Sunday, June 1, 2014


What is your name? I'm Daisy Aschehoug, and my blog is Ants to Sugar.

I'm in both Hive 3 and Hive 8, and while I originally thought I'd do two different things for each hive this month, my new plan needs the help of both hives.

Where do you live? I'm currently in Raleigh, NC.  I grew up in Alabama and went to college in North Carolina before moving around the country for a while - New Hampshire, Idaho, California, and Montana. It's been delightful to be back in NC.  Another move is on the horizon, but we won't know much about that for another 6-8 months.

Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)
My husband likes to say we met when I stole his bike from a bar. What's funny about that is that I used to hate bicycles.  I liked them in theory, but I was forced to do a lot of mountain biking for a period in my life and got tired of falling off of them.  Now, I'm all about my commuter cruiser... And I suppose my husband, too. ;)  We've got son we're pretty wild about and are expecting another baby in September.

Tell us about how you got interested in quilting. Around five years ago, my mom helped me make a quilt for a little boy I used to babysit.  I dabbled a little more at quilting afterwards, but I didn't get really into things until later. I was gifted a quilt when my son was born, and it is probably my favorite gift of all time (but I suppose it's not technically mine). The love I have for that quilt made me want to make more quilts.  And when I started blogging, I found a nice feedback loop - the more I blog, the more I sew, which means I blog more, then sew more, and so on.

How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)
FQ's or less by color. Smaller than a F8 in a massive bin to be sorted by color later.  (It's rarely later, by the way.)  Yardage on comic book boards on a shelf.  Canvas, home decor, batting, interfacing, and everything else gets whatever real estate is left in our overstuffed laundry room.

Rainbow Burst in my sewing space

Who is/are your favorite fabric designers? Anna Maria Horner and Carolyn Friedlander are at the top of my list.  I also like Amy Butler, Mo Beddell, and Lizzy House. Umbrella Prints are a big favorite at the moment, but too pricey for me to think about often.  I don't own any Alison Glass, but I think I'm going to have to remedy that soon. Solids should get a shout out, too; I'm not a won't-sew-with-solids kind of girl.

What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting? Easy.  POINTS ON STARS.  To be more precise, that there should be points on stars.  I have a stack of stars that I made before I knew anything, and no one said to make sure the star tips should be a quarter inch away from the edge so they don't get eaten up in the seam allowance. I made them during and after a workshop I took with my mom a few years ago - our first together. I had such high hopes for those stars, and when I pulled them out recently to think about a quilt top, I was so sad. I may still make a quilt out of them for sentimental reasons, but there will be no points on those stars.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it? A four and a half inch square ruler and a pair of crane scissors. I'm constantly checking my quarter inch seam - almost like I'm sighting a gun.  That little ruler lives in my draw and seems so helpful in a number of situations beyond just checking my quarter inch.  I'm also constantly grabbing my crane scissors to snip thread.  I've found a happy place with three pairs; that seems to be just the right number for having a pair everywhere I want to have one (sewing machine, cutting mat, hand sewing/travel kit).

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.) This is always changing.  My favorite literary character is Tomas from Unbearable Lightness of Being.  Never saw the movie, and it's been a few years since I read the book. I remember being so flabbergasted that Kundera could make me absolutely abhor and then feel sympathy for a character in such intense ways and in a such a short period of time/pages. No one has been more interesting to me than Tomas. Except maybe Raymond Reddington from the Blacklist. I'm not a fan of the tv script writing or the actress that plays Elizabeth Keen, but I would love to grow up to be Raymond Reddington. He's a perfect cross between Sherlock Holmes, MacGyver, and Batman. And maybe someone from the Bold and the Beautiful (I used to watch that soap with my grandmother).

The block! My husband currently studies the ecology related to a rare and endangered butterfly only found on a military base  south of Raleigh.  No where else.  The team hired him because he's a plant guy, but our lives have been full of butterfly discussions during our time here.  Butterflies are sort of an "in" thing right now in the fabric world (or maybe they're always popular?), so I'd love to have a butterfly quilt to remember our time in Raleigh. Three recent quilts have also inspired my butterfly theme:

stashbeeinspiration Left to Right: Maureen Cracknell, Jolene @ Blue Elephant Stitches, Michelle @ Factotum of Arts

 My only ask for June's block is a butterfly theme with some low volume somewhere in the block - it can be a little low volume with some super-saturated bold colors or it can be all low volume. You can take a butterfly print and frame it with a round or two of courthouse steps.  You can piece some butterfly blocks like they've done here or here.  If you happen to have a little more time and want to flex your paper piecing skills, try one of Tartankiwi's totally awesome butterfly blocks (the ones in Michelle's quilt above); there's a 5" option and a 12" option for sale on Craftsy. If you don't have time this month, take a break and just send me square or two of butterfly themed fabric from your stash;  I used the only two butterflies I have to make my two tutorial blocks!

UPDATE:  I'm on the fence about whether to say "no batiks" or not.  I'm not usually a fan of batiks, but if paired with something modern, I think it could be cool.  Your call.  As long as there's low volume, I'll be happy! :)

Since the rules are that I do actually need to write a tutorial, I've decided to do a simple economy block with some butterfly themed prints from Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi collection. Rita @ Red Pepper Quilts has a lovely economy block tutorial and paper piecing template on her blog.  There's another one here on Generations Quilt Patterns. I used the GQP template for this tutorial because the first piece of fabric I had needed a larger center.  At the end of the tutorial, you can see another block I made with Rita's slightly smaller template.  The GQP template has seam allowances marked so it might be just a little easier to try if you're new to paper piecing.  You don't have to paper piece these, but it's so fast and easy that way. Plus, if you've never tried paper piecing before and have wanted to, this a great block to try.

 Here's my fabric and my template.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Cut your squares and then triangles according to the template you decided to use.  Rita's slightly smaller template calls for a 3" center square, two 3" squares for the first triangles, and two 4" squares for the final, outside triangles.  The GQP template asks that you have a center square that is 3.5", two 3 1/2" squares, and two 4 3/8" squares (I used 4 1/2" for the last round because it was quicker to measure that. I just had a little more to trim).
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Trim your paper template to the outside line of the block. That outside line is the quarter inch mark. If you're used to paper piecing, you might automatically leave a quarter inch of fabric around your block, but if you're new, having this extra paper may be helpful. I hold my paper up to the light to position the center square at the center of the block on the BLANK side.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

I use a little bit of glue stick to secure my first fabric to the blank side of paper.  DON'T SUBSTITUTE ANOTHER KIND OF GLUE.  I've done that.  Even if you use something that you think is a mild glue, it isn't pretty when you eventually have to tear the paper off. Stay with a glue stick if you use anything at all.

You'll place a little glue on the paper and press the wrong side of your fabric to the blank side of the paper.  You'll eventually sew with the blank side down and the printed side up.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

You'll sew your first two triangles on one at a time.  Be sure to place the "right" side of the triangle fabric against the "right" side of the square fabric. You'll use your fingers to hold the triangle fabric in place, turn everything over, and sew along the printed line on the other side. The second triangle will be on the opposite side of the triangle.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Press the triangles open.

Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Continue with the other two triangles.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

You have the option of folding back the paper to trip the dog ears here, or you can wait to trim those when you sew the next round of triangles.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Follow the same steps again and sew your first two triangles on opposite sides of the new square.
                    Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

If you didn't trim your dog ears before, be sure to do it now.  I did trim them, but I had a little excess still that I trimmed again by measuring a quarter inch from my stitched seam and trimming.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Sew your last two triangles.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Trim dog ears and any excess from the first round (the pink hatch fabric in this picture).
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Press your last round of triangles, turn the block over, and trim the fabric to the paper.  You can see that the template is sized so you have a protected quarter inch around your block.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Voila!  You're done.  You may send any paper pieced block with or without the paper attached.
Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial

Stash Bee Economy Block Tutorial


Anonymous said...

I love this idea! And thanks for being so flexible!

DaisyLiz said...

Oh good! I'm excited to see what you guys put together. Thanks, Sara!

Anna said...

Love this.

Kim @ TiesThatBindQuilting said...

Check out the A Beautiful Thing Fabric Collection by Zoe Pearn that just came out! There is a butterfly print in 3 different colorways. Maybe a good backing fabric!