Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Hive 1, July, Take 2

 Hi again,

Sorry for the confusion this month. I got really excited about the new technique is found in the twirly cathedral block and didn't consider the fabric. Ironically, that was actually my backup block - the first one I'd thought of involved squares inset in circles and I just couldn't explain it when I tried to write it up, so this is sort of take three. Anyway, the new block is flowers based off a hollyhock quilt I saw on Pinterest some time ago. I hope you guys enjoy it. 

Fabric selections : for all fabrics please choose solids/blenders/small pattern/tone on tone. Something that reads as the color of choice. 

Pinks:  Cut 4 [5.5"x5.5"] squares. The final piece will have dark, medium and light. Please pick one of the following options for your 4 squares. (I'm trying to stay in true pinks/mulberry rather than edging into red.)


  1. All dark
  2. Dark/medium
  3. All medium
  4. Medium/light
  5. All light
Some possible pinks I found


Medium green: 
  • 2 [4.5x4.5"] squares 
  • 2 [3.5x3.5"] square
Dark green
  • 1 [1.5x10.5"] rectangle

Light blue:

  • 2 [3.5x3.5"] squares

  • 2 [2.5x2.5"] squares

Cut fabric

Putting the flower together:

Most of this block is just snowballing corners. We'll start with the pinks. On each pink square line up one 3.5*3.5" square (you'll have two blue and two green). Stich along the diagonal, them trim 1/4" from the seam and press back. 

Next up is yellow. We'll be adding yellow to I've pink/blue square and one pink/green square. Line the yellow block up on the opposite point from the green/blue. Sew across the diagonal, trim 1/4", press back. 

Putting the flower together: sew together the two squares with blue corners, keeping the yellow to the inside of the block. Press away from the yellow. 

Repeat with the two pink/green squares. Before stitching, ensure that the yellow triangle will end up kitty corner to the yellow triangle in the blue set (see above). 

Sew together the pink squares with the yellows in the center. 

This section should finish at 10.5x10.5". 

Making the leaf:

Line the blue 4.5" squares up on top of the 10.5x4.5 green rectangle. 

Sew diagonally across the blue squares ensuring that your stich lines are parallel. It's up to you which diagonal to sew (upwards towards the left or upwards to the right, see picture for clarification). Trim 1/4" from the seam and press back. 

Stitching options for leaf. 

Stitched leaf, pressed open. 

Add the dark green strip to one long side. Stich and press. 

This section should finish at 10.5x5.5"

Leaf options with stem added on. 

I'm not going to have you attach the flower to the leaf because I'd like to mix up the greens once I have them. So finished you'll have one flower with an unattached leaf. 

Sorry again about the confusion this month. Since the pattern is up late, don't stress about having it out by the end of the month - there'll be a time extension. I am going to leave the other tutorial up - I really do love the technique and the final block there. If you ever decide to try it please post a picture! 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Hive 4 July Tutorial - Christmas in July

Hey team! My apologies for the late posting of this tutorial, and many thanks for being patient with me. Most of you have already since this on Instagram (since we are an Instagram hive) but here it is in blog format for posterity sake. Or something. Ha. 

My family and I were on vacation in Florida, and I'm going to go ahead and count it as a huge win that I finished and mailed my June blocks and finished all the photos for this tutorial before we left. We took the kids to Disney World for the first (and probably ONLY) time -- that place is expensive! Regardless, we had a blast. Walked over 20,000 steps every day we were there (kids probably more: small legs, you know), hit as many rides as we could, explored, ate, and had a blast. Then we went to the beach for 3 days to recover from our vacation. Ha!

Seems weird to be making Christmas blocks in July, but maybe, just maybe, this might ensure I have a Christmas by Christmas. Though, honestly, we're probably talking Christmas 2023 at the earliest. This is an easy, peasy block, and goes together really quickly. It's improv, so really, do NOT over think it!!

This is a Christmas quilt, and I'm sticking with classic Christmas colors. Please choose bright, saturated reds and greens as well as Christmas prints in those color and low volumes. Reds should be "true red" not burgundy or trending towards orange. Greens can veer toward the yellow end, but please stay away from olive/army or dark spruce greens. 

This is improv, and I'm not telling you what size to make your trees. I'll fill in the spaces when I put the quilt together. Here's what you do.  Cut a couple rectangles of the same size: at least 2, but you can stack up to 6 or so. Make 4 cuts as indicated below. 

Now that you have cut your improv tree shape, mix and match the triangle (tree) with the background. 

Add a strip of gray or brown to the middle of the bottom background pieces for the tree trunk. 

Flip the tree fabric so it's right sides together with the first background piece. The first piece you sew will be the background size with the angled cut, not the one with a single straight cut. The tip of your tree should stick out at the ¼" mark. Sew with a ¼" seam allowance. 

Since this is improv, we didn't include seam allowances, and the background will not match up with the base of your tree when you finish sewing. Sew the other size of the background on to the other size of the tree. Sew the trunk into the base background pieces. 

Trim the base of the tree top and the top of the tree trunk so you have a straight edge to line up . Sew the 2 pieces together. 

Repeat for the remaining trees. Square your blocks to any size. 


Friday, July 1, 2022

Twirly Windows, July Tutorial, Hive 1

 Hello hive,

I've been playing around with folding fabric to get fun shapes and so for this months block I'd love you all to try a fun variation on a cathedral block. I'm still not sure what the actually name of the block is (I've found it under a few different ones) but I'm going with twirly windows. 

Finished block

This block uses three fabrics: 1 dark, 1 medium/light, and one white. I'd love it if you could pick something that reads as solid from a distance - tone on tone, blenders, solids, small patterns. With regards to colors, cool jewel tones would be great. Here's a picture of some pairings I pulled from my stash. The patterned piece is what I'm hoping to use as a binding. 

Color picks and binding option

Please note that this pattern uses quite a bit of the white/off-white. Feel free to make the whites scrappy. If you go scrappy, I'd love it if you really mixed up their placement in the block, rather than having the same ones right next to each other. 


    4 [8.5*8.5"] squares of the dark fabric

    4 [8.5*8.5"] squares of the medium/light fabric

    12 [8.5*8.5"] squares of whites - scrappy totally good

Cut squares


A lot of this block is actually folding. Fold each of the white and dark squares in half along the diagonal, creating a triangle. Press. At the end of this step you should have 4 [8.5*8.5"] squares in medium, 12 [8.5*8.5] triangles in white, and 4 [8.5*8.5] triangles in the dark fabric. 

Folded fabrics


This is the fun part. We will be making 4 quadrants. For each quadrant you will need 1 medium tone square, 1 dark tone triangle, and 3 white tone triangles

Start with 1 of the medium tone squares. Place 1 of the dark tone triangles on top of it, lining up in the bottom right corner (shown below). (No sewing yet)

Add two white triangles, moving clockwise around the block (lower left corner, then upper left corner). Each triangle should be laid on top of the one previously placed. 

Addition of 1st white triangle

Addition of 2nd white triangle

Before adding the last white piece, fold the dark triangle down. Place the last triangle in the upper right corner, then unfold the dark triangle. 

Dark triangle folded back to allow the addition of the 3rd white one in in the upper right corner

Adjust as necessary to ensure you are lined up with the medium square underneath. Pin all pieces in place and sew a 1/8" seam around all four edges of the block. 

For those having difficulty visualizing this step. I found a great video tutorial of the technique here

Repeat with remaining pieces of fabric, for a total of 4 quadrants. 

4 quadrants with 1/8 inch seams. 

Putting them together 

Line the blocks up to create a pinwheel (shown below). 

Final layout

Sew the upper two squares together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press towards the dark triangle. 

Repeat with the bottom two squares. 

Sew upper and lower half together (seams should nest), with a 1/4" seam allowance. (This gets a little bulky)

The finished block should measure 16.5*16.5". 

Finished block

You may be thinking, "this doesn't look like the block in the first picture". To achieve the window portion of the block each of the triangles will be folded back, creating a curve and exposing the medium tone block below. However, I'd like to do this after all the blocks are assembled to ensure I don't lose any points. To see what your final block will look like you can pin the fabrics back as I've done below. 

Finished block, pinned open

I hope you enjoyed trying this piece. I can't wait to see your windows!

Hive 2 JulyTutotial - Star Block for Evann

Hello!  This month is a modified Star Block by Monica Solorio-Snow from the! I found it on  It should end up to be 12 1/2" square, but mine only came out to be 12", so I might need to practice a little more...

My color scheme is a soft sunset of navy/fuchsia/coral/purples/pinks. There's even some metallic gold in mine.  I find these colors so relaxing and beautiful- maybe as a city girl I'm missing a peaceful sunset on the beach...

For the color fabrics:  I'd prefer prints, and I love anything natural (flowers, bugs, birds) in a print, or other types of interesting prints.  Just no holiday/branded/baby prints please, and prefer no batiks.  I love a scrappy look or you can use the same fabric for each section, just prefer an overall symmetrical appearance in the colorways. No straight primary/secondary colors- looking for muted or further mixed natural colors.  :)

For the border and center square: white in a medium to low volume print.  Can be scrappy!  I'm fine with any sort of cute or interesting low/medium volume white (just no branded, holiday, etc), and the center block can be a little more interesting if you want (as long as a white background), or they can all be the same!  

Here are my pulls:

I would like the look to overall be symmetrical, but you can choose the location of the colors, including if you want the chevrons and the bear-paws to be the same all around the outside, or all the chevrons are similar colors, etc.  

Thank you so much!  I am so excited to see your work!

July hive 3 Ghost Block for Carolyn

Hi friends. This month I’d like you to make a Ghost block.  It works into an 8” block with fairly simple techniques, and you get to practice tiny flying geese.  This block will have 2 eyes that you can add any way you like- appliqué by turning edges and hand stitch, machine zigzag around the edges, or you can use the circle-in - a- circle technique we learned with the February circle block.  Take creative license with the eyes, can be any shape you’d like so long as it reads eyes.  You could use your background fabric or another dark fabric.  

Use 2 fabrics, one light and one dark.  You can use halloween fabric if you’d like but you do not have to.  For the ghost fabric any print or solid that reads light.  Such as White, cream, tan, gold, silver, light pastels.  For the background any print or solid such as black, charcoal, dark grey, maroon, blue, green, purple so long as it reads dark.

Step 1: cut fabric
From ghost fabric:
1 piece 6 1/2” x 6 1/2”
4 pieces 1 1/4” x 2”

From background fabric:
2 pieces 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”
8 pieces 1 1/4” x 1 1/4”
2 pieces 1 1/2” x 7 1/4”
2 pieces 1” x 8”
2 roundish pieces for eyes, size individual preference

Step 2: create the ghost. Draw a diagonal Line on wrong side of all 1 1/2” squares and all 1 1/4” squares of the background fabric. 

Lay one of the one and a half inch squares On top of the 6 1/2” square of ghost fabric right sides together on the upper right and left corners. Sew along the diagonal line, trim 1/4” seam and press.  

Step two:  Construct flying geese. Layer one of the one and a quarter inch squares of background fabric on top of the one and 1/4” x 2” piece of ghost fabric, Right sides facing. Stitch on your line, trim seam to a quarter inch and press. Repeat with another 1 1/4 inch square on the other side of the one and 1/4” x 2” ghost piece, press. Repeat until you have four flying geese.

Stitch the flying geese together in a line,  matching background fabric.

Stitch the row of flying geese to the bottom of the ghost fabric right sides together press.

Step 4:  sew background fabric to ghost. There is a little wiggle room. Sew the 1 1/2” x 7 1/4” strips to the vertical right and left sides of the ghost block, right sides together and press.  Trim these even with ghost.  Sew the 1” x 8 strips to the horizontal top and bottom of the block, right sides together and press.

Step 5: sew the 2 eyes to the ghost block out of the background fabric.  If you do not have enough of the background fabric, another dark fabric is fine.  You can take creative license here.  Size and shape are up to you, so long as they read as eyes of the ghost.  You can turn the edges and hand stitch, zigzag machine applique or try that circle in a circle we learned with the february block.

Thanks, Carolyn