Modern Quilting Bee blocks by HawkFan


Block party: the modern quilting bee


A local shop is holding a block of the month class based on the book, "Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog & 12 Improvisational Projects". I have never done modern blocks and started the class so I would go outside my comfort zone. Plus it's a good way to use up lots of scraps.

September 2013 - two more blocks done - 3 months remaining. I missed the wonky 9-patch class but did it on my own using freezer paper to make a pattern so I could use multiple fabrics without making multiple blocks. This month's block was hexagons - my first time doing them. They were fun and I loved making them but the hand-applique took a lot of time. I do love the look of hand-applique though

My tentative plan for the blocks when all 12 are done is to sash them with a light gray and use the batiks from the blocks as cornerstones. The problem is the dresden block is so much bigger than the others. I'll probably make a new dresden block for the front and use the current one on the backing.

October 2013 - quartered log cabin is the title of this block although it isn't really constructed like a log cabin block. Another fun block to make!

November 2013 - wonky roman stripe block. This was so fast and easy, you could finish a whole quilt in a few hours! I made one block so quickly I had time to make a second during the class. You make the block big and then trim. I loved the look of the trimmed piece so I decided to make a second block using scrappy strips, including the trimming from the first block.

January 2014 - Finished all the blocks and am now trying to figure out how to put this together into a quilt top. The bottom right is the last block we made - I didn't upload a picture of it by itself. I think I like this order for the blocks but it will be really small if I don't sash. Sashing suggestions? This is the first project to go up on my brand new design wall

March 5, 2014 - decided to try QAYG so I could easily quilt each block to fit the block's design. Typical me, I just jumped in and tried it thinking I remembered how to do it from videos I had watched. It came out OK although nothing I would give to anyone and putting the blocks together was a total fly by the seat of my pants experiment. I took the class to learn more about some modern techniques and to try some wonky blocks so I wasn't focused on the end product. Overall it came out pretty square (the wrinkles in the sashing are just from not hanging it straight). I will finish it up (not sure yet how I'll bind it) but I have a feeling some of the fabrics will bleed (I'm planning to use a couple of color catchers). Again, I don't really care what happens because it was all about the process and having fun. 

Just realized I never posted a picture of the finished quilt. I hung it up at work although it's behind me so the students get to look at it more than I do.


Hanging up at work
Finished top - ready for the binding
trying different layouts
scrappy roman stripe
Wonky roman stripe
quartered log cabin
wonky nine-patch
wonky log cabin
stacked coins
String X block-first class!
Wonky Triangle block
Polka Dot block
confetti block
rainbow dresden block with "earth" center





Sorry for the poor iphone photos.


This is going to be beautiful. Really love the bright colors.


Thanks! I'm excited to see how they all come together.


Wow this is going to be amazing love your fabrics!!


I'm really looking forward to seeing everything together - love the colors and shapes!!!


I love the color in these blocks. You have done a wonderful job. I can't wait to see them all finished.


Thanks Nexxus831 - I'm using the class as an exercise in scrap-busting. There's a lot of (white) background in them though so I'm not making much headway :)


Love the new did you make them?


True - you cut a square 2.5 inches bigger than you want it to end up being and cut it in half diagonally. Then you just stitch and flip. You add strips that are longer than you need and trim it to size at the end.


Great colors. Looks like a lot of fun.


Sewexcitedquilts - thanks. It will be a challenge to put together though. I may try a quilt as you go technique with this.


Great quilt! I love the bottom middle block best! But they're all super duper fun! Doesn't a design wall make designing so much easier??!!


I love the colors and different blocks and the quilting is awesome. But what I like best is your attitude...and it is about the process, learning and having fun!! I want to try QAYG but the method I researched does not have sashing and some say do a 1/4" seam as usual and some say do a 1/2" and that would mess up the blocks I was thinking of trying it thinking may have to just make a couple blocks and try it to see how it works.


I agree with True - your attitude of learning something new, going outside your comfort zone and not worrying too much about perfection ... is awesome! It is fun sometimes to just play and experiment and learn something new. That said, I think this is a terrific quilt - really fun quilting, fun blocks, happy colors!


Aizome I love my design wall - I didn't even try to put this top together until I had the design wall because I knew I'd have to play with it a lot before I was happy with the layout


True I do love the front but you'll notice I didn't show the back hahaha. I like pieced backs and I couldn't take that on along with trying to figure out the QAYG with sashing thing. So, I did even more experimenting with the back and it's a bit of a mess, design-wise. The sashing threw me off when it came to the design of the back.


Caribousmom Thanks Wendy. I do tend to obsess about perfection so I was proud of myself for being OK with whatever happened with this quilt. However, I'm not necessarily willing to share the ugly back. The construction is pretty good but the design of it is pretty bad :)


Fun quilt!


thanks Sblprl1


How fun! You chose gorgeous fabrics!


Thanks sew_what - they were mostly scraps from other projects.


Fun, fun, fun. Love the bright primary colors.


Love seeing it done and what a great office quilt. Now I have three in my office and a pillow but get to look at them all by where they are located :-)


Definitely a quilt your students will enjoy studying while you "drone on". LOL, of course you aren't droning but don't all students think that's the case? Love the blocks and the finished quilt.


True I have 8 quilts up in my office - this one is the biggest, most are minis. I have stuff all over my office (legos, fun posters, quilts) to brighten up my workspace


Carolmarie Quilt455 Thanks Carol and Cathie. I think it's one of my favorites


Quilterinmotion I don't lecture in my office - students mostly come by when they need help with homework or analyzing lab data. I've had several of them comment that I have a great office with lots of neat stuff. The huge lego models (cars, a wind turbine, boats, planes) are big hits as are the funny posters.


I didn't realize it was hanging in your office. It looked large enough to be on a wall in a lecture hall. I'd love to visit your office. The huge Lego models....I can see them drawing attention. Love the quilt.


Wow, HawkFan!!! It is absolutely gorgeous!!!


That is a cool looking quilt!! Love the color and design....sure enough to cheer up your day at the office!


Conniharns Bob1414 Thanks ladies. Batiks brighten everything up!


So amazing - and it has such a great feel for a science prof's office 


Mymble Thanks Margaret. Just so long as they don't think I'm too wacky based on the wonkiness of the blocks wink


HawkFan No not at all! I think your version especially resonates because it is reminiscent of the artwork of Eric Carle and the blocks have a scientific feel - molecules, formulas, building blocks of matter- at least that's how I would see it if I were the student querying why my lab data didn't line up!!!


Mymble I can definitely see the Eric Carle vibe - hadn't thought of that. smile

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