Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Quilt Block Swaps

Well, can you believe this?  It's the last day of February and I'm already done with all my March blocks for the various virtual swaps that I'm involved with.  It must be the leap year!  The next time I'm this productive will probaby be in four years with the next leap year!  Here goes:

Piece Bee With You Quilt Bee - Jacqueline's cat block, pattern from The Cat's Meow by Janet Kime:

The 99 Quilt Bee -  Neshamamama's Lattice blocks from the book, Modern Blocks:

Gone Quilting Bee - Alisha's wonky star blocks:

We Bee Quilting Bee - Brandie's Wonky Star block:

Gone Quilting Bee - Debbie's HST star block:

I'm generally not this efficient, so I'm in happy shock! Hmm... too bad this efficiency is not present in other aspects of my life! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cat Bathroom

I just finished quilting the cat quilt that will be placed on the wall right outside the cat bathroom, which is shown here:

During the renovation of the basement, we decided to put in the cat bathroom next to the basement bathroom.  We have multiple cats, and no matter what products we bought or where we placed the litter box, the cats always made a mess of the area.  What drove me crazy was the flinging of the litter and tracking it everywhere.  So we thought if we kept the litterbox in a contained area that was easy to clean, it would help keep the problems at a minimum.  It did, and was probably one of the best investments we could have made.

Though the room looks simple, it was quite a project.  The concrete floor had to be broken up in order to put in a floor drain, and the pipes had to be redone for both bathrooms in order to add the drain and hand-held shower.  We also added a bathroom fan to help dry the room when we cleaned it, and the saddle of the doorway had to be raised so that we can run the faucet when we clean the bathroom. 

And of course, it's the details that give the space its character, so we chose this light switch cover for the bathroom:

and I made this quilt for right outside the room:

The cats adapted to this room very quickly. It's surprising since our cats never do what we want.  Maybe they like it as much as we do.  :)  It's a great room and has worked out exactly the way we had hoped. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quartered Log Cabin Block

Now that I figured out the fabrics, with a few new additions, I decided to make a prototype of this block both to figure if the fabrics work well together and what to send out.  Since the fabrics have to get to my fellow bee members of the Modern Block Swap 2012 by the beginning of March, I need to send the packages out by the end of this week because I'm going away next week.  (Can you believe that February is almost over???)

I had some concerns about my fabric, but once I made the block, it was amazing the transformation from the basic log cabin block:

... to the Quartered Log Cabin version:

Once I saw this block, any doubts I had about the fabrics disappeared! I love the play of fabrics and patterns, which all seem to go together very well.  By varying the width of the "logs" and making the placement of the orange, gray, and purple fabrics random, it made the final block vibrant and dynamic.  I can't wait to see what the bee members create!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Playing with fabric ...

I've been collecting orange and purple fabrics for one of my bees, Modern Block Swap.  I'm the bee leader for March and I didn't know how difficult it was to plan this quilt until I tried to.  So I did some research.  After looking at a gazillion block patterns and quilts on Flickr, I decided to make a purple and orange quilt in the quartered log cabin pattern from Block Party.  These are the fabrics so far:

The orange fabrics ...

The purple fabrics plus the neutral gray fabrics ...

I think the orange fabrics are great, and the gray fabrics will work well with both color families.  I'm concerned with the purples because they're predominantly in the reddish-purple family and I wanted a wider range of purples.  Looks like more fabric shopping ... YEAH!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Under the Sea

In one of my bees, Piece Bee with You, the theme for this month is Under the Sea.  It is a bee based on paper piecing, which is one of my favorite techniques.  This block is my contribution to the theme.  The fish pattern is from Shirley Liby's Paper Piecing Patterns, which is a set of books that I bought at a quilt show years ago.  I never thought I would use it because the patterns tend to be fairly small in size, but I thought it would be an interesting resource. 

I'm happy that I finally have a reason to use it.  The seaweed block is a pattern that I designed.

A close-up of the fish:

A close-up of the seaweed:

The block is made from stash fabric, and the background is an organic fabric by Kaufman that I thought was perfect for water.

I also like to design siggy blocks that match the blocks.  This is the siggy block for Under the Sea:

I love that these bees have me work on different patterns that I wouldn't otherwise.  It's definitely been broadening my quilting horizons and it's been fun!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Year of the Virtual Bees and Swaps

This seems to be my year of virtual bees and swaps.  I just finished my blocks for the Wonky House Swap, the Japanese x and + blocks, and am now participating in 5 monthly bees.  I'm enjoying making all these different blocks and the combinations of fabric that people put together, but it's been challenging.  I'm a procrastinator at heart, and have been surprised at how quickly I'm getting these blocks done and sent.  Maybe quilting is making me more consistent and timely? I hope so!  LOL

However quilting might affect me, here are my latest blocks for February:

Pogo Stick blocks for The 99 Quilting Bee (based on the book, Modern Blocks):

Modern Cross Block for the Modern Block Swap 2012:

Hope the recipients like them!