Saturday, March 31, 2012

Charm Square Challenge

I'm in two sewing bees.  Every year each of the bees has a challenge.  Both bees decided on a charm square challenge!  A charm square is a 5-inch square of fabric.  You can buy them pre-cut in quilt shops or cut your own.  They are very versatile! 

The Boa Bee challenge is all about color.  Each bee member picked a crayon out of a bowl and that was your color.  We had a listing of each bee member's color; we then had to cut five, 5-inch charm squares in all of those colors.  A good scrap buster!  We used one of the meetings to exchange the squares, so everybody ended up with a bag of charm squares in their challenge color.  Everyone has a different stash so it's a great variety of fabrics, the colors vary in value from light to dark and vary in saturation, muted to bright and in scale!

Our challenge is to make a quilted item using each of our charm squares, in part or in whole.  We can add a coordinating color and/or a neutral.  We are to reveal our masterpiece at the year-end Xmas party.  It'll be fun! 

Here are my squares - my color was Aqua!

The Wanna Bees also have a charm square challenge in "style" of fabrics.  This time each bee member wrote down a style they wanted, for example: civil war, 30's, brights, retro prints, blues & yellows, XMas, etc.  We cut five, 5-inch charm squares in each of the "styles".  We are meeting this weekend to exchange squares.  We will put them into a brown paper bag and then having a secret swap!  You won't know what bag you'll get, but it shouldn't be your own!  The challenge is to make a quilted item, using all or a part of every charm square plus you can add a neutral and/or coordinating color.  We will exchange our quilted gifts and reveal who made them at the XMas party.  This one can be really challenging!  Can't wait to see which bag I get!

There are so many blocks and pattern you can make from 5-inch squares.  We can cut them up into smaller squares as well.  It sure will be fun to see all the imaginative things these bee members create!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Blue & White Ohio Star

You know how I love two-color quilts, well this blue and white Ohio star came in and I got real excited!  Those big white areas are perfect for quilting.  It was pieced by Marianne Murphy, for her daughter.  She selected a Celtic knot design.  The edges will be scalloped, except for the very top.  Another big quilt (99x99).

 The knot design was quilted in the center of each square.  Echoing around the design several times created a secondary, braid-like pattern.  It connects it all together.  The blue stars stand out, with simple quilting to outline all the points.   
 This is the bottom and I modified the quilting to fit in the scalloped edge.
Hope she likes it!

Friday, March 23, 2012


Around March in the Midwest, everybody is itching to get out of the house and see some quilts.  This is the first quilt show of the season and I always go.  Here are a few pictures...sorry - I don't have everyone's names.

I really like this one.  Pieced by Anne Jenkins.

I love this one called "Corn Field" by Phyllis Bock.
 Close up of the corn.
 One of those I-Spy quilts using hexagons.
 The ABC quilt is a pattern by Amy Bradley.  I believe it was made from a kit.  So cute!
 The quilting makes it pop!
I LOVE this one - so creative!  It's call "Mind the Gap", depicting a map of the London Underground.  Pieced by Elisa Arespacochaga.  Well done Elisa!
Moonlit Mirage by Denise Havlan.  
The best quilted quilt, by Monica Troy.

 Great pattern (Black Cat Creations) for 30's fabrics plus embroidery called "Baskets of Flowers" made by Alison Krall.  This would look great in redwork too.

"Jeremiah" by Charlene Cooper. 

 I think I've seen this pattern in one of the American Patchwork Magazines.

 Creative T-Shirt quilt layout.  I like how she incorporated some bright flowers to add some punch to this quilt.  I might use this idea!  Designed and pieced by Arlene Forst.

 This could be a creative way to use Xmas fabrics.  (Strips on trees.)  Probably won't put much of a dent in the stash though.

I've always liked the vendors who sold painted faces.  It wasn't clear if this one was painted by the quilt maker or if she bought it.  Pieced by Roberta Butler. 
 Embroidery is my favorite thing to take to a bee meeting.  It's so portable and look at the results.  Beautiful!  This is a Crabapple Hill pattern made by Karen Facenda.

Love Knot (?)

Argyle Alphabet by Alison Krall

This is made from a panel, but it doesn't look like it!  The red rick-rack makes it.