Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hive 8 - June Block Tutorial - Bold, Bright and Beautiful

Hello dear fellow bees across nine hives. I hope you enjoy the beginning of Summer and keep your sewing motivation up. Many beautiful designs have been chosen so far and I am excited to get to sew along and to marvel at all of your interpretations of the requested designs. I also love that we start to see finished quilt tops and quilts slowly appearing.

In my capacity as Queen Bee of June, I will ask my Hive 8 fellow bees to sew the super easy 'Double Square Star' design with me. We will do a loud and bright Summer interpretation of the block. We will be using a free tutorial by Jenny at 'Missouri Star Quilts' but beware (!) as we will work to different measurements AND include a further step prior to assembling the four subunits into the finished block.

Colour Inspiration:

Above: Sonia Sharma Events & Design, Below: Look I Was There Holi Festival

Look at these bright saturated colours (and notice the ornaments). Notice how there are next to no whites or neutrals in-between them? The bright pinks, oranges, yellows, purples, saffron and blues are placed right next to each other. Gorgeous! Therefore, we too will forgo whites and neutrals and revel in lush colours instead.

Fabric Requirements:

My hive mates have by now all received a teaser in the form of a letter that contained a 12 x 14.5 piece of Kona Cotton in the beautiful ‘Periwinkle Blue’. I am in love with this blue, which is just hinting at purple. It will serve as our background fabric for the Hive 8 June Block.

On top of the 'Periwinkle Blue' you need 4 feature fabrics in either hot pinks, fuscias, oranges, yellows, purples, saffron or gold with big, bold ornaments, flowers, wallpaper or tile imitations and geometric patterns.

Please avoid pastel colours, muted or muddy colours and batiks. Thank you.

To better understand what to look for in your stash, I would like you to have a closer look at my sample fabric pull in terms of type of prints and brilliancy of colours.

As in the finished Missouri Star Sample Quilt, the prints are big and bold and display big flowers, ornaments, geometric patterns or tile and wallpaper imitations. I think these big prints create movement, which is what we are looking for. The bold prints you choose should however still read as one overall colour.

I have also prepared a Pinterest board with further inspiration pictures and even some sample fabric mosaics if you are looking for more ideas.


Work with a 1/4 inch seam throughout. I am not fussy about which way you press the seams but prefer them to be ironed towards the dark fabric should a huge difference in tonal value arise.

Rehearse your feature fabric choices next to the ‘Periwinkle Blue’. Press your piece of ‘Periwinkle Blue’ and cut the fabric into pieces along the chalked on lines or measure anew to obtain four strips of 3 x 6 and four strips of 3 x 8.5 inches.

Of the four feature prints you chose, cut 1 rectangle of 6 x 9 inches each. Cut each rectangle further into pieces of 6 x 6 and 3 x 6 inches, and finally the 3 x 6 piece into two pieces of 3 x 3.

Once you have cut all the pieces, your should have arrived at the below.

Now have a look at the video tutorial for the assembly of the block (you can commence watching at 2:13, when Jenny starts assembling) BUT please remember that we will insert a further step prior to assembling the four subunits into the final block (!), so stop following the video at 5:48 and come back here.

Please note: Jenny does, what she calls 'snowballing the corners' at which point you will trimm off triangular scraps. Please hold on to those, as we will need some of them later.

Attach the short blue strip to the feature fabric square and take care to align the pieces correctly. Press the seam and attach the long blue fabric strip. Repeat the process with the remaining feature fabrics to form the four subunits of the block.

Once you have sewn the 4 subunits as below, we will pick four of the priviously trimmed off  blue triangles in order to sew those onto the corners of the subunits in such a way, as to form a wonky little blue diamond at the centre of the finished block.

Place a blue triangle in the corner of the subunit that will form part of the centre of the finished block. If you want to you, can fold the triangle at the base to mark the 1/4 seam line. Try to align the triangle sides evenly with the edges of the underlying fabric (as indicated by the arrows).

If it helps you, mark the edge of the underlying fabric with a soluble pen or chalk. to show you, where the triangle is suposed to go meet the underlying fabric (I have highlighted the points with circles in the below picture). This entire step is merely to gauge, where the triangle is supposed to end up.

Now for the tricky bit. In order to sew the triangle on you need to flip it over first. The points of the triangle should protrude over the edges of the underlying fabic by 1/4 of an inch or a little more. That is usually a good measure to ensure that the triangle, once sewn on and folded over, aligns evenly with the underlying edges as it should.

OK, now you either take a deep breath and sew the triangle on eyeballing it (top stitching) or you lengthen the stitch length of your sewing machine to 5 or 5.5 to baste carefully along the seam allowance line 1/4 of an inch from the edge without locking the start and end of the seam. Fold the triangle over and check if it is where you want it to be. If yes, shorten the stitch length again and re-sew the seam this time locking start and end of it as always. If the triangle is not where it is supposed to be, carefully rip out the basting stitches and try again.

Once you are happy, trimm off the protruding points of the triangle, as well as the bit of the feature fabric that is now going to be replaced with the blue fabric. Fold the blue triangle over, press and then repeat the process for all subunits.

Once your subunits look like this, you can assemble them into the finished block.

See, easy as pie. Feel free to ask questions. It took me 10 minutes to cut the fabirc and 45 minutes (checking back and forth) to sew the first block. The second one came together even faster. The finished block has a size of 16.5 x 16.5.

I expect the finished quilt to be either completely overwhelming or drop-dead-gorgeous, verging on possibly both. I hope all of this is not too restrictive and that you will have fun making this block.

Kind regards



Oh - by the way, this particular basic star shape has previously been requested by Stash Bee Queens, albeit in rather different interpretations. You can find the quilts here and here.


Lisa J. said...

Wow. This is gorgeous!

Allison/Savage Pink said...

Absolutely love your color inspirations! This is going to be an amazing quilt!

Puppilalla said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I am glad you like my choice.

Paige said...

Love your color choices! Great tutorial too!