Thursday, August 27, 2015

Introducing...More Interleave Quilts!!!

This month's guild meeting Show and Tell was jam-packed, including quite a few Interleave quilts on display...woo hoo!!  
Parade of Interleave Quilts!!
Several of the quilts displayed were started during the July demo, so it was really nice to see them in person and beautifully finished.
Renee and Irene finished Interleaves
And then several members are just joining the Interleave fun.  When they weren't able to attend my demo, fellow guild members helped to unveil the magic of creating Interleave quilts.  And they experimented with the process to create some very exciting Interleaves.  Martine (left) went with a table runner size, but when she didn't have a wide enough strip, she improvised by inserting a thin strip of black fabric.  That pop of black really adds a lot of interest to the design!!  Trish decided to slice up her two tops using different widths, adding yet another design element.  She also rounded her corners when facing her quilt.  Welcome to the Interleave club!!
Martine and Trish mixin' it up!
Ileane's Interleave
And then there were several members who are moving onto their next Interleave.  Several participants created longer Interleave quilts to make some terrific table runners.  Ileane took on a patriotic theme as she incorporated red, white and blue strips and stars into her Interleave. L Wilkinson (top picture-right) chose a fun assortment of fabrics to create a really dynamic table runner (I am bummed I didn't get a better detail shot).  

Last but not least--there was the Interleave Obsessed!  Yes, Sandy E came brandishing 4 more finished Interleave quilts!!  For this series, she chose mostly black and white prints, along with a pop of color.  It's official:  Sandie has surpassed me in the quantity of finished Interleave quilts!   

They are all fabulous...job well done all!!   

Sandie E is hooked on Interleave Quilts

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Opportunities to See My Quilts on Display!

This week, the mail man delivered exciting updates about two of my quilts that will be displayed in two different exhibits!!

Hoffman Challenge Update:
The first parcel was from the Hoffman Challenge curator.  Inside contained confirmation that my entry, "We Are the Knights Who Love to Quilt", was chosen to travel with the 2015 Hoffman Challenge and will travel with other quilts in Trunk D (which has its own travel calendar posted online).
"We Are the Knights Who Love to Quilt"
The curators also included an announcement for the 2016 Hoffman Challenge, which will be the "first time Hoffman is offering a digitally printed fabric as the Challenge fabric, and in two versions--black and white!"  The challenge fabric is style #N4240 from the Crystalia Collection featuring butterflies...certainly a huge upgrade from this year's challenge fabric!

I requested a copy of the Judge's comments and greatly appreciated the judges insights:
"Very interesting and creative overall design with fabuous impact using metallic contrasting fabrics.  Piecing points are nicely done.  Nice two sided quilt, however, quilts should lay flat so be cautious adding too much dimension to the back.  Construction of the sword handle needs to be attached better.  Less stuffing in handle might help the handle not stick out too much.  Variety in the quilting and use of combination of colors in quilting thread is effective."
All in all, very positive feedback regarding my design and construction.  I will totally own up to the construction of the sword which was a first for me and I certainly struggled on how best to attach it to the shield.  But I wonder whether quilts that will be displayed as part of this challenge are truly expected to lay flat or rather hang flat?  Oh well...I am proud of the special details added to the reverse side and stand by my design decisions and hope they will surprise and delight those who are able to check out the travelling exhibit and have a white gloved person help show the reverse side of the quilt!

Last but not least, we got our Hoffman Challenge SWAG goodies:  2015 Hoffman Challenge Pin, a large spool of Aurifil 40/2 Mako thread and a fat quarter of Hoffman fabric (not the 2016 Challenge fabric, which also features butterflies!)

2015 Hoffman Challenge SWAG
New Quilts of Northern California Update:
Yesterday I received word that my "Sideways Sine Waves Spirals" quilt was juried into the New Quilts of Northern California exhibit at Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF).  This quilt was designed as part of an online laboratory to help test and refine techniques that will be featured in RaNae Merrill's newest book!  Moreoever, RaNae will be in attendance at PIQF, as she is on the faculty this year!!

The PIQF entry deadline is rapidly approaching, but already, I have 3 quilts that will be on display as part of special exhibits this year, all practically in my back yard--very exciting!!:

If you haven't already, be sure to mark your calendar's for this year's PIQF, October 15th-18th at the Santa Clara Convention Center!!  Hope to see you there!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Lil' Quilting Assistant

Back in the Spring of 2003, I got bitten by the quilting bug and was cranking out new quilt after new quilt for friends and family.  In order to meet my customers' demand, I decided to take on an assistant.  I was looking for someone with lots of spunk and energy to help me finish all these large quilts, but also possess the ability to settle down and focus, so we could work out any design challenges or measurements.  Oh and one final personal requirement:  scruffy facial hair.  Sorry!  But I just love the look of a handsome beard!  After some extensive searching, I decided to take a chance on bringing aboard this young, stray chap named Skippy, whose online resume boasted 2 years of experience mostly roaming the streets of Woodbury, NY, was up to date with his vaccinations and already house-trained.
Skippy's the new hire on his 1st Day on the Job
Yes, he was a bit of a fixer upper, but one look at him and I saw the potential of this scruffy-faced fellow and knew he would be the perfect fit for me!  He joined my team July 17th, 2003.  As he was my first dog ever, the first days were a bit rocky as he settled in and we got better acquainted.  We started with mostly shadow training, where he literally followed my every step.  I was amazed at how quickly he bonded with me and always wanted to be at my side.  We used this time to brush up on his basic manners and learning to be a good canine citizen.

From the start, he was a committed worker, and whenever I tried to give him a break from the intense training schedule, he would cry out for me to come back and keep going.  So it was pretty much 24/7 on the job training (please don't report us to any of the labor unions!)  At this rate, he picked up on things very quickly and we soon gained each other's trust and friendship.

Soon he was ready to learn about my world of quilting.  While he started at the entry level, this dedicated assistant has received numerous promotions and has fulfilled a number of vital tasks and responsibilities!  In exchange for his service, I provided him with two meals of kibble a day (along with quite a few bonus snacks for exceptional performances), a cozy, furnished home with lots of plush beds and chairs to rest after a hard day of work, daily nap breaks, all-expenses-paid vacations, fitness membership, daily massages, tuition for several advanced training programs and a chauffeur to drive him to his spa days to maintain his professional image and take advantage of his free healthcare.  Not a bad benefits package!!
Skippy's perks:  plush bed, kibble and snacks and vacation time

Skippy preferred to work nearby at all times, but did request a scenic view.  He got along with nearly everyone and for the majority of the work day, he quietly performed his daily duties.  But he wasn't afraid to vocalize his thoughts or opinions...especially when it came to the postman, who never got on Skippy's good side.  He had his mischievous side and played a few jokes around the workplace (including his infamous "Wait!?!  Who just farted?" as he high-tailed it out of the room--that lil' stinker!!)  But otherwise, he was easy going, responsible and well-liked by all (ok, except for the post-man)

Here are just a few of his work titles and accolades during his tenure:
  • Head Housekeeper:  Skippy quickly picked up on my preference for a well-organized studio.  He was always respectful to be a tidy office-mate; very rarely making any messes.  Whenever I was in need of nourishment, he stayed close by and immediately took care of any crumbs that may have landed on the floor.  And just like me, he would often be covered in threads and fabric scraps.
"I'll organize these random quilt blocks while you clean up"/"Ok, I'll be your threadcatcher, but I'm ready for any crumbs!"
  • Chief of Security:  Skippy took his security post very seriously.  He did daily patrols to ensure the sacred stash was secure, the finished quilts were safe and that no one entered the studio without authorization.  Once in a while he would sleep on the job, but he sprung into action if he ever sniffed out any dangers.  He was quick to deescalate Susie Qs and Panda's wrestling sessions, especially if they got underfoot of my sewing machine pedal.  He let other dogs passing by the house know to "just move it along."  And don't even get me started on the mailman!!
Keeping watch of the stash, Guarding a Work in Progress and Ready to thwart off attacks of "The Mail Man:
  • Designer/Creative Team:  Early on my quilting career, I did not have a design wall.  So, I used the floor to layout my blocks, audition fabrics and borders.  Skippy would quietly watch on as I shuffled blocks or rows around into a pleasing layout.  Once I got it to my liking, I would walk away for a few minutes and come back with fresh eyes.  Well, occasionally Skippy would see an alternate layout and use these breaks to offer his creative input by rearranging the blocks to his liking.  Oftentimes, his redesign helped me to reconsider the original design and try mixing it up as Skippy suggested.
"Ok, hear me out on this...what if we moved these blocks here and add a 5" border using this fabric?!?"
  • Quality Control Tester:  Who needs the quilt police when you have a dedicated professional who excels in regulating the quality of your quilts.  Yes, Skippy made sure he tested nearly every quilt before it was sent off to enter quilt show competitions, attend wedding parties, welcome new babies and join the homes of family & friends.  Whenever Skippy curled up and napped on any of my quilts, I knew the quilt would bring great comfort to its new recipient.  And I was sure to keep plenty at home for Skippy's comfort too!
Skippy Tested & Approved to be Shared with Family & Friends
  • Face of the company:  While Skippy could be a bit camera shy, he oftentimes helped to model with many of my finished quilts.  Photo shoots with him were always an adventure and would yield quite a few outtakes of him turning his head away, walking off the shoot and making silly faces.  But then he would get into character and we would capture the perfect shot (and if I was lucky, two or three great pictures)!
On camera antics, charm and cuteness!
Skippy provided 12+ years of dedicated service and companionship.  Alas, all good things must come to an end.  Last week, his health started to fail, and after several doctor's appointments, at home care and finally hospitalization, we made the incredibly difficult decision to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday.

Skippy was my first dog, and has been such an integral part of my life, my quilting and inspired my decision to enter the field of shelter/rescue work and animal training.  Up until the very end, he had such spunk and character, and I cherish all our time spent together.  All our wonderful memories made together have been immensely helpful as I grieve over his loss.  I find great comfort in knowing he is up in Doggy Heaven with all the other animals I have cared for and loved, and is waiting to greet me with a happy tail and big ole kiss when it is my time to join him.  
Skippy--Thank you for all your love and joy.  I love and miss you dearly!  Rest in peace my little buddy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pinwheels & Posies

This is my fourth quilt in the "A Focus Through the Prism, Project Quilting" challenge.  August's theme was the Pinwheel block.  

I really liked the idea of creating pinwheels using a drunkard's path block, but dreaded the idea of all the curved piecing that would be involved.  So I cheated (aka improvised) with some 3-D piecing trickery!  EQ7 was used to draft up different designs featuring a pinwheel flower scene.  Green would be the focus color for this month, so I raided my 2.5' charm squares to create a textured gradient of green ranging from dark at the bottom to light up top.  2.5" charms were also used to create the pinwheel flower petals in an assortment of yellows, oranges, reds and red-violet.

Inspired by the back to school season, I pulled out my bottle of Elmer's glue and glue basted all of the units.  For the flowers petal units, one green square was folded wrong sides together on the diagonal and then the raw edges were glued onto the flower petal background square.  Once iron pressed and glue dried, they were then pieced together into a simple 4-patch.  For the petal units, two green squares were folded in half on the diagonal and glue-basted onto the contrasting green square.  Groups of two or four petals were then pieced together to stagger the rows of flowers.
EQ7 Design draft, scrap attack of green squares, flower block layout and basic pinwheels awating 3-D magic
The quilt top was then layered with batting and a piece of backing and pin basted for the quilting magic to begin.  After stitching in ditch along each stem, figure eights were quilted.  Then it was time to add some 3-D fun by turning back the folded green edges to create gentle curves.  Using a walking foot, these curves were stitched into place.  
Bippity, Boppity, Boo--Blooming Garden Scene!!
Additional decorative spirals and dew drops were free-motion quilted into each of the flowers petals, using a contrasting thread color.
Details of my Pinwheels and Posies
Pinwheels & Posies, 20"x20"
I am linking this post up to Persimmon Dreams where amazingly enough, I am the 4th finisher (usually I fall middle of the pack as I scramble to finish my piece before the end of the  month deadline).  I can't wait to see what the other participants create using Pinwheels!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sayonara and So Long Summer Sewing Sabbatical

Florida Family Time
Back in May, I put in my resignation and took some time off from working.  Any worries of getting stir crazy were quickly put to rest as I made a ginormous list of projects, classes, travel and of course quilting!  Here are a few highlights from the past 3 months, which I have affectionately dubbed my Summer Sewing Sabbatical:

  • Connect with family!  First up was flying to Florida to meet up with my mother and brother.  While it was super hot, it was so nice to be surrounded by family!  We also hosted my cousin Crystal here in the Bay Area.
Bonding with Doug
  • Joining a small quilt group.  Mind you, I swallowed my pride a bit by joining a Senior Citizen Community Center before the age of 40, but these weekly gatherings were well worth the ribbing I received from family & friends.  It was such a treat to get to know this lovely group of women and all the lively conversations.
  • Making some great progress on my New Year's Resolutions!!  Besides my 4 dyeing parties, I also spent some time learning Electric Quilt 7 (aka EQ7).  While I still have lots to learn, I was able to comfortably use EQ7 to draft designs for four different quilts and 2 quilt blocks.
Summer Fabric Dyeing
  • Start fun new quilting projects.  It was such a treat to take some in-person workshops and start new projects.  Here are some previews of projects started and are in the works for exciting future blog posts...
Preview of Works in Progress/Future Blog Posts
  • Explore opportunities to take my quilting to the next level.  I've been mulling over all the possibilities of turning my passion into some form of career (even part time).  Not sure what route to take, but I did dedicate some time researching different avenues including pattern writing, enhancing my blog and teaching.  I even had the opportunity to try out teaching Interleaves with a recent Quilting 101 Demo.
  • Complete and Compete in Quilt Challenges.  I managed to complete 5 challenge quilts and make a great start on several more challenges.  I am excited to share that my "We Are the Knights Who Love to Quilt" was accepted into the Hoffman Challenge Travelling Exhibit Trunk D...woo hoo!
Completed Quilt Challenges
  • Land a new dream job!  I hadn't even started my summer sabbatical, when I learned of my dream job accepting applications!  I spent my first week off from work updating my resume and putting together my application materials before the deadline.  But after lots of waiting, an interview and reference checks, I was offered the position.  Orientation starts this Monday.  So while I am excited to start this new chapter in my life, it does mean that my Sewing Sabbatical is rapidly coming to a close.  But I am proud of my accomplishments and hope the momentum will carry me through this time of transition.      

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Falling In Love with Interleave Quilts

I was honored to be asked to lead a Quilting 101 demonstration open to our guild members.  There were a few options for techniques and topics, but in the end we went with Interleave quilts.  Once the topic was finalized, I got to work preparing for the big day:  supply lists, class samples, instructional hand outs, templates, mini practice kits and more.  I got reacquainted with the technique and took my best shot at technical writing for the instructions (which made me all the more appreciative of good pattern designers!!)
Demo Preparations

My excitement grew as I learned 25 members reserved their spot on the first day of sign ups!  And it was just a matter of time before all 36 spots were filled and the wait list grew to 15+!!  Whoa!  Others were very interested in unlocking the mystery behind Interleave quilts that give the illusion of transparency and curves, without any curved piecing involved!  

I brought one of my practice pieces to work on at my small quilt group--and several women watched me work with interest.  Several were quick to sign up for one of the few remaining spots.  They were also a great audience to bounce off ideas to refine the technique.  One brilliant brainstorm was finding an alternate to the background grid foundation, that serves as a reference to ensure straight lines that are all evenly spaced.  Lorrie Cranor--the professor who first developed the Interleave quilts as part of her sabbatical from Carnegie Mellon University--developed her own 1/2" grid using Spoonflower.  While I love Spoonflower, it can be a bit pricey and timely to have fabrics printed.  My instructor, Monica Tong, had us mark our own lines every 1/2" onto muslin--which was inexpensive but took quite a bit of time and effort to prepare.  But one of my fellow small quilt group members had the brilliant idea of using Pellon's Tru-Grid 810.  It is easy to find, already marked with 1" grid and relatively inexpensive, especially if you have a 40% coupon!  I had some leftover from a recent workshop and went to work testing it out on another class sample--and after deeming it a viable alternative, soon purchased an entire bolt to cut up and distribute to demo attendees. 

Becky Barber smiling with her in-progress Interleave quilt
Demo Day arrived, and it just flew by!  Any initial nerves were quickly dissipated, as I was surrounded by fellow quilters and friends who were eager to learn this new technique.  I felt well prepared and comfortable improvising as questions arose.  Once the demo was done, everyone scurried back to their stations to get started on preparing their quilt sandwiches and sewing up their fabric tubes!  It was so exciting to see everyone's fabric combinations unfold to reveal exciting new Interleave quilts.  And no one committed the ultimate pitfall:  using a rotary blade to cut the curves into their fabric tubes.  Alleluiah!!  

Once the basic technique was covered, I also provided inspiration for simple adaptations to create even more exciting Interleave quilts!  Simple adjustments such as number or sizes of the initial strips, different shapes and even angle of the cuts can lead to even more intriguing Interleave quilts--and I encouraged everyone to experiment and have fun!  Several members came back over asking for additional templates to try in future Interleave quilts.

Marian's ingenious trick using blue painter's tape!!
I learned so much from the experience and once back home, jotted down several notes to enhance my instructions for a future session (date/time still up in the air as I start a new job).  One enhancement is thanks to an attendee, Marian, who used blue painter's tape to label her strips, greatly streamlining the process and minimizing any risk of mixing up the order of strips!  Brilliant!!

Interleave Interference for Sandie Ehrman

By the end of the demo day, most everyone was well on their way to assembling their Interleave quilts--some nearing the halfway point!  So I should not have been so surprised to receive an email the very next morning from Sandie Ehrman, an attendee, containing a picture of her nearly finished quilt that was awaiting its faced edge!  Sandie said she would have had a more finished project had she not run into some interference in her own studio.  I got a good laugh from the picture and wrote back that clearly her Interleave was cat tested and approved!    

1st Completed Interleave:  Cat Tested and Approved by Sandie Ehrman
Just a few hours later, she sent an updated photo of the first finished Interleave  quilt, entitled "Cat Tested and Approved"!!  I love it!

That same day, 4-5 Interleaves were being worked on during our small quilt group session.   One lady arrived having pretty much finished hers the night before and only had to finish the edge with binding/facing!  As they continued their progress, several were already planning out their next Interleave quilt, and ready to mix it up with new fabric combinations, dimensions, patterns and more!   

Amy Witherow's Helix Interleave #1
Later that day, Amy posted a pic of her beautiful and finished quilt to the SCVQA facebook page.  She used a gorgeous selection of jewel toned solids and ombres (gotta love 'em!!) that add another layer of interest!!

The following week was our monthly General meeting, and I was very curious to see how many Interleave quilts might be displayed as part of our meeting show and tell.  I was hoping to see 6 or 7 finishes, but wasn't sure as most quilters have several projects in the works at any given time.

Before the meeting had begun, several of the ladies sought me out to proudly show off their wonderful quilts!!  And Sandie was making terrific progress on her second Interleave quilt featuring mostly black and white prints with a pop of red!!

Barbara Beatty Independent Interleave!

Barbara came to find me to share her story.  Unfortunately, she was on the waitlist and did not get into the demo day, but was determined to create one of her own.  So she went online and found Lorrie Cranor's instructions and my supply list and figured it out all on her own, which is an impressive feat!!  Kudos to her, as I had found the instructions and still needed an in-person workshop to figure it all out!!  

And taking over the auditorium!!
And imagine my sheer delight during the meeting show and tell see 18 women get up on stage at the same time and proudly display their finished Interleave quilts (all finished in just 1 week.)  WOW--it was a truly impressive sight!!!  I was beaming inside and out!!

After the show and tell portion, members place their quilts in the back of the auditorium for members to get a closer look during the meeting break.  The interleave quilts took up their own row of chairs!!  It was so much fun to see the range of Interleaves created using different templates and fabric combinations!!

Interleaves taking over the stage!
Top Row (left to right):  Marian Dixon, Becky Barber, Sally Johnson and Amy Witherow
Middle Row:  Mitsuko Sasaki, LWilkinson, Sandie Ehrman (2nd in progress), Terri Schneider
Bottom Row:  Carol McCord, Josephine Miles, Barbara Beatty
Renee Rankin's finished quilt--photographed by her husband Mark

It totally makes my day to receive emails containing pictures of finished Interleaves...thanks Sandie, Amy and Renee!

Equally exciting is that several participants have now become the teacher, as they pay it forward and share their experiences with those members that were unable to attend the demo.  So even more Interleaves are in the works thanks to our generous membership!!

Sandie Ehrman's Black and White Experiment #1 (Interleave #2 for her)

And just like Sandie, several have caught the Interleave bug as they are working on their next Interleave quilt--including several table runners!!

I can't wait to see more Interleave quilts via email and at our upcoming August meeting.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Meadow Mist Midnight Mystery Quilt Along Parts 1 and 2

Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Midnight Mystery Quilt Along with monthly instructions being released from June 2015 through March 2016.  While there is an option to see the final design, I opted to happily play along and keep the final pattern a mystery.

In June, we received guidance on fabric selection and yardage needed for the final quilt which should measure 72" square.  Only 4 fabrics are required, and additional information is available for participants wishing to use up some scraps.  Below are my fabric selections featuring Kona solids (all found in my stash and I only had to purchase a few small amounts to meet the fabric requirements):

  • Fabric A-Chartreuse  
  • Fabric B-Breakers
  • Fabric C-Geranium
  • Fabric D-Charcoal

Bright color palette!!
In July we cut, cut and cut some more!  The instructions were super easy to follow and they maximized full use of the yardage with very little waste!
All my units cut and awaiting future instruction for piecing
August instructions just came out and involve making lots of flying geese units!  I hope to start these during my sew day tomorrow.

As we just got started, there's still time to join the monthly Midnight Mystery merriment!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Crafty Fun with Family

While my blog may have been a bit inactive these past 2 weeks, it is not from lack of activity on my part.  My 15 year old cousin, Crystal flew out for a 10 day visit and we packed in a lot of Bay Area adventure including a trip to San Francisco, Winchester Mystery House, tour of the new Levi stadium, San Jose Tech Museum, Great America theme park, Mystery Spot and zip-lining high up in the Santa Cruz redwood forest.  But we also set aside some much needed crafting time.

Crystal started a fun new bracelet featuring a dog on a skateboard.  Her ipad mini served as a flat surface to stabilize her piece, as well as refer back to the uploaded pattern.  It was a lot of fun watching the skateboarding dog emerge as she completed each row of knots.

We also set aside a fun morning of tie dyeing.  Crystal brought out a fun selection of mostly white cotton clothes to experiment.  And Doug helped whip up a colorful assortment of dyes.

Crystal adding splashes of color while the pups observe
I also dyed some cotton clothing, and experimented with some pearl cotton and embroidery floss.  And to use up the remaining dye, more tray dyeing pimatex yardage!!  I really liked the pearl cotton, which seemed to retain more gradation and brighter colors.  The embroidery floss seemed to turn to brownish hues--which is perfect for fall!  Either way, I will need to find a better way to rinse them out without creating a giant ball of knots.  Luckily Doug was very helpful with helping to wrangle them back into order!
Rainbow of dyes
My colorful creations--tray dyeing, threads, tank tops and t-shirts!
We also hit up a quilt shop where she picked out a fabric featuring space shuttles to use in making her a new drawstring back pack.  After researching some free online patterns, I went to work stitching one up with her new fabrics.  It was a fairly simple construction process as the only difficult part was sliding the cording through the casing.  I did the first pass through and then had Crystal do the 2nd, which she made quick work.
Crystal's Drawstring Back Pack featuring space shuttles
Crystal modelling her newly dyed duds and her gorgeous 1st quilt!!!
I was super excited when Crystal asked to learn more about my quilting and said yes, when I asked if she might like to make her own.  

So I pulled out my bin of fused scraps along with some scissors for her to experiment.  She went to work creating an explosion of color and chose a black fabric for the background, which makes the design truly pop. 

When it came time to deciding on the quilting, I sketched out a few ideas, and she liked the spiral coming out from the center and chose a fun variegated thread. 

With all the important decisions made, it was time to introduce her to Bernie, my sewing machine, and once I got her started, she quickly took over and did all the quilting on her own.  She then selected some bindings scraps and I helped attach the binding by machine.  She even came to my weekly small quilt group and got to do some show and tell with her newly finished quilt!!  She also commented that the process helped her to better appreciate the effort that went into making her bed sized quilt.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Everything Old is New Again Block Challenge #1: Flying Geese

Modern Quilts Unlimited is teaming up with Michael Miller Fabrics to launch the "Everything Old is New Again Block Challenge."    Each month, participants are invited to use Michael Miller fabrics create an updated, modern 12.5" block based on a traditional quilt block.

The inaugural block was flying geese.  Almost immediately, I sketched out an idea with spinning borders containing a row of triangles/flying geese.

With a design in mind, I went to work selecting my fabric palette and found some great prints in the
Lagoon collection.  I then ordered some Marine and Starfruit polka dots, along with Cotton Couture solids in Marine, Acid, Bright White and Clay--and hopefully enough yardage to complete all 12 monthly block challenges with extra for putting them all together into a finished quilt.

While I waited for my fabrics to arrive, I used EQ7 to draft up the final block layout, which would be paper pieced.
Drafting, fabric selection, paper pieced and EQ7 Mock Block
  Here are pics of the pieced block (paper still to maintain the shape/structure while I tackle the upcoming 11 monthly block challenges)
My "North, South, Geese, West" pieced block
Starting August 11th through the 14th, you can vote online for your favorite modern Flying Geese block!  And August 15th kicks off the next month's block challenge!