Friday, April 26, 2013

quilts for Boston

It's hard to believe it was just one week ago when life in and around Boston completely stopped as we watched a massive manhunt for an armed terrorist take place in our community.  Thankfully the situation was resolved.  On Saturday life went back to a new normal and we were able to hold our monthly BMQG meeting.  As we shared our experiences everyone kept saying the same thing: that we wanted to do something to help those affected... and being quilters, what wanted do to help is make quilts.  From that, the idea for quilts for Boston was born.

The response has been unbelievable!!!  It turns out everyone wants to help:-)  I shared what we were doing with the fabulous gang at Quilter's Way and they pulled together these adorable pre-cut fabric bundles in our blue, yellow, grey color scheme.  Because they're so awesome the even let me build my own, Boston Strong 6:-)  These are available online and in the store.  If that wasn't cool enough, they are giving 10% or the proceeds to The One Fund - Boston.

With my beautiful new bundle I couldn't wait to make my block!  I'm still in love with I'm a Ginger Monkey's Aurifil Block of the Month, Heart and Soul, so I made another of those.  I know I'll be making more blocks for this amazing cause but this is is a great start.  Check out all the gorgeous blocks that have been made in the quilts for Boston flickr group.

The deadline to send blocks to the BMQG is May 24th.  Grab the button and help spread the word!
Quilts for Boston
Sharing our strength at the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Heart and Soul of Boston

In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead, "what a long, strange trip it's been..."  This week was school vacation week so I didn't expect to get much sewing done.  I also never expected to be learning new phrases like "pressure-cooker bomb" and "shelter at home" or leaving work because I couldn't concentrate with a police barricade in front of the public building across the street.  As many of you will understand, I headed to my quilt studio to channel my anger, grief and fear into something creative.

I pulled out this long ago forgotten bundle of The Hamptons by Minick & Simpson.  It's probably the only red, white and blue fabric I own but it felt right.

For the blocks I decided to use the April Aurifil Block of the Month designed by the totally cool Katy of I'm a Ginger Monkey.  Her Heart and Soul block seemed like the perfect choice.  It's a fun mix of HSTs and squares that come together quickly and provide the perfect combination of challenge and stress-relief.

So far I've put together two blocks and I have plenty more squares cut out to make more.  I'm not sure what I plan to do with them but then that really wasn't the point;-)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston You're My Home

I wasn't going to write about the Boston bombing.  I dislike it when people personalize a tragedy that has nothing to do with them and while I did know people running in the race I am fortunate to say that everyone is fine.  But the fact is this has affected me personally because what happened is right there in the middle of my memories.  My first Boston Marathon experience was my first year at Wellesley.  My dorm was right on the race route and anyone who has run by knows it's a big deal.  My friends and I spent the day cheering as runners passed and enjoying a Wellesley tradition that would be carried on all four years I was there.

From Wellesley I moved in to the Back Bay and lived a few blocks from Copley Square.  The Boston Public Library, Lord & Taylor, Atlantic Fish Company...  I spent a lot of time hanging out along there.  I want to remember eating Bruegger's bagels on the steps of the BPL, not bloody streets and blown out windows. 
Boston Trolley
The second explosion demolished the patio where we held our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding.  I want  to remember how it was pouring down rain that night and we were so soaked the waitress brought us a whole basket of linen napkins to dry off with, not twisted metal and shattered glass.

Marathon day  lunch at The Pour House
We were still living in Back Bay when Audrey came along and we took her down to see the race.  Even post-9/11 we never thought it would be a safety issue.  Many years we walked over to watch the race, usually at the Cactus Club but sometimes in Copley Square.

FAO Schwartz on Boylston St.
The reality of city living is itty-bitty living space so you tend to spend most of your time out and about.  Picnics in Copley Square on Farmer's Market Day,  Movies at the Hatch Shell, the Clarendon Street Tot Lot,  Boston Common...  No matter the season or the weather, Boston is a city where people are out having fun.

Make Way for Ducklings, Boston Public Gardens
I hope that doesn't change!!!

Hanging out on Newbury St.
I hope we can all hold on to our happy memories of Boston, of what is good.  I won't let the horrible images on the news this week replace shopping at In the Pink and lunch at Sonsie.  

Frog Pond, Boston Common
And it definitely won't stop us from enjoying all that Boston has to offer!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

W.i.P Wednesday: Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Square up the sides or bind the hexagons?

How to quilt this?

And what am I going to do with this awesome Full Moon Forrest pack I scored from I Heart Tula Pink???

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Check out what everyone else is up to at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Start of Something New: Dipping my Toes in the Sand

The fabulous Julie of Jaybird Quilts has released Toes in the Sand as her first Block of the Month quilt.  If you haven't noticed, I love anything beachy so I totally fell in love with this quilt when I saw it!

I haven't had the best luck with BOMs (my first and only is still a UFO) so when Quilter's Way asked if I'd help run this for the shop I jumped at the chance.  I picked up what I needed to get started this weekend.  The pattern uses Julie's Hex N More ruler which makes the cutting really easy.  This ruler is fantastic, it does everything!!!

I'll be using PB&J by Basic Grey like the original.  The photographs don't do it justice, this collection is stunning!!!

If you want to join the fun you can sign up online or in person at Quilter's Way.  I'll be offering a demo class to help you make your blocks.  Hopefully I can offer some tips to make putting this together even easier and it's always more fun to sew with friends!   We'll kick off Block 1 on Tuesday, April 30th from 6-9.  Dive in and join the fun:-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Fool: Just 3

I finally feel like I got something done this month!  The plan for March...

1.  Make something with these adorable Alexander Henry Once Upon a Time prints...
I pieced this top while on retreat with the BMQG.

2.  Finish something from the UFO pile...
I rescued this Pretty Little Pinwheel quilt from the UFO pile and also quilted it at retreat.

3.  And seriously, quilt the Hexie blob...
For the first time in a long time I didn't host Easter.  Instead, we spent the day in Kennebunk, Maine with family which meant I had 4 hours of quilting time while we drove up and back.  It's not quite done but I'm very close:-)

I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going this month.  The plan for April:
1.  Finish the hexie blob.
2.  Quilt the Once Upon a Time flimsy.
3.  Start working on something for the Lowell Quilt Festival.

traceyjay quilts
Thanks for the awesome Just Three at traceyjay quilts for keeping me on track:-)