Bee, Myself and I #1

Despite all my best intentions, I missed my promised January kick off for Bee, Myself and I, Carla’s selfish sewing bee.

I had good reasons, but I make no excuses. I’m here now…

Background cuttingI don’t, however, have a nice stack of lovely blocks to show you. I’ve been prepping piles of pieces (sorry, sorry, can’t resist a bit of alliteration) for my long-deferred, long-desired Hatbox Quilt.

Passionate PatchworkMany years ago, I bought Kaffe Fassett’s Passionate Patchwork. While I’ve never wanted to make any of his quilts, I’ve always loved all his books as a treasury of exuberant colour and pattern combinations. The Hatbox Quilt was an exception. I fell in love with that quilt, and the book has lived for years in my quilting bookcase with a marker permanently at the page showing it.

Hatbox quilt spread Hatbox quilt closeupCarla’s wonderful idea has given me the excuse I needed to start. To begin with, I decided I wanted more consistency of background tone and colour for the interiors of the display than in the original design, which meant selecting a small family of fabrics which will support and showcase the hatboxes without being too emphatic themselves. I also wanted the interiors to be a bit more modern in feel; some of the hatboxes will use quite vintage or reproduction type fabrics, and too much reproduction or busyness is not what I’m after.

Selfish Sewing collectionI have a selection of 26 fabrics ready for the hatboxes themselves. There are 36 blocks, so some of the boxes will have mix and match colours. Now that I have some fairly tedious preparation behind me, catching up and making three blocks a month for the next year should be pretty straightforward (famous last words…?).

If you click through the Bee link given above, it’ll show you everyone else who’s participating, and it’s a sure thing there’ll be lots worth looking at.


See you next month, with the first of the finished blocks!


33 thoughts on “Bee, Myself and I #1

  1. […] over at Tall Tales from Chiconia has started her selfish sewing by planning a hatbox quilt in lovely, rich Kaffe Fassett […]

  2. I have one hatbox block, an extra from a friend’s beautiful hatbox quilt. I turned it into a cushion and it is on my sewing chair. It is a lovely design. Enjoy!

  3. nettyg says:

    Ooooh, nice. Are they attic windows?

    • katechiconi says:

      Basically, yes, but with an appliquéd hatbox in each cubbyhole. I have yet to decide what colour I’m going to make the sashing ‘shelves’, I’ll have to let the block layout tell me that once I’m there. And yes, haven’t I let myself in for lots of Y seams… They should hold no fear for me by the end of this quilt!

  4. norma says:

    Look forward to seeing your progress.

  5. claire93 says:

    ooooh can’t wait to see you make a start on this

  6. knettycraft says:

    You picked so lovely fabrics for the hatboxes! I already love how it surely turn out 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I think the trick will be to make sure they are not too solid and blocky looking, especially with the darker colours. One way to do that will be to use different fabrics for the base, rim and top of the boxes.

  7. How super exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do wit those fabulous fabrics (yes, I too can do alliteration)

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s actually quite hard to believe I’m allowing myself to start work on this project. It’s been my “One day I’ll…” project for such a long time, and Carla simply gave me the push I so badly needed!

  8. tialys says:

    I also have this book which I use as Quilt Porn and I am pretty sure that, at one time, I made one of the hatbox blocks but can’t for the life of me remember what I did with it. I might try to unearth it now you’ve reminded me.
    You’ve got a gorgeous range of fabrics there so it will, of course, be fabulous. Can’t wait to see the progress.

    • katechiconi says:

      I have all his quilt books on the bottom shelf of my quilting bookcase, but this one, which came out in 2003, was one of my earliest. The pattern in the book specifies 12″ finished size, but I didn’t want a quilt that big, so I’m going to make the blocks 10″, which involved all sorts of jiggery pokery with the photocopier and redrawing some of the shapes to add correctly sized seam allowances. I’ve been collecting fabrics for this quilt for at least 5 or 6 years off and on, and some of them I’m still not quite sure about, but I’ll see how I get along. There *might* have to be a little light shopping… 🙂

      • knitnkwilt says:

        You may not have made three blocks, but you sure have done a lot of prep work. I sometimes forget to count my prep work as quilting progress, but it is!

      • katechiconi says:

        It is indeed, and so is pressing heaps of fabric, which also doesn’t make a very photogenic post! I could have cut down on the time by using the templates provided in the book, but I wanted the blocks a different size, so there went that time saving too…

  9. Magpie Sue says:

    What a delightful project for yourself. I seem to remember being drawn to that quilt too, back when I still ventured to open full color books. It’s the applique that would put me off however, not the y seams!

    • katechiconi says:

      I won’t be doing it by hand, I’ll use my machine’s blanket stitch, which is actually what the book suggests. A little washable fabric glue to hold things in place, and tear away stabiliser on the back should help too.

  10. SarahZ says:

    A wonderful opportunity to finally make a project long on your heart, and bookcase 🙂 The fabrics promise a stunner of a quilt!!!! Enjoy!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      It is indeed! I’m not sure why I held back so long, but when I saw Carla’s bee, I took a deep breath and said “Now’s the time”. The box of fabrics came down off the shelf, the book came out of the bookcase, and away I went. Welcome to Chiconia, and I hope to see you here again soon!

  11. Grannymar says:

    Another new project for us to follow, I am excited already.

  12. Grannymar says:

    Work on March’s F2F blocks while planning a further stage of the new quilt.

  13. Debbierose says:

    I adore the tone on tone dots and floral in first pic, there all gorgeous.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m glad you like them, I wanted things which were quite different but which somehow work well together. These are the fabrics for the ‘cubbyholes’ the brighter hatboxes will sit in.

  14. rutigt says:

    I have the same book, cause I also loves his works. I did sew the wedding quilt from this book for a couple that got married last fall 🙂 I think your hatbox quilt is gonna look great!!

  15. Lynda says:

    Well, Kate, I surely missed this post. What a fun quilt to make! As I am no good on curved seams (yet) I will not even attempt this task. Instead, I am busy with the 1857 applique quilt which really had me busy for the past month catching up! I missed the first month… I suppose I really need to make a photo of my progress and post it. It will be fun at the end of the year to see your finished quilt; I know it will be stunning!

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