Wednesday, December 22, 2010

House or Power Plant?

Here you go Debbie. I realized after I complete it that it is probably a bit too blocky for you. I'm sorry about that. I reread the directions after I finished. But there is a definitive influence from your inspiration photos. That counts for something!

It's in the mail, so don't lose it among the Christmas cards!

Friday, December 3, 2010


The best part of the online quilt bee is working outside of your comfort zone. Making a block in these colours is definitely outside my comfort zone, as are all those solids.

This is Amanda's block. If you turn it upside down it vaguely resembles a heart. That is how I feel about this block. The size, the sparseness, the challenge in making it - all make me love it. I'm still not digging the colour. Then again, it isn't mine, so that's okay.

I hope Amanda hearts it too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Robin's mod blocks

My block for Debbie... inspired by those butterfly roofs that were so popular with mid-century design. I always wondered about them. Living inside a house with a roof like this would mean the interior of the house had a low ceiling and thus made for a cozier space. As the house expanded outwards, the ceiling slopes upward thus creating an expansive feel. It must have been something to live in a space like this, but what did they do about the rain? Did it pond up there in that bend? Pardon me for allowing my mind to wander...

A second block, made to mimic the lines of the first:
For Amanda my chevron turned out to look like a symbol from the periodic table of elements... well maybe in another language.

Have a wonderful holiday season everybody! See you in January!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mid Mod for November

I am so excited that I finally managed to distill all the ideas running around in my head into something fairly coherent!  Here it is:

I am asking each of you to make me a rectangular block inspired by Mid Century Modern homes.  I have organized both a gallery and a set on Flickr of images that I love.  Apparently, according to Flickr, sets are your own images; galleries are other people's Flickr images.  Although "my" images were all lifted from google :).  Your rectangular block should be in the general area of 9" x 15" and use a kind of outline style similar to my mock up.  I will send you grey fabric for the background and some green and blue strips to use for piecing.

Some of you may recall that I earlier mentioned that I might feature applique during my month.  The image of a George Nelson clock was my inspiration for this idea, but it didn't seem to offer enough opportunity for creativity.  Since the image is strikingly similar to an idea I had many months ago for a dandelion quilt, it may yet show up!

Have I left anything out?  I can't wait to see what you all come up with!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Amanda’s BFC (big flippin’ chevron)

Here is my chevron block for Amanda. This block is 20". It's huge, but I really like the size because she'll be able to make a whole quilt easily using just the blocks from the bee quilters. I should have thought of that when it was my turn. Oh well, next time...

At first this seemed like a super easy block, until I started trying to figure out how to actually put it together. I ended up needing to draw it to figure out where all the seams needed to go. I have a need to do the least amount of seams necessary. It's a disease.

Catching Up

Saturday was my catch up day and I finished these two blocks for Cheryl and Amanda.

First up is Cheryl's right angle block. I searched for right angle pictures in an image search and was inspired by this balcony image:

from here.

Here's my very literal translation into a block.

Cheryl's block

For Amanda's block, I started cutting prematurely and with no plan at all which resulted in one of the arms of the chevron being crazily pieced. Thanks for sending so much fabric! It was a lifesaver for me.

Amanda's block

Jon was looking through the pictures on my camera and stated, without prompting, "Ooh, this is really cool! It looks very 1960's." He laughed when I told him the purpose of this bee.

Amanda's block

And, here's the full on shot. I almost cropped out my thread catching sock, but left it in there because I'm sure you can all relate!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Hi All, I just wanted to share with you a couple of links... for consideration on our sidebar.

From Amanda, our group on Flickr

Grain Edit, a blog devoted to design work from the 1950's - 1970's

Enjoy! Robin

Monday, November 1, 2010

Welcome to Yahaira!

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know of a slight change in the cast of Mid Mod Quilters!  While Malka remains excited about mid-century design, she found herself unable to find the time to make blocks for our bee (she has kids going to college, a book coming out, a shop to run...!)  I think we've all been there, very much wanting to have time to do something, but just not finding a way to make it work and feeling sick and guilty instead of fun and quilty! 

So, the lovely Yahaira of Bitter Purl has agreed to take over for Malka.  In fact, Yahaira has really stepped up to the bat...Malka is going to send the un-stitched packets of fabric to her and Yahaira is going to play catch-up for us! 

I've updated the directory in Google Docs, please be sure that you send packages to the right place!

Happy November,

a chevron for m'lady

I hope it suits you!  20" is big!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Block for Cheryl

My block for Cheryl was heavily inspired by barkcloth.  I hope I haven't been too literal.  The amount of detail in barkcloth steered me away from my usual larger, more graphic style.  Making the finished block a curved shape was fun.

I hope my block "plays well" with the rest.  I noticed that Amanda and I used a similar motif.  I described my process in a little more detail on my blog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Cheryl's request had me a bit stumped.  Curves, not curves, barkcloth, huh?
I thought that once the fabric arrived I would be inspired, but I found the combination odd, stymieing me further.

Robin's blocks gave me a boost of inspiration and I sat down on Saturday resolved to figure something out.  I decided to focus on a single element from Cheryl's inspirations:

And so...
 It will be in the post shortly!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

atomic barkcloth doodle block (for cheryl)

After feeling a bit intimidated by the open-endedness of your challenge, Cheryl, I'm now completely in love with barkcloth... especially the atomic kind! I can't wait to see how this quilt comes together and thanks for the chance to experiment. I've been eyeing those split hourglass shapes since we started this bee - what a perfect chance to try them out.
And, of course, I think I should get extra points for my photo - with fancy mid mod chair. All this mid mod stuff is kinda bad for my chair habit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another block for Cheryl

Trying to use up the fabric Cheryl sent, I made this 12" block:

All I can say is "heaven help Cheryl!"

minty chevrons - the plan!

I knew October was going to be hectic, so I always had my vacation as a backup plan in case I didn't have time to prep my fabrics to send out before that. So here I am - at the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, packing up little bits of fabric to send to you! Here is the plan... I've been looking at a little post-it note on my desk at work for about four months now. I think I drew it pretty soon after joining this bee, and I've been pondering it since!
I've loved all the research this bee has required. I keep finding that I'm particularly drawn to all the wonky geometric shapes from this period, especially little triangly arrow shapes. My plan starts there: I'm sending you 1/2 yard of a main solid color fabric (green or brown), a 5-inch wide strip for the chevron, and little strips of solid fabric (brown or green). I'm asking each person to make a 20-inch block with the chevron in the center. My hope is that the chevron will take up a goodly portion of the block (maybe 12-16 inches tall and wide?) and the rest can be filled with little blippy strips (minus signs?) or squares or hollow squares or even a teensy plus sign if you feel inspired... Here are the fabrics - lots of browns and greens (mint chocolate, maybe?).
Hopefully this isn't too prescriptive... wonky, curvy-I welcome it all. In fact, I was thinking those chevrons may look even more "atomic" if their bottoms were small and the tip of the arrow was fatter... feel free to play around and explore and have fun with it. Fingers crossed that I've sent enough fabric! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

For Jess

Here I am sitting in front of the computer trying to think of a good excuse for being late...can't come up with anything witty or smart...just lame, so I'll just say, I want to be like Robin!
It's on its way to you, Jess.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A little Mid Mod inspiration

See my blog for a short, slightly whiny post and a few photos from my visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.


Wow Cheryl, You really had me stumped here! I'm not sure if this is what you were aiming for, so let me tell you about my thought process. The words that stuck out to me in her directions, were barkcloth and curves. I googled barkcloth and came up with this:
It didn't contain the curves she was looking for so I came up with this:
Still, this design seemed plain and quite circular, so I moved on...

Now this was both atomic and curved... but I wanted to do something other than boomerangs...

After more searching, and many more images, I realized a commonality to all this was that the shapes were neither symmetrical or complex. Some of them stood alone, and some were embellished with lines and other shapes layered on top:
I tried here to use each fabric more than once, thinking that they would play off each other and unify the piece. I also kept my shapes rather simple... for ease of construction as well as simplicity in design. The fabrics you chose Cheryl are lovely indeed! Looking at it now, I'm thinking perhaps the black fabric should have been used for larger shapes or at least outlined with another fabric, but all in all I think these work well with each other. In the end, I'm thinking if I have time, I'll put together simpler blocks with the leftovers... smaller simpler blocks may help to offset this loud little puppy.

I'm very excited to see how the rest of you interpret Cheryl's instructions. I'm thinking this really could work because the fabrics she gave us are all related. It will be interesting to see the thought processes that went into this one. Please do comment on your trains of thought when posting your pictures! Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quilt Block for Jess

I really love the design of this quilt Jess. I just hope my square can be "squared". I tried to vary my design and keep it different from the rest of the blocks everyone had completed. I thought I had enough of the cream fabric to make it the finished size you needed, but was just this much shy before I ran out.

You can kind of see where I was trying to get every last bit of width from the vertical seams.

I'm really enjoying these quilt blocks!

Friday, September 17, 2010


It is my month for the bee. And boy have I struggled with this. Too. Much. Influence.

Idea #1 Charlie Harper quilt. I picked up a Charlie Harper colouring book and debated sending out images to ask for blocks based on them. But a) that seemed too prescriptive for you and b) I would have ended up with blocks that seemed to beg (in my head) for a straight set with sashing and that is so not me.

Idea #2 Imitation of a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass pieced. This was actually Hubby's idea. While I love Frank Lloyd Wright this idea again seemed too prescriptive for my liking.

Idea #3 Because I love the mid century clocks and chairs so much I thought an Ingrid Press inspired layout could be quite interesting, despite my aversion to straight sets and sashing. This idea was okay, but it didn't feel original enough for me, especially when it comes to bees.

Are you sensing a theme? Original and challenging. Bold and graphic. Colour and no straight sets.

Soooo..... This is what I've come up with. In the end I went back to two of my first mid century modern loves – atomic barkcloth and curves. Seriously, I couldn’t get curves out of my head.

But it is really hard to ask people to simply be inspired by curves. For me, it is the curve in so much of the furniture, like the Saarinen Tulip table, an Eames chair (pick any one), or the Noguchi coffee table. It is the organic shapes of Alexander Calder mobiles and sculptures or Alvin Lustig graphics. It is the George Nelson clocks. It is the fun styling in atomic designs and even things like the Jetsons’ set.

Half of you have been sent fabric to produce a curved block. If you have a fat quarter of a light background, then this is you. There doesn’t have to be curves in the piecing, just that the final block has an organic, curved shape. As for what the block itself looks like, well be inspired in your own way by my inspirations.

The other half of you were sent an alternate package of fabric for a different block. If you’ve got a teal/turquoise fat quarter, then this is you. If you could finish your blocks with right angles that would be great, so please, square it off.

I hope (and fear) that this is a challenge to all of us. But it is such a great group or artists that I have no doubt something amazing will happen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Simple, for Jess

I was so afraid for Jess that no one would make her simple block. Sure, it would have been more fun to do the pieced blocks, but her design calls for a number of these simple blocks. This was not the easy way out, trust me!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Color Bars

Here's Jess' block.

Jess' Block

I'm liking how this can be viewed as three bars or white tracks down the center. I can't wait to see how these all come together. I'm always so impressed by your sketches (and coloring skills), Jess!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Block for Jess

I finished my block for Jess yesterday and mailed it out today!  I am ready for September!  I hope you like it, Jess, and that it fits with the other blocks well since it isn't wonky (at least not on purpose!).

November is my month and I am mulling ideas so I have a question for you all:  do you applique?  Are you opposed to applique?  As you might have guessed, one of the ideas I am mulling would be an applique quilt.  I have other ideas too, so if applique is not our collective thing, it will not be a problem.  Thanks!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jess's Block

Hi Jess, Here's the block I made for you.  It was fun to play around with.  I started with the idea of being very simple...just three bars, one being a little shorter.  However, once I had them done and put them on the mat to see how much white needed to go around, I saw that I needed one more bar and then I decided to break it and make it taller than the others..more and more seams eating up your white fabric.

So, ultimately, I ran out of white!
I put paper in that top photo so you could get a sense of how I was composing the block.  I'm going to send this as is, since I know you can handle attaching two swathes of white.  : )

I love this bee.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My submission for this month's quilt. Don't worry, I'm not always on top of things like this! I have to admit, it does feel good to be ahead of my "to do" list. Anyway, as you can see I ran out of fabric. I'm hoping you have more white Jess! I hope this is in line with what you were thinking of. I do like thinking outside of the box and am grateful for the assignment. Next!

P.S. You've probably already seen it, but I blogged about this block on my blog already. Rossie, is there any way you can insert a link to this page on the sidebar? I find it helpful in anticipating what's coming round the bend next!

Monday, August 23, 2010

more 1950s textiles

I want to marry the gray one.  And the other looks ripe for translation into a quilt.

 Pop over to this page on AnotherDesignBlog. to see more and/or get the book!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August is my month!

I was really inspired by this photo that Rossie included in her mid century textiles post about a month ago. The moment I saw the pillow to the right, I knew that I wanted to do something similar.

I normally don't do straight "block" quilts (especially with sashing) but several things appeal to me about this design. I like the thin, dark sashing (haven't decided yet if I'll use black or dark brown). I also like that each block is composed of only white & one other fabric. I like the added interest of having one column of blocks that is thinner than the others. I like that each block is so very simple, but the variety & layout give it lots of interest.

The envelope you receive will contain white & one other fabric. No need to add more fabric - my plan is to have each fabric featured once in the quilt, in your block only. Use my sketch as inspiration for your block, but keep in mind that it is exactly that - inspiration. It's not an exact course of action. I'm sure I'll love your interpretations. I only ask that you keep with the spirit of the sketch - simple, squares & rectangles, each block edged in white. And I loved Rossie's statement in her quilt block instructions - "I love subtle wonk, but nothing crazy or forced."

Please make your blocks 14.5" tall by 15" wide, including seam allowance. I'll make the thinner blocks myself, when I've received all yours. I know the measurements are a little weird, but it will work out in the end. :)

Here's my sketch. Thanks so much, I'm looking forward to putting this one together!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I've been itching to make Rossie's strip ever since I got the fabric!  However, other things HAD to be done first.  I had a chance to sew a bit this week and managed to get the strip completed.  I can't wait to see how they all look together!  I love the way they are all so different yet so similar.

I am looking forward to seeing what is next!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Bee Late.

How cheesy is that pun? So cheesy. I apologize, but I'm not going to change it, because then I would have to delete this sentence, and I put so much effort into TYPING it. Ok, yes, my block! Rossie, I am sorry I am so late! The fabric you sent was so great, though, and has such excellent texture and dimension from the dying. I really loved the subtle color variations on the pieces. My block is pretty simple, so I hope it will work... I've been so intimidated by the other blocks posted! I think this is going to be such a great quilt when it's all put together! So many exclamation points! Ahh!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quilt Love

Here you go Rossie. I have to tell you it was hard to fold it up and put it in the envelope to send back to you. The fabrics were so amazing, such depth and yummy goodness! I adore your design...this is going to be one stunning quilt. What a wonderful start to this bee. Sorry again for the tardiness....i'll try to be more on it for the rest of you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

kelp strip for rossie

Rossie, you've rekindled my love for kelp (though I'm not certain it ever unkindled). This was so fun... though I didn't mean to make so many hollow shapes, but I started and couldn't stop. You know how that goes, right?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh yes.

Everytime I look at this, I get so pumped.
Strips (from l to r) by Simply Robin, Wise Craft, and Don't Call me Becky.

I can't even stand it.