Saturday, July 23, 2011


My apologies that this space has been so silent lately. It's just too darn hot to sew in the evenings. An un-air-conditioned house plus triple-digit heat here in CT means I've got nothing to show you, and not much to blog about.

However, my boss has asked me to blog about books for the library, and since it's never too hot to read, there's been some writing done over there! Looking for suggestions on what to read? Go take a look!

The heat should break in the next day or two, which will hopefully mean more posts for you guys in the near future. Stay cool, and thanks for bearing with me!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bee Block roundup

Of course, you know if you haven't heard from me in awhile, there's a glut of things for me to share with you. In this case, bee blocks!

I was lucky enough to be involved in the Sew Fresh Fabrics charity bee this round, and got my packet of fabrics last week. Look! Pips! Rainy Days! It was such a nice little parcel to open and pet while I figured out what I was going to do with them.

I added a few bits from my stash and just did a little improv log cabin frame around each fussy-cut print. The finished block is 12.5" and is already headed back to Sew Fresh Fabrics HQ to meet up with the rest of the blocks.

Then there were this month's blocks for do.Good Stitches, based on a tutorial by Ashley over at Film in the Fridge. LOVE these blocks.

Sorry they look a little wonky here--I think it's part camera angle and part the ripple in the design wall--I really need to tack down the bottom edge. They were super fast to put together, and easy to chain piece--thinking perhaps I may have to do a limited-palette scrap quilt in this pattern sometime in the future. Heh, like I need another project, right?

Finally, I sucked it up and dug into Annabel's parcel of fabrics for her month of The Beehive. I'll be honest, Annabel's month was actually June--I was a bad bee and slacked like nobody's business on this one. I do that when it's something I'm not so comfortable with. :(

Some little sailing ships for her month (none of these are bigger than 4" finished). I made these up as I went along, and will let Annabel choose which she uses--she'll be sashing them out to appropriate size with more of the dark blue solid, Kona Nightfall (the photo doesn't do it justice, it's really a gorgeous deep blue). You should check out the Beehive photostream to see some of the amazing blocks being made by my bee-mates for this one. The theme is "The Busy Sea at Night" and I am in awe at some of the talented paper-piecing going on. I don't know how to paper-piece beyond a string block, something I suppose I ought to learn someday.

Now, to prep some sample blocks for the new round of 3x6 and its new offshoot bee, the 4x5. Would you believe I'm caretaking for both bees now? Heh. Yup, the mad librarian quilter, that would be me...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Working, working...

Just no finishes to share! I've been alternating between two projects the past few weeks, and while there's plenty of progress, there's not an awful lot to show, finish-wise. But I couldn't just keep leaving y'all hanging indefinitely, so I thought I'd share a few shots of my works in progress...

First are these giant windmill blocks--each one finishes at 16.5" square. They're a combination of Moda Bella Solid in Cream and charm packs of two Minick & Simpson collections, Wiscasset and Clermont Farms. I spent one evening drawing sewing lines on the back of my cream squares, matched them with the print squares, and have been using them as leaders/enders while I've worked on other sewing lately. The result has been that suddenly I had everything sewn and ready to go when I was ready to put the blocks together...

I know there's more than one of you looking at these and going, "Ok, the librarian has officially gone mad. What's with the paisley?" Well, since I don't always sew for myself or the madman (or bees...or swaps...), sometimes I need to take the recipients' tastes in mind. In this case, said recipients tend to be a bit more traditional in their decor. But that's about all I can say about them at the moment, on the off chance that one of them remembers I have a blog... :D

I do have a bit of a confession to make here, though. As much as I really love modern fabrics (and you know I do), I have a deep-seated passion. For paisley. There, I said it! Ok, let me explain a bit. When I was little, my grandparents' house was somewhere I spent a LOT of time. And my grandmother's decorating aesthetic tended toward Jacobean embroidery, flame-stitched and damask upholstery, and yes, some old-school paisley here and there. So in this case, working with more traditional fabrics is no hardship--I love Minick & Simpson (you've seen me singing their praises here before). And sometimes it's nice to switch things up, right?

Especially when I've also been sewing tons of these:

See, more paisley-inspired prints. And modern! You've seen these blocks before, too. 83 completed blocks in that stack, just 17 left to go. But I'll probably hold off on putting the top together until it's slightly less hot and September. No AC here, so it requires a bit of strategy. Summer is for block sewing, fall and winter are for tops, basting and quilting.

What about you? Do you save certain aspects of your hobbies for certain times of year?