Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Blocks for Paulette

Hello hive 2.
Rose here and getting the new year off and running.

This was a nice start for the year. Great Block.,
I should have these in the mail by the end of the week.

Friday, January 4, 2019

This is my first block of the year! The January Stash Bee Hive 2 block for Paulette. I wasn't sure this block would be a particular favorite, but with only a few extra seams ripped, because I didn't plan for the correct lineup of fabrics, I like it! Thanks for introducing me to another new block, Paulette. I am pretty sure I will make more!

PS...I hope this is the way I was supposed to post. I didn't see a way to add a picture in the comments.

Valorie (@facetfully on Instagram)

Hive 2 Block for Paulette

I think this will make a striking quilt, Paulette.  I used one of my favorite black and white prints of rollercoasters in it.

I'm curious about your city's name, Kamloops.  Can you tell me its origin?  I love geography and always look up the location of where my blocks go.   It looks like you are between two mountain ranges.

Best wishes, and thanks for leading our hive this year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hive 4 January Tutorial - Penguins

Happy New Year!  I'm Emily and this is my fourth year in Stash Bee and third year as a Hive Mama.  I'm excited to be spending the year with Hive 4!  I started quilting in college in the fall of 1997.  I'm a librarian at a community college in North Carolina where I live with my husband and our 5-year-old son.

This month, we are making penguins!  This is a block by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, used for this bee with her permission.  We'll be making the 12" penguin and adding borders (not in Lorna's original tutorial) to make a 16" finished block.  Here's the link to her tutorial:
Note that you want pages 2-3 for the 12" block.

Your penguin may be fairly classic.
The quilt made from these blocks will be donated to my local chapter of Project Linus, where I am an active volunteer. Project Linus quilts go to kids from birth to age 18 who need a blanket hug.  The Charlotte chapter sends quilts to 45 organizations in a 5-county region, including hospitals, police departments, shelters, and more.

Or perhaps your penguin will be a bit more flashy.
My first test block took me an hour and ten minutes to make, with twenty minutes of that total time for cutting out the pieces. Tip for saving time: I take the units for several steps with me to the machine.  Step 1 (the bow tie) is very fiddly.  By also working on the other sub-units, I got less frustrated at the fiddly parts and felt like I was making progress. It also meant a lot less up and down to my iron. Note: This is fun quilt, not a show quilt.  If things are a little off, especially in the fiddly bow tie, do not worry about it!!!!

You will need 5 different fabrics for this block:

Background: light to medium blues, pretty much anything will work here 
Black/penguin body: black solid, tone-on-tone, or fabric w/ black background & other colors in it
White/penguin belly: white solid, tone-on-tone, or fabric w/ white background & other colors in it
Feet/beak: yellow or orange either solid, tone-on-tone, or with pattern as long as it reads yellow or orange
Bow Tie: any bright color that you like.  I prefer solid for this but if you don't have one, tone-on-tone is okay.  The pieces are so small that any pattern will be lost.

pieces cut out
Fabric to Cut

Background: (1) 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle, (3) 2 1/2" squares, (4) 4 1/2" squares, (1) 5" square, (2) 2 1/2 x 12 1/2" rectangles, (2) 2 1/2" x 16 1/2" rectangles
It's fine if you need to piece together the longer border strips.  I did this in a few of my test blocks.

Black/Penguin Body: (2) 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles, (1) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles, (1) 5" square

White/Penguin Body: (4) 1 1/4" squares, (1) 2 1/2" square, (2) 1" x 1 1/4" rectangle, (1) 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle

Yellow/Orange/Penguin Feet & Beak: (2) 2" x 2 1/2" rectangles, (3) 2 1/2" squares

Bow Tie: (1) 1" square, (2) 1 1/4" x 2 1/2" rectangles

Lorna's tutorial will take you through the penguin but does not include borders.  When you finish with her instructions, your penguin will look like this:

Now take your two background pieces that are 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" and attach to each side of your block.  It will look like this:

Next, take your two background pieces that are 2 1/2" x 16 1/2" and attach to the top and bottom of your block.  You're done!  Your block should look like this:

I'm so excited to see all the penguins!  Did you know that the collective noun for penguins is a waddle?  That's if they are on land.  If the penguins are at sea, it's a raft of penguins.  I'm on land, so we'll make a waddle of penguins!

Hive 5 January Tutorial - Red, White and Blue Stars

Hello Busy Bees!  Welcome to 2019 and an all new year of
Stash Bee yumminess!!

My name is Laura and this is my fourth year with Stash Bee!

The block I chose for this month is super easy!  It took me less
than 15 minutes, start to finish.  However, I have made these before :)

It's my favorite
star pattern ever....created by Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew.  

The pattern is available in PDF for free HERE
{Allison made a gorgeous Christmas Star quilt}

Please use these colors from your stash for the blocks:

bright reds, navy, medium and light blues
and white, white on white, low volume whites, very, very light gray

{inspiration photos}

{my IG friend's quilt}

Tutorial for block:

Cut for one block:
8 - 4" squares for background
1 - 4" square for the center of the star
8 - 3" squares for the star points

Draw a diagonal line on the back of each star point 3" square.
This will be your stitching line.

Place the 3" square in the corner of one of the 4" background squares.
Stitch on the penciled line and cut 1/4" away.

Press corner out.

Add another 3" square as pictured. 

Stitch on the line and cut out like before.

Press star point out.

Repeat on 3 more background squares.

Now the block goes together simply like a nine patch block:

The block will measure about 11" - don't worry if it is not exact as 
I'll be trimming them all when they arrive.

Also, don't worry if your star is a little wonky - wonky works for me.

Have fun and be creative.  

Peace to all,

Hive 1 January Tutorial - Fresh Strawberries

Hello Hive 1!!!

Happy New Year! 
After this holiday season, I hope you still have some red and green left in your stash....

It's snowing outside here in Northeastern British Columbia, and I am dreaming of the long days of summer, drinking ice tea in the sun and eating fresh strawberries. It may be a long ways off, but at least I can sew up some strawberries in the meantime.

I used the tutorial and pattern by Skyberries Handmade. You can find it here 

I recommend following the original tutorial, but I have photographed the steps below, and included some tricks I followed to make sewing a little faster (chain piecing!).

Fabric & Colours:

This block is great for using up scraps. For this block you will need a White, 3 Greens, and 5 Reds or Pinks.
I like tone on tone and near solids, as well as polka dots, gingham and geometrics. I would prefer no prints that add other colours to the block.

White: Please use one fabric for all the white in the block. It can be a solid, or a white on white print. I prefer a bright white over off-white or cream, but whatever you have is fine.

Green: Any shade of green from deep forest green, to apple green and emerald, to lime, olive and chartreuse are okay. Just no teal please. When choosing the three greens, it would be great if there was some contrast between them.

Pink or Red: Please choose either red or pink, rather than mixing both. The block is scrappy, but you only need five different fabrics as the fabrics can repeat throughout the block. However, if you want to use up your scraps you can use more than 5 different reds or pinks, but I didn't factor in the extra cutting time that may require.


Print A:
4 x 2in squares
Print B:
4 x 2in squares
Print C:
3 x 2in squares
1 x 2.5in square
Print D:
3 x 2in squares
1 x 2.5in square
Print E:
3 x 2in squares
1 x 2.5in square

17 x 2in squares and
3 x 2.5in squares

2 x 2.5in squares from print A
2 x 2.5in squares from print B

2 x 2in squares from print C
4 x 2in squares
5 x 2.5in squares

Step 2: Mark diagonals
Take the 5 white 2.5 in squares and one of the Green Print A 2.5 in squares and draw a diagonal line across each square from one corner to the opposite one.

Step 3: Pair up the 2.5" Squares
Pair a marked white square with the three pink or red 2.5" squares and one of each of the green 2.5" squares. Pair the marked green 2.5" square with the other remaining 2.5" square (these should not be the same print).

Step 4: Sew the Half Square Triangles (HSTs)
Sew a SCANT 1/4 inch seam on either side of the marked line. I chain pieced all the units down one side, and then did the same for the other side.

Step 5: Cut and Press HST seams open (to reduce bulk)

Step 6: Trim the HSTs to 2" square 

Step 7: Layout 

Step 8: Assemble All the Pieces!
One trick to assemble the rows quickly is to chain piece the rows. Watch this tutorial from Suzy Quilts for how she assembles a quilt, by chain piecing the blocks. I did the same thing with the individual squares, in order to chain piece the block together. After each row is sewn, press the seams of each row in alternate directions so that when you sew the rows together the seams nest together and are less bulky.

Finished Strawberry!

Hive 2 January Tutorial - Many Trips

Hello Stash Bee 2019.  I am the hive mama for Hive 2 this year.  I live in Canada and have been sewing and quilting for many years.  My children have grown and moved away so I have the whole basement as my studio.  I love to record the Blue Jays games and I go down to sew after supper and watch/listen to the ball game.  Of course, these days I'm watching football or hockey.
I am delighted to be participating again in Stash Bee and digging into my stash to sew for my hive mates and maybe even crash a couple of hives.  I love seeing what everyone posts.  Hive 2 will be posting on the blog and I will be watching IG for other hive posts.  Let's sew.

Since I am the Hive mama, I get to ask for a block first.  This will be an easy one to get us all started.  It is a block called Scrappy Trip on Quiltville by Lisa Calle .

If the link doesn't work, copy and paste the url:

The tutorial I have linked makes completely scrappy blocks.

My request is that 5 strips be black and white.  Either white on black or black on white.  No solids please.
And I would like to request that the 6th strip be a purple fabric.  The purple can be from a blue purple to a red purple.  Tone on tone is OK but no solids again please.  I would like you to place it on the "centre" diagonal at the final sewing of the strips together.  If your column strips do not have the purple squares on the centre diagonal when you open up the loops, you can move the rows one by one to the other side until you have the purple in the outside corners.  Hope that helps.

This is a picture of a fabric pull to get you thinking.  

And this is one of my finished blocks. 

If you have any questions please contact me.  I think the quilt will be striking and can hardly wait to see what you sew together.  Have fun sorting through your strips or jelly rolls. I bet once you sew up one you will want to try another just to see how it turns out.  Have fun bees.    Paulette in Canada. 

Hive 3 January Tutorial - Quarter Log

Timer reads 23:37  from cutting to finish.  

2019 Hive 3 Tutorial
Let’s start with a quick and easy block…...a Quarter Log Cabin.  This block lends itself to all cans of interesting layouts that give a new look to a traditional block. 

Fabric Choices.  

I regard myself as a scrappy quilter so there are no colors that I reject.  What I want you to use are possibly something from your latest project, or something “wacky” you have been daring yourself to try. 
You will need a 5” square in something bright and cheery.  Possibly a fussy cut, but not required.  It might be a random square that sparks your quilting inspiration.  Use this square to influence your choice of colored strips. 

Then you need a 1 ½” strip of a low volume fabric.  Again, any range of low volume fabric you have available from your current sewing space, or buried in your stash you don’t think you will ever use.  What I want is contrast with this strip from the big block and the next strips.    Preferably, lean  more to the  white/ cream/ gray/ivory spectrum. 

For the next portion, you will need three different  2” strips of solids, prints, prints that read as solids, or whatever is laying on your sewing table.  The longest length of strip is 19.5” inches, so across the width of a fat quarter is perfect.   I’m not crazy about matching, I’d rather have contrast.   If you want to add even more fabric combinations, you could use varying fabric for each side of the quarter log.  That’s totally up to you.  In that case, choose fabrics that read from the same color family. 

My first stash bee, I think I took a day or two to determine the fabric, because the Queen wanted specific colors.  My stash has grown since then, but I don’t want you to stress over color choices.  I am totally happy with what you have and what colors make you happy. 

Cutting Directions:

Note the Hot Pink is actually music fabric !!!

A.        5” square from something Bright and Happy
B.      From a 1.5 ”  strip of Low Volume, Neutral or light solid  cut a 5” and a 6” strip
C.      From three happy colors cut each 2” strip into rectangles like this:
Color 1…….  one 6"  and one 7.5” piece (total strip length…13.5)
Color 2……. one 7.5" and  one 9” piece (total strip length 16.5)
Color 3……one  9"  and one 10.5" piece (total strip length 19.5)

Timer after cutting.  I had to change fabrics, because what I thought was a 2-inch strip was 1 and 3/4.  

Sewing Directions: 

First strip on the top of the 5 inch block.  Gold Washi tape acting as a seam guide with my bonus triangle leader ender. 

 Round One:  On the top of the square place the shortest 1.5” strip.  Always keep the big block to the lower right corner.  Press toward the strip, then add the other strip on the left side.  Press away from the square toward the strip. 

Round Two, Three and Four: 
Add the shortest strip first on the top and the longest strip to the left.  Press after each strip away from the center square.  Block finishes at 10.5 inches. 
This is to demonstrate Round 2, 3 and 4 made with multiple fabrics per round.  Ignore everything else, it's the wrong size and orientation and was one of the trial blocks.  

Finishing:  Give the block a good press, trim threads, and post a picture on Instagram using #stashbeehive3

Then, mail the block to me.   I’ll send my shipping address to you via email or it’s on the dropbox file with everyone’s addresses.    This is my personal favorite way to ship a block:  inside a large greeting card.  The card protects the block and it’s easy to mail. 

This is a great project to use leaders and enders from a project you are working on.  Between every strip and before you take it to the iron, don’t cut your threads until you’ve inserted a portion of your own project.  It’s just an efficient use of time.  You could make a string block if you wanted to or even a different quarter block for you to send or keep or make a set of half square triangles, whatever you need for your own project. 

Also, let me know what kind of fabric you collect.  I collect music fabric and  I love to use it in all my projects, not just those that are specific to music projects.  It’s fun to walk into a new quilt store and say “I collect music fabric, do you have any?”  I normally find something I don’t have or am out of, or that will go home with me.   

There are prizes for Hive 3 quilters. 
The first block I receive gets a small prize, 
any block that uses music fabric, gets a prize and
most unusual color combination gets a prize.  

These are not big prizes, so don’t go to extremes, but I’ll reward those that participate. 

Four blocks just to prove anything goes, Potential layout.  
Happy creating.  I’m available for advice, questions or problems. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Hooray! All Done: Bow Tie Flimsy

Making my October Bow Ties was both easier and harder than I had thought. Making a visual plan was the harder part. All our beds are king size so naturally I should want to make it fit the beds, right? Though the layout looks angled, the 8.5" blocks are actually easily set straight on, allowing the diagonals to be created by the color placement. Once I figured that out, I made this diagram:
Twelve by twelve makes 102" square, so 144 blocks in 12 different colors (1 color per round) will be needed. Dividing the blues and greens into darks and lights and counting very carefully, I made 50  more blocks which included 12 pinks (my 12th color). Then at the end found that I was 3 reds and 3 light greens short! It is a mystery how my counting could have been so inaccurate. 

I enjoyed every one of the fabrics that were made for me and tried to keep them positioned in the center areas as much as possible. Good thing too, since the finished size exceeded my two quilt holders' reach! When finished, this quilt will go on my bed and I will remember each of you with a smile. Many thanks.

The Horrible Hamlet of Halloween Hollow

In hindsight, things went from very very bad to way way worse in the above mentioned Horrible Hamlet of Halloween Hollow in October and November 2018....In all fairness it started in mid-September when a medium-sized white and green haired granny (me) opted to take a stroll down a spooky spine-chilling path.   I posted a picture of an itsy-bitsy haunted house on Instagram in Stash Beehive 2  with a roadmap for my bee-mates to design and paper-piece a little haunted house  based on one I found on-line at Sophie Junction.    It was ghastly, it was was guaranteed to be great!

My first hint that the perfectly ordinary-seeming folks in my Beehive were just a tiny bit more macabre than most was when the following haunted house popped out of my mailbox, thanks to @tracysbitsnpieces.

Yikes!  The outside walls are camoflagued with humongous hydrangeas and vicious venus flytraps poised to munch on anybody who brushes up against them unawares.  I see jinormous grinning green bats flapping around in a purple sky and OMGoodness Gracie, what kind of hideous chartreuse creature with three big green eyeballs is guarding the front door?  Needless to say I won't be opening that door or closing MY eyes for a week at least. However, I'm sad to say this not the least of the shocking stuff that I've seen recently.

The next perilous package that got dropped onto my dining room table is so much more than a haunted house....Basically its a boulevard of  badness.  Two nightmare-ish houses side by side. My heart nearly stopped when I realized this dreadful duo was courtesy of @thegrinch1964 and @cocoaquilts.

At first glance these two houses don't give off a particularly gruesome vibe. It wasn't until much later that I recalled the story of an especially wicked witch with a very sweet welcoming house on the outside AND a huge cast iron pot to stuff Hansel and Gretel into on the inside.  They say you can never judge a book (or a house) by its cover so I decided to take another  look.  Oh yes, these two houses are very scary indeed.  There is plenty of weird wizardry at work here.  Those black dots could be any kind of horrible wee winged beastie falling from the sky; there are great hideous orangy-yellow vines obscuring the walls and OMG there is a massive mouse riding a bicycle--a freakin bicycle-- in the upstairs window!  How could you not be terrified by this?  And as for the second house... Did you see those ferocious furry feline familiars in the window ---- obviously a witch or a warlock is casting spells and up to no good there.  Need I say more....I thought not.

The next time I dared to sneak a peak into my mailbox I was aghast to see what @mcallisterwench pieced together for my purview.

This one is truly awe-inspiringly awful.  Outside are immense ugly spiderwebs that could perchance be home to hundred pound spiders.  And inside....more bats, this time in the belfry (do houses have belfrys?  This one does!) The walls are drenched and doused with deadly potions in pretty pastel vials.  There are multiple skulls and assorted unattached leg bones on the floor upstairs and in the front doorway, a mummy (definitely NOT the kind who married daddy) defies anyone to enter. FYI nobody with a lick of sense would want to enter that house.

But that was not the end of the awe-fullness.  No it was not.  The other day, I tentatively, cautiously and oh-so-carefully opened my mailbox again and this package of patchwork was waiting for me.

I truly don't know where to start with this.  I'm pretty sure this is @lmnop864's attempt to scare me to half to death.  Alfred Hitchcock would be proud to live in this little orange house, or perhaps he'd want to share it with Edgar Allen Poe.  I'm really curious how that little black raven could sleep with all those birds dive bombing him and his bro's too.  That's probably the scariest jack-o-lantern I ever did see grinning in the upstairs window; and I betcha those tiny black hoot owls are hiding in the doorway because they had the feathers frightened off them.

So what could be worse than you've already seen.  Check out the gruesome twosome that @jentexas06 foisted onto me via USPS and Canada Post just the other day.

Yup, more of those winged wee beasties dropping out of the sky onto a haunted house covered with noxious purple leaves and vines.  I don't know for sure, but a quick glance in the window suggests that there is a witch's cauldron burning and bubbling and spewing out trouble somewhere inside. But the scariest thing by far about the first house is the front door.  It looks like a thermometer or a ruler, or some other unholy gadget hanging upside down.....seriously nightmare inducing stuff.

House number two, also looks like it might be on fire, but its hard to tell for sure because its likely someone put a hex spell on the front door. Those are some creepy letters and not a single word to be found anywhere.   I'm very afraid that the homeowner is something of an advanced mathematics wizard because the 2nd floor is papered in the writings of a demented geometry ghoul.

The next house that clattered onto my kitchen countertop was this dreadful dwelling from @sevenoakstreetquilts.

Plainly this house is in an enchanted forest, possibly its the White Witch of Narnia's residence. I'm positive the posies growing on the outside walls are beyond being bewitched and their toothy grins are truly terrifying.  Whoever lives there must be a powerful enchantress because she managed to find a flock of feral felines to share her home. Lets hope she cast a powerful spell on the litter-box....otherwise I shall never set a foot inside this house either.

Think again and then once again if you presume this sickening sojourn to the Horrible Hamlet of Halloween Hallow is over because there are many more abominable abodes to visit yet.
@dimestorefloozie managed to distract and flabbergast me when this unfortunate orange hued house appeared in my mailbox.  (Possibly it belongs to Peter Peter, Pumpkin Eater --- and that could be his wife's eye peering out the window....just wonderin)

Its surrounded by a murder of crows in silhouette yet.  By my count, close to one thousand crows are cawing and crowing and creating a cacophony that reverberates on the rooftops.  And OMG is it possible there is another of those green monster eyes in the upstairs window...Too terrible to imagine what kind of horrifying green slime snake is peering out at me. I imagine its licking its lips and hissing in anticipation of making a snack out of anyone who ventures too close.

I'm hesitant to admit this, but yesterday I was overcome with a dreadful desire to make another house to share with you, for fear it would set off an unholy need to build more and more of them.  When I began digging through my scraps, I unearthed these that really seemed to need to be put together.

Lets begin with the flys surrounding the house.  I loathe flys (but FYI I must admit, I really really love this fabric).  Clearly the upstairs of this house is a fiery portal into the bowels of the earth and everyone knows the sort of creatures reside there.  The pink skull gracing the walls in the attic makes me shudder and shake.  I ask you is  there anything more questionable than a man with a moustache? Well yes,  its a moustache without a makes my hair curl to imagine what happened to the rest of those 3 fellas.  And the finishing touch of terror is that rotten raven roosting in the doorway.

Finally we are getting close to the end of this malevolent madness.  I warn you that you may not be able to stomach the remainder of these residences.  The one you are about to view arrived courtesy of @cedacanthus, all the way from New Zealand.

Let me just say, that there is nothing more frightful and truly terrifying than a house of horrors like this one.  Everything--from the ghastly ghoulish writing in the sky to the bloody front door and the horrifying cross in the upstairs window backlit by poisonous vapours--screams "abandon hope all ye who enter here". You gotta know that if this house was on my block, I would not be stopping by to chat with the resident anytime soon.

Every haunted hamlet has a home that is outstandingly, opulently awful.  This is the one where Halloween Hollow residents go when they want to get REALLY AND TRULY shivery and shaky.  I blame @moonlightsewing because I aged 10 years at least when I opened the envelope this block arrived in.

Its huge, and outside its surrounded by so many more of those terrifying black wee winged beasties falling out of the sky.  Its rooftops are covered with copious amounts of green goblin slime.  If you look in the left wing (LOL) window there is a bespectacled boogey man looking back at you.  And in the right wing of the house, you'll see a dainty pink poltergeist levitating for your amusement.  And finally, finally finally, a ghost is guarding the doorway.  It's  either warning you away or welcoming you inside.  You decide if you are gonna enter.  I know I'm not!

So how was your Halloween? As you can see mine was pretty dang spectacular.  It is my serious hope to have all these blocks sewn together in time for next Halloween.

It has been my very great joy to be part of Stash Beehive 2 this year and I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year with another great bunch of Quilty people in Stash Beehive 4. But....don't think for even one second that I'm going to forget about you guys in Hive 2.  I'll be watching what you post every month on Instagram...and I may even hive crash once or twice.

Did you do something creative today?