Monthly Archives: February 2014

Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake fabric challenge

I love a challenge, and I especially love the Modern Quilt Guild challenges. Be it national, or local, the MQG challenges always get me motivated to make something nifty. Personally I use it as a great excuse to make something for myself. For this challenge, Riley Blake Designs provided fat eighths from their Basics category. The guidelines were simple: make something quilted. It was not a requirement to use all the fabric provided, and there was an option add in any solids or Riley Blake printed fabric.

Riley Blake challenge quilt

Finished MQG Fabric Challenge #3: Riley Blake
(click on the photo to enlarge)

I purchased some “Happy Hexi” fabric from Riley Blake, which matched nicely five of the six fabrics we were provided. I also added solid gray and aqua. Drawn to “Happy Hexi,” I decided I wanted to include hexagons in some way.

Riley Blake challenge fabric

After letting the fabrics simmer in my mind, I started sketching some designs.

Riley Black challenge sketch

Using an AccuQuilt GO! Baby, I cut out the hexies from the provided fabric and sewed them onto the gray background. I drew out a grid for the wonky star, with the “Happy Hexi” fabric in the center. I knew I wanted to echo the star in the negative space and drew in the points with chalk.

Riley Blake challenge chalk outline

Then I quilted the points, mimicking the printed fabric in the completed wonky star: chevrons, polka-dots, stripes. As the wonky star has printed hexies in the center, I created a hexie flower in the center of the echoed wonky star.

Riley Blake challenge star pointsRiley Blake Challenge wonky star

Riley Blake wonky star echo

My favorite fabric is the orange dots. I like the contrast of the orange on the white, and the varied sizes of the dots. I used more of that fabric than any of the other Basics. To provide some visual interest, I shifted one of the hexagons down, and then used quilting to echo the fabric in the top spot of the hexie flower. I liked how the solid aqua grounded the movement in the surrounding hexagons.

Riley Blake orange hexie flower

When designing the quilt I wanted to include negative space to really frame the Basics fabric with quilting, and provide substaintial movement. I wrapped feathers around the squared-off wonky star, and varied the size of the swirls used throughout the quilt.

Riley Blake challenge quilting

I had a great time with this challenge, and it was a fun quilt to make. In Kansas City we had our challenge reveal in December, and as always, our members had creative, beautiful and inspiring projects for show and tell. I can’t wait to see all the projects from other guilds. A big thank you to Riley Blake Designs for sponsoring this challenge.

KC Scrappy Bee 3×6 round two, month two

For the second block of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild Scrappy Bee 3×6 round two, I decided upon a small wonky quasar. I call it a quasar because it’s not quite a star. Scroll down for the sizes of the pieces needed to make a 12.5″ unfinished (12″ finished) block, and to read how a 3×6 bee is organized. There are seven blocks for month two. Click here to see the month one blocks.


Nikki requested blocks using only solid fabrics in any color.


Mary requested blocks using a purple batik focus fabric
she provided, along with other purple, blue and green fabrics.


Lesley requested blocks using low volume fabrics.


Nikki is making a Quilt of Valor quilt and requested
blocks using only green and gray fabrics.


I’m making a quilt using an Aboriginal fabric as a focus fabric.
The bee blocks will be solid black, blue, gray and white,
to be set on point along with the Aboriginal fabric.


Toni requested blocks using orange and cream fabrics.
Somewhere between making a cup of tea and answering
the door I jumbled up Toni’s blocks. I rather dig how it
turned out, so Toni gets to decide if she wants to keep it
as is or if she wants me to make it a quasar. Either way
I’m going to keep this particular design in my back pocket.


Elizabeth requested all wonky star blocks using
Kona Snow she provided as the background fabric.

How to make the wonky quasar blocks
I created this diagram as the basis for the blocks I made. To learn how to make the points, refer to the Silly BooDilly wonky star tutorial.


How a 3×6 bee is organized
Each member of the six-person bee lets the group know her color preference. She may, or may not, provide a focus fabric for her blocks. Each month, each person makes a total of six blocks of her choice: one for each person in the bee, including herself, using her beemates’ color preferences or fabric provided. At the end of three months, each person will have made a total of 18 blocks, and have 18 blocks of her own (15 provided by her beemates). Most likely it will yield a sampler quilt, because each person gets to decide upon the block pattern she makes for everyone else. Clear as mud? In the coming months I’ll continue to post pictures of the blocks I make, as well as those I receive, which should help clarify any confusion.

In the Kansas City bee, we build in an extra month, so the bee lasts four months instead of three to allow for life to get in the way of sewing. Also, some of us choose to make an extra block each month for a Quilt of Valor. I really dig this this type of bee because it’s a short-term commitment with a sizable and creative yield.