As you know, I've been participating in the Two's Company Quilt Bee. It has been so much fun. Each month, one of the 12 of us is in "charge." When it's your month, your job is to (a) select a block you want everyone to make for you, (b) send instructions and fabrics to each participant, and (c) wait for the blocks to be returned to you so you can put them together for a quilt. You have been seeing the blocks I've made for others.
Well, April is my month. So, tomorrow, my packets are going out to everyone. I just made a blog post over at the Two's Company Quilt Bee blog, telling the group what we are working on in April. You can hop on over to see my post about it if you want.
Spoiler alert! We are going to be making this Secret Garden block. I wanted to do a Cathedral Window block, but I couldn't figure out how to make it in a bee, because you have to make four blocks that are joined together to make the Cathedral Window block.
But I bought this book from Amazon.com (Cathedral Window Quilts by Lynne Edwards) when I was thinking about the Cathedral Window block (LOVE this book, by the way!). And in it were instructions on making a variation of the Cathedral Window called the Secret Garden (my block pictured above). I tried making a few and LOVED making it. So, I chose this as my block for the month.
This block combines some machine and hand sewing. First, you have to prepare the "foundation," which is the white fabric in my case. You do some machine seams, then some folding and pressing, as you see above. Then, you insert the colored fabric inside the folds and do some hand sewing to form the block. There is no batting, and the front and back of the block are the FINISHED blocks. You whip stitch them together when done, and the quilt is finished. No need for backing or binding.
On the Two's Company Quilt Bee blog, I mentioned that I really love this as a travel project. It is PERFECT for some take-along hand work. It is very compact and fun to work on while traveling (which, as you know, I've done a lot of, lately). I thought you might like to see my travel kit for this. I pack a small, plastic zipper bag with all my supplies. This fits very easily into my carry-on bag. It's very easy to get out, work on, and put away. Not too much stuff, and it doesn't take up too much space.
Here is what's in my bag. I take along a little stack of foundations and a little stack of red squares. (In this photo, I only have one. I need to make more. But I usually try to carry up to about 10 of these. They stack and carry very nicely and neatly.) I have a spool of Aurifil thread, my scissors (yes, you can carry them on a plane, as long as your blades are shorter than 4" from the hinge), and my needle case.
Inside my needle case are my thimble, a needle threader, a little package of my favorite needles, two applique pins, and some other needles that are stuck to the magnet inside. I also have a really neat needle minder I just got, but it's not in the bag yet. I'm going to add it. It's something you pin to your shirt and when you need to "park your needle" you can just adhere the needle to a magnet on it.
Anyway, this is such a nice, compact project to carry along. Doesn't require too much "stuff." Easy to get out, sew, and put away.
I'm traveling again in about another week. So, I'm going to prepare another stack of foundations and reds to load up my kit again. I'll also be taking some of my embroidery work. (But, you see, that's not as compact, because I have to carry a bunch of skeins of floss, an embroidery hoop, etc. So, this is by far my preferred travel project.)
I'm also going to start an English paper piecing project (see A Few Scraps blog for Christina's Sprocket quilt-along) that I think will be a great handwork project. Yes, I know....I shouldn't be starting ANOTHER project. But, I like to have a few handwork projects going at any given time so that I can just pick one up and work on it. For example, if I don't have any foudnations made for this project, or I finish those on my trip, I like to have another project as back up. God forbid my fingers should be idle. Plus, I have always wanted to give English paper piecing a try.
Also, I'm excited. On Saturday I'm going to take a class up in Grand Rapids to learn to make this bag that Caroll blogged about. (C'mon. You KNOW I'm running short on bags!) Caroll's going to be taking a class at the same shop on the same day. So, we get to see each other, hang out together, and have lunch together. I'm really looking forward to it.
Hope you all have a great weekend! I may not have another blog post before the weekend, so I thought I better wish you well now.
Until next time,