Friday, July 31, 2015

As Time Goes By

Not much in life is stationary. Things are changing all the time, and even as a creator, I have just come to recognize that as a constant. As one component of my participation in the online quilting community, I've been a part of several bees. One of the first was the charity bee do.Good Stitches.

September 2011 was my first month as a stitcher in FAITH Circle, and I remember feeling mighty pleased to be a part of things. Rachel/Stitched in Color, the leader/creator of do.Good was a member of our circle at the time, and happened to be bee mama that month. Together, we made a Swoon quilt - one of my very favorite blocks. I only had a small part in its making (that's my block in the lower right corner), but I was proud of it, just the same.

In February 2013 I stepped up to serve as a quilter, and had the bee make blocks for an HST quilt. I remember being smitten with HST Love and the whole process gave me a lot of confidence. Since then, I've been bee-mama and created 4 more quilts, and overall, have made blocks for 33 others. Boy it feels great to be able to do good. It's important to me to make "giving back" a regular part of what I do as a quilter.

Since the bee's beginnings (a year before I joined) FAITH Circle has made over 50 quilts and donated them to encourage others! Here's the most recent finish - Social Climber by Debbie/Shadows of the Blue Ridge. Isn't it a fun one? It'll soon be off to our circle's chosen charity, Restore Innocence, which supports young women rescued from human trafficking. With its bright and cheery palette, it's bound to bring some hope and comfort.

All that to say . . . in July, not only has it been my month to choose our next project, but I've also transitioned into being leader/host of FAITH Circle. Talk about things coming full circle. It seems they have.

If you'd like to be a part of do.Good Stitches, you can apply using this form.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Vivid

This finish is a bit of a final farewell to the Mid-Century Modern Bee. Oh I've many friends among them, and that won't change, but most of the blocks that make up this quilt were made for me by them, and since then, I'm no longer a part of the bee. But back in April 2014, I chose the Rolling Diamonds pattern by knottygnome crafts, and as requested, I received a bright, colorful mix! Except when it came time to finally put the quilt together, I needed a few more blocks. My friend Sharon/smbrendle graciously made me one, and I made a couple more. Aren't they fun?!

I know 'just' 16 blocks make a relatively small quilt - only 48" square - but I really liked them as they were, and it seemed like I'd waited long enough to finish this one up.

I searched in my stash for a backing and settled on a green Dear Stella ticking stripe. Quilting in a simple grid resulted in a soft, comfy quilt, and the Aurifil 50 wt #2021 (Natural White) I used was subtle enough to tie everything together and not make too much of a statement. Binding is from "Wish" by Valori Wells Designs and I went off on a limb doing a machine-stitched binding. I used Rachel/Stitched in Color's tutorial, which was really fun for a change, and seemed to fit the playfulness of this quilt. I used the same Natural White thread, and even though it's pretty obvious, I like it just fine. The only thing to note is that Rachel uses a 3/8" seam to sew on the binding, which obviously dipped into my block points a bit. I could have easily adjusted that, but was so focused following instructions, I neglected to. Otherwise, though, I'm quite pleased. I still totally consider myself a hand-binder, but for now and again, I think I'll revisit this technique.

So there's an end of an era, so to speak. Thanks to the Mid-Century Modern gals for the fun time we sewed together!