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.

Home Run ~ A Finished Quilt

Home Run ~ A Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts

I finished my latest quilt and took it on a special trip for photos! Since this quilt features Chicago Cubs fabric, in an ideal world of unlimited time I would have taken it over to Wrigley Field. But you’ll have to settle for a community ballpark. I hope that’s ok. :)

Home Run ~ A Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts

The Home Run quilt is a gift for a Cubs fan. (Hopefully that’s somewhat obvious!) I mentioned a few weeks ago that these quilt squares are Shoo Fly blocks. I think they look like little baseball diamonds. There are 42 blocks, each measuring 12″ x 12″ finished, resulting in a 72″ x 84″ quilt.

Home Run ~ A Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts

I pulled coordinating fabrics in blue, red, white and black for the blocks. My background is mostly white, but when I had a white feature fabric, I switched the background to gray. I fun little twist that allowed me to use those white prints.

Home Run ~ A Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts

I wanted this quilt to have a nice soft drape, so I quilted it with straight lines, horizontally and vertically, 1/4″ away from all of the seams. It gives it a nice little poof I think.

Home Run ~ A Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts

The backing is from a new Major League Baseball line by Fabric Traditions. Perfect timing, right? My daughter embroidered a label for the recipient (I’ve erased the personal details from the photo).

Home Run ~ A Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts

I think it’s a fun quilt. Hopefully a successful “man quilt” and enjoyed through the years. :) And that does complete my 4 gift quilts of Spring! Feeling much relieved and ready to move forward with my next project.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope ~ A Finished Quilt

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet around here the last few days, but I promised myself I wouldn’t post again until I finished my Scrappy Kaleidoscope quilt. And it’s done! I love this quilt so much – it’s going to be a hard one to give away. But the recipient deserves much thanks for all her work and care over the last year, so I’m happy to have made something pretty for her.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The prints are scrappy and the background is FreeSpirit Solids Sand Dune (personal favorite). As I mentioned in a previous post, I made this quilt by paper piecing 12″ (finished) kaleidoscope blocks. I made a paper piecing template, and you can download it here. Be sure to print 4 copies at 100% or Actual Size to make your own 12″ block.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There are 30 blocks in this quilt, and it measures 60″ x 72″. I quilted it in a meandering free motion design. The lighter colors just didn’t photograph well with the quilting texture last night, but it is oh-so-pretty in person and I wouldn’t change one piece of fabric.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Above is a nice shot from while I was getting ready to baste.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The backing and binding are Wordfind in Pink by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel, part of her Playful collection. I love it so much! I’ve also pieced in a specially embroidered label on the back, with To, From, and Date details. Sorry, no pics as I don’t want to spoil the surprise too much.

Scrappy Kaleidoscope : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Next up, basting and quilting the Cubs Quilt! I’m thinking straight lines for that one. My back is sore just thinking about it!

A Doll Quilt Finish

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

A finish is a finish no matter how small, right? Confession: I am really, really bad about completing projects that I start in a class. But when I got home from Sewtopia and started unpacking, my daughter saw my Kansas Dugout quilt blocks that I intended to make as a doll quilt for her, and she asked me finish it up that night. So we went upstairs to my sewing room and I let her pick the backing and binding, and even the quilting style. She helped me pin baste, selected a meandering pattern, and watched as I finished it up.

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

I was so incredibly slow making these blocks in class. It probably didn’t help that I was talking to friends the whole time. I only made 9, but I think they turned out cute! I even fussy cut the mermaids from my precious Mendocino scraps. I’m pretty sure the doll and my 8 year old are happy with the quilt!

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

I’ve also made progress on my Scrappy Kaleidoscope Quilt this week. The top is finished! (The picture was before I sewed the rows together.)

Kansas Dugout Quilt Block

I mentioned before that this is one of two gifts that I need to get done before the end of the school year. Feeling pretty good to not have waited until the very last minute for once!