Friday, May 29, 2015

Bee Sewcial Goes Mid-Century

Simply put, Bee Sewcial is always a challenge. In a good way, but still. Even thinking up a plan for these amazing women is a bit intimidating. But I've decided. For June, we're going mid-century modern.

"Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement." 
-  from Wikipedia
I made the group a Pinterest inspiration board, which includes the color palette. I tried to get permission to share this pin, but that didn't happen, so basically, think Kona curry, yarrow, medium gray, titanium, jade, black, palm, laurel, siena, windsor, navy, chocolate, coffee, spice, cinnamon, rust. Remember, this is an all-solids bee.

Unlike other bees I've been in, block size doesn't usually matter. Derived inspiration does. So no specific block sizes or shapes are required for my month. I'm asking for them to just stick with the standard equivalent of (2) 12.5" blocks.

So I made a couple of sample blocks. Honestly, some bee members like inspiration blocks, other do not. So either way, all I'm really asking is that they borrow elements from typical mid-century modern graphics. My blocks are relatively structured, I admit, so it'll be interesting to see where my bee-mates go. I plan to make more, but I think I'd prefer to make them along the way. I fully expect that the work of my bee mates will inspire me too.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


When mom came home from a visit to Alaska a few months ago, she had a beautiful gift of fabric tucked away for me. She had visited The Material Girls quilt shop in Fairbanks, leaving with several yards of Moda Calypso Sunrise batiks - blue, green, and teal - some of my favorite colors.
I definitely wanted to do something kinda modern with them, maybe even improv. I had the idea of a low-volume background so the batiks would really pop against it. In my very own stash I found a perfect choice - the "Cuneiform Script Aged" from Katarina Roccella's REcollection for Art Gallery Fabrics.
So I went with wonky crosses, one of my best-loved blocks. This time, though, there were no consistent block sizes and no even rows, which made for alot of fun on the design wall, a little less when it came time to piece the blocks together. In fact it took some minor surgery with a seam ripper once the top was complete to get it back together and laying flat.

The back, on the other hand, went flawlessly, and I love the supersized crosses that echo the front.
For quilting, nothing too complicated was necessary, so I went with organic straight-line with Aurifil 50wt #2024 (white). This is really a method of quilting that I enjoy. No matter what size of quilt, I mark it in half using my hera marker, then again several inches apart on both sides of center. On this quilt (45"x48"), I marked every 6", then quilted down those lines. From there, no marking! I just quilted down the center between two quilted lines, wobbling along with purpose. Continue and repeat, over and over again. I wanted plenty of texture on this quilt, so my lines of quilting are roughly 3/8" apart.
Unfortunately it doesn't show well in any of my photos, but the binding consists of all 3 cross fabrics, and I think it sets them off well.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable sew, and I'm glad. Because now it's time to face some deadline sewing . . . oh joy.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday.