts Super Simple Sampler Blocks. I used a quarter-inch foot when making these blocks and didn’t realize how much of the block I would lose sewing a straight quarter-inch when many of the blocks were comprised of small squares and rectangles. I ended up trimming these blocks to 6″ square (5 1/2″ finished), but it didn’t affect the blocks too much because I was still afraid of triangles when I sewed these blocks so only a two or three blocks have triangles in them. This quilt which measures 36″ across by 29.5″ down is going to be a wall-hanging. It has been quilted, trimmed, and just needs to have the binding sewn on.


My second project is my Diamond Stars Quilt. I used 9″ finished blocks in this quilt, so it went together fairly quickly. It is currently at my local quilt store waiting to be longarm-quilted.


Turning my four Fancy Foxes in a wall-hanging is the third project I am rolling over from last quarter.


I have five new projects to add to my 2016 Quarter 4 Goals:

I was Queen Bee in August for both my online quilting bees, The Bee Hive, and Stash Bee, and I chose to have my hivemates sew the Quatrefoil block. I have received 20 blocks plus two Surprise Blocks that Sarah Goer generously made me for my quilt. I don’t have a photo of the blocks yet because I haven’t pressed out all the mailing wrinkles. Adding in my two example blocks to show my choices of color and placement, I have 24 blocks. I may make one more block to make a 60″ square quilt. Below is a pic of one of my example blocks:


I also want to make two patchwork pillow covers using scraps from the Teal, Purple, and Grey quilt that I made for my stepdaughter last year:


And two patchwork pillow covers using scraps from the Japanese quilt I made for my stepson last year:


My fourth goal for the fourth quarter of 2016 is one I just decided on this yesterday. As tempting as several 2016 quilt-alongs have been to me this year, I haven’t completed any this year (and haven’t even started any new ones since early in the year due to shoulder problems). But I have been wanting to make a grey and teal/turquoise/aqua plus quilt for a few months and when I saw Quilty Therapy’s Charming Plus Quilt-A-Long post on making a plus baby quilt, I started mulling it over and yesterday decided to join in. The blocks are only 6 1/2″ unfinished, and that’s something I can get done in 15 minutes over my lunch hour or perhaps a couple blocks before I go to work. And maybe just maybe, sewing one or two when I get home from work, but that’s dicey because I’m usually done for by the end of the work day. But simple blocks like these are a possibility. And this project is doable to quilt myself giving me an opportunity to practice my straightline quilting. Here are two pics of some of the scraps/fabric I pulled today to use in this quilt-along:

At almost the very last minute for this 2016 Quarter 4 Finish-Along link-up with about three hours left until this linky party closes, I’m adding a fifth project. I’m joining Inquiring Quilter’s Berry Cross Quilt-Along. In September, I fell in love with Jennifer’s Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop Berry Cross Block with its different colorways and layouts. I haven’t decided for sure what my color scheme will be, but I’m leaning toward the color scheme that Jennifer used in her block made with Cloud 9 fabrics: aqua, teal, light purple, dark purple, and a grey background all in solids. I don’t sew much with purple or solid fabric, but I just realized that I used a similar color scheme for my stepdaughter’s quilt a year and half ago. I don’t hold out a lot of hope that I will have a completed quilt top by sometime in December, but I hope to at least make a start that I can finish in the new year. But who knows, maybe the stars will align, and I will get in a major groove, and I’ll knock this baby out in record time🙂

Linking up with 2016 Quarter 4 Finish A-Long Goals.

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October 2016 OMG

My October 2016 OMG goal is to finish one of two quilts. Hopefully, it will be my Diamond Stars Quilt (see pic below of the quilt top) for my best friend’s birthday this month. But there are things beyond my control. I talked with Michael at ThreadBear on Saturday, and he told me that he is going to have to send his longarm machine back to the manufacturer because it is not working right. He told me that my quilt will be the first one he will work on when he gets it back. Now I’m hoping that he can get the quilting done by Oct 22nd, so I can have a couple weekend days to get it squared up and the binding done.


If I don’t have my Diamond Stars quilt to work on during the fourth weekend of October, I plan to finish my Birthday Gifts Quilt (see below). Both of these quilts are 2016 Quarter 3 Finish-Along Goals.


Linking up to Red Letter Quilts: October 2016 OMG.

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