Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hive 5 May Quilt Block Icky Thump Tutorial

Stash Bee --- Hive 5 --- May Tutorial


Hello all. My name is Heather Browne, and I live in Oakdale, CT, USA with my Husband Bob and our daughter and two sons. 10, 12 & 4.

I have been a stay at home mom since my daughter was born 10 years ago. Prior to that I worked as and Labor Accountant. When I am not sewing, I serve as the Cookie Mom for our Girl Scout Troop. I have a blog that I have just started posting to this year, HotPinkThread and and Etsy shop under the same name. I am just beginning my business, and am loving every minute of it.

I am taking advantage of the time home to build a business doing something I love. I have just started up with blogging, and am starting to find out how all the social sites work together, and plan to dive into blogging (and sewing) more when my youngest starts kindergarten in the fall.

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting

I remember, as a child, sitting and watching my mother sew, and being totally fascinated as her hands thread the machine effortlessly. I wondered how she could remember how to do such a complicated task. Then there were all those pattern pieces and seam allowances and darts and buttonholes and backstitching, and pinking something or other. I had no idea what any of it meant, but she was pretty amazing.

I tried to learn from her as a child, but it never seemed to click. I learned to hand sew in Junior High Home Ec class, but truly started sewing when my first born turned 2.
I, (along with lots of help from my mother) made paw print shaped goody bags with felt on my grandmothers old Necchi sewing machine. From that point forward, I knew that sewing was something I loved. Forward a few years, and a little daughter added to the mix, and I realized that I could make some of her clothes myself, and they would be so much cuter than store bought. I purchased an inexpensive Brother Machine, set off to the internet and taught myself how to sew on the new computerized machine. My first twirly skirt was finished in time for our first Disney Trip.

I made clothing for friends children, and handbags and other items to sell at local craft fairs and online. The business was just starting to take off the ground when we had our third baby and I put it on hold to focus on the family. After deciding recently to get back into sewing, it seemed there was no longer a market for handbags, and my daughter has outgrown the twirly skirt years, so I went on a search for something else to create.

A new sister in law was coming into the family, and mentioned she would love to have a quilt and maybe learn the process herself. Aha, I had found my new adventure. I personally had never liked quilts, not on my bed at least. I am a fluffy comforter sort of gal. But my new sister in law was classy, and stylish, and I knew that I could put my skills to the test to give her a gift she would love.

I began scouring the internet for patterns and how to videos and stumbled upon a Block of the Month Craftsy Class 2012 by Amy Gibson. Because of her enthusiasm, I began looking at quilting in a whole new light. I very quickly loved the sense of satisfaction I get from making beautiful pieces of art that are functional and cozy too. QUILTING was in my blood!
These are some pictures of her quilt and pillowcases during the creating process.
These are some of my latest creations, still works in progress.



How do you organize your fabric stash?

I am very disorganized. But the stash is slowly becoming organized. I have been using the 6" ruler method of folding my fabrics around the ruler and then taking them off the ruler and folding in half and storing on an Ikea Expedit shelving unit. All of my colors are right there in front of me, at a glance and it makes a beautiful setting for creativity. I have begun organizing my scraps by sizes, in hopes that someday I will have enough to make a scrappy hexie quilt. Note the abundance of juvenilee prints still left from making kids clothing.


Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?

 Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake, Amy Butler and all things fresh, bright and bold! I love geometric prints, and love to think outside of the box. I stay away from rust, brown, gold, and dark green. I am not a traditional quilter, although, I do like some of the traditional patterns with a modern twist. I like to take the pattern that I have and tweak it just a little to make it non-standard, and non-traditional in some way.


What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?

How to sew a scant 1/4". Seam rippers have gotten alot of work around here. Even sometimes now, I find that I have to pick out seams to make a pattern work.


What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?

The sticky lint roller. Who hasn't gotten up from sewing and been covered in fuzz, lint, and tons of tiny pieces of thread. Those sticky lint rollers not only clean all that gunk off of you, but I use it on my ironing board and my cutting surfaces to pick up the threads and the little trimmed off pieces of fabrics. Who could live without it!

My newest toys are the Add A Quarter Tool from CM Designs and the Seam Roller. I recently attended a workshop where the teacher asked us to bring both of these. The Add A Quarter tool is an amazing ruler that makes paper foundation piecing so simple and easy. And the seam roller is almost as good as an iron. I would have never picked either of these up if I had not been shown how it works by RaNae Merrill.  


Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)

Amelia Bedelia. As a child, we often feel like we do everything wrong. Reading Amelia Bedelia puts all of those little things into perspective and allows you to find humor in making silly mistakes. Besides the fact that it is all just plain funny how she always finds the wrong meaning for the phrases that she hears.

I have chosen a paper foundation piecing block called Icky Thump by 627Handworks. I admired this quilt at WombatQuilts, and decided that this was the style for me.

(This photo belongs to Cath Hall from
I loved this pattern, but was not sure if I would be happy having a single color of the block repeated over and over, so I am very excited to see how this will look with all the different colors that you will choose.
I hope to give you enough info in the tutorial to make this block, even if you have never foundation pieced before.

Please read through the tutorial and ask me any questions if you do not understand something.
This is my first time doing this! Please bear with this newbie!

My Colors:
Gray Background & light and dark shades of One Main Color (Turquoise, Pink, Purple or Yellow)

Please do not mix colors. Choose one main color from above, you will need light and dark shades of that color, then you can choose up to 8 prints from each shade of that color.

(My example block uses two different gray and 4 prints from each shade of Turquoise)

I did not have enough of my own yellow to include a picture of them. :-)


I like bold pink, like Hot pink and bubble gum pink, not pale baby pink

-I would prefer the gray not contain any black. It can be solid, gray on gray, white or cream on gray, it would even be Ok if it was grey with a color to match the color in the block.

I love scrappy, so you can use as many as 8 different Gray, and 8 Light and 8 Darker pieces of fabric to build this block.
Fabric Cutting:
Piece #1: Grays  - Cut 4 - 5" x 5" pieces
Piece #6: Grays - Cut 4 - 4.5" x 4.5" pieces
(NOTE: If you are using different shades of Gray, I would prefer to have piece 1 the darker fabrics and piece 6 the lighter fabrics, again, you could use 8 different gray fabrics if you would like)

Piece #2: Light Color - Cut 4 - 2.5" x 5.5"
Piece #3: Light Color - Cut 4 - 2.5" x 6.5"
Piece #4: Dark Color - Cut 4 - 3" x 5.5"
Piece #5: Dark Color - Cut 4 - 2.75" x 7.5"
(EDIT - Please note, I made a correction to this photo. the original post had the colors on numbers 1 & 6 numbers mixed up.)

Print 4 copies of the pattern piece. You will be making 4 pieces and combining those to make a block that is 12.5 inches.

Download the foundation pattern HERE!
(Be sure to print actual size, or with no scaling. There is a 1 inch box on the prinout to use to be sure you have printed the correct size. )

Block Construction:

First cut our your 4 foundation papers along the dotted line edge.

Next, Fold the patterns on all the solid lines.

I write the numbers on the back of my pattern pieces for reference.
Turn your paper pattern face down. Lay your first fabric piece #1 (Face Up/Right side up) over the spot labeled 1.
I use a piece of masking or painters tape to keep it in place, but you can also pin it.

Turn over, and Fold the foundation paper back along the line between sections 1 and 2. Using a ruler, trim the fabric 1/4 inch from the edge of the paper. (This is where I use my Add a Quarter Ruler).

Fold the foundation paper back on the line between sections 1 and 3, and trim again.
Remember to always cut 1/4 inch away from the fold of the paper template!!

Straighten paper. and with your fabric face up, place the piece #2 (a light fabric), right sides together on top of the edge you just cut. Pin or glue baste.

Pay close attention to where you line up the second fabric. once sewn, and folded open, you need to be sure that the fabric will cover the whole section #2.
Not like this!!!

Flip your paper over, and sew on the line between section 1 and 2. Make sure to stay on the line, and use a shortened stitch like a 2. Try to sew 2 stitches before and 2 after the line.

Use a seam roller, finger press, or hot press the strips open.
If using the iron, be sure to press and not move the iron around.

Repeat for all of the remaining pieces. (Go in numerical order)

Fold between section 3 along pieces 1&2, trim, Fold between 2 and 4 and trim.
Place Piece #3 (a light fabric) where piece 3 meets 1&2. Pin, turn over and sew along that line.
Press open and you should have this.

Trimming & sewing for piece #4. Fold on the lines between 3 & 4 and trim, fold on the lines between 3 & 5 and trim. Place a piece #4 (dark color) where #4 meets 2&3.
(sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the placement)
Turn over and sew on the line between 4 and 2&3.

Press open

Turn over and fold on the line between 4&5 and trim. Place piece #5 (dark color).
Turn back over and sew on the line between 5 and 4&3.

Press open and it will look like this. (Almost done).

Turn over and fold on the line between 6 and 5 and trim.
Turn back over and place a square piece #6 on the corner of the page.

Turn over and sew on the line between 5 and 6.

This is what it should look like before you trim it.

Once you have sewn all of the pieces. Turn the block face down, and trim the excess fabric from the block by cutting on the dotted lines. (Remove painters tape if used) And repeat this process for the other 3 foundations. If you are using multiple prints of the light and dark fabric, please try to set them up so that no two identical fabrics are touching in the diamond.)

Arrange the 4 sections to look like this, and sew the squares together using 1/4 inch seam.

Press the center seams open if you can.

The block should finish at 12.5 inches. Do not be alarmed if you are off a little, mine was a tiny bit shy. You do not have to remove the paper or trim the blocks if you do not want to. If you do remove the paper, please be sure to hold on to the stitching while removing, tugging too hard will distort the seams.

Thank you, I look forward to seeing all your beautiful work.
Please feel free to ask any questions.


fabrications2B said...

This block was a contender for my month!!!!!! Yay!
Hitting the stash right now!!!!!

Lisa S. said...

Hi Heather ,
I live in Milford, Ct not too far from you! If you ever want to get together for coffee sometime I would love to talk to another kindred spirit. Drop me an email if you'd like.

Hope to hear from you soon.


fabrications2B said...


Can you check your gray assignment?. The tute says you want grey piece number 1 as Dark, but your pic has grey number 1 as light.


HotPinkThread said...

Bonnie, I had so many contenders, it was hard to decide. And Thanks for the catch on the error. I have changed the numbering on the cutting picture to show the correct placement.

Lisa, Funny, I just was looking at your draft of your tutorial and saw you were in CT. I will be in touch.

Natalie said...

I helped to make your inspiration quilt! my do. Good Stitches group, Hope, made this one together :-)

Lisa S. said...

I look forward to it Heather!!

Kim said...

Looks good, Heather! I can't wait to see the blocks you receive.