How’s the year going for you? Flying past? For me it seems like ages since it was New Year’s eve. Maybe because in Australia it’s the lazy hazy days of summer and life seems to become super laid back and slower between Christmas and Australia Day, which more or less marks the end of summer school holidays.
Anyway, over January I’ve been making lots of blocks and before February gets too long in the tooth and slips past here’s a quick round up of what’s been happening in my sewing room.
This is my strawberry block made for The Honeypot Bee being run by Molli Sparkles. My plan is to jump into this bee whenever the block grabs my attention. There’s an impressive list of queens coming up over the year – see the list here – so I fully expect to be making quite a few. I wasn’t expecting my attention to be grabbed so early in the piece, but Angie from Gnome Angel picked a great block and I couldn’t resist. Angie’s version is an upsized variation of this tutorial by Skyberries Handmade. I went for the original size of 7 ½" x 10 ½” with the modified stem which I ended up paper piecing.
My first bee blocks were comfortingly simple. Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs was queen for January in the Bee Inspired group and she chose the 6-inch size paper-pieced Split Hatchet block from 627 Handworks in bright colours with a low volume background. I had fabric spread around trialling different combinations for days, adding and subtracting from piles any time I walked past and in the end settled on these. The block itself was simple and quick.
I’m in Hive 1 of Stash Bee and Diana From Red Delicious Life is Hive Mama, Stash Bee organiser for this year and was our queen for January. She is making a Disappearing 4 Patch quilt in purple and grey for her sister-in-law. She gave good instructions in her tutorial and I didn’t get a wobbly ruler in the crucial cutting phase, which I was really afraid of. I’ll admit here, just between us, that it was my second take on this block. Diana requested that we use a full ¼ inch seam rather than scant and I over-compensated the first time round and I made a block that was too under-sized. I’m using that on the back of a mini I’m quilting at the moment.
And these are my Garden Snails Quilt blocks (pattern by Pen + Paper Patterns). Sunday is #snailday on Instagram and we are up to week 5 in the Snail-paced Slow-Along Sew-Along. I missed the first week because I didn’t read the instructions properly (or maybe at all, now I come to think about it) so I’ve only posted 4, which is okay since I’m not making the full army of 42 anyway.
And lastly, my design challenge for the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. I was in this club last year and I used the monthly challenges as design prompts without making the monthly quilt. This year they’ve introduced varying levels of time commitment to the challenges and this month’s was purely design based with no finished quilt project required. Do-able! January's instructor was Amy Friend of During Quiet Time and you can get some idea of the challenge here. I went to the second level, level 1 being find inspiration in nature, architecture, signs and household items, level 2 being turn one into a quilt block. It’s amazing what you see when you start looking at things more closely.
I must have walked past these windows a million times going in and out of the library next door without ever noticing how different and amazing they were, but they grabbed my attention immediately once I started looking. I could see an improv curve slashing through the mid blocks straight away. And this is the block I designed.