Bee Block Catch Up.

I'm catching up on some bee blocks and I'm noticing that there is a wide variety of blocks requested by bee members.

Exhibit A: underwater zig zag quilt blocks with shot cottons for Sew Buzzy Bee

sew buzzy bee blocks for locodowo


Exhibit B: disappearing 9 patch blocks in bright colors for May Moms Bee

may mom bee block after cutting


Exhibit C: kelp strip/block in mostly solids for It's Sew Easy Bee-ing Green Bee

kelp quilt strip for neshamama

Exhibit D: string block for the Sew Buzzy Bee

string block for lucky_charm

The variety sure makes things interesting in my sewing studio! 

What is your taste in quilts? Modern, traditional, solids, prints, graphic, floral, large scale or small?

sshhhhhhh! i'm cheating on my sewing projects.........with knitting.

I'm currently knitting a simple mitten pattern, in some of the prettiest yarn ever.  I tried two other patterns with cables and texture, but they just didn't work with this yarn. 



This solid color, smooth yarn is a departure for me.  I usually pick a heather yarn, or a tweedy yarn or variegated.  I like nubby and thick/thin yarns.  And I usually wear something  in a muted tone.
But these bright green mittens will be for ME!


So, anyway, my sewing machine may feel neglected for a bit.  
In the meantime, mitten puppets with double point needles area fun way to entertain a toddler.


green mittens in progress

Lesson

While the photos in this post may not be exciting, you'll have to trust me that my lesson on a long arm quilting machine was very exciting!  At the Heart of Quilting is a dealer for Gammill longarm quilting machines and they are located here in Beloit.  And, better yet, they rent time on their machines.

The lesson started with how to load the quilt back, batting and top onto the table.  (I have no photos of this process.)  Then we learned how to thread the machine and we had to practice it 3 times.  Then we learned about all of the buttons (I'll have to get a shot of the machine in action next time).  And then we basted the edges and started quilting.

I started with loopdeloops.
long arm quilting lessons

Then I tried a house shape, some pebbles, some meandering and some flowers. 
long arm quilting lessons

Then I did some rough straight lines.
long arm quilting lessons

And lastly, we learned how to use a laser light to follow a drawn pattern. 
long arm quilting lessons

My favorite parts were 1) not basting with pins(!!!) and 2) feeling how the machine could flow with my movements with very little effort.  In the regulated stitch mode, the machine senses how fast you are moving and changes the speed of the stitches in reference to that.  There is no pedal to push.  You just stand and move your arms to take the machine where you want it to sew.  Very, very cool.

My lesson was last night, and I went back today to practice on a small quilt.  I'll show you soon!

I Spy Swap

I'm participating in an I-Spy Fabric Swap.
I'm excited to see what fabrics I get in return.  I've got big plans....

i spy fabric swap

Warmer Days Ahead

I have a collection of vintage sheet fabric.  I pick them up at thrift stores and then cut them up for sewing projects.  I love picking ones with sunny, bright colors. 


lemons and limes top

This quilt is roughly 40 x 40" and will be a baby quilt for donation.

I had so many scraps already cut up that I just arranged pieces and sewed it 
all together in a day. Getting it basted and quilted will take me much longer, 
but I just had to share a peek (or two) of my work in progress.

lemons and limes top

The sunny fabrics sure were fun after shoveling all of that snow this week!

Little guy, big snow

Our deck got slammed with snowdrifts during the Midwestern monster snowstorm. We only shoveled a small path from our backdoor to the driveway and the top of this pile still comes up to my chest. We also have a wicked drift on the back roof. Half of the window to my upstairs bathroom is blocked with snow.

back deck


Luckily, we have a helper.

helper


We use a sleigh shovel on our driveway, and it really came in handy for this deep snow.  You scoop up a big load and then push it over to the side to dump it off. 

sleigh shovel


The drifts did make for some interesting shovel steering, though.

sleigh shovel tracks


Henry had a BLAST with shoveling.

helper



I hope you are staying warm and having winter fun.