2018 Bee Hive Blocks

I participated in the IG Honeybees 2018 Bee Hive swarm this year, and it was such a joy because it was so smooth running (a big thank you to @Meredithadolf for all the work she put into organizing the swarm). I’m going to list the blocks with photos of each of the blocks I made and the associated tutorials working backwards from December to January.


Jen chose the Double Star block using a teal, black, and grey color scheme. These are some of my favorite colors, so it was a joy to make:

Double Star Block Tutorial


The Magic 8 Ball block was Rachel’s choice using Halloween fabrics. Even though I’ve enjoyed looking at Halloween-themed quilts for the past few years, I had resisted buying any Halloween fabric until I needed to get some for Rachel’s block. I’m afraid Pandora’s box may now be open!

Magic 8 Ball Block Tutorial


For the month of October, we made the super cute Bunting block that Sharon chose:

Bunting Block Tutorial


Amanda choose the Homebase block (since I’m a baseball fan, I’ve always loved the name of this block!) and let us choose whatever bright color appealed to use. No shock that I went the turquoise/teal route.

Homebase Block Tutorial


The Checker block was chosen twice this year, but the color schemes were very different.  For Susan’s August Checker block, she asked us to make this striking block in blues, greens, yellows, and black.

Checker Block Tutorial


Lorna asked us to make Star Plus block using the alternate layout which was challenging for almost all of us, but it sure is a nice looking block!

Star Plus Block Tutorial with Alternate Layout


The block that Sandy chose for June was the Treasure Hunt block in batiks.

Treasure Hunt Block Tutorial


Sondra was actually the first swarm member to choose the Checker block. Her color choices were pink, grey, and black. I wish I had more of that clumpy black plus fabric.


The Wanta Fanta block was Sherry’s choice made in bright colors:

Wanta Fanta Block Tutorial


Jan asked us to make a scrappy spring version of the Ripples block. I really love this block and may have to have my own brightly-colored Ripples quilt someday!

Ripples Block Tutorial


Meredith chose the Houndstooth block in a scrappy red and navy blue color combination:

Houndstooth Block Tutorial


You may have figured out that I was the January Queen Bee. I chose the Autumn Chain block using dark-medium-light rainbow monochromatic fabrics after falling in love with the blocks that my friend, Sarah Goer, and her swarm created. (Read more about this color configuration on her Instagram post). Below is my 48” square Rainbow Autumn Chain quilt top that I definitely plan to have quilted this year.

Rainbow Autumn Chain Quilt Top

Autumn Chain Block Tutorial

I will be continuing with the same swarm in 2019 (with some change in swarm members). We will be making two blocks for each queen bee. I’ll be queen bee in March, and I’ve already been sewing up some example blocks because March will be here before we know it!

Happy New Year!





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Five Favorite Finishes in 2018

I am joining the Best of 2018 Linky Party hosted by Cheryl@Meadow Mist Designs. I’ve chosen to share my five favorite finishes in 2018. Starting with my Summer Sampler 2017, this is my all-time favorite quilt that I’ve made. While making this quilt, I went from having beginning paper-piecing skills to a whole new level of confidence. I actually just put it back on my bed today after removing a Christmas throw and several Christmas pillows. It’s so nice to see it again!

Summer Sampler 2017

My second favorite finish is the Wedding Whirl quilt that I made for my stepdaughter, Alisha, and her new wife, Wendy. I’m sure my regular blog readers are a little tired of this project, but I couldn’t write about favorite finishes and not include it!

Wedding Whirl Quilt

Next is a pair of Quatrefoil French Bulldog quilts for a set of adorable twin baby girls:

French Bulldog Quilt

The fourth finish this year that I’m including is the Butterfly Quilt that I made for my best friend (along with three coordinating butterfly pillows):

Butterfly Quilt

And my last big finish of 2018 is the Feathers Quilt that I made for my niece, Kim.

Obviously I’ve developed a taste for bright, saturated colors. You’ll see more of them next year, but look for my first 2019 project to be a more manly, subdued quilt. It’s definitely different from any of the quilts pictured above. I’ll be posting about this project in early January on Elm Street Quilts: One Monthly Goal.

Happy New Year!

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Dec ‘18 OMG Finishes

My December ‘18 One Monthly Goal was to make a total of four pillow covers. For Christmas for my stepdaughter, Alisha, and her new wife, Wendy, I made two teal/whirl bed-size shams to go with their Wedding Whirl Quilt wedding present. I can’t wait to see a picture of the pillow shams with the quilt. These pillows are one of my 2018 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long goals.

The table that the pillows are on is my big Christmas gift this year from my best friend (also named Mary). It is a 26” x 56” custom pressing station. The top is removable but is secured with four custom-made wooden “L-brackets” so the top does not move around at all. It sits on a sit-to-stand desk that I hope to put to use when I get EQ8 for my birthday in March. For the past year I’ve been using a modified ironing board that a friend made me using a tutorial by Quilting Jetgirl, but I think my original ironing board was too flimsy, so it wasn’t as stable as I wanted. It is so nice to have a larger pressing surface especially when I am pressing yards of backing fabric.

For my friend, Kristen and her son, Aidan, I made two cat-themed Christmas pillows for these cat lovers. I also gave Aidan that cute little glass cat figurine sitting on the table in front of him. Kristen and Aidan love being outside in the snow, which is a good thing since we have a big snow storm coming our way in northern New Mexico!

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: OMG Dec ‘18 Finishes and 2018 Qtr 4 FAL Link-Up.

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2019 Quilting Goals

Many thanks to Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl  for hosting another review/planning party. Since December 2015, I’ve joined five of Yvonne’s Planning Parties or Mid-Year Reviews (and just went back and tagged them all “Quilting Goals”). I really like participating in these opportunities to reflect, re-evaluate, re-prioritize, and plan my quilting projects. I feel like I know myself so much better as a quilter and am able to make more intentional choices when I take the time to engage in this process 1-2 times yearly.

Looking Back at 2018

I just took a quick peak at my 2018 Quilting Goals post. In that post I identified that my number one priority was to increase my free motion quilting skills. Well, that didn’t happen. The only quilting foot I used in 2018 was my walking foot, which allowed me to do basic, fairly minimal, and not-too-time-consuming quilting on my smaller projects (I’ve had all my bigger quilts longarm-quilted primarily to reduce strain on my balky shoulders). My 2018 Mid Year Review post reflects much more of my current quilting priorities, and my Four Years of Quilting post shows some of my favorite 2018 quilts along with quilts from previous years. I’ve started to use more vibrant solids and have a better feel for colors that work well together. I have become proficient enough with paper-piecing to call myself an intermediate paper-piecer, and I’ve done some very basic paper-piecing design and re-designs.

 Piecing is in My Blood

One of the things that I have said repeatedly to my mental health therapy clients over the years is that we all have limited resources: time, money, physical stamina, and mental energy, and not one of us can do it all, all of the time. I work full-time as a Behavioral Health Therapist Supervisor (and frequently have to provide direct services when my agency is short staffed). I have become very clear that becoming proficient with free-motion quilting is not something I have the time or energy for at this time. In the best of circumstances, I have about 20 hours a week of prime, focused energy to devote to my quilting endeavors. So like my mother who sent her quilt tops out to the Phillipines in the 80s and 90s to be long-armed quilted (I so wish I could talk to her about that process!), I am choosing to prioritize designing, cutting, and piecing my larger quilting projects (and no longer allowing myself to feel guilty that I’m not doing the actual quilting of these projects). I feel like I should change the name of my blog to Piecing is in My Blood, but I don’t think I will do that!

A Significant Shift

Recently I decided to make another rather significant shift in where I want to go next in my quilting journey. Early in the coming year I plan to start using EQ8. My best friend is getting it for me for my birthday in March. I’ve been starting to read more blog posts about designing with EQ8. I will be participating again this coming year in the IG Honey Bees swarm that chooses from 25 different Bee Hive blocks, and I’ve chosen the Treasure Hunt block when I am the queen bee in March, and have found inspiration from Alyce’s Using EQ8 to Plan for a Quilting Bee post to choose a palette for my 2019 Treasure Hunt quilt. There are similarities with Alyce’s (mustard, teal, aqua) but mine will have dark pink, light grey, and dark grey. I used paper and pencil to make my design choices for this project. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to like the arrangement of my color choices, but I won’t know for sure until I sew up some example blocks. I can’t wait to get EQ8 and start playing with it to be able to know better how color schemes and designs will work. I’ve started to pull fabric for this project. Below is what I’ve pulled so far:

Block of the Month Participation

I’m also planning to use the above palette (and some of the same fabrics) for the Perfect HST 2019 Block of the Month  hosted and designed by Lee Heinrich. I used Lee’s Perfect HSTs for some of the HSTs used in the Wedding Whirl quilt that I made for my stepdaughter, Alisha, and her new wife, Wendy. I also used them for all the HSTs used in the coordinating Teal/Turquoise Whirls pillows for their 2018 Christmas present. I really enjoy not having to trim these HSTs and having less wonkiness with smaller size half-square triangles.

The other 2019 Block of the Month project I will be participating in 2019 is Rebecca Bryan’s Stargazer BOM. I am planning to make the lap-size quilt in the main color way: Blue/Green/Lime. I’ve had Rebecca’s Modern Triangle book for awhile now, and I’m really looking forward to making this stunning quilt.

I have been participating in one other Block of the Month program through my local quilt store that started six months ago. Well, not exactly participating. In June 2018 ThreadBear started the 13-month Incandescence Quilt BOM featuring Maywood Studios Gelato Ombre fabric. All I’ve done so far with this project is pick up the monthly instructions/fabric and put them in a bin. I hope to get caught by March. We’ll see!

Donation Quilts

One of my first projects in 2019 is to make a Mercyful Quilt that can be given to a hospice patient at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. Bernie with Needle & Thread has been organizing this quilt drive, and it has a personal connection to me as I grew in Sacramento, and my mother was a pink lady there (the adult version of a candy striper). I’m thinking of using my Carolyn Friedlander Doe layer cake to make a gender-neutral quilt.

I also plan to make a quilt top that will be quilted by @katikat21 on Instagram for “quiltsfordelhi”. The quilts are for children in a shelter in Delhi, and specific sizes are requested (36”x48”, 36”x60”, and “58”x72”) to correspond with the sleeping mats at the shelter. See Quilts for Delhi for more information. Again, I’m leaning toward making this quilt top gender neutral.

Other Quilts

There are four other quilts that I plan to make or at least work on in the coming year.

  1. It’s time for a new quilt for my bed. I have five yards of beautiful turquoise ombre fabric and want to make Hunter’s Design Studio’s Ombre Star Quilt. I love the description on the front of the pattern that says another “so much easier than it looks” pattern.
  2. My friend, Kristen, will be getting her master’s in Social Work in May ‘19, and when I saw this Memoir Quilt Kit on Hawthorne Supply Co., I thought the Memoir quilt would be the perfect gift to commemorate this fantastic accomplishment. 
  3. I’ve been thinking about making a Temperature Quilt for several months since I saw them popping up on Instagram. Patty at Elm Street Quilts wrote a great Tutorial on making different kinds of temperature quilts. I’m leaning toward making one with 2”x 4” flying geese with the geese part designating the high temp for the day and smaller triangles showing the low temperatures. I’m still figuring out the colors that I will be using.
  4. I’ve had a fat-quarter bundle of S’more Love fabric for three years or so thinking that I would make a throw-size quilt that my brother and sister-in-law can use in their motor home. When I saw Sew Shabby Quilting’s Camping quilting pattern, I thought it would be the perfect quilting motif for an RV quilt. I’m leaning toward using paper-pieced economy blocks for the quilt top and a grey grunge fabric on the back that will show the awesome camping quilting pattern and will stand up to the dirt and grime that sometimes accompanies camping adventures.

Other Projects That Have Peaked My Interest

That should do it for now! Here’s to a creative and joyful 2019!

Linking up to Quilting Jetgirl’s 2019 Planning Party.






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Dec ‘18 OMG

My December ‘18 One Monthly Goal is to make four pillow covers. I’m making two Christmas pillows for my friend, Kristen, and her son, Aidan, with some great Christmas fabric for these cat-loving friends. I really love the red text fabric that I will use to make the envelope backing with quotes like, “You had me at meow,” and “A cat can purr its way out of anything.” (mine definitely can!)

The other two pillows are the teal/turquoise whirls pillow shams that I wrote about in my 2018 Qtr 4 FAL Goals post. Melissa at So Shabby Quilting has finished the quilting, so I hope to finish them up soon in time to send off for Christmas. The pic below shows the teal/turquoise whirls before I added strips of grey to turn them into a “quilt top” for Melissa to quilt, and then I will cut the quilt into two pieces to make them into pillow shams.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Dec ‘18 OMG.

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Nov ‘18 OMG Finish

My Nov ‘18 OMG was to sew a simple Christmas patchwork cover for my cutting mat. I was able to get it done early in the month and enjoyed working with all the festive Christmas prints in red, green, and aqua (I’m not sure when aqua became a Christmas color, but I am totally on board!) This quilt actually does not quite cover my cutting mat, but I like the look of the small numbers and markings at the edges. It certainly covers up all the unsightly gashes in my cutting mat (perhaps it’s time for a new one in 2019?).

I started to do some Christmas decorating on Thanksgiving, and I love looking at the ornaments I’ve accumulated over the years, especially ones that were given to me by my mom and sister. The photo above shows the cutting mat cover I finished this month as well as a number of soft ornaments that I pinned to the design board that I keep behind my cutting table. Don’t worry I am still using my big design board for working on quilting projects over the holidays (and of course I still have plenty to work on!). The close-up below shows two of my mom’s quilting ornaments that I truly treasure:

Another favorite ornament is  the crossstitch angel I made MANY years ago, probably in my 20s, that I still love to pull out of its protective tissue paper wrapping every Christmas.

Do you have some special ornaments that you can’t wait to hang at Christmas?

This was one of my 2018 Qtr 4 FAL Goals. Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Nov ‘18 OMG Finishes. Also linking up to 2018 Qtr 4 FAL Link-Up.

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Feathers Quilt Finished!

Yesterday I finished the Feathers quilt for my niece, Kim. The pattern is by Alison Glass, and it is a fairly easy paper-pieced pattern, though I did modify a couple of the blocks that were giving me some trouble (see my September ‘18 OMG post for more information about this modification). Below is a photo of the finished quilt on my bed, and considering it was taken inside, I think it does a decent job of showing the beautiful Alison Glass Kaleidoscope fabric colors thanks to strategic placing of a couple Ott lights.

Here is a pic of the quilt top taken in my friend’s sun room with a lot of natural light, and the colors don’t look all that different.

Feathers Quilt

The photo below shows the back of the quilt which is pieced from several Alison Glass Art Theory in Charcoal panels:

ThreadBear did the custom quilting on this quilt. I had the idea of parallel grey quilting lines on the feathers, and colorful diamonds in a coordinating color on the wide sashing strips. Then we agreed that the narrow sashing strips would have two lines of quilting also coordinating with the colors of the adjacent feathers. None of the photos I took do a good job of highlighting the quilting, but the pic below best shows some of the different colors of thread in the quilting.

Yesterday I wrote a Quilt Label Tutorial post and was happy with how the label turned out for this quilt. However, last evening something made me look at the label on this quilt, and I have to say I was momentarily horrified that I had typed “Feather” rather than “Feathers” on the quilt label. But then I decided that it just isn’t that big of a deal. I will explain to my niece that if she wants to read posts about her quilt that she should look for Feathers Quilt posts.

This was one of my 2018 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals. Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday. Also linking up to 2018 Qtr 4 FAL Link-Up.

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