Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hive 2, November 2015 Tutorial

I really don't know why I'm surprised. I have thought about my month as Queen Bee in Hive 2 all year, well not every second of every day, you know what I mean. And .... yet..... I have still left it to the last minute. As I have said before in my own blog, procrastination really is my middle name. Or it would be if I got around to changing it.

First, a little bit about me. I'm called Helen and I blog at and my instagram name is @helenmidgetgemquilts. I also have flickr but its a bit of a pain. I call myself midget gem as my boyfriend used to say I was his little midget gem ( a little chewy sweet). Now he is my husband and I am more of a winegum than a  midget gem. So, I'm married, have 3 grown up children (including twins), home and away and work in a library. I love to sew, talk, knit, garden and genealogy in no particular order. And I in live in N Ireland, which kind of explains the shadows in the photos - all day we had workmen in the house and now we are into British winter clock, it is impossible to get good photos after mid afternoon.

Now the tutorial. I would like you to make me a courthouse steps square, incorporating a line of selvedge,  averaging around 16" or thereabouts.
my courthouse steps block


It is a modern take on courthouse steps. I love the modern takes on log cabin and I love modern fabrics. Like Kaja last month I am asking you to play fast and loose. Guidelines rather than instructions.

  • please try to keep to the 1 2 3 4 formation of courthouse steps, but if you forget and head log cabin way, that's ok, send it anyway. I am sure you all know, but courthouse steps is a square in the centre, a narrow strip top and bottom and then left and right. That is round 1. Rounds 2 up to whatever follow the same sequence, top, bottom then left and right. I forgot to take photos of the sequence, so please bear with these mock ups. (I'm off to a wedding today and no more time)
centre square with step 1 and 2
adding steps 3 and 4
round 2, adding steps 1 and 2

round 2, step 3

  • please stick to one colour group in your square. Tone on tone is fantastic or different shades of the one colour but please try not to mix colours.
my many shades of blue, not necessarily solids

  • I would prefer fabric with one dominant colour, blue with a little say pink is ok, but not equal blue and pink in the one fabric.

  • solids are great as are geometric or line or dotty fabric. Please no character fabrics this time.

  • feel free to have each "step" or side different widths, that makes it more fun. The same fabric for each round please, but different widths can add interest

                                      the spotty sides are different widths as are the red circles
                                     the brown selvedge is made up to look like a tape measure
  • for part of one round please use a selvedge strip. Some of the other  steps in that round can be a white or off white solid as well.
the selvedge can be fun to add, narrow and fiddly, but fun

  • and ........... the rules of Stash Bee state one square of up to 16.5" unfinished. Well .......... your square can be 14", or 15" or 16" or whatever it ends up at. If its not square due to the different widths of steps, that's great too.
  • .......... a 16.5" square uses up a lot of stash. If you prefer to make me a couple of smaller squares that's ok. In fact, it's more than ok.  Say, you could do 4 x 8" approx squares, or a 12" and a 4". Whatever floats your boat as they say.
a smaller mustard square about 8"

  • have fun

  • I'm actually going to include the photo here of the one I did that I don't like, the square that didn't make the cut.... the peach centre is too "busy". Too much going on. Learn from my mistake.

                                           don't try this at home, far too busy and loud,
                                              too much contrast in the centre square 

  • My "vision" (doesn't that sound grand) is to square off the blocks with plain white to make a modern minimalist quilt with lots of negative space.
wouldn't these look good spaced irregularly on a white solid background?

Speaking of mistake, my question is when you make a mistake do you wing it and incorporate it or sigh, throw it away and start again? I usually try to incorporate, that's the joy of improv.

Oh, one last thing, if you are still with me, if you have time in the madness before Christmas, could you sign a little bit of fabric for me to incorporate in the backing ? If not I may have to forge your signature!

Happy sewing and thank you.
Helen x
ps looking at the selvedges and plain white strips has made me think I might just do something incorporating some embroidered writing, some time way in the distant future.

No comments: