Northside Needlers

Goodbye Terry!

As I write this, there are tears running down my face because my dear quilting friend, Terry will be moving to another state soon, and I may never see her again—or at the very least, not often enough!

No one told me oh so long ago when I started quilting that I would meet so many generous, funny, loving quilters along the way to share my passion with. Really. If forced to (and I do mean forced), I could maybe give up quilting all together, but never, never my quilting friends. They have enriched my life and made it so worth living. One of those quilters is Terry, an adored bee mate.

Terry is afraid of nothing but boring. In her quilting, she jumps in head first, pushing the envelope with her quirky choices in fabric, embellishments, edge finishes, and quilting.

We had a goodbye party for Terry recently, and all she asked for was a 6” finished block from each of us, any style. I love Terry so much, I knew the block I made had to perfectly reflect who she is. So of course I chose wonky. At a bee meeting a few months ago, Terry and another bee mate Michelle made some wonky birds. I tried my hand at one as well, and learned pretty quickly that I’m a planner, designer, controlling quilter who is not enough of a free-spirit to be any good at random, wonky, free-wheeling improv piecing. This block took me several hours, lots of unsewing, and even some tears to make.

So to say that I stepped way out of my box to make a wonky block for Terry is an understatement. I think that’s what I’ll miss most about her—with her bubbly enthusiasm for everything that isn’t “boring,” she inspires me creatively and pushes me to try new things in my quilting. She’s also a good friend and straight talker. Gosh I’m gonna miss her, and so will so many other quilters in my Guild.

Here’s the block I made for Terry. I used dots of course! And of course it had to have lots of embellishments in the form of funky trims and colorful (and not boring) buttons.

A lot of people loved my block, including Terry, which made me very glad. Some of the quilters encouraged me to design other wonky birds and to make a quilt pattern out of it, which sounds like a wonderful idea! So stay tuned—I may step way out of my box and do it!

Goodbye Terry, dear friend. You're the wonkiest, loveliest bird I know. Come back soon!

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Tell me…do you have a quilter friend like Terry? What has she pushed you to do creatively?

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I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Bingo Block Update

B-I-N-G-O!

My bee has been making blocks for a special Bingo game we’re going to play at our Guild’s Christmas party in December. To play the game, we need to make Bingo cards out of fabric. Since we expect over 150 people at the party, we’ve decided to make at least 200 cards so we have some extras for people who want to play more than one card.

There are twenty-five 2-1/2” squares in each block, so I’ll let you do the math. <wink> All I know is that I’ve been cutting out squares for what seems like forever!

Last Friday, we had a sewing day. My daughter Katerina is an honorary member of the bee so she came too. Wouldn’t you know it, the little stinker sews faster than me!

We did real well I think, ending the day with a total of 91 completed blocks! We took home another 107 block kits so we could make more Bingo blocks at home. (UPDATE: I took home 25 kits and sewed up another 25 blocks...we have over 200 blocks complete!)

After we have our party in December, we’ll turn the blocks over to our charity group to make charity quilts out of them. I love how the blocks are turning out and I think the quilts will be awesome! I can just picture the fun some kid will have playing Eye Spy with one of the quilts. The blocks certainly contain a large variety of fabrics, colors and designs!

Sewing up these blocks (I made 45 to 50) was one of my 2016 Finish A Long goals so I get to check off a big one! Doesn't that feel good?

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Tell me…what games do you play at your Guild parties?

My Bee Just Went Dotty!

You probably remember from my earlier post that my bee was going to have a block exchange in May in which we were all to make 6” or 12” finished blocks using dotty fabrics. I decided to make 12" blocks to feature the lovely dots. Here’s what I came up with.

Making these dotty blocks was on my Quarter 2 Finish Along List, so I'm checking off another one! Yippee!

My bee met on Tuesday and we had our exchange. To help facilitate the choosing process, we laid all the blocks out so we could gaze at their loveliness. As you can see, we went all out for this challenge, coming up with some pretty cool designs! Most of us did not make the same block 10 times, but made different ones as the fancy hit us.

To make sure we were in a dotty mood, our hostess Michelle made dotty food! Yum!

After we ate, we drew lots and took turns picking one block each round. We could pick any block we wanted, but in the end we could only pick one block from each person. I ended up going first, so I picked the block I wanted most. We kept taking turns until eventually everyone had one block from each member.

These are the blocks I choose.

Now to do something with them. My intent is to put them together into a single quilt. The challenge is to find a way to blend all these lovely colors and patterns into a cohesive design.

Luckily, I still have a few dotted fabrics in my stash to help me do just that. <wink>

Tell me. Do you like dots? Will you be adding any to your stash soon?

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Quilting at the Lake

I belong to a bee that has a quilt retreat twice a year at a lake house owned by one of our members. I know, I’m really lucky! The lake house has plenty of space for us, and the lake view is gorgeous. Going there always makes me feel reinvigorated. I’m deeply appreciative of the time we get to spend there because not only do I get a lot of good quilting done, I also get an opportunity to grow closer to my quilting buddies.

Did I mention the great sunsets?

And the tea parties?

Bee retreats are awesome! <grin>

We had another of our bee retreats this past weekend and I got a lot of good quilting done. First I worked a bit on the rainbow version of Charming Stepping Stones. I’m quilting it using several modern quilting patterns but I don’t want to show you much right now. I want to get the quilt finished first then I’ll feature the quilt in a post.

Next, I worked on some dotted blocks for a bee challenge. You may remember that my bee got crazy about dotted fabric a while back and decided to have a block exchange.

We’re making a block for each person in the bee, in either 6” or 12” size or some combination. We can make our blocks all the same or make different ones. At the end of the exchange, I’ll have one block from each of the members of my bee. It’ll be a wonderful memory of these girls I’ve grown so very close to.

Finally, I pieced together the rows for the gradations version of Charming Stepping Stones. I’ll sew the rows together this week, or at another retreat that I’m going to this weekend.

I know! Another retreat? I’m really lucky.

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