September 11, 2019

Red and Aqua Nine Patch Quilt- Birthday Bee!!


Some quilts rate way higher on the special scale than others, and this is one of those for me- the main reason being, it was a group project with friends! A birthday bee quilt to be exact.

In late 2017 I decided I wanted to do a birthday bee, and since I didn't know how to get into one, I started my own. I messaged a few quilters that I liked and knew through IG to see who would be interested. They talked to their friends until we ended up with 12 ladies for the swap. Angel Natalie Smith @smileyannn was the brains of the outfit and organized a schedule for us, aligning birthdays as closely as she could, each month having a Birthday Queen. We all chose blocks and colors at the beginning of the year and Natalie shared them on a Google Doc. Then when it was each person's month to be queen (somewhere on or near their birthday), they received blocks in the mail from each of the 11 other people in their chosen colors and design.*

Some blocks were more complicated than others. If they were small and simple, we each made several. For larger or more complicated ones we only did one each. I chose to have them help me with this scrap project I'd already started, so each friend made 2 reds and 2 aquas. The math for mine was very simple:

Block: Simple 9-patch, finished size 6”

Fabric requirements: 
(9) 2.5” cut squares for each block-
Block A: 4 red and 5 white
Block B: 4 white and 5 aqua
(always press toward the color for nesting seams)

I had it quilted in a design I believe is called Abacus by Knot and Thread. I love it so much! Kaitlyn's work is always lovely. The white is Moda Bella 98. I backed it in an Elea Lutz Strawberry Biscuit print I've been keeping forever, and bound it in a Bonnie and Camille Smitten aqua heart print. I put two tags on it, one by Riley Blake, and personal quilt label that I ordered on Etsy.

There's something special about having a quilt made by so many hands, and from so many many different fabrics. Most of the quilts in my house are made from fabric that I purchased and therefore know all about, but many of the fabrics in this quilt I've never seen or heard of before, so that makes it extra fun for me to look at.

If you're interested in what other blocks we used in the swap, I scrounged up some photos from my Instagram of some of the ones I made for others. 

Two people in the group- Kristen Olson @HeartfullyHandmade and  JaNae Johnson @jjsews chose the Economy Quilt Block by Red Pepper Sews. It was really a delight make these ones! I took lots of pictures because the fussy cut center details are just so cute. 

@JessicaDayon came up with this cute heart block with low volume background. I always love making heart blocks!

Hers had:
28- 2.5” low volume squares
17- 2.5” pink or red squares
4- 2.5” half square triangles-- half red/pink and half low volume

Sue Ellen Hafen @sweetsueellen chose Diary of a Quilter's Patchwork Christmas Tree and I failed to get a photo of mine before I mailed them.

Cami Groethe @littleyellowbicycle chose the adorable Scrappy Crossroads Block by Lori Holt in navy, green, and grey. 

Susan Vaughan @thefeltedpear chose free strawberry block pattern. I can't find my picture of that one, bummer!

Cristina Anderson @jbcmom3 found a very striking free block on the Art Gallery site

Natalie Smith @smileyannn chose my Rise pattern!

Jessica Feddema @jfeddema1 chose A Quilting Life's string block in pink, green, aqua, and low volume. 

Ginger Parker @wifeoferp chose similar colors in a log cabin design that she figured out herself.

Fabric requirements:
Center block: (A) 3”
(B) 2”x3”        (C,D) 2”x4.5”
(E,F) 2”x6”     (G,H) 2”x7.5”
(I,J) 2”x9”       (K,L) 2”x10.5”
(M,N) 2”x12”  (O) 2”x13.5”
(P) 2.5x13.5    (Q) 2.5”x15.5”

I'm looking at the old Google Doc for reference and there's one that has been erased, so I can't remember the last one!

*Disclaimer: I do have to say that it's not always sunshine and roses with these swaps. I don't think I got blocks from every person (though I didn't keep track so I can't say for sure), some of them were done inversely and couldn't be used for this design, and after I had the whole thing quilted I noticed some of the whites were wrong. None of that bothered me or made me love the quilt or the swap any less, but I felt it would be dishonest not to mention. It's not perfect, life's not perfect, and that's perfectly fine :) It's very possible that I did some of the blocks I made for others wrong, who's to say!? We are all busy people trying our very best. 

Overall it was a great experience and one that I hope to repeat, I already have several ideas for ones I want to do! Many of the friends carried on and did another this year, but I had to many commitments in 2019 and needed to sit it out. Maybe next year! It is so fun to be able to have a very small, quick, fun project to make for someone else every month, I really loved it. 

1 comment :

  1. That must have been so much fun! Love this idea and all the blocks are all very special 😊