Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hive 6 - August 2015 blocks for Tori

Hello from Texas!  Yes - summer weather is in full swing around here.  We actually had a rare cold front come through and it's only 97 here today but will return to the 100 plus degrees on Monday.

Tori requested four 6-1/2" square in square units with brights jewel tone center and light to medium grays for the corners.  It was hard to choose the colors.  I did decide I need more light to medium grays in my stash!

Stashbee 2015 Hive 6 August block
The sun was bright when I took this picture so they look almost too bright. But I really like how they turned out.

Tori's questions:  1.  Have you ever been to or are you planning to go to a retreat and 2. If you've been to a retreat, what are some tips for making it a great experience.  Well, I've not been to a retreat nor am I planning on one anytime soon.  Maybe sometime I'll take that leap.  

Hope everyone has a great month!  

Take care,
Nancy D.

July blocks, better nate than lever

Wow, these look so much better in this picture than they do in real life. The stars were a real challenge, as dyslexic as I am. So many strange angles. Thank you Tiffany for the challenge.

{Hive 7} August Block for Carla

This was such a fun block and I can't wait to see everyone's block come together for your calm and collected block. I hope that I captured the spirit in your quilt and I hope that mine will mix well. I have a lot of strong colors in my stash and not a lot of low volume, so I tried my best for you!

The calmest colors I had in my stash to add to your quilt.
The question of the month is: If you ever decided to get a tattoo, what would it be a picture of and where would you put it?

First off, I'm so terrified of needles and I'm not sure if I could or would ever get a tattoo. I'd probably be like Phoebe on the show, "Friends" and get a dot and stop the person from giving me a tattoo. I'm not up for pain like that. i most likely would do a henna tattoo where it's temporary and if I did that I would most likely do something to represent my angel babies that I lost through my miscarriages this past year and a half. I know that's sad, but I would do that to give me hope to keep trying for another baby but to not forget those I've lost. And if I did that i'd probably do it on my ankle, where I can look down and see it or on my right arm, underneath. I'm not that showy of a girl and I like to keep somethings close to my heart, yet hidden for me to see.

Sorry if my tattoo is too deep, but that's what I'd probably do. {The no needle kind! ;)}

Squares for Tori

Hello, Nela here.  I had fun picking out colors for Tori's block and realized that I didn't have as much appropriate gray as I thought.  Don't get me wrong, I have gray fabric, just not the kind that works best with the corners.

I have not gone on a retreat yet, but am looking forward to it in September.  I am looking forward to getting to work on finishing up projects that I started last month at A Quilter's Affair, in Sisters, OR.  I also can't wait to have more time to visit with my fellow Eugene MQG peeps.
Happy August and stay cool if you are in the states.

Hive 7 for Carla

Hi friends,

This is Lori (Hive 7).  Since I will be out of town two out of the four weeks of August,  I'm thankful  Carla posted her tutorial a little early.  Here's my blocks for her.  I can never make just one.

She asked us about tattoos.  No tattoos for this girl, no sir.


Hive 9: August Tutorial - Flying Geese Blocks For Shauna

Hi all, Shauna here and I can't tell you how excited I am about "beeing" the queen this month. My only problem was selecting a block. I have looked at every month's tutorials and thought "mmmm maybe I should pick that one". Not to mention the million other blocks I've seen on Pinterest. I've debated back and forth numerous times on what to pick and I finally decided on Flying Geese blocks. I saw Carolyn's March Hive 3 block and was intrigued. So I started researching Flying Geese and found a quilt that I really loved. The geese were all the same size, and go in lots of different directions.

So I began looking at construction of the block, and decided I wanted 3 x 6 inch geese, and I want them to have some consistency. So I think the easiest way to do that is to make the 4 geese at a time method.  I found a great tutorial for this method on Happy Quilting.  You will need to cut 5 pieces for each side of the block. With this method you get 4 geese all in the same fabrics, so you will need to do it twice to make the block. Now the trickiest part of this block is deciding on the size of fabric to cut. I've found there are two philosophies going around. The first is cut exact and not have to trim and the second is cut larger and trim down.  I like the second way best, but I will give you sizes for both ways.

            Cut Exact
            Geese (color)           Cut 1 7  1/4  X  7   1/4
            Sky (low volume)    Cut 4 3  7/8  X  3  7/8

            Trim Down
            Geese (color)           Cut 1 7  1/2  X  7  1/2
            Sky (low volume) Cut 4  4  1/2  X  4  1/2

Now for fabrics, I want the sky fabric to be low volume fabrics. I would prefer no solids, but tone on tone (white/cream) prints fine or one solid would be alright. I want a mix of whites and creams, so either or both are fine. Here are some fabrics I pulled from my stash.

The geese I want to be bright saturated colors. I'm really open on the colors, because I want it to have lots of different colors. But I want each side of the block to be different colors. I love Tula Pink, Allison Glass, Basic Grey, Amy Bulter and all of the Cotton & Steel designers. But to be honest, as long as it is not batik or novelty and a saturated color, I'll be happy.  My favorite color is purple, but I'm looking for all colors. Even a black here or there wouldn't be bad. Here are some fabrics I pulled from my stash to give you some ideas. 

I know you've really been waiting to see my blocks, so here they are. I've made a couple, because I love big quilts and I will most likely add to the blocks I receive to make a bigger quilt. If you look closely below you will see that on the left side the geese go in one way but in the middle row they go in the opposite way. It is very important to for you to know...I don't care which way you pick.  I plan on the geese running in all different directions, some even laid in sideways.  So don't worry, I'm good with either way you assemble the block.

And last but not least is my question for this month. When I was a kid my grandmother made two quilts for my mom that were "everyday" quilts (simple 9 patch quilts). They were always in the living room, to be used if we got cold, wanted to build a fort, or lay on them to nap. And I want to quilts like that for my niece and nephews (who are all now grown). I want them to be different, but still somewhat what is your favorite easy quilt pattern?

I can't wait to see what you create and I hope you have as much fun making these blocks as I've had making blocks for you.  

Hive #1 August Tutorial

Hi!  I'm Jennifer, August Queen and Birthday Babe for Hive #1.  August is totally my month!

Since I don't blog, I'll give you the very short bio.  I'm a Sooner at heart!  Graduated from OU with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and puttered with military airplanes for awhile and then it happened-my appendix gave up in a very weird way.  Long story short, the doctor told me I probably should have been a "nurse or something" because I had the "nurse curse".  Five years later, I graduated from nursing school.  I still have the "nurse curse", but manage it around working in the emergency department and my family.  I have a very British husband, a seven year old daughter, three ginger tabbies, and these two guys, Knuckles and Bernie.  One corgi there may be an imposter.

So I wrote the tutorial once...and then I made the Japanese x and + block.  And I hate it.  So I changed my mind.  Sorry anyone who read the draft....

I'm going with the "curved log cabin" x 4 block.

I'm not a skilled tutorial writer, so bear with me and the iPhone photography.

For this block you need 1.5 inch strips in low volume fabric and 2 inch colored strips.  I don't precut logs for log cabin blocks,

I started with a 1.5 x 1.5 inch block in a low volume fabric.

To that, I added a 2 inch colored strip.  Then I pressed. To the DARK side.  Muhahahahaha.

Then a 1.5 inch low volume strip.  Trim and press.

Then again with the low volume, then an lovely 2 inch colored strip.  Do I need to keep going with the trim and press?

And again.

And we are done.

Total count here is five colored strips and six low volume strips.  Finished section looks like this:

It measured ~7x8.  I'm not worried if it's bigger or smaller or wonkier.  I promise, it's all good.

You'll make four of these, which combine into a circle.  Visualize the other half appearing here soon.

I noticed after looking at this picture for awhile, that the two blocks are different.

Edit:  I figured it out!  On two blocks, the low volumeish fabric goes to the left, which I called the left hand block.  The other two, the right.  Right hand block!

And the finished block:

Fabric choices:
Scrappy.  Low volume for the background, pick a color for the main. Light Pink, Dark Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Green, Turquoise, Light Blue, Light Purple, Purple  My goal is to have a rainbow of these, so I'm hoping not everyone makes orange and yellow (ick!!!).  I like fun prints as you can tell from the rocket ships, but stay away from say, Minnie Mouse or something like that.  My sample block isn't very scrappy--I'll get more scrappy when I make another.  I'll also aim for more low volume background, please.

If someone knows of a better tutorial out there, link us up!

EDIT:  And I forgot, a question....uh, show us the fur babies.  Let's hear all about those cats and dogs and iguanas that you love!

Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Hit me up at jennifer.a.bloxham *at* and we’ll get it all straightened out.  Hakuna Matata!

Hive 6 August Tutorial - Keepin' It Cool!

Squares Can Be Cool!

Hi All! Tori Here!  (short for Victoria)  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer (and Winter in Australia)!!  I can't believe its already my turn as Queen Bee....Yeah!   I live in Camden Maine (Mid-Coast).  We currently have tons of tourists visiting us.  It's the busiest time of the year.  The nice thing is as you walk down the streets you realize there are people from all over the world visiting your little town and it makes me appreciate what I usually take for granted.  

Because August is a busy month with summer winding down, and the temperatures tend to get pretty hot (here in the states), I'm opting for an easy block for everyone.  In fact I did a dozen blocks in under an hour.  I could have done even more, but I had to finish up my blocks and projects before I go away on vacation the first week of August...woohoo... drinks and a pool!!!

So I've chosen the Square in Square block.  I'd like if you could make a block of 4  6.5" squares, not sewn together.  My color palette is brights/jewel tone/rainbow tone on tone or solids for the center ( batiks should be fine) and light to medium grays for the corners.   I'd ask that you not to sew the squares together but to keep them separate so that I can have fun creating a cool design with all of them when we're done.  

 A sample of my color palette:

 my corners:

Many people know how to make this block, but I've linked a great tutorial for you:

And here is how I did mine....
cut 1- 6.5" center color block and 4 - 3.5" background squares for each block

Trace a diagonal line on the reverse side of all the gray squares and place two on opposite corners and sew on the line.

Trim 1/4" from the sewn line

Press corners open

Repeat with remaining two corners

TA DA!!!!

And Here are my blocks!

I'd love it if you could include a square of solid fabric with your name and state/country you're from written in the center so that I can do something cool on the back of my quilt.  No smaller than 4 1/2" please.... if you have questions, don't hesitate to e-mail..... hellokitkat04843 at gmail dot com

And last but not question of the month.... This November I will be attending my first retreat.  I'm heading to Ann Arbor Michigan for Glamp Stitchalot put on by Pink Castle Fabrics.  There will be some great teachers and a lot of inspiring quilters from around the world.  We're creating a medallion quilt.  So my question is a two part one...1.  Have you ever been to or are you planning to go to a retreat and 2. If you've been to a retreat, what are some tips for making it a great experience.

Enjoy and Thank You in Advance!

Hive 7 August tutorial

Hello! This is Carla from Granny Maud’s Girl, and it is my turn as queen bee. Hurrah!

I have chosen what I hope will be an easy block for all my hive mates. It is just a 16-patch block with pinwheels thrown in randomly. What I hope will make this block special is the fabric and colour choices.

I have only made the test blocks, but I have already got an idea for a name for this quilt: cool, calm and collected. It will be in cool colours, it will have a calm overall effect and it will have been collected from my lovely hive mates.

Here is one of my test blocks.
I drew a rough impression of what the finished quilt might look like.

Fabric and colour choices

I would like a quilt that coordinates with our bedroom. Using the Jose Barbera print on our wall as a starting point, I made a colour collage.

This print hangs in our bedroom and gives an idea of the soft colours I would like.

The main colours I would like to see are white, cream, sand/taupe, grey, blue and lavender. I would also be happy to see green. The colours of this print plus green appear elsewhere in the room.

Background fabrics:
  • white and cream, tone-on-tone or prints with these backgrounds
  • soft grey, taupe, blue, lavender and green prints on white, cream or pale grey backgrounds
Pinwheel fabrics:
  • mostly light blues and lavenders
  • occasionally a pale grey, taupe or pale green
Fresh, modern fabrics or timeless classics like spots, flowers and stripes are preferred.

Stay with cool colours and avoid warm colours like pinks, oranges and reds. Please avoid low-volume prints with black designs in favour of lighter colours. I fear the black will stand out and dominate among such pale colours. A tiny amount of yellow can sneak in, as you can see in the prints I have chosen.
You can see my stash is heavy on the background fabrics and greens but light on suitable blues and lavenders for the pinwheels. Perhaps you can help me with the sky blues and lavenders?
The pinwheels can have a bit of contrast between the background and the colour or be low contrast.

Please avoid over-using solids. One or two squares in each block is fine if you have nothing else, but a whole block of solids will not suit the effect I am trying to achieve.

Please completely avoid batiks, hand-dyed fabrics and novelty prints. I really do not like them.

Please avoid dark and saturated colours, and try to keep the colours really soft. It might seem wishy-washy, but wishy-washy and restful is what I hope to end up with. Think of a sun-bleached beach effect.

If you do not have enough fabrics, don’t go shopping. It is Stash Bee, after all! If you just have a few appropriate fabrics, send me unsewn squares and pinwheels in what you have and I will mix and match them with my unsewn squares and pinwheels to make up blocks full of variety.


The block is a 16-patch, and it has a finished size of 16½ inches. Each simple square or pinwheel is cut to 4½ inches and has a finished size of 4 inches. If you use a correct seam allowance, your block should finish at a perfect 16½ inches.

Cut as many plain 4½-inch squares (up to 16) from your background fabrics as you decide.

You can put in as many or as few pinwheels as you like. You can even send me a block without pinwheels.

Making pinwheels

Make pinwheels using your preferred method.
  • When making the pinwheels, you can press to the darker fabric or press your seams open.
  • Note the orientation of the dark and light in the pinwheels in my sample block.
  • Grain direction is important. Keep your HSTs on the square of the grain as in my sample block.
I made my pinwheels using the following method.
  1. Cut:
    two 3-inch squares of background fabric
    two 3-inch squares of coloured fabric.
  2. Cut each of the four squares in half on the diagonal.
  3. Sew the halves together in pairs, using a quarter-inch seam allowance. Press the seams.
  4. Trim each piece to 2½ inches square.
  5. Sew them together, paying extra attention to the centre join and checking that the direction of the pinwheels matches the picture.
  6. Press.
I use this simple method for making pinwheels, but you can use any method you like.

Block assembly

Assembling the block is easy. Sew the squares and pinwheels in rows of four and then sew the rows together.

To help me join all the blocks, please press them as shown in the picture. If you press the seams in the opposite direction, they will be harder to nest together when I join the blocks.

I have to warn you that my friends know I am a neat-freak. I like joins that join and points that point, but as long as everyone does their best, I will be happy.

Pressing correctly will help me join the blocks.

And here is another sample block.


As queen bee, I get to ask my hive mates a question. If you ever decided to get a tattoo, what would it be a picture of and where would you put it?

Whenever I see people with tattoos, this is the question that first pops into my mind. What meaning does that image have to them? What would I have tattooed if I were a rock chick and not such a pearls-and-cardigans kind of girl?

The closest I ever got to a real tattoo was a fake henna one, painted on my hip where it would not show. Years ago, I went on holiday to Bali with my mum, my mum’s best friend Pat and my grandmother. If this sounds like an episode of Absolutely Fabulous with me in the role of Saffron to you, you would not be far from the mark. Mum and I thought we would get henna ‘tattoos’, and I thought it would be fun to trick my husband into believing it was a real one when I got home. I could not decide what to have painted on, so eventually settled on the Japanese character for ‘woman’. (I am sure my husband had figured out already that I am a woman, so labelling was pointless.) All was fine, but a few days after my return home I woke up one morning with my whole body swollen like a blowfish. I had reacted to something in the paint. Thankfully, a trip to the doctor and antihistamines brought me back down to size straightaway, but the welt on my hip lingered, inflamed and itchy, for about 18 months, even though the paint washed off after a fortnight. I went through all that discomfort and my husband was not fooled for a second. He knew it was fake.

Today, I would probably ask for a tiny paw print. It is frightening how much I adore my little dog. However, given my reaction to a fake tattoo, I would never dream of having another – real or fake.

Hive 3 August Tutorial

If it's August, it must be my turn to be Queen!  Wow - that came up quickly.  This year is zipping along at a crazy fast pace.  I am Debbie and I live in Houston with my lovely husband of 31 years and my 2 dogs - my old Sheltie, Maggie and my medium old Yorkie-that-thinks-he's-a-Rottweiler, Harley.  I also have my daughter's dog this summer - a 7 month old Lab Shephard tri-pawed mix named Hank. His nickname is DestructoDog.  No toy is safe.  Hank and I are currently attending puppy school but I am afraid we may need more than one set of classes!

Until last year, I was a science specialist for our school district.  I currently administer diagnostics on a VERY part time basis.  I am the President Elect of the Houston Modern Quilt Guild and I also belong to a traditional guild in Houston - though my taste is definitely traditional-modern.

My list of quilts to make is so long and it was really hard to chose a block!  I love scrappy and my goal for this Bee was making something from the scrap pile!  I thought I was going with a Granny Square, then toyed with the idea of the Union Jack (too complicated for this bee I decided) but I finally decided on the Winged Square.  It is a traditional block but the application of it makes it modern!  I think it is just about my favorite traditional block.

This block is traditionally done in single colors.  We are going to be different!  To begin, chose a 4.5 inch center block that is predominantly 2 major colors.  A focal block.  It can be a floral, some sweet little animal, something like I used.  But it has to have limited colors.  The more modern the better.  Then you chose the 2 colors that stand out for the wings.  I chose a goldish yellowish orange and a deep pink.  The background is low volume.  This can be white, white on white, text, light grays, low volume.  Please do NOT use creams, beige, brown, black.  Also, please don't use fabric that is very realistic, like a photo of a dog, a sports team.  Try to think modern fabrics.  AND, try to use your scraps.  Some batiks are fine for this!  SATURATED and bright.

Supply list:
1 - 4.5 inch square focal fabric
6 - 3 inch squares of color A
6 - 3 inch squares of color B
2 - 4.5 inch squares low volume background
12 - 3 inch squares low volume background

On the wrong side of your 3 inch low volume background squares, mark a diagonal line, 
corner to corner.

Matching your low volume 3 inch squares with the 3 inch squares of color A and color B, right sides together (RST), stitch 1/4 inch on each side of the line you have drawn.  I like to chain piece this all the way down one side, clip them apart and chain piece all the way down the other side.

Cut your squares apart on the drawn line.  Open the half-square triangles (HST) and press the seam to the dark side of the fabrics.  You should now have 12 HST of color A and 12 HST of color B.

You need to now trim your HSTs to 2.5 inches.  Here is my shameless plug for BlocLoc - I absolutely LOVE my BlocLoc!  It makes trimming these a snap!  

Time to create your layout.  You will have 12 of each color but only 6 different fabrics (since you made 2 HST's from each square) so take care to move them around so the pairs aren't adjacent to each other.  Place one color in the top left area and the other color in the bottom right area.  In both areas, notice that the color points in toward the focal block.  At this point, I took a picture on my phone and kept referring to it as I put the block together - with this many pieces, it is easy to get them out of order!

Begin putting your block together.  I create subblocks of 4 HSTs, then I join the subblocks into a bottom row, a middle row, and a top row.  Then join the 3 rows together and VOILA!  Done!  Please don't trim it up, I will do that to make sure they are all the same size.  

Here are some more examples that I made so you could see my idea of focal blocks, modern fabrics, the 2 colors of each corner, examples of low volume.  I hope this helps!

As for my question - who or what first inspired you to begin sewing?  Did you sew before you took up quilting or did you learn to quilt first?  I can't remember ever not being able to sew.  I wanted a pink Barbie sewing machine so badly but my grandma and my mom told me no, that I would learn to sew on the big machine.  I was about 7.  I made clothes for my dolls.  My grandma could make beauty from rags - she was such an inspiration to me!

Have fun with the block and thank you for creating something fun!