Monday, December 8, 2008

Scrappy, Scrappy, Wonky, Wonky

I finished my block for Kristena the other day. I love the theme this month, scrappy log cabins! My favorite.
She sent so many great fabrics, I just used hers. I am loving purple and red together lately, so this was one I could not wait to dive into. I love scrappy blocks, love wonky blocks. it was a fun one to make.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Jessica's Autumn Block

November's 12Square block

I finished Jessica's twelve square block for November a couple of weeks ago. She sent the green print and the dark brown print. All she said was that the theme was "Autumn." Wide open. I love autumn, as we all know, but the color scheme of this block was a bit of a departure from when I usually associate with autumn: orange and red. It's very neutral and earthy, both of those are good things, though.

I had a few different thoughts on the direction to go with this. Leaves came to mind, of course. I had inklings to do a rough edge stacked kind of thing with leaf shapes, ala Amanda Jean's tutorial. But in the end, I went a bit more abstract. Shocker, huh? I thought the green print would be lovely as a sort of ground for other bits of color in the block, since it wasn't too busy, and there was enough of it to use alot. I pulled in a bit of orange, but tried not to let it overpower the block, keeping the neutral tones of the fabrics that she sent. I added in some natural linen, and a bit of a beautiful little brown and cream japanese print that I received from the always lovely Leslie. I offset short stripes of patchwork in layers coming in from two sides of the block, making them a bit wonky. They remind me of the layers of leaves that fall in autumn, stacking together, or of layers of earth that get bulbs nestled within in the fall. It turns out, I was on the same train of thought as Katie, with the layers and the rough edge idea. This was a bit of a challenge for me to figure out how to make this work the way I wanted it to work, while still keeping an open creative process, but I think I accomplished what I was going for.

I designed it to have the color intruding from the top and bottom, but I don't see a problem with rotating it so that the layers intrude from the sides. And, I made the block a little bigger than the 12"x12". I just couldn't decide what to cut off, so I give that decision to you, Jessica, if you choose to. And that way, if you want to not cut if and have different sized blocks, you can do that too. I hope you like it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

For Jessica


I've loved working on Jessica's Autumn-inspired block this month. I've enjoyed poking around her blog, attempting to guess her color and style preferences and in the process, getting to know a little better the creative, charming girl behind the blog.


The embroidered leaf and acorn were inspired by her beautiful new Fall table runner and I added that big bold Michael Miller print to tie together the subtle patterns of her fabrics with the bold outline of the embroidery. I've looked at it too long to decide, but I think it all works? I'll let Jessica decide :-)

So thanks, Jessica for inspiring cozy, tea-filled evenings spent embroidering, planning and piecing and I hope the end result elicits a mix of tradition, charm and reverence for nature, just like ms. turkey cookies herself!

Happy Fall and happy quilting!

Monday, November 17, 2008


When I got my fabric from Jessica, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I loved the Autumn theme.
I made a ragged edge block, based on this tutorial from Amandajean.

When I think about Autumn I think about layers. Not just wearing more layers of clothing to keep warm, but new layers of leaves that cover the ground. Autumn is rustic, and organic. I loved making this block so much, I see a quilt made out of these squares in my future.
I can't wait to see more Autumn squares.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Hi All, I'm Jessica and my birthday happens to be in November which makes this my month for the quilting bee! Right now I'm a whole bunch of stuff: a graduate student, speech-language therapist in an elementary school, and a crafty girl at heart. Creating things always makes me feel a bit more at center when life gets crazy (which it always seems to do).
I'm lucky to be surrounded by many crafty friends and family members who support my (ahem) passions. My Grammie (the infamous Turkey Cookie baker) is the original crafty gal in my life. She can knit, sew anything, and make a delicious sugar cookie. Along the way my Grammie exposed me to quilting, gave me a bunch of quilty goodies for Christmas and encouraged me to take a class. I dragged the Mama along with me and she pulled out her dusty sewing machine. Long story short - the Mama has a long arm quilting business and I'm here inspired as ever quilting away.
I am loving the challenge and excitement of this bee so far even if it's caused me to take a few deep breaths and forget about being nervous (hopefully I'm not the only one who feels this way!). Here's the block I made for Beki:This month's theme is Autumn. Being a November girl and a teacher living in New York I have a fantastic love of this season. I'm constantly inspired by the changing of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, and the rhytmn of the days.All of the fabric is signed and sealed and ready to be mailed. It should arrive to your doorstep soon- Happy quilting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

for beki (and hello)

Hello. I'm Chris, a lonely marketing coordinator telecommuting from my Kansas City area basement. Instead of long coffee breaks and 3-martini lunches, I make stuff and blog about it at Pink Picket Fence.

I have two girls (2 and 12) and love to sew for them. And quilt. And embroider while watching Mad Men. I have a weakness for vintage linens, and a talent for finding really cool stuff I have trouble storing. Like the rest of you, I jumped at the idea of a virtual quilting bee, because it's kind of a fun little experiment and it justifies my fabric obsession nicely. Thanks to Beki for organizing Twelve Square and Tracy for setting up the technical stuff. (Tracy, can we borrow your uber-cool button?)

So, here we go... this is my October block:

I liked the challenge of the simplicity of a 'stripes' instruction. Good call, Beki. Also, I swear the brown and white stripe is brown, and not blackish like it is appearing here. Maybe I've been staring at this too long.

It's been fun watching all of the blocks emerge. A little intimidating as well. This is one crazy talented collection of ladies. I'm so flattered to be included. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My stripes

Here is my first block. I love the fabric that Beki sent. Especially that orange and white paisley piece. I added some more Amy Butler, to bring out the turquoise, and there you have it.
I went back and fourth...almost did something wonky, then I decided not to. I can't wait to see them all together, and I can't wait until the one for November arrives!

Beki's block

Beki's block :: October

I don't want anyone to think I'm an overachiever or anything, just because I got this block done a week after I received the fabric. Ok, so maybe I am sometimes, a little bit. But this may be the only block that I finish this early. I just got so excited, and I'm actually kind of amazed that it took me 5 days to start sewing.

This block surprised me a little. I didn't know what to expect when I opened the envelope, of course, and when I saw the flash of orange I jumped up and down a little bit, I'll be frank. I've got orange fabric galore in my stash, being as it's my favorite color, and I think I expected this to go in that direction. But when a handful of prints with light blue gravitated to Beki's two fabric choices, plus this crazy stripe print, I just let my intuition go. And maybe I was a little bit inspired by the ribbon. I was a little bit nervous, but I forged ahead anyway.

You asked for stripes, so I pieced the fabric into strip(e)s for you. I had to get a little crazy, though, of course, with some "stripes" in opposite directions. I really hope you like it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hello from Kristena

First, let me just say that this is so neat! I love hearing everyone's voice in one place and seeing that we're all alike and yet... not. Thanks Tracy and Beki for being such organized and thoughtful ladies!

So I'm Kristena.

I went to school in South Carolina and majored in English at this little place. Then I went on to that silly corporate job at this huge place. And then my dear prince rescued me.

I always knew I wanted to be an artist. But somewhere along the way, that piece of my identity was lost. Just for a spell. While pregnant with our firstborn (who just turned 2! I also have a 6 month old.), I pulled out the trusty sewing machine and never looked back.

I also knit, crochet, paint, thrift, and bake. And whatever else comes along. Yeah, I totally flit from one project to the next. :)

Personally, I see creativity as a gift from a very creative God. So no matter how silly it may seem, adding art and beauty to the little bits of life is very important to me. I'm inspired by Scandinavian, Japanese, French, and old-school Americana design. And old stuff. And babies. And pop culture.

I blog at Thimbly Things, and I Flickr here.

Okay, so that's plenty about me. Now what about the rest of you? :)

Hello there

Hello there, my name is Katie. I am a stay at home mother of three kids, ages five, three, and one, with a mad passion for anything crafty.
I have always loved to bake...

and shortly after my youngest was born, I taught myself how to sew,

and knit,

I am truly addicted. There is not a day that goes by, where my knitting needles stay on the shelf, or my sewing machine stays in the closet. I am in love with being at home with my kids, and crafting our days away.

I never liked working outside of my home. Even after graduating college, and working in the fashion industry, where I got to travel a bit, I longed to be home. I would day dream about cleaning, baking, and hanging out laundry on the line. To me, I am living the most perfect life.

You can see more of my everyday life here.

I am so excited to be a part of this project. So honored to be surrounded by all of this talent. This is going to be good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

OK I'll go next...

Hmm, about me…

Once upon a time, I moved to Portland, OR from Berkeley, CA for a web design job. I quickly grew tired of the grey cubicle walls and corporate mindset, so ventured out to find some brightness in the world. I came upon and married a bright, beautiful boy, popped out two sweet babies (Holden, 4 ½ and Esme 2 ½ at the time of this tale) and quit the day job to mom them at home. Now we spend our days singing, playing and painting with whatever color we choose, quite opposite of my previous corporate life.


For me, crafting provides the essential balance I need after long days of conversing with people under 3 feet tall. Blogging about it has allowed me to connect with like-minded crafty bloggers, also essential to my sanity.


I’ve been sewing and crafting for as long as I remember and secretly adored home ec class. I love anything vintage and scour thrift stores and opp shops for a bit of the past to weave into my creations.

First Doll Quilt

My favorite quilt style mixes modern design with vintage or reproduction fabrics, or vice versa. I’m so excited about the explosion of creativity that’s happening in the craft world right now. I think I have over a hundred design*sponge posts tagged on my bloglines for inspiration. Seriously.


I tend to play it safe when it comes to sewing for other people, so my goal for this project is to experiment with different styles, color combinations, patterns and techniques. I adore anything by Denyse Schmidt, so am thinking of a DS theme when I’m up to bat.

Cherry Quilt Front

I blog at WhatKnot and dabble on flickr inbetween crafting and parenting. I’m so looking forward to this adventure and am grateful that I was asked to participate, Thanks Beki! And thanks to Tracy for creating this awesome space!

Introduction to the graphic designer


I guess I'll start out the twelve by twelve blog with an introduction. I'm Tracy, from Madison, Wisconsin, where it is currently this strange combination of Octobersummer, with heat and humidity and pretty falling leaves. I don't get it.

Monkey Butt

I'm a graphic designer with a photography habit, and I do some sewing and knitting every now and then. I wouldn't say that I'm a proficient sewer, necessarily, but I've been figuring things out on a fairly regular basis for about a year with simple-ish lap blankets and oddly proportioned stuffed toys.


I finished my first quilt in May, a gift for a newborn baby of a friend of mine, and I've been slowly plodding away at squares for a yellow quilt since then. I tend not to plan a whole lot when I piece quilt blocks, but rather just see how things work out, letting my design eye tell me where to put things.

Yellow Squares Quilt Block 3

I love wonky lines, unexpected design elements, interesting color combinations, and contemporary patterns.

I have been watching some of the other virtual quilting bees around blogland, and wishing I could participate in one too, so when Beki asked me to be a part of one that she was putting together, I couldn't have been more thrilled. I am so excited to see what everyone comes up with!

You can find me on flickr, and at my blog homebase
Prickly Pear Bloom.

And also, I'm new to blogger so it may take me awhile to get used to the interface here...