Tuesday, May 31, 2011

... sewing for others

bits and blocks front

have i mentioned how much i love the do. good stitches charity quilting bee? because i really, really do. it's so satisfying sewing for someone in need and, for selfish reasons, i love being challenged by the blocks every month. and, being a quilter for the love circle, i also love coming up with the quilt design, like this one i just finished for the march quilt.

you may remember that i mentioned that for this quilt i was inspired by a technique i learned from my pal katie that she taught it in one of her improvisational quilting classes. (sidenote: if you live in seattle, you should most definitely take a class from her... she has so many great things to teach!) and she was inspired by a technique from joelle hoverson's last-minute patchwork + quilted gifts. katie called the technique tumbling blocks in her original pillow and joelle called hers little bits, so i named this quilt bits and blocks. i'm a little sheepish at how blatantly it turns out i ripped katie off (see her finished split decision quilt here), but i suppose i'll have to be okay with that (and i hope katie is, too). honestly, it was slightly unintentional, but we all know how fuzzy inspiration can be in the quilting world.

bits and blocks back

but didn't this turn out lovely? i asked our circle members for blocks in this style on any solid grey background using yellow to slightly greenish prints for the bits. when all the blocks arrived in the mail i couldn't believe how great they looked together. i really like the variation among the greys and how it breaks up the quilt into segments. i used one set of blocks on the back with yellows that complemented the backing fabric i chose. and it's hard to see in the pictures, but the quilting looks really cool. i quilted straight lines horizontally around the seams of each block and then i ran lines vertically down the quilt that zig-zagged in the pattern of each small bit that it intersected, making it look kind of maze-like.

the finished quilt measures 54 x 48 inches and it is bound in a grey polka dot (michael miller, maybe? my pregnant brain can't remember and my pregnant body is too lazy to go check). thank you to all the love circle quilters for contributing to such a great quilt!

may blocks for do. good stitches

and, speaking of do. good stitches, i also just finished my blocks for the may quilt. melanie asked for two blocks in one color to contribute to a box of crayons quilt. i chose pink.


may blocks for do. good stitches

for some reason i thought it would be fun to do some paper piecing and made an all-hexagon block. in my head, piecing hexagons went really quickly, but oh, not so in real life! i spent all weekend, hours upon hours, working on this to get these blocks finished in time to send by the end of the month. my second block had to be incredibly simple because i just did not have the time or energy to do anything else. they got shipped off today, just under the wire, and i hope they work well in the finished quilt. i can't wait to see the result!


  1. ooooh i love everything!
    and that pink hexagon block looks SO much like what i just posted about on my blog -- i'm making a quilt that looks just like that! and i have a hexi giveaway -- check it out :)

  2. Love them all - the quilt and your blocks. Hexagons! Now I feel really lazy :D I tried to keep my May blocks very simple but somehow managed to work hours on them.
    I have some leftover pieces of the grey and yellow blocks I made for you and I just love the way they look. I'm planning to use them for something that is just for me - maybe Rachel's make up roll. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. All you work is looking lovely!

  4. I'm so excited to see this one finished - it's fabulous. I absolutely love the variations in gray tones and the binding. Awesome, Ara Jane! Please be sure to add pics to the Flickr group!!!

  5. Oh stop! The quilt and blocks turned out lovely. I was wishing I would have gone vertical with mine but the pieces were already cut and the print worked that way. One to make again for sure!

  6. These are wonderful! Great work.

  7. I'm a huge fan of yellow/gray - it came out great. And I love to see your finished hexi block!