Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fabric is in the Mail!

Woo hoo! It was so much fun putting together these little packets and thinking about all of you. I think I way overdid it on the fabric, so don't feel like you have to use all of it - or all of the different prints. (Please send back any leftovers when you send the finished blocks.) I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

January Blocks

Hi Everyone,
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. My family enjoyed two fun-filled, gift-filled, food-filled days of celebrating. I'm exhausted and glad to have some quiet time now. I'm especially excited to get started on our bee. I've decided that for my blocks I would like to do a tree theme.

I did my first paper-pieced block about a month ago when I fell in love with this circle of geese pattern. (The tutorial there is really great, too.) When I realized how easy it is, I went a little crazy. I found this great site with lots of paper piecing templates. I originally wanted to make a wonky little Christmas tree, since I was full into Christmas-spirit mode. I didn't use especially Christmas-y colors, but I loved how it came out, so the tree theme idea was born.

Anything somewhat related to a tree, like leaves for example, is also welcome. Here's a list of free patterns I've come across, but feel free to use whatever you like. The more creative the better. It also doesn't have to be paper pieced if you find a tree-like block that doesn't require it.

Wonky Christmas Tree
(that can really just be any kind of pine tree)
Tree at Sunset (but you could really use any kind of background)
Sasha's Tree
Tall, Skinny Pine Tree (There are quite a few other trees on this site as well)
Aspen Leaf
Maple Leaf
Simple Pine Tree (I don't believe this one requires paper piecing.)

These are the ones I've tried so far:

This is the wonky tree.

The is the Tree at "Sunset".

And this is Sasha's Tree.

I just bought what I think is the rest of the fabric. It's in the washing machine now. I do still have to buy more background fabric though. Other than that, all I have to do is cut it up and mail it out to all of you.

I would like the blocks to be 12 1/2" square. (That seems to be the most common size I've run across.) I'm planning to do sashing between the blocks, so I'd prefer not to have borders, but if that's the only way you can make the 12 1/2" square, I can live with it. Also, if you'd like to do two blocks, that would be great. If you do, I'll make two blocks for you during your month, but please don't feel obligated.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'll let you know as soon as the fabric is in the mail.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I've had quite a few questions from bee members on some of the details on how we're going to do this bee. I've had the same questions myself as well as quite a few more, so I'm going to document them here along with my thoughts on what the answers should be. I've never done this before so I'm really open to suggestions. (I've also been nosing around in other bees' blogs to get some ideas on how it's usually done.) When we have more questions, I'll add them here.

Q: How much fabric do I send?
A: Most of what I've read says you should send about one fat quarter's worth of fabric, so if, for example, you have 4 different fabrics you'd have 4 pieces that are - what - about 9" x 11". I think this is obvious, but you would NOT have 4 fat quarters to make up 1 yard. You don't have to have perfect 9" x 11" pieces either. I think any decent sized scraps would be fine.

Q: A fat quarter seems like a lot for one block. Can I get the leftovers back?
A: I think that's reasonable. I don't think I'm going to ask for mine back. I have enough scraps already, but I think that can be totally up to the Queen for the month. Just let people know ahead of time, so they can set the leftovers aside and send them back with your block.

Q: When do I have to post about my block?
A: Let's shoot for the first of the month. If you know before then, you can certainly post earlier.

Q: When do I have to send out my fabric?
A: Also try to have the fabric arriving in members homes by the first of the month. I want to make sure everyone has a full month to work on their blocks.

Q: When do I have to send the blocks back?
A: Let's shoot for the end of the month on that.

Q: Can I make two blocks? Can I ask people to make two blocks?
A: I think so. After all, 12 blocks doesn't make a very big quilt. When you blog about your blocks, indicate whether or not you'd like people to make two blocks. Anyone who's willing to make two blocks, let the Queen for the month know, so she can send you more fabric.

Q: How big should I make the blocks?
A: That's up to the Queen for the month. 12 1/2" square seems like a common size in the tutorials I've seen, but when you're the Queen, just make sure to include the size you want. I think everyone will be reasonable, but let's limit it to less than 20" square. I don't think we want to end up making mini quilts instead of blocks.

I think that's it for now, but like I said, I will add more questions as they come up.

I'm sure you're all really busy this time of year and looking forward to the holidays, but it's almost January. Woo hoo, that means we can start soon! I'm the block picker/fabric sender for January, and I finally figured out what I want to do for blocks, but I'll save that for another post.


p.s. Thanks everyone for posting about yourself. It's been so much fun to read.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting to know you- Carrie

Hello! I'm Carrie and I'm from Nazareth, PA. I've been in PA most of my life, but I did have 8 years in Rochester, NY. I'm 40-something have a husband of 18 years and one (yes, only one) son, who is the light of my life! I also work full time in retail.

I have been crafting pretty much all of my life! I started at about a year or two old (due to my hippie parents) and haven't stopped. My favorites are quilting (of course) weaving, felting, soap-making and some dabbling in pottery. I have also done some beadwork and jewelry making.

I have spent a lot of my crafting energy on recreating Medieval arts and crafts in the past, because I was an active member of a historical reenactment group. My weaving is mainly tablet weaving, which is an ancient Viking (among others) art. I have also done spinning with a drop spindle (I'm not very good) and finger loop braiding.

I'm taking a break from all that right now due to the high level of involvement of my 10 year old in sports. It is important to me to make all his games and such, so all that travel(for the historical group) is out of the question. This has left me time to persue something I have wanted to do for 10 years (at least) but have not had the time for- quilting! There is very little evidence of patchwork quilting in the Medieval period (though whole cloth quilting was prevalent) so I just didn't have the extra time to dedicate to it. Well, I do now, and I am loving it! I have made my first three quilts, and I have eight(!) more in progress. I am so obsessed! I have been building my stash for about ten years in the hopes of making time to learn quilting, but I haven't stopped shopping for more fabric. I love both traditional and modern quilting styles, but my artistic process lends itself better to modern techniques. I am working on both aspects though, because I believe a good grounging in the traditional will help me with my precision.

Did I babble on enough? This is my first Bee, and I am so exited to meet all of you and be a part of this. I can't wait to start.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

getting to know you - heather

Hey Girls, I'm heather (yes spelled with a little h). I'm 35. I've been spelling my name like that since I think middle school. In some respects this my second quilting bee- but I haven't even started the first one i joined yet- so I am pretty new to all of this.

I live in the state of Connecticut. Born and raised here- they only other state i have lived in is Utah. I went there for school which is where I met my hubby. We have been in wedded bliss for about 12 years and in that time 5 boys have joined our life. Yes I said 5 and yes I said boys, and 2 cats. They range in age from 2 months to 9 years old and yes my house is usually a flurry of motion. But luckily I am a pretty layed back person so I just take one minute as they come and I do a lot of sewing, quilting and crafting to keep the insanity to a minimum. I do have to admit sewing for boys pretty much sucks and my talents are mostly wasted on them so most of this time is spent on things for myself or my friends.

I have always been a crafter since I was very young- my mother use to sew costumes and holiday dresses for me and my sister. She wasn't the one that taught me how to sew though- I took a home ec class in middle school which included sewing and from there I pretty much was a sewing fanatic. Pretty much most of my clothing I made myself all through high school and into college. Quilting always interested me and I had made many quilt tops in my time but never really knew how to finish them (because I just don't have time to hand quilt) but I finally entered the world of machine quilting and now there is no stopping me. I have a fabric addiction and my family room/ craft room is pretty much exploded with fabric- not to mention the crates in the basement.

I have just taken up modern quilting and I'm fascinated by the world of quilt blogs and the wealth of talented quilters who are so willing to share there passion with us.

I also dabble a little in photography because I have always loved taking pictures of people and I have a blog for that too! I also love to bake, cook, crochet, craft, scrapbook, garden- I pretty much have no time in my life to do all the things I would like to do- I go through cycles. I like to blog but I'm not very consistent and I am relatively new to the blogging world so most of time I am incredibly blog challenged. The one thing I detest is house cleaning and with 5 young boys in my house there always seems to be a lot of that- ugh!

I'm excited to see all the fabric and quilt squares everyone will be sending- even though I have so much holiday sewing to do I can't wait to get my first package. Happy quilting!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Getting to know you-Tacey

Hi All,
This is my first quilting bee and I am very excited to be a part of it.
Like all of you, I have many crafting interests but sewing and quilting are my first love. They calm me and feed my creative energy at the same time. I love all forms of quilting but lately, inspired by The Gees Bend Quilts and such artists as Denyse Schmidt and Jackie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio, I have found myself drawn more to modern, improvisational quilting. In fact, I am finishing up my first improvisational piece now. I have an incurable fabric addiction and one day would like to run my own quilt shop.
I am a mother of two grown sons and the wife of an incredibly supportive husband. We have been married for 29 wonderful years. He encourages me to explore all of my interests fully and even bought me my beloved Bernina for Christmas last year.
I grew up here in the sunny state of California but moved away to go to school in Utah. While I was in school, my family moved to Colorado where I met my husband. We married and moved back to Utah to finish school. We lived there for 13 years until we moved to Arlington, Texas. We raised our family there and loved it. Texas is a great state. Then, when my youngest was about to graduate High School and move away to go to college, my husband, Matt, was offered a job in Maui. It was a big move, but we took the leap. I mean, how many opportunities does a person get to go live in paradise??
We moved into a small cottage by Charlie Young beach and lived there for about 3 years. We loved it! It was like an extended second honeymoon. We had so many wonderful adventures! Everything from kayaking with whales to exploring the Road to Hana and Mount Haleakala. However, we did regret that we lived so far from our children. So, when my oldest son, who is going to school in Utah, announced that he was getting married, I knew that it was time to move back to the mainland. Coincidentally, a colleague of Matt's called him up and offered him a job out of the blue. That is how we came to live here in Camarillo, California and it is here we plan to sink our roots.
I am looking forward to quilting with and learning from all of you wonderful ladies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hi, I'm Jennifer!

Hi! I'm Jennifer of JellyBean Stitches.

I'm a 26 (almost 27) year old mother to a 1 year old daughter, and a wife of 3 (almost 4) years. I'm from NJ, my husband is from the UK originally, but he moved to the US to be with me.

By day I'm a high school Spanish teacher, but I'm also certified to teach English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education. I just kept going to school. At night, I do some fiction writing, and I do lots of sewing and quilting. I've been sewing for a long time since my grandmother taught me when I was about 6 or 7, and moved onto quilting a while ago. This year my husband got me a brand new Singer machine, so I'll be having tons of fun with it in the new year.

I think I have craft ADD, I keep trying new things. I cannot figure out knitting or crocheting to save my life. I thought it was because I'm left handed, but I tried one of the "for lefties" books, and still can't get it.

I'm looking forward to this bee! Still thinking on the fabrics I'll be sending out and the block pattern.. I'm just not sure yet!

Another Sooner!

I'm Debbie from Norman Oklahoma. I have been sewing since I was ten. My Texas grandmother taught me how to embroider and my California grandmother taught me to sew by machine. I loved home economics during junior high, but didn't have time for class during high school, so I taught myself and made most of my clothes. During college I continued the sewing classes and got my degree with a home economics minor. My roommate taught me to crochet and we kept a sewing machine set up on the desk where I think they expected me to study....wrong. Then I started teaching school. I always envied the teacher across the hall because while I was slaving away teaching 7th graders all about grammar and spelling, she was sewing and doing crafts all day.

I don't know a day without sewing; it calms me and lets me relax before I go to sleep.

I have been married 30 years. I was sitting at a small kitchen table sewing when he asked me to marry him. My husband even bought me a sewing machine for our first anniversary. He knows that sewing machines and sewing time are very important to my sanity. I have a married daughter living in London since August after spending five years in NYC, working in journalism, and a grown son, an unemployed computer programmer, living across the highway from us over by the University of Oklahoma. When he moved out, I made his room into my own private sewing room, which I love. It is filled with fabric and all of my favorite things.
My parents passed away just 18 months apart recently and now the one parent we have lives with us. My husband's mother has Alzheimers and we have decided to care of her here. I keep another blog about that experience to keep me sane, plus I'm learning patience.
I love quilting. I think I love piecing the most, but I have a quilting frame and machine that I am learning to I can quilt all these quilt tops I have finished.
I was a member of a quilting bee last year. I did Kaffe Fassett fabrics and the blocks that came back were wonderful. I am in the process of sashing it together. The bee was great and I learned so much. You get challenged and have to go outside of your comfort zone sometimes. Plus the new friends you make are an extra bonus. (and I bet I have seen Clare if she works at the quilt shop on 24th!)

Happy Holidays! This will make the new year something to look forward to.
This will be fun.

Getting to know you - Claire

Hi Everyone!

I'm Claire. I live in Norman, Oklahoma with my husband of 5 years. We both attend the University of Oklahoma and graduate in May (hurray!). Neither of us have started the job search yet, but I'm excited to see where we end up. No kids yet, but I'm getting baby fever, so... maybe within the next year or so.

I am pretty new to sewing. Last year I got a job at my local quilt shop. A friend of mine worked there, but she had just graduated and was moving, so her boss was looking to pass off the job to another college student. It sort of fell into my lap, and I am so glad it did! I didn't own a sewing machine when I started there, but that didn't last long. I now have a growing stash, which I have to keep super organized because we live in an oh so tiny apartment. I also like to knit, read, and cook. I'm really looking forward to not being a homework-laden student, and focusing a bit more time on my hobbies. :)

I have never done a virtual bee before, and I am so excited for this to start. Hope you're all having a great holiday season, I look forward to getting to know everyone!


Getting to know you - Liz

I am so excited to be a part of this bee. This is the second bee I have joined and I am looking forward to making a lot of fun new blocks and learning new things. I am an almost 33 year old mom of 4 - 2 girls and 2 boys. I have been married for 12 1/2 years to a wonderful husband named Richard. We currently live in sunny Arizona while my husband goes to school. He is finished in April so we will see where we end up after that.

I honestly can not remember a time in my life when I was not sewing, stitching or crafting in some way or another. I had a babysitter teach me to cross stitch when I was 6. I remember my mom teaching me to embroider and to sew. I also learned to crochet from my grandmother. Of course, I also took home ec in jr high and high school. Until recently all of my jobs were in that field as well:a craft store, a fabric store, a scrapbook store. I guess you could say that crafting is in my blood :)

I have recently started quilting again after many years where scrapbooking was my primary craft. I am really enjoying the process and have been finishing some WIP's (some older than my marriage!) I have also enjoyed giving my quilt creations as gifts and the appreciation that my family and friends have for my homemade gifts.

I look forward to January and our first project together!

Getting to know you: Hilary!

I suppose I'll go next on the introductions.

I'm Hilary and I currently live in a tiny town East of Raleigh. I say currently because I'm excited for our next duty station. My husband flies F-15E's for the Air Force so we are stuck here for another year or so. I'm originally from sunny Pensacola, Florida and oh! how I miss it there. NC isn't too bad, its close to a lot of interesting things and I do like to travel. My husband and I are still newlyweds we got married in August of 08 in Las Vegas! We haven't popped any babies out yet although before he deploys again I think we'll try. hmm Is that too much info? I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm starting up a photography business and so far its going well. That makes me happy.

My mom sewed for me when I was young but she made more clothes and not quilts and other fun stuff like that. When she was young her family was poor so she had to make her own clothes to get new ones. She never taught me though. By the time I got older she wasn't sewing and just concentrated on raising me. I'm not really sure why I wanted to start sewing. I do know that I discovered Amy Butler's prints through a friend and maybe that had a bit to do with it. When I got married I told my husband I wanted a sewing machine and he bought me one around this time last year. His mom sews so I guess it was just second nature to go out and buy a brand new sewing machine. My first project didn't go so well and I became discouraged. I kept trying and I found that sewing straight lines is a lot easier than other things. :)

My new years resolution last year was to not drink any soda pop. For the most part I made it, minus a few root beer floats and some Ale8 from Kentucky. Oddly enough my husband said if I continue to not drink sodas he will make it HIS new years resolution. Anyway, to get to my point this year I'm going to try and work on some sort of a craft for at least an hour a day. I'm looking forward to it, so I'm glad this bee will help out with it. We'll see how its goes.

Other than sewing, I lindy hop and I like to eat. If I were a vehicle I think Id be an 87 Toyota Sienna. I don't know why but as a 16 year old that was my dream car.

Is it ok to post photos? I'm going to assume so, well, here is a photo of my husband and I. We usually don't look this nice. :)

20091108-20091108-2009 11 08_3712

Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting To Know Eachother - Katie

Before I delve into the nitty-gritty details of the Bee "rules", I thought it would be nice if we blogged about ourselves a bit to get to know each other which, to me, is at least half the point of doing the Bee. I can start . . .

I'm Katie. I live in Maine, and I love it here although it often seems like we're too busy to enjoy our beautiful state. We also start to complain about it quite a bit in February and March. I live in an old house with my husband and four kids. Both my husband and I work full time, and the kids are pretty involved with their activities, so when I find time to sew I'm usually neglecting something else. I've learned to live with that, but I still get frustrated at not having enough time to do all the things I want to do. I'm sure the rest of you are in exactly the same boat!

My mom tried to teach me to sew when I was a teenager. The only results of that were wasted fabric, mounds of tissue paper pattern pieces that I was never going to get folded again, tears, and swearing (on my part, not my mom's). After that, I decided that I REALLY wanted an Icelandic Wool Sweater. (It was in the 80's in Maine - we were so not cool.) The $80-something price tag made me want to figure out how to knit it myself. Little did I know, you could easily spend that on yarn. Armed with a book, some knitting needles, and some really scratchy rose pink yarn, I somehow figured out how to knit. Knitting will probably always be my first love, but I really got hooked on sewing again about a year ago.

But I don't really draw the line at knitting and sewing. I've been taking pottery as often as I can afford it at a local pottery studio, and I love that as well. Those are probably my top three things, but I've also done spinning, stained glass, crochet, scrapbooking, basket making, and of course home remodeling. I'm trying to learn more about photography. Sometimes I enjoy cooking, but I rarely make anything that all four kids like. Usually none of them like it. I also bake a lot of bread. The kids do eat that.

Hmm. What else would be interesting to share? If I were a bit more organized, I'd come up with a list of funky, thought-provoking questions for everyone like, "If you were a vehicle, what kind would you be?". I had that question on a job interview once, and I still don't know how to answer it.

Oh, I also like to read, and I work in IT (but I don't like to read about IT).

Looking forward to hearing more about all of you!


Welcome to the Fresh Comfort Virtual Quilting Bee! We are a group of 12 women from all over the US who are working together to make 12 quilts in the next year. Here's how it works . . .
1. Each month one person is in charge of the bee. (Let's just call her "The Queen".)
2. The Queen decides what kinds of blocks we'll make for that month.
3. The Queen also chooses (and purchases) the fabric for that month.
4. The Queen sends enough fabric out to the other 11 members (lets just call them "The Busy Bees") to make at least one block.
5. Each Busy Bee makes at least one block in the selected pattern and fabric and sends it back to the Queen.
6. The Queen can that do what she chooses with the blocks. She will most likely make a quilt.

That's it at a high level. I will post some gory details about block sizes, posting best practices, etc. in the next day or so.