Thursday, February 25, 2010

Buzzing with Activity

I am participating in 3 online quilting bees. One is technically a block round robin, but it's close enough to a bee. I just won't get all the blocks until the end of the year.

February has been my month for the Fresh Comfort II bee. I designed a wonky log cabin block and sent out an assortment of brown and aqua fabrics. Some of these are not trimmed yet so disregard the variety of sizes. I am still awaiting 8 blocks so that this can be larger. I can hardly wait to quilt this one...have some very radical thoughts for the quilting and interesting threads currently on order too!

I am also participating in The Bees Knees quilting bee. My month is April, which is really right around the corner considering I have to have fabrics sent out in 3 weeks (and a block plan finalized prior to then!). I have gathered pretty fabrics for months. My plan was to do one bee quilt more modern and edgy (above) and do one more traditional (this one). I have 4 yards of the Martha Negly floral below. Most of this will go on the backing, but all of the other materials were selected to coordinate with this. I stumbled into a great thing last month...Mardens (a legend if you live in Maine) had MANY of the coordinating prints in stock at $3 per yard. I bought more than a few. I think that the large floral backing was also only $3 a yard at Whittles too. That is a great online store if you have not heard of it!
I love the set of coral/orange prints And there are several different greens as well.
And I have 4 small pieces (under a yard each) of finger paint fabrics - for those interested, they are FingerPaints by Stephanie Brandenburg. I thought they'd be nice for small accents on the blocks, since I cannot send a ton of any to all people.
The stripe at the top is likely for the binding and maybe for a small accent border. I probably won't send it to anyone in the Bee.
Now, the problem is that I cannot settle on a design. Wanna weigh in your thoughts?... please....

Here's one thought (created with EQ6, using pictures of the actual fabrics). Note that this will likely NOT be the background fabric for the stars, however....It is fairly traditional. They'd be 12" blocks, and each person I think has already agreed to make 2. I'd supply a tutorial for a block. The fun thing about this block is that color placement can drastically change how the star looks. It can look like a flower or a star or even a twisted friendship star. Interesting, but not my favorite. I am currently polling the Bee members to get a sense of their abilities and whether or not they want to create their own design or follow a tutorial. Stars and triangles are easy for me, but I'm not sure how the masses feel about keeping every point!
Concept #2... A little more radical and modern. I love flying geese. And I love circles...I really love when the geese fly in circles, if you catch my drift! I'd probably make instructions to a few blocks available to those that are not comvortable making their own, and then hope that I did not get 20 blocks that are all the same! These would also be 12" blocks.
The thing with a 12" block is that it does not allow for too much detail, or the beauty of these larger scale prints gets lost. So, I am also contemplating an option where each swapper makes just one 18" block. It's the same area as 2-12" blocks approximately. Here's just one concept. I made one of these blocks last year for a round robin in an 8" block (if you can believe how small some of those pieces were!). It was largely paper pieced. I think I can print off the pattern pieces for people and that size won't be that hard to make. My only concern...people that don't paper piece much can be very wasteful using that technique, and the thought of wasting this gorgeous material... ... I'll likely redesign this larger 18" block, but you get the idea. I'd send "x" number of fabrics, specifying a desired background fabric, and let people pick and choose how they wanted to color their blocks.

So, what is your recommendation for the swap block(s)??? My inquiring mind wants to know :-)


Trudi said...

Ooooh, no matter which you choose, it's going to be a stunner, I can't wait to get to play with your fabrics :) I love the stars, especially the top left, but I also love the 18" block. But hey, it's your quilt, which do you LOCE? (You know I'm easily pleased *g*)

Rhonda said...

Wow Supermom....what great colors of fabrics you chosen.....I love them.......I'm thinking of something totally different to show off those colors.....have you thought of a triple or quad. Irish Chain????? I do like the last EQ design.....I'm just sayin'

Wendy said...

Beautiful fabrics, Margaret! I think the 18" block is a nice way to showcase all those fabrics and a nice different quilt with bigger blocks. However, in a bee if someone gets off in their measurements for the 18" size, it seems like it might be harder to recover than recovering from a size error with a smaller block. Love the wonky log cabins a well, looking forward to seeing how you quilt it!

Pat said...

I can't get over the price of those fabrics, and they're gorgeous. Your quilt and blocks are pretty. Will be glad to see that quilt done, and with the threads you have chosen. Thanks for sharing.