Back to School and August Bee Blocks

Fresh Lemons Quilts

The kids are officially back in school. I promise my blog isn’t going to turn into only pictures of my children, but we did stitch up our August Not Your Mama’s Bee quilt blocks in the days before going back. The last two months, I’ve found it a bit challenging to help both kids make their blocks at the same time. I still do the ironing and rotary cutting…and my son needs a bit of help with the machine. So this time we worked on two different days.

This month we made blocks for Angela’s daughter. She requested simple blocks of 16 squares, cut 4″ x 4″, and featuring Heather Ross prints and other fabrics that were pink, blue, yellow and purple.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I mentioned before that my daughter is getting pretty self sufficient on my BERNINA 440QE. You can see her set up in the above photo. The only thing she needs is a couple books under the foot pedal! We did our sewing on a Saturday morning, and it was pretty wonderful. I sewed next to her, finishing up my Picnic Point quilt top. She made her block. I think this was the first time we sewed side-by-side like this. It was such a great memory.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

My son had fun picking fabrics (as usual) but was less interested when it came to waiting for mommy to cut the fabrics and iron the seams. :)

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I learned this month that sewing a long straight seam is harder for beginners than several short seams. It was a lesson in patience (and seam ripping) when we tried to have a consistent seam allowance the entire way down the block.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

We also ditched him sitting in my lap, and I had him stand at the machine and push the foot pedal while I stood behind him and helped guide his hands. Still getting the hang of it!

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m now enjoying a bit of quiet while they are gone for the day…and my mind is full of ideas as to how to spend the next nine months until another summer vacation!

Not Your Mama’s Bee ~ July

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

July was the second month for my kid’s Not Your Mama’s Bee. If you happened to miss June’s post, a group of friends have put together a quilting bee for our kids! We have ages 5 to 9, boys and girls. And I think the parents are learning as much as the kids.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This month happened to be my daughter’s month to request blocks. Recently we have been talking about giving her bedroom a little makeover. I decorated it back when she was 2, and although I think it still works great for an 8 year old, she is ready for a change. I can’t really argue too much with her, as I change things here and there all the time.

She really likes the idea of a navy, pink, turquoise and gold room, so she requested Star Quilt Blocks of any size in those colors. She made a wonky star herself, and my 6 year old son made a sawtooth star. Not sure I’d recommend making flying geese with a 6 year old again, but we survived! :)

The kids are doing great with the sewing machines. I have my daughter using my BERNINA 440QE and she can now pretty much sew independently on it. My son is sewing with my help on my BERNINA Ambassador machine (the 750QE). He loves to push the thread cutting button when we are done stitching. This month I started letting him push the foot pedal, but I still help guide his hands as he guides the fabric. To say he’s accident prone would be an understatement! Much to their dismay, I am still keeping the speed turned way down on both machines.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So far she’s received 9 of her blocks. Above you’ll see the 6 we had back when we took the photos. She is talking about doing a random layout with blocks of solids/prints mixed in. (Similar to my Starfall Quilt).

And now we are already into August, and ready to sew a new block for a new friend!

Not Your Mama’s Bee ~ June

Last April when I was at Sewtopia, a few of us started talking about how fun it would be to start a quilting bee for our kids. We have finally hit those awesome childhood years. The ones where the kids are more self sufficient, but still think we are the coolest and want to hang out with us. :) My 8 year old daughter can even use the sewing machine unassisted! (Being the overprotective mom that I am, I still handle the rotary cutting and iron.)

This month was the first month of our bee, cleverly named by Jen, Not Your Mama’s Bee. Each month, one child in the bee gets to pick a general design or theme, and the other kids make and send a block using their parents stash and limited assistance. Lee’s youngest daughter was lucky enough to be assigned month one, and everyone is making her rainbow log cabin blocks that feature kitty fabric.

I pulled out my scrap buckets, and some larger cuts of my only fabric that would qualify as having cats, from Alexa Abegg’s Hatbox collection for Cotton + Steel. (I think technically they are tigers.) The kids got to work designing. We tried to focus on one ring at a time. (This was very hard for a certain excited 6 year old boy).

My daughter was able to stitch on her own, while my son sat in my lap and was in charge of guiding the fabric while I worked the foot pedal.

They loved sewing and the final results so much, they both wanted to keep them. :) Don’t worry, they didn’t!

This was such a fun afternoon. Sometimes I am so busy trying to get “business” related sewing done, that I forget what it’s like to sit and enjoy the moment. I am really excited that we will have a chance to spend time creating together each month over the next year.

The Traveling Quilts ~ Round Seven

The Traveling Quilts : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So, who remembers the Traveling Quilts Bee? Wow, things reeeeeally slowed down for us over the last year. We have some awesome members of the bee that have done amazing things over the last year: launched fabric lines, put on QuiltCon, written books. Luckily no one seems upset about the slow progress. I just finished my latest round, working on Alissa’s quilt top. If you follow Alissa’s blog, you know she likes modern and she likes minimalism. Well, I’m not sure you are going to get a minimalistic quilt out of this type of bee. :) She sent a bit of chartreuse solid along with the quilt and everyone has been incorporating a little here and there.

The Traveling Quilts : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided to channel my inner ultra modern quilter and use the slice and insert technique I learned in Jacquie’s class. I made 3 blocks of various sizes and then added some random, neutral sashing around them.

I just need to sew the column to the rest of the quilt top and mail it off to Ashley! And if you get a chance, Monica just finished working on my quilt and you have to check it out – I’m loving it so much!