Thursday, November 2, 2017
Bee Happy Blocks
There are people in this business who never cease to amaze me, and Lori Holt is one of them. She has an unending store of creativity with new ideas constantly on the horizon. It's so wonderful to see! Riley Blake asked if I would be a part of her Bee Happy Quilt Sew Along this month, and though I was afraid that last weekend's wonderful trip to Quilt Market would keep me from finishing my blocks in time, it all worked out in the end.
My assignments were the Pin Cushion and Coral Flowers blocks. I almost never do applique work, so it took me a while to get in the swing of things with this project. Once I hit my stride, though, I really enjoyed getting the chance to do some sewing by hand for a change. Instead of waiting for time at my sewing machine in the afternoons, I could work on this at my teacher desk while homeschooling my daughters. (Did I mention, by the way, that I have three desks? One is for sewing, one for teacher work, and one for designing fabric. No wonder I'm always running around like a crazy woman during the day!) It was a real treat to sew in the mornings during school, and I'm quite tempted to take up more applique in the future just so I can do more of this.
For my Coral Flowers block, I wanted to bring in more color than the original block called for, so I alternated red, pink, aqua, and navy around the corners with a yellow flower in the middle. The green leaves and stems balance it all out, and I like the way this has an almost folk art look to it. I started to quilt the flowers, but decided that I liked them better as they were.
Blue gingham paired nicely with the front, and I stitched a line just inside the edge of the pillow cover which gives the illusion of piping. This pillow looks just perfect sitting on a chair in our family living room.
The pincushion block is surprisingly intricate for such a small piece, but I love the way it turned out. I simplified the "Bee" inscription on the mason jar, using one line of stitching instead of the original pattern's two lines. I also left off the "pins" on the far left and right so that I could use just one button of each color to make a rainbow at the top. That fussy cutting on the lid makes me so happy!
I turned this block into the cover of a little kit for holding small notebooks and pens, almost a simpler version of my Stationery Kit tutorial.
These projects were such a pleasure to make, and I enjoyed getting the chance to broaden my skills a bit. Every new challenge, however large or small, is always exciting for me, and I think it's good to keep looking for these opportunities to grow. Just when I think I might be getting a little stale, I find myself falling in love with sewing all over again...