Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HIVE 7 -- July block!!

Hello!  All my friends call me Mary Huey because that's how I introduce myself so you can tell me apart from all the other Mary's that have flooded my life since Mary was the most popular girl's name the year I was born.  The habit started in first grade and has never died.

I've quilted for a long time and am now in semi-retirement from a career that has always had quilting at the center -- first as a shop owner and teacher and now as a traveling teacher, blogger (at, and UFO quilt assault master!!

Making a decision about what block to request is always the hard part of a block swap, so when Cyndi who is off on a long camping adventure contacted me in late May to ask if I knew what block I was going to use, I made a swift decision between all the possibilities I had accumulated!

We are going to make birds!!  I have already made five using the detailed tutorial from the Block Lotto website --

The instructions were inspired by a blogger named Lynne Tyler at -- well worth a visit!
Check out her tab called "Thoughts on Art, Creativity, and Inspiration" -- some thought provoking posts are archived there!!

The Block Lotto instructions are well illustrated and easy to follow.  In addition, I would make two suggestions based on my experience so far piecing these cuties!

In the cutting list on page 3 of the instructions, I had an easier time using a 1" by 2" rectangle for the beaks (listed as a 1 1/2" square of black at the very end of the list).  I struggled to position the square  and it was much easier with a rectangle.

On page 6, when working on the leg section, the photo diagrams suggest the best piecing order (legs to outside background pieces first) which is a good idea so the three background pieces don't get scrambled.  Be sure to press them before trimming the top edges or you'll need to take them off and start again (ask me how I know that).

When adding the leg/background pieces to the center background piece, the seams are angled, so set them up with the top edges crossing where the 1/4" seam begins as in the photo below.
Then you don't need to trim again!!
Now for the fabrics!
Please use one white or off-white fabric with a black print for the background of the block
The Orange-breasted Beetle Catcher
Use a cheerful, larger scale print in clear colors (no drab reproductions please) for the bird's wing.
A Dragonfly Tanager
And a small scale print that looks solid in an accent color for the body.
The Small-beaked Thrush
Please make the beak and legs black or dark charcoal.
A Rosy-winged Green Finch
If you decide to make a "long-legged" bird, read the explanation of how to do that
at the end of page 7 before you cut the top and bottom background pieces.  
It also explains how to reverse the orientation of the block and you can do that if you are feeling contrary the day you decide to piece one!!
The Tangerine-breasted Aqua Bird
Finally,  please DON'T trim the block. 
I'm not sure what these will become so having final control of the size will be easier for me. 

If you look back through the pictures of my birds, you'll see I've "identified them".  So if you are inspired to name the species of your bird, that would be great!

So I'm a life-long birder -- had a Peterson Field Guide at age 10 and good binoculars.  For many years it was a secret passion -- it was not cool to be a birder during my teens.  Now birding is not just an interesting hobby, it's popular and big business -- rather like quilting.  I lead bird walks locally, manage my 1/3 acre suburban lot for the benefit of birds, take birding vacations (i.e., western Montana, Costa Rica, southern Texas, etc.), and according to a hiking friend, my bird radar is never off!  I've even worked as an "bird nerd" for the local park district (a dream come true!).  I've trained up one daughter as a birding companion and am hoping to accomplish the same with my 6-year old grandson who is a great spotter!!

What is your life-long passion?

If you have questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with me via e-mail at

Mary Huey


DoohikeyDesign said...

Do you know the approximate size at least?

Sylvia said...

Your bird names are hilarious!

Mary Huey said...

The blocks are about 7" by 9" untrimmed.