4×5 Modern Quilt Bee is back

4x5 modern quilt bee is back

I have participated in several rounds of the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee, and it has been great fun. It’s a fantastic way to interact with other quilter and to get a sampler quilt on the way to completion.

Recently, our fearless leader, Sukie, announced that she was stepping down from leading the bee and it would be no more without someone at the helm. I just couldn’t let that happen, so with the help of two other quilters, I will be the NEW queen bee of the 4×5 bee. I’m headed into unfamiliar territory, but Sukie has promised to mentor me.

Here’s how the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee works.

First, you fill out a form with your color preferences and mailing address. This is shared with your hive caretaker and beemates so that your blocks can be mailed to you. You make a color mosaic so your hivemates have an idea of what you are looking for in your color choices.

4x5 color inspiration mosaic_citrus

You are assigned to be part of a hive with 5 other quilters. You choose your colors for your quilt, and each of your hivemates makes you a block of their pattern choice in your color choice. This was from a round of the bee when my colors were yellow, grays, black.

4x5 Quilt Bee, received blocks, 2011 Q4 + my additions

Then I changed my color choices to tangerine, lime, and lemon yellow (sounds delicious right?).

4x5 modern quilt bee quarter 1 received blocks

Meanwhile, you choose a block to make each of your beemates in their color choices. In this bee, we use our own fabrics. This block led to a tutorial for my Multiples of 3 block.

Multiples of 3 block for 4x5 Bee Fall Q 2012


After sign-ups, the bee runs for 6 weeks, so you have a week to choose your block pattern and pull fabrics, and then 5 weeks to sew. That allows for one block per week. At the end of the round, you mail off your blocks and receive 5 blocks in the mail.

Sign-ups are going slowly right now. With the redesign of Flickr and the uncertainty about the future of the bee, I don’t think people are checking in. But please join us in the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee, and feel free to use that photo at the top to share and spread the word!

A big, big finish for Brian

It was over a year ago when I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my friend, Brian, who lost is home in Colorado’s Waldo Canyon Fire. My goal was to finish the quilt as a house-warming gift when he rebuilt his house. Brian moved into his home in April. The quilt was finished in May. But it still had to be bound, and we were moving, so my mom took the quilt to put the binding on. She brought it back when we moved in to our new house in August, and then it’s just hung out here since then. No excuses about why I didn’t mail it until last week. But Brian has it now, so I will show you.

Brian is an outdoor guy who lives in the mountains of Colorado, and that’s what inspired the color palate of grays, greens and blues.

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My original plan was 6×7 16-inch squares, but that size turned out to be way larger in reality than I imagined, so I stopped at 6×6. I made about half of the blocks, and I had some help with the rest. My mom, who has known Brian as long as I have, made some, as did another friend, who has also known Brian since childhood (hi Monica!). I requested some blocks from Flickr friends, and so this quilt includes the loving work of people around the country and around the world.


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The back of the quilt has blocks I didn’t use on the front, and a collection of the leftover fabric pieced together.


A friend in Virginia volunteered to quilt this for me, and I am eternally grateful to her because I don’t know how I would have gotten this 96 x 96 inch beast through my home machine. She used an all-over freeform leaf pattern, which fits nicely with the color theme of the quilt.


The binding is a nice saturated green.


Here’s the quilt on my queen size bed, I think it was a good thing I left off that last row! Enjoy, Brian. I hope you have many happy years in your new home! (When can I visit?)


Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday.

Sewing Room Clean Up Along: AFTER

Okay, one month after I said we’d share our cleaned-up sewing space, here we are, ready to show our cleaned up sewing spaces.

Yes? Yes!

My sewing room is a little 9×10 ft room off our master bedroom. It’s probably intended as an office or nursery, but in our house, it’s a sewing room. My husband said I could have it. I’m sure it’s only because he didn’t want my fabric vomit in the main area of the house. It’s easy to hide up here!

Standing in my bedroom looking in, we see the treadle machine that a friend in Virginia gifted me on the eve of our move. I thought I would learn how to use it, but she seems to be missing the piece that connects the treadle to the machine. Wonder where I can acquire that?

Also, this Singer needs a name. Any ideas? My Bernina is Victoria, but goes by Tori, and Beatrix, the Janome mini, likes to be called Trixie. Don’t laugh. I know you name your sewing machines.

Tori is just behind, so I can sew by the window, even though it’s usually dark outside (sewing by moonlight, remember?). The closet is fabric storage. I’ll show you that in a minute.


Moving to the right, there is my custom counter height iron surface/cutting table/scrap storage. I made it myself, and it is far from perfect, but I’m quite pleased with myself because did I mention I built it?! And hey, there’s a design wall. Something I’ve always wanted to have and I was sure to include that in the plan when I set up this room. It’s attached to the wall with masking tape, but that’s not working out. My mom just came to visit, and gave me a new idea, so I hope that will be fixed soon.


Okay, now we are standing in the corner by the closet, looking out toward the bedroom. There’s the other side of the design wall, plus shelves with mostly bottomweight and apparel fabrics. The wooden boxes on top do have some charm packs and can you count the four lint rollers? The black and white fabric next to the sewing machine will be those 26 chair pockets I’m making for my daughter’s kindergarten teacher.


The final corner of the room is my favorite. Minis on the wall, and that old ladder I found in our garage when we moved in. I used some aqua spray paint and now it’s quilt storage. Plus, there’s a shelf of special things and that rainbow thread. Love!


Some other tidbits: beside the sewing machine is a basket to toss scraps before I sort them as well as the trash bin. And Sally the dress form holds a couple tape measures.


Here’s that cutting/ironing/storage piece. Works great for me since I’m tall-ish, but it would likely be too tall for someone a little more vertically challenged than me.


I want to mention the fabric I used to cover the top. It’s twill, hand-dyed by me, using a low water immersion technique. I had intended it for another project, but that was a couple years ago, and I never got to it, so it has been repurposed here.


Add a cutting mat (I finally bought myself a big one) and it becomes a cutting table!


Here, I’ll even let you see inside the closet. On top there is some batting, and box of patterns. Quilting cottons are in the white baskets. Below that, flannel, minky, silky fabrics, knits, and other miscellaneous fabric. The bottom has two plastic dressers that store other craft supplies (paint, paper crafts, beading).



And that’s it. I wonder how long I will be able to keep this space tidy … I put the over/under at 3 weeks.

And now: I want to see your space. Even if you didn’t link up your mess in the Sewing Room Clean Up Along: BEFORE post, please feel free to show us around. I want to see where you sew and craft! You cleaned it 6 weeks ago when I first mentioned this but I waited too long and it’s a disaster again? No worries, I’ll leave the link up open for 2 weeks. So go, tidy up, then come on back and show me your space!

P.S. I set up the link tool to close in two weeks and realized that's my birthday!

Let’s DO this!

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe that I posted my Sewing Room Clean-Up Along: Before post so long ago. My delusions are so much more ambitious than my reality. In that post, I suggested we clean up our sewing spaces together and then share our nice, tidy spaces two weeks later. That “later” was a month ago.

But now is the time!

Tomorrow, let’s share our tidy spaces. Really. I’m going to go take photos right now. I can’t wait to show you the improvement from this:


I really should recover that ironing board, though. There’s no improvement there!

I’m really looking forward to seeing where you sew, too.

See you tomorrow!