Monday, March 31, 2014

Hive 8 April Block Tutorial

My name is Melissa, my family calls me Missy, and the kids call me mom, except my oldest who is obsessed with all things British, she calls me Mum.

Where do you live?
I live in the awesome city of Oklahoma City, home of the OKC Thunder!  We have had an awfully long and hard winter and spring is finally showing her face around here.  April and May are the exciting weather months here with too many tornadoes going on at one time to count!  Last year was awful and we are praying that this year is more on the calm side.  Here is a picture (thanks to of our downtown with an awesome Oklahoma sunset.  I promise there is more to Oklahoma than fields of hay and country songs.

Tell us about your family.
I've been with my awesome husband since I was sixteen.  We dated for five years, then married.  We have three kids, two of them in the fantastic teenage years, and the youngest is eleven.
This is me and my husband. 
Here are the munchkins.

Each picture totally explains my kids, there are no words necessary.  I have some awesome dogs too.  If you follow me on Instagram (melissa_laine) I'm sure you've seen them.

Tell us how you got interested in quilting.
My husband and I had breakfast together one Saturday morning in 2009 and we decided to walk and look at shops in the center after we ate.  I walked into a LQS and saw TONS of awesome fabric, I couldn't believe it.  It was so much better then the big box fabric stores!  I took Home Ec. in middle school, so I had some basic sewing skills.  I googled free sewing patterns, and well, here I am five years later.

How do you organize your fabric stash?
Umm...yeah, that is embarrassing.  I'll show it anyway.


Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
Vanessa Christenson of V & Co. and Camille Roskelley of Simplify are the BEST!

What is the one thing that you have learned that you wish you knew when you started quilting?
So, don't laugh.  That rubber end on the seam ripper.  I just figured out two months ago that it is there so you can drag it across and pull out tiny threads after you have taken out a seam.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
I love to use Crayola Washable Markers to mark my quilt tops before I quilt them.  Even black!  They wash right out.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
I would so love to be Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham.  That lady is badass!  She says exactly what she is thinking in her head and they let her!!

Okay, so time to get down to business.  I chose the Scrappy Trip Around the World block for my turn.  Everyone was so crazy about them and I never got around to making one, that is where you ladies all come in!  I would like some color!  Please no browns or blacks, and not a lot of white or cream if you can help it.  Gray is okay.  Please no batiks.  Anything else goes!  I used the tutorial from Quiltville.

First, gather six 2.5 inch strips.  They will need to be 16 inches long to make one block.  If you use a jelly roll strip, you can get two blocks.

Sew each strip together lengthwise and iron seams open.

Next sew the two long sides together, it will look like a tube.  Then iron that seam open.

Cut off the end to make a nice, clean line.

Next, you will cut 2.5 inch strips.  They will look like little tubes because all the seams are sewn together.

 I don't have a picture for this next part.  Now you will remove a seam on each 'tube'.  You have to lay them out flat after each one you remove so that you can figure out which one to do next.  The goal here is to make sure each fabric begins one of the strips.

Here they are all laid out.

Now sew each row together, matching the seams.  Press seams open again.

 Tada!  All finished!

Hive 7 April Block Tutorial

April 1st, 2014


          (Say that real fast 5 times)

Back to that in a minute.

About Me:            

Hi everyone!  My name is Maureen and I live in Michigan.  It's finally spring here!  Lots of snow boogers still around, but they are melting, yay!  My husband Troy and I will be celebrating our 8th anniversary this month and that is our "bunch" above.  Kind of like the Brady Bunch just not as well behaved!  Actually, they are great kids.  Four are out and doing their own thing and the two youngest are still in High School, which leaves me lots of time to quilt when I'm not at work (but I think about it lol).  By day I am an X-ray Tech for hip and knee surgeons and by night I'm a quilting fanatic.

I've been quilting for almost 3 yrs now, and I love it!  When I was young, my mom used to sew play clothes for me and my dolls, knit, paint, and do crewel work.  She did it all!  The first thing I remember working on was a stamped cross stitch of a frog, but I was young and busy and didn't have the patience for that sort of thing. Skip ahead to the college years, and I found myself needing  a way to relax, so I starting doing crewel work.  Then I decided I wanted to learn how to sew, so I made my first "credit" purchase, bought my first machine, and took a sewing class.   When my boys were young I made them play clothes and costumes and simple skirts and dresses for myself.  Then I just stopped.  In my late 30's I started doing counted cross stitch and I love that, but my eyes aren't so great for counting linen threads anymore.  Three yrs ago I got the bug again and discovered the on-line quilting community.  I found my craft!  Everything I have learned has been from the wonderful Blogs and excellent tutorials.  I have participated in numerous Bees, Swaps and BOM's.  I've never been a Queen Bee before, so this is new. 

My sewing room is a storage room that I cleaned out and took over.  I use my basement walls and painters tape for my design boards.

My stash has gotten a little out of control (no such thing), and I love it!  It's not well organized, but I know where everything is. My husband says I should open a fancy napkin shop with all my works in progress Lol.
I have several favorite designers, Tula Pink, Kate Spain, Kaffe Fasset, Joel Dewberry, Art Gallery etc. etc. I'm all over the board but gravitate towards the rich saturated colors.
The one thing I have learned, and have to keep reminding myself of, is that if it's not going into a Quilt Show (it's not), or to another quilter, nobody will ever know it's not perfect! There's no need to throw fabric! (unless it's upside down and backward--again).
My favorite tools, besides the obvious necessities, are my painters tape and my pointy tracer wheel for paper piecing.
My favorite fictional character is Dori from Finding Nemo, she just cracks me up!

Phew!  Now for the fun part!  My Block!

It's super easy!  I made two in less than a half hour.  This block comes from an awesome quilt called "Gateway to Paradise" by Little Louise Designs.  She has a lot of beautiful patterns made with precuts and FQ's.  I've modified it a bit to fit my idea.  Here is the original:

Fabrics:  I would like you to use the colors of "sea glass", all shades of blues, and greens.  I'm using Batiks, but tone on tone solids are fine too.  For the solid I am using Kona Steel.  You don't have to use the same grey, but please make sure it is very dark.  Let me know if it's a problem, I will send you some.  Here is my pull:  

This is my idea:  I will have you ladies make the "long windows", and I will make stained glass blocks for between the rows. See how my stars look just like the block I'm working on Lol.

Cutting:  You will need in various colored fabrics:  
  • 3 various 2 1/2" sq's 
  • 3 various 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles
In dark grey solid you need:
  • 2 grey 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangles
  • 2 grey 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles
  • 2 grey 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles 

Piece together in rows:

Attach the long and short blocks with the 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" strips:


Unfinished size is 16 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Two Together

Thank you in advance!  I've seen the beautiful work you ladies have been doing and I'm very excited to get working on my quilt!

Hive #9 - April Block Tutorial

Hello!  Here is my Hive 9 post for April. This is the first time I have done this so hoping everyone can understand the instructions. If not just email and I’ll try to explain myself better.
What is your name? Jo-Anne (Jo) Griffiths
Where do you live? Wanganui, New Zealand
Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)  I'm a solo Mum. I have 5 children but only one at home. They are 35,33,29,17 and 12. Only the 12 year old lives in Wanganui with me. I also have 6 grandchildren- two who are older than my youngest. I also have 2 dogs- Toby and Samson and 2 budgies Fern and Bluebell.
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.  When I was pregnant and finished work with my 12 year old, my Mum asked me to go to some patchwork/quilting classes with her as she didn’t want to go alone. So I went and got hooked! As Sophie has high medical needs and frequent hospitalisations, quilting has been my life safer/stress reliever. And I still can’t sew clothes!!
How do you organize your fabric stash? Big pieces and mu,lticolours folded and o0n bookcase. FQ’s and larger by colour in bins. Scraps by colour in drawers and one box of multicolor
Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?  Laurel Birch, Riley Blake Designs, Jinny Beyer
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?  Use 100% good quality cotton. Nobody can see the imperfections we see when we have our nose 2” from the quilt. Stand back and look at the imperfections from the distance other people would look at the quilt and then see if the unpicking is worthwhile.
What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?  Applique pressing sheet- stops getting sticky on the iron and the ironing board
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)  I really loved the movie “the first wives club”. I like any movie where people stand up for themselves and don’t let life beat them down.

These quilt instructions are modified from instructions at


Three colours please
A) 1 (one) neutral- preferably cream but any other light neutral will do
B) 1 (one) fabric for bees appliqué and 9 patches
C) 1 (one)  fabric in contrast 9 patches.
See above 2 rows down, third column- red and blue
3 rows down, 2ndcolumn- orange and green
3 rows down, 3rdcolumn- purple and green

For each block you need
4 squares of fabric B: 2.5” x 2.5" for 9 patch
5 squares of fabric C: 2.5” x 2.5” 9 patch
12 Bee pieces of fabric B- template at end of pattern
2 rectangles of Fabric A: 3.5” x 12.5” for top and bottom
2 rectangles of Fabric A: 3.5 x 6.5" for the sides

Take your 4 fabric B (red) and 5 fabric C (green) 2.5” squares, arrange them as below and sew 3 columns

Now sew the three columns together

Here is the 9 patch block all sewn

Sew shorter rectangles (3.5 x 6.5) to each side of nine patch

sew longer rectangles (3.5 x 12.5 ) to top and bottom of nine patch

Print template below. Trace 12 times onto fusible web.

Iron marked web onto back of a piece of Fabric B

Cut out each ‘bee’ and place 3 ‘bees’ as shown in photo onto each corner of block, and iron them in place. They should be about ¼” from inside corner and angle3 out at 45 degrees or thereabouts

Applique by your method of choice. I have used a small buttonhole (blanket stitch).
I would prefer matching thread if possible.

You now have a Honey Bee block.

Thanks everyone for participating. I’m looking forward to see all the colour combinations.
Don’t forget I have changed address from the original list. It is
Jo Griffiths
98 Koromiko Rd
Wanganui 4501
New Zealand