Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jingle Jangle

Merry Christmas! It's such a joy to have a long vacation and to be home with family for the holiday! There's a good base of snow on the ground and it's been cold enough to keep it around so we'll have a white Christmas this year. :)

Christmas at home includes baking cookies & our traditional cherry holiday cake; cooking our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Polish city chicken with all the sides; lots of laughs and hugs and fun! The family tree glows at night and is loaded with ornaments- each one has a story from our travels, events, adventures through the years.  

Wishing you a Christmas season that's merry & bright!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Butterfly Dance

Allow me to show off my latest finish readers - Butterfly Dance! 

This quilt is intended for my best friend's new baby girl and I can't wait to send it their way. 

I reorganized the Butterflies quilt design from Angela Pingel's book A Quilters Mixology so that it was more baby sized. Originally I wanted to use a blue background so it would look like the sky, but while at Hancock's Momm & I found this perfect purple Moda Grunge that picked up all the colors I intended to use for the butterflies!

The pink, orange, purple & yellow prints chosen for the butterflies came from my stash and have a mix of favorites. Piecing the curves is fairly quick and not too tricky - for me, it's cutting around the templates that is the most tedious part of curved piecing.

I used a variegated thread for maybe the first time: Aurifil 3840: to outline the butterflies and then free motion quilt the windy swirls, as well as my signature bee! You can also see the variegated thread in this super close up shot.

The small butterflies are left unquilted on the insides and for the medium & large ones I used coordinating Aurifil colors to stitch wing lines.

Backing fabric is Feather Scallops in Berry by Sandra Rhodes for Free Spirit. Binding is the same as the background fabric and I machine finished it to the front. Quilt measures: 35.5" x 47.5"
Backing detail
It's ready to ship out and I hope baby M loves it forever!
This is another finish from my Quarter4 list for the 2016FAL and linking up at SloStudio for the finale of the 2016FAL.  Also linking to CrazyMomQuilts for Finish it Up Friday. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Giveaway Day with SewMamaSew

Update 12/13:: Giveaway winner is Tamie & has been notified! Thanks to everyone who visited & entered.

Hi friends - welcome to Buzzing Around!  Here you'll find updates about my quilting projects & adventurings!  My quilting style is full of bright colors, I love to try new techniques & quilting is also my day job - where I get to teach people of all ages about quilt making.

It's Giveaway Day over at Sew Mama Sew - everyone's favorite day(week) this time of year! 

Today I'll be offering what's pictured below:

- Grand Canal mini charm
- Poppy Mae mini charm
- 3 pack of Moda Merit Badges

How to Enter:: 
Leave a comment telling me what project(s) you are currently working on!

Details:: You don't need to be a follower to enter - but feel free to join if you'd like to see more! Winner will be chosen by random and notified by December 14, 2016. Giveaway is open through Sunday, December 11, 5pm PST.

Have fun entering all the wonderful giveaways!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Snapshot #26

Happy mail arrived this week! These are the swapped blocks I received as part of the #pineapplequiltblockswap & I love the colors I got back in exchange. Thanks to all who made blocks - it'll be fun turning these happy pineapples into a quilt!

Saturday, November 12, 2016


What I love about making quilts is the love and care and effort that goes into each one. When those quilts are gifted - all of that love and care gets passed onto the recipient. After reading Megan's latest post (canoeridgecreations) about collecting blocks for fallen police officers - I knew I had to make some. Here are my 2 blocks ready to send so they can become quilts full of love and hugs for those who need them most.

Another one of my mini finishes from my Quarter 4 FAL list is my Celebrate quilt! This was my word of the year a couple years ago (yes-this quilt was waaay late) and I came up with this idea to *ha* celebrate it in a quilt. :)

I cut out the letters and raw edge appliqu├ęd them to the quilt. Then I free motion quilted with Aurifil 2415 40 wt. to add events/moments from throughout the year in the rest of it. Such a fun year! Linking this up at SloStudio for the finale of the 2016FAL.

This past weekend I got my act together in sewing sleeves on some quilts and pulled out the 3M hooks so I could *finally* hang up my mini quilts on the wall of my sewing room. This is a small portion of the wall - right above my cutting table. Having these up changes the look of my room and I absolutely love looking at them every time I enter the room! Linking up with Finish It Up Friday at CrazyMomQuilts.
::Quilts shown::
Top quilt- Tour de France, L-R: Celebrate, B! mini, Quiet Play circle of love swap, Bottom L: squid from Caohagan Island quilters

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Swap Spectacular

Earlier this year I joined the #quietplayswap on Instagram hosted by @shoppershaz_swaphost and had us using paper pieced patterns by @quietplay. Her patterns are amazing and a lot of fun to sew so be sure to check those out! I joined the #qpteamlove in the swap - meaning I'd make a 16" Circle of Love quilt and get one in return.

I pulled fabrics from my stash, with an emphasis on orange, as my partner said it was her favorite color. I wanted my design break out from the layout options on the pattern, so it took me a few days to figure out the final layout & color placement. It came together pretty quickly for paper piecing.
This was on my Quarter4 2016 FAL list and linking up at CrazyMomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday. Linking up at SloStudio for the finale of the 2016FAL.

It's quilted with coordinating Aurifil threads in the color pops, machine bound with the background fabric and backed in an orange print complete with hanging corners. My partner received it this week and I hope she loves it!

In return - I received this circle of love quilt all the way from Maine and absolutely love it! It reminds me of a slice of fruit and I can't wait to put it up on my wall!

Friday, October 21, 2016

"I'm not Inclined to Resign to Maturity"

I've got several finishes to start sharing here with you readers. Last weekend Momm came down for our usual Fall quilt weekend. We use the time to make favors for our winter quilt retreat in Jan. & we got through a couple of those fairly quick. Meaning we could work on our own pile of WIPs & brainstorm ideas for finishing them!

The first one I'll share is my Psych-themed mini. It was Day16 in my #30daysofquiltdesign challenge, inspired by both the word quilts made by Jess at Quilty Habit & the pineapple blocks I was making for the #pineappleblockswap.  I used scraps to make up the baby pineapple, and thought the blue background really made it pop.

The words are taken from the theme song to the TV show Psych & Free Motion Quilted with a 40wt. Aurifil in light pink and the rest of the quilting is done with 50 wt. Aurifil in coordinating yellow, green & blue. Momm had the brilliant suggestion of stitching the speech bubbles around the words to help separate them a little and it turned out wonderfully. (Thanks momm!)

It's backed in a lime green plaid print and machine-bound with an Amy Butler Fat Quarter from my stash. Actually, everything for this came from my stash now that I think about it! It measures 20 1/4" square & I put hanging corners on the back instead of a sleeve so it's already up on my wall.
Linking up at Finish It Up Friday with Crazymomquiltsit's my first finish for the Quarter4 Finish Along - original list here - (hooray)!  Linked up at SloStudio for the finale of the 2016 FAL!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Quarter 4 2016 plans I managed to not finish anything from Q3! I did make some progress on that list, but I also started about 6 new projects too, so there's that.   hahaha  Linking up with SloStudio!
 This quarter *should* have actual finishes...

project swap: Joined the #quietplayswap on Instagram for the Circle of Love pattern #qpteamlove -it's quilted now & I'm tying off threads.

project Disco: mostly quilted now so progress is happening on this-hooray!

project celebrate: a word of the year inspired quilt, where I quilted in events that occurred during my 'celebrate' year. All it needs is binding!
 project Radar wave: basted  & needs a plan of action on the quilting

project Marsala-challenge: basted & needs a plan of action on the quilting

project Campfire: fabric pull with inspiration image on the background fabric as the beginnings for this quilt. It's a small challenge between Momm & I to make campfire inspired wall quilts using the same backing print.

project winter quilt: this came to be a quilt top at retreat in January...maybe it could be done by Christmas? Top is complete & backing acquired.

project mini: I'm using the free Moda love pattern to use a different mini charm pack for each block. So far I have 10 blocks sewn & plan to set them on point, so I'm not sure how many I'll need total yet.

project improv: this is still only a top, but I have backing & batting ready to go - waiting on basting pins to come out of other quilts before starting this.

project Medallion: figured out my final border plan- just need to make it happen.

project pineapple: one of my #30daysofquiltdesign ideas, I've quilted in the words 'I know, you know' from the Psych tv theme & need to add some other quilting.

project butterfly: a quilt for baby M - I have templates cut, a modified pattern & fabric pulled for this one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


This Summer I posted more to Instagram instead of the blog (find me there @bumblybzs) so here's a little recap of the Summer.
I run Quilt Camp here at work each June where we have four half day sessions over two weeks. There are three skill levels and we have 60 kids ages 7-17 learning to quilt! As you can imagine, it gets a bit chaotic with up to 20 kids per session but they have a grand time choosing colors & fabrics, using the machines and going home with a finished quilt (about 30"x30") at the end of the week. Our project samples this year:
Samples L-R: Disappearing 9 Patch (Advanced Camp) - Darting Birds (Beginner Camp) - Wonky Plus (Intermediate Camp)

Made it out on the trail for lots of biking, took a Bumblebee Tortuga trip to Lousiville, got to see Pentatonix in concert! Had fun visits home for fireworks, a trip to see the Terracotta Warriors at the Field Museum and surprise Dad with MD crabs for his birthday! Here, summer goes out with the smell of BBQ and good eats at the annual BBQ on the River festival. Ribs, BBQ quesdillas, chocolate-dipped key lime pie, more ribs, tacos & it's always delicious.
Bumblebee Tortuga at Churchill Downs

Terracotta Archer @ The Field Museum


If you visit me on Instagram you'll notice I'm participating in the #30daysofquiltdesign sponsored by Rachel at Stitched In Color and Gotham Quilts. We're in the home stretch and I only have 7 more to go. It's been challenging and creative to draw out quilt designs and I'm already looking forward to making a couple of them.

In September we had Victoria Findlay Wolfe at work to teach a Double Wedding Ring Improv class that I got to take too - so much fun! She was a fun teacher, had lots of great tips and really encouraged everyone. I cut into my long-collected stash of music-themed fabrics and love how it came together.

That should bring us up to speed so welcome back readers and stay tuned!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Quarter 3 wishes

Whew- a whirlwind Q2 left me with 3/6 finishes so I'll be rolling over those remaining 3 to this Quarter [and adding loads more!].  Linking up at SloStudio for Q3!
2016 FAL

project Disco: currently partially quilted so i need to plan a few blocks of quilty-time in my schedule

project Radar wave: basted  & needs a plan of action on the quilting

project Marsala-challenge: basted & needs a plan of action on the quilting

project Campfire: fabric pull with inspiration image on the background fabric as the beginnings for this quilt. It's a small challenge between Momm & I to make campfire inspired wall quilts using the same backing print.

project winter quilt: this came to be a quilt top at retreat in January, so now that it's July...maybe it could be finished before Christmas? Top is complete, so i better get searching for backing fabric & a quilting plan.

project mini: a new project I've got going because I just. can't. stop. :P I'm using the free Moda love pattern to make 16 blocks with 16 different mini charm packs. I've already got 1.5 blocks pieced & the rest of the charms ready to go.

project improv: this is still only a top, but I have backing & batting ready to go. Need a quilting plan

project Medallion: a sample for Junior Quilters club at work that I'd like to finish for my wall. Thinking of adding another border to bring it up to size- probably more improv style with that solid teal continuing outwards.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Project Snapshot

In the midst of prepping for Quilt Camp at work in June, I found out one of my coworkers was moving away - so what else can we do but plan a signature quilt to gift her before she moved?!

L & I tossed a few ideas out and then hit on using Polaroid blocks so that each staff member could choose a fabric to represent themselves. We had a grand time sneakily pulling people down the hall to the classroom where we set out our scrap bins for everyone. It was fun to watch each person dither over different prints before choosing the one that said 'this is me'. 

L & I stitched up the quilt and included two filler blocks using a mini charm of the Dogwood Trail II fabric as it represented Paducah & the Museum. The rest of the pack went into creating the back- a large Polaroid to act as our label.
back- complete with hanging corners
Once the top was complete we snuck down to the different offices and had everyone sign their name on their Polaroid blocks - such fun! Of course, the 'secret project' turned into a project that everyone except the recipient knew about, but we did manage to surprise her!

It was completed in about a week total since we had short notice, but we know it'll be a lovely reminder of her time at NQM & of all of us who will miss her when she moves. Linking this finish up at CrazymomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

mini charm overload

This quilt is my last Q2 Finish - I managed 3/6 which is awesome since this is my busiest quarter.

I've wanted to try a post stamp style quilt, but really wasn't sold on cutting so many tiny squares to make it happen. Enter the mini charm! My favorite pre-cut size for sure as they are great to tuck in a stocking, use as a pillow treat or send in some happy mail envelopes.

But what to do with all those mini charms that stack up? Of course! If I used mini charms as the base for my post stamp quilt there would only be half the amount of 2.5" squares to cut: score! So I paired a good mix of mini charm packs with this bold Kona Glacier solid and went to work stitching squares into blocks (starting at quilt retreat:2014) and then blocks into a quilt top.

Once the top was together I went hunting backing fabric and found several remnants of this Feather Scallops by Zandra Rhodes for Free Spirit print at Hancock's. I pieced those with some solids from my stash that coordinated and had an epic basting session where I actually pinned it from the back. It was a little tricky, and did require some flipping to make sure I hadn't wrinkled the quilt top at all.

Basting from the back meant I could follow the clamshell type shapes on the feather print for my quilting which was a first for me. I used an Aurifil thread that matched the solid fabric in the bobbin and a grey Aurifil in the top thread to blend on the backing. Quilting came in two parts - I did all the line on the feather print that I could follow, then used a marking pen to draw lines in the solid fabrics so the pattern wouldn't be interrupted. It went very smoothly despite all of the seams on the front! 

This one has been sitting on the Finish Along list for a few quarters (original Q2 post) so I'm happy to have it finished and draped over the back of the couch. Linking up at Slo Studio for Q2 finishes.