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.

Scrap Plus ~ A Quilt Along at We All Sew

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Happy Friday everyone! Do you remember this quilt that I was working on for BERNINA’s We All Sew blog? I just received word that Week 1 of the Quilt Along went live today!

You can find the directions to make these Scrap Plus blocks over at We All Sew.

Scrap Plus Quilt Along : Fresh Lemons Quilts

These blocks are beginner friendly and would also be perfect for quilting bees. They finish up at 12″ x 12″. Next week there will be a post with instructions for the quilt top layout, resulting in a 56″ x 64″ quilt. I hope you enjoy the pattern and will consider making your own Scrap Plus quilt!

Poinsettia ~ A Finished Quilt and Pattern

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s finished! After a few days of quilting, yesterday I stitched on the last bit of binding. I’m so very happy with how it turned out. Hopefully you all are as excited as I am – if for any reason, because you don’t have to hear about this one anymore. Ha!

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I know I’ve said so much about this quilt already, but I’ll touch on the main details again because I always have questions in the comments. I started this quilt over 2 years ago at a retreat put on by Pink Castle Fabrics (formerly known as Quilt Camp, now known as Camp Stitchalot). I was teaching a session on paper piecing and we were making the larger Poinsettia Star components as part of a small mini quilt pattern. I had already made the mini quilt, so I decided to play around with a new layout for all of my sample blocks.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m sure a lot of you know how it goes – life gets busy and your UFO pile grows and grows. The original quilt section was put aside while I waited for the right time to pick it up again. That time proved to be last November.

A little more than 2 months later, the finished quilt measures 62″ x 75″. There are 99 quilt blocks…2,610 tiny pieces of fabric. But who’s counting. 😉 Despite those seemingly overwhelming numbers, if you followed along on the progress you saw how this quilt was pretty achievable to assemble when broken down into steps.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Almost every piece of bright fabric in this quilt is from my stash of fabrics by Anna Maria Horner. (I can only think of 1 piece, from the original section 2 years ago, that isn’t hers.) I could gush all day about Anna Maria’s talent. Her collections just sing together. The colors, the designs…they are perfect for patchwork. The black/cream fabric is also from my stash. Half yards I’ve collected here and there. I used a lot up for this quilt, but I certainly don’t regret it. Much is from various Moda designers. A lot from Sweetwater, Lu Summers, Zen Chic. If I see it, I buy it, because Moda does not reprint fabric once it’s gone. Some are text, some are shapes and lines. Together, it just works.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For the backing, I used a print from Anna Maria Horner’s Hand Drawn Garden collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics called Sketchbook in ivory. The binding is a scrappy mix of black prints I used within the quilt. I think it provides a nice finishing frame. By some truly accidental piece of luck, when I cut the this large piece of fabric in half to sew together for the backing…the design matched up perfectly. You can’t really even tell where the seam is (it’s in the middle of the above photo, down the middle of the black hand drawn birds.)

I quilted using straight lines, just organically measuring – not marking. They are about 1/4 to 1/2 apart.

Poinsettia Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And…for the moment many of you have been waiting for…a quilt pattern! This pattern is now available in my shop as a PDF instant download. I have a few new PDF patterns that I haven’t announced formally, so be sure to check them out. There’s the Poinsettia Quilt, Big Top Quilt and Holland Mills Quilt. I plan on sending all 3 to the printer this week for hard copy pattern booklets (if you prefer that to an instant download PDF file). Those should be available in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Now it’s time for me to go cuddle under that quilt. This one is for keeps.

Spectrum ~ A New Quilt Pattern

Spectrum Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

As promised, today I’m sharing my latest quilt finish, Spectrum. Several months ago, the folks at Robert Kaufman Fabrics asked me if I was interested in creating a pattern using their Kona solids. I have been sitting on this flying geese design for a bit, waiting for the right time to make the quilt. (Does anyone else do this?? I swear I have more quilt designs than I’ll ever be able to make!) I decided the Kona’s would be perfect for it.

Spectrum Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Spectrum quilt features flying geese in a variety of Kona colors: Valentine, Camellia, Carnation, Pink, Coral, Kumquat, Mango, Cheddar, Corn Yellow, Canary, Buttercup, Maize, Sour Apple, Pistachio, Pear, Honey Dew, Breakers, Pool, Bahama Blue, Aqua. The background happens to be one of my favorite neutrals, Kona Snow (I just bought a bolt of it!)

Spectrum Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

In this design, I took a classic quilting element (flying geese) and updated the design through use of negative space. By staggering the columns and leaving the tops and bottoms empty (piecing in the background fabric), a traditional concept now has a very modern feel.

Spectrum Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I quilted this using a free motion meandering design. I tried out the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) on my Bernina 750QE for the first time. (I have used the BSR on my Bernina 440QE). It worked great! I put my pressure foot setting down to 0 and found that to be the easiest for smoothly moving the quilt around while stitching.

Spectrum Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The quilt measures 54″ x 60″. The pattern is now available as a PDF Digital Download in my pattern shop. Hardcopies are on their way as well and will be listed as soon as they arrive.