Monthly Archives: March 2015


The Bee Hive (Swarm Tisha, #beehiveswarmtisha on IG)

Our block this month was Autumn Chain Block, chosen by Kaitie (@thegingerquilter). She chose navy, bright saturated pink, light grey and light blue in the following arrangement. This block went together quickly. I like the different variations shown in the tutorial.

Here's the 5-inch signature block I made for Kaitie from my scraps.

Stash Bee (Hive 1)

Robin asked us to make 16 teal and white HSTs and sew them together as we liked, a bit of "HST Hysteria." I decided on 8 teals and made two HSTs of each for a scrappy block. (#1 Tip for HSTs: Make sure you trim them up to the appropriate size for a square, accurate block before attaching to others!) Here's my finished block:

do. Good Stitches (Promise Circle)

This month Meghan had us make blue exploding blocks using a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company. Since we used 6 fabrics, our squares were: two 4-inch center squares followed by 5-inch, 6.25-inch, 8-inch, and 10.5-inch squares. This made a finished block approximately 14 inches square. This was a super fast block. I'm thinking it would make a fun baby quilt to just keep exploding until it was between 36 and 48-inch square.

In summary, I like dots. ;-)


My son finished and showed his first quilt this month and excitedly started planning his second. Before he was able to start a second project I saw this post by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl requesting quilt blocks. The kid ;-) knows that sometimes we give a finished quilt as a gift, and I explained that sometimes people work together to make a quilt as a gift. I invited him to listen to the post and read it aloud, with the plan to suggest we make a couple blocks together. But before I could even get to that he stopped me mid-article and asked, "so can you help me make some blocks?" Well, yes kiddo, I can.

We did some brain storming together and he decided to use the octopus fabric that he had used in his quilt for the boat/ocean themed block. We chose grey, teal and blue to go with it in an effort to stick with the color scheme. I also explained fussy cutting to him when I cut out the octopus fabric in an effort to mostly avoid the orange. I cut the fabric and we worked together to piece it on the machine.

For the other block, using blues, blacks and whites, I pulled some fabrics including the music note fabric scraps from Bold Blooms. We discussed the options of doing vertical strips of fabric, or triangles and such and he decided to start with a center piece and work around it like we added the borders on the first block. He chose to begin with the music notes and wanted a true rectangle, nothing wonky. He told me what width strips to cut each of the fabrics I had selected and then he made the decision about which to add where as we just pieced "wherever" until we had a block large enough to trim down to 7" by 10". I confess that I forgot that it was supposed to be vertical, so we were thinking about it horizontally -- at least since it's improv it can easily be used either way.

I used the leftover bits to piece a second improv block. These are kind of addicting. There's always some leftover bits to use to start a new block. ;-)

There's still time to make blocks to submit to Yvonne. Again, here's her original request and she has also put up a couple tutorials for a boat block and a piano keyboard block (which I love! It would make such a great border!).


This past weekend was the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association bi-annual quilt show. As a member, I was able to enter three quilts myself and my son was able to enter his quilt as well. I showed Candy Shoppe, Antioxidant Delight and Stellar Wind. And just in the nick of time, his quilt was ready to go as well.

If you haven't been following along, our journey began in January. In my last post he had his quilt top pinned and ready to go. We discussed quilting options and decided he'd try echo quilting 1/4" on either side of the seams. As he started the first line it became clear that he was having trouble keeping the quilt straight, so we took a break from his quilting and sketched some possibilities on paper. He decided to go with just sewing the lines in "whatever direction."

My son had done all the piecing work sitting on my lap at my sewing table. I worked the pedal as he steered the fabric, with some guidance from me. For the quilting we set my machine up (with the walking foot) at the kids table and he was able to work the pedal as he fed the quilt. After each line we discussed where to start and aim to finish the next line. As we got to the end, I made some recommendations about what areas had less quilting. He did about 3 lines of quilting each evening, supervised by me or Auntie Jenn. From a comment by Bo (on the Part 2 post) we decided to stitch in the outline of his hand. I think this will be a lovely reminder of how small he was when he made the quilt. For reference, the quilt blocks are 6-inch finished squares. I made and attached the binding for him to finish the quilt.

An Interview with the New Quilter

Tell me the process of making a quilt.

I made a quilt by like laying out the quilt, I was sewing it and I finally came to quilting and I finished quilting it and I put it in the quilt show and it was at the Santa Clara Convention Center, so yeah.

How did you decide on the name “Jungle of Animals”?

Because it has lots of animals in it.

How was it to be taught by your mom?

Pretty good. I really liked it because that it kind of made my life better because I never made a quilt before.

What did you like best about making a quilt?

That I got to do it almost all by myself.

What is your favorite part of quilting?

Quilting it cause I put pins in it and I sewed it whatever direction. So it kind of made my life start better.

What was the hardest part?

The hardest part was my mom said to stitch one line on one side of the stitching we already did and one on the other but I just sewed where I wanted. (This is in reference to quilting the quilt, described above.)

What’s the most important thing to know to make a quilt?

To not sew on yourself. And to keep the quilt flat while you’re sewing.

What would you tell a new quilter?

Good job for making a quilt.

Your quilt hung in the SCVQA quilt show this weekend. Can you tell me more about that?

So again, I sewed it almost all by myself. The quilt show it was pretty fun. We had to look for quilts so yeah. (He really enjoyed the kids "I Spy" game at the show.)

What are your plans for "Jungle of Animals" now that it is done?

I will put it in my mom and dad’s room and I’m going to make my own special pillow  and it's gonna be small so I can cuddle in my mom and dad’s room.

What are you planning for your next quilt project?

A rainbow doll quilt for my sister’s babies for her birthday. She is 2 ½ and she has some dolls. I’m 4 ½ and yeah.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I think they would like to know how I sewed it. I sewed it by laying it flat on the ground and my dad looked at it and he said “beautiful. Nice work.” Then we started sewing the squares into twos, then fours. Then we put it together. Then we quilted it. Then we put the binding on and we were done. So it only took a couple steps.

Photos by Jennifer McNeil Photography. Thanks Auntie Jenn!

Helping him make his quilt is one of my finishes from my Q1 Finish Along Goal List. Linking up to the Q1 Finishes party at On the Windy Side.

Check out the rest of the series: