Saturday, October 1, 2016


Good day to all my Hive 2 Quilters

This is my first year in Stash Bee and I am so loving every bit of it.   I found The Evening Star Block earlier this year and decided that is the block I would like all you gifted quilters to help me make this quilt.   Have always loved blue and yellow, so that will be the colors I would like.   Instead of writing a new tutorial, I am going to give you the link that I used.. However, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at  .  The finished block is 12.5 inches. 

The tutorial can be found at About Quilting   Below are some of the fabrics that I have used.   The only request is that the yellows can be any shade except neon yellow.

As you can see, I used both blues and yellows as the star points.  So again it is up to you as the creative creatures you are to chose blue or yellow as the star point.
On more picture.  This is the block cut out.
So thanking you in advance.

Hive4, October 2016 "Don't Worry, Be Happy" Block

Wow, so tell me, where did the year go?  It seems like such a short while ago that I first signed up, and I remember being so excited to be assigned a hive.  This is where I wrote and published my first blog--ever!  I started sewing in 8th grade and began making quilty gifts as a cheap alternative to department store shopping when I was a poor law student 35 years ago.  After our only child was born, I put sewing on hold and managed my law firm and our son's many activities.  I started quilting again in 2012 when I was recovering from surgery and needed something to keep me busy.  I discovered the world of quilting had changed dramatically with the Internet, and I love it.  Anyone besides me out there recall saying early on with home computing, "blogs-- what the heck are those and who would waste their time reading others' diaries."?  I have numerous blogs I follow and I am absolutely in love with the fabric lines now.  Yes, the quilting world has changed. I taught myself to machine quilt so my hand quilting these days is a bit limited.  I have learned so much, particularly this past year.  Thank you bee mates!!

I have been married to a wonderfully talented writer/carpenter, Steve, for 36 years and live in northern Wisconsin.  I have the pleasure of working in a busy law office 4 days per week for a Tribe north of my primary home, so instead of commuting one hour each way everyday, I stay at our Lakehouse a few nights a week and spend most of my evenings admiring beautiful sunsets over the lake while I sew.  I feel very BLESSED.  I just finished my 75th quilt and I gave them all to family, friends or charity so this is really exciting to get one for myself!  (And I have 100 more that I want to start, right?)

Sometimes I just like to sew without thinking too much so I wanted to make this month an easy block.  I confess that I feel like the Varmit on this block
because I am raiding your scrap box for a finished block that measures 15.5" square.  So here goes:

1.  Pull from your string scrap bin, strings measuring between 1" and 2.5" wide in low volume or very light pastel prints---anything that reads low volume.  

2.  From any low volume or light print fabric, fussy cut a 5.5" x 5.5" inch square of something that makes you happy and share with us why when you post your block. (Well, this one is no so low volume but I like it anyway.

Hive 5 October 2016 Improv Quilt - Go Green!

It's OCTOBER!  What?!?  Wasn't I just basking in the hot summer sun?  Well one glance outside and it's obvious that fall is here, the rainy months have come to the Pacific Northwest, and thank goodness.  I love to sew when it's raining!  The wet evergreen trees out my sewing area window are every shade of green and the red berries are abundant on my neighbor's holly tree.  I love the sweater and leather weather.

Without further ado it's tutorial time and it's going to be painfully obvious that I've never done this before.  Bear with me through this my Stash Bee buddies, it's another IMPROV block request!

My ultimate goal is something similar to this (photo & quilt by the lovely and talented Debbie Jeske at A Quilter's Table blogspot):

BUT I would like you to dig deep into your stashes and come up with DEEP GREEN solids for the backgrounds and a mix of mustard, green, purple and grey blue solids for the "x" highlight pieces.

What really happened here is I volunteered to bind a charity quilt made by my guild (Seattle Modern Quilt Guild) last July and totally fell in love with it.  See inset photo (taken by me at Westport WA).

Kinda didn't want to give it back after I was done if you know what I mean.  The dangers of getting involved.

It was all different REDS and YELLOWS!  I say it in caps because it really screamed red and yellow, it was fabulous. That's it in the photo on the left, it can even compete 30' up with a giant concrete beach front lookout tower!
But red and yellow is a color scheme that's not for my house.  My house calls for soothing mix of dark greens with a pop of mustard, purple and grey blue.

Think deep forest colors with a wild flower or two and you'll see my living room.

Here is a cherished painting which hangs in my living room above a dark leather couch for inspiration (note the sage green living room walls):

If I had a quilt draped over the couch which feels like our mid-century modern painting hanging above it I would be in heaven.

Debbie Jeske, who is a wonderful and talented leader in our guild and has a blog called A Quilter's Table,  kindly said I could use a link to her tutorial for "X Marks the Improv" for my Stash Bee buds this month.

Debbie's tutorial has the unfinished block size at: 12.5" x 24.5" Obviously that is too large for our Stash Bee guidelines so an unfinished size of 12.5" H x 15.5" W is what we're shooting for here.

The block can be made of a couple "x"s or just one, your call.  You know the drill, as you're pulling your fabrics and making you're block the improv will speak to you.  Or was that just the voices in my head?  I get confused...

Here is what I pulled from my stash for the background evergreen tree colors:

Green olive to deep evergreen and blueish green, think forest canopy.

Here is what talked to me for the "X" cut and insert highlights based on the colors in the painting:

For the highlights I pulled everything from lime green and Kona Wasabi to honey mustard for the bright pops.

For the purples I pulled from magenta purples to deep Kona Storm blue, an ultra marine for pop and a very very blue grey.

I used the Kona names above only for reference, I do not wish you to use those exact fabrics unless you have them and want to use them.  I'm not wild about brown fabric as a rule so feel free to leave that one out entirely.  Plenty of brown already in the living room.

Please stick with (any brand) solid fabrics only for this project.  No "tone on tone" either please.  I'd like something that feels very "modern" (whatever THAT means to you) and "improvisational" to go with my mid-century modern art.  I hope I haven't constrained you too much with these colors and requirements and you can let your creativity fly here.

I'd like to post photos of blocks I've done for myself but alas there aren't any.  Yet.  I'll post them as soon as I can.

Thank you so much for what I know will be marvelous and inspired blocks.
It's been an amazing year so far with you my Stash Bees.  You're all so talented and wonderful.

Susan Pray
Shoreline, WA

Hive 7_Queen Bee Tutorial__October_2016

 I’ve been wanting to make the block, Which Way* by Kahtryn Wilson Tucker, for several years.

The 12 ½” square block uses a few partial seams which aren’t difficult if you’ve used them before. If you haven’t sewn partial seams, I’ve provided directions and illustrations below. If the directions aren’t clear, there are tutorials on partial seams on the internet. Here is a YouTube video: 

My color selection is aquamarine (or medium turquoise), butterscotch/goldenrod yellow, crimson red and low volume white (preferably, grey on white; no creams please). I tried the block with a medium gray before I changed the gray to white-low-volume. So, the block construction steps show the gray fabric. Please use white in your block instead of gray.

From each color, cut the following:
1 sq. 5 ¼”
1 rectangle 1 ½” x 5 ½”
1 rectangle 1 ½” x 7 ½”
1 rectangle 1 ½” x 9 ½”
1 rectangle 1 ½” x 11 ½”

Cut the 5 1/4“ square into 4 pieces by making 2 diagonal cuts as shown below. You will only need 1 triangle per block.

Arrange the triangles in color order as illustrated below. The color order is important.

Sew aqua and white triangles (also the red and butterscotch) together. Press to aqua (red) side. Join these sections together with seams facing opposite directions. Press & trim to 4 ½” square if necessary.

Lay out the 5 ½” strips next to the same color in the square.

Starting with the butterscotch strip, sew a partial seam from the crimson end to roughly the middle. The ending point does not need to be precise and please don’t back tack. Press toward strip. Next, sew the crimson strip to the square (the side will include the crimson triangle and the end of the butterscotch strip). Continue in the same manner for the white low volume strip (shown in gray in the picture) and the aqua strip, pressing toward strips.

Finish the partial seam by pinning the unsewn part of the butterscotch strip to the unsewn butterscotch triangle side.

Sew the partial seam by starting about ½“ from where your first partial seam ended (overlapping stitching). Again, please don’t back tack.

Arrange the remainder of the strips as shown below. Each color will form a continuous ring around the block. The block should finish at 12 ½” square.

Begin the second ring by sewing a partial seam with the crimson strip attaching to the butterscotch strip from the previous round. Finish each ring/frame of the block in the same fashion.

Wha-la!!! A beautiful Which Way block! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

* Published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks,  Vol. 8.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Almost Late ... Hive 1 Stars

This month kicked my butt several times over, and for some reason, every time I sat down to do my bee block, something "blocked" my progress ...

I've don't remember ever being quite this late posting and sending a block before ... Sorry, Laura!  Hope at least one of these work well with your vision.

September Hive 8 Block

Hi All,
Well to say that September has been busy would be an understatement! Traveling and a crazy demanding job has me spent but I was determined to get this block finished.  I will be honest and say that it took over 12 hours, resulted in lots of "oops" blocks, a lot of scraps and a very frustrated hive mate...

but I stuck with it and got it done.  While I have paper pieced many blocks for some reason, I just couldn't get all the components right on this one.  Oh, there was too short of piece... see pic below...
Yep, see that little triangle on the corner that's not suppose to be there?  And then there was getting the wrong colors in the wrong order...
Yep, those are all oops blocks and the geese not flying in the right direction.. but never fear paper piecing for with enough hours and determination you will prevail!
YES!  and I love the way it finally turned out!  I may actually make some more of these to go with my oops blocks for a quilt... ;-)

Lisa M

Under the Wire (but just barely) - Stash Bee in September (Hive 7)

Anja chose a great, fast, easy, modern and very impressive block!
Der Block den sich Anja gewünscht hat ist schön, leicht und flott zu nähen, modern und sehr beeindruckend!

And here is my block:
Und hier ist mein Block:

Sew them together randomly, she said. Random is not easy!
Die Blockteile willkürlich (planlos) zusammennähen, hat sie gesagt.  Willkürlich ist nicht leicht!
The block was mailed today - on the last day (not proud of that)
Der Block wurde heute abgeschickt, am letzten möglichen Tag (darauf bin ich nicht stolz) 

September's Block-Hive #4

I really thought that this block would be more difficult than it was.  I am not completely satisfied with my dimensions, so I'm trying to finish up a second block to add to this party!  I could definitely

 see myself using this block in the future!

Hive 9 September Block

Here is Allison's candy block - I hope you like it! Her instructions were easy to follow and the hardest part was deciding on fabrics and colors. Since there were hardly any green blocks, I decided to go with some Konas and a geometric print. 

Hive 1 Block for Laura

Sometimes I feel like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.... "If I only had a brain"

Here's my block for Laura...I went "pinkish" this month.  This is sure to be a very colorful and playful quilt when its done.  Of course I finished the block weeks ago and posted it on Instagram...but forgot to post it here.... My bad!

I sent it out last week, so hopefully Laura has already added it to her collection.....

Brrrr... Its starting to get chilly here in Maine.