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!

Weekend in Wisconsin

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last weekend, I drove up to New Glarus, Wisconsin for a little relaxation and creative recharging with some of my favorite Iowa, Wisconsin, and Upper Peninsula Michigan quilty friends (and a couple of Houston and Nashville ladies thrown in for good measure). Somehow, I have no pictures with any of them! I suppose we were having too much fun. We rented the house you see above, about 5 miles outside the downtown New Glarus area. I had no clue that New Glarus was like a mini Switzerland, so you can imagine my surprise when I rolled into town. Lucky for me, this meant cheese fondue was on the menu and yes, I indulged.

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The weekend was just perfect. I love Wisconsin with the rolling hills and beautiful farms. On the way up from my home in the Chicago suburbs, I saw lots of corn, lots of black and white cows, a huge sunflower field, and at least 15 quilt barns.

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Our house even had sheep! I’m pretty convinced I need to move somewhere with sheep now.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent quite a bit of my two days there sewing, and managed to finished all the blocks for my current quilt. Jeni came up with the perfect name too – Picnic Point. I’m so thankful that I trimmed up all the HSTs before leaving. Everything went together easily.

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I threw the blocks up on the design wall for a quick photo before packing up to leave. I’m hoping to sew the blocks together this week and start basting!

Progress and Friends

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What a fun week it has been, and it’s not over yet! Tuesday, I was lucky enough to spend the day with my Vintage Quilt Revival coauthors, and best quilty friends, Katie and Lee. Believe it or not, the three of us haven’t been all together since promoting our book at Quilt Market almost two years ago. We text each other pretty much everyday, but this felt like such a treat. Katie’s husband was in town for business so she tagged along with her new sweet baby girl.

Fresh Lemons QuiltsPhoto taken by my 8 year old :)

This was the first time our kids met! This isn’t the whole crew, as Katie’s older two kids stayed back home in Utah. But 5 out of 7 isn’t bad! After some initial shyness, everyone became fast friends as we hung out in downtown Chicago.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yesterday, I spent much of the day trimming those 256 HSTs that you see above. Not the most fun I’ve ever had, but I’m glad it’s done! I was admittedly easily distracted, so it wasn’t really a 12 hour job. And today, I’m packing up to head to Wisconsin for the weekend for some sewing time with fellow quilty friends. I’m feeling very spoiled to have some “me” time. I’m hoping to knock out all the blocks for this quilt top, and who knows what else! I’ll try to remember to take some pictures along the way. :)

Dreaming of Half Square Triangles

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Well, I’ve made a lot of half square triangles. I may see them in my sleep tonight. After a few hours cutting, a few hours stitching, and a few hours ironing, I have several lovely stacks to spend a few more hours trimming.

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week I made a test block with one of my favorite Anna Maria Horner prints from Good Folks, and some Robert Kaufman Essex Linen. I believe this is yarn dyed black, but as usual, I failed to label it. I may turn this block into a pillow.

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides sewing, I’ve spent a bit of time this week baking in the kitchen with my kids. We made cupcakes and a very delicious blueberry cobbler with cornmeal biscuit.

Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This recipe is from one of my go-to favorite cookbooks, Rustic Fruit Desserts. Must remember to take advantage of all the fresh fruit while it is so readily available in the grocery!

Time to trim those half square triangle blocks!