Monday, October 31, 2016

Hive 1 November Tutorial - Scrappy Candy Canes

Yay!!! It's my Queen Bee month :) My name is Cheri Beatty, and I've had so much fun with all the different blocks this year. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a fun, novelty themed block - since my month was later on the calendar, Christmas was an obvious choice. There are a ton of Christmas trees and snowmen floating around,  so I thought we'd do something a little different... Scrappy Candy Canes!!!

For color, think traditional Christmas red and green - please no pinks, teal or aquas. Please use a solid  bright white or a white on white print.

These blocks will finish at 16"  so they should be 16.5" when you mail them.

So, put on some festive Xmas tunes (might I suggest "Straight no Chaser" -  if you have Amazon prime, you can stream their new Christmas album for free :) ), and let's get started.

You will need: (38) 2.5" green squares
                         (2)  3"     green squares
                         (12) 3"    red squares
                         (12) 3"    white squares

 Draw a diagonal line on the backside of your 3" green squares and on the backside of  11 of your
white squares.

With right sides together, match a 3" green square to a 3" red square. Sew a 1/4" on each side of your line to make (2) 1/2 square triangles. Trim to 2.5" squares.

Repeat with the remaining 3" green square and a 3" white square...then repeat with the remaining red and white 3' squares for a total of:
                                                       (2) Green & Red 1/2 square triangles
                                                       (2) Green & White 1/2 square triangles
                                                      (22) Red & White 1/2 square triangles

Now,  grab some Christmas cookies and a cup of hot chocolate, because here comes the fun part… Time to play !

 Arrange your squares to form your candy canes as shown below. I chose to sew mine into rows, ironing the seams in opposite directions before joining the rows. Feel free to sew them however is easiest to you .

I'm thinking of  doing some  appliqué ribbons across the candy canes when I receive all of the blocks...we'll see ;)

That's it - I hope you have a much fun making this block as I did designing it!

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions ~ Merry (early) Christmas!!!!

Hive 7 - October Block for Sherry

Cutting it close to the deadline, but here's my block for Sherry.

I hope I got the colours right.

~ Anja

My late block for...........

Sorry, for the delay but here it is.
Unbelievable, this is the whole block.
Love my Singer Featherweight.
And then before you no it, the block is done.
I do hope you like it Kathy?
Have a nice day

Hive 4 block just in the nick of time!

This month's block set us the challenge of choosing a focal point of something that makes us happy and frame it with low volume strips.

This was such a good idea, it got me rummaging through my most happy fabrics!  I chose a bicycle as it always makes me think of sunny days cycling to Curragh Chase, a national forest park about 11 miles from our house. All the kids on the street I grew up on would go with whatever parent we could convince to pedal with us and be gone for the day, coming home in time for tea! 

So thats my version of a happy block, popping in the post tomorrow! Happy Halloween everybody!

Block for Tanyia

I adore anything & everything beachy & nautical. Love, love, love your color choices!!! Hope you enjoy:) ~ Cheri

Hive 3 - October Block for Lauren

I know the rule about not sewing when you'r tired, but somehow I never follow it. It has been a very busy month and somehow my bee block kept getting delayed. So I sat down yesterday to knock it out, but I was so tired. Once the block was done, I really didn't like my color choices, I didn't think there was enough contrast.  I was trying to use more Tula fabric and it just didn't look right. So I decided to put it away until today.  Yes the absolute last day, what was I thinking. I do like my second block better, and I'm including the first block in case she wants to use it.

I'm headed to the post office in about 30 minutes and it will be on it's way.  Just in the nick of time.

October Spinwheel for Taniya

I'm in just under the wire....this is a block that you just have to be patient with.  All the blocks so far look like they'll work really well together.

The lighting wasn't great for this photo...but I"m very happy with the colors.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hive 4, October 2016, Don't Worry be Happy for Kim

Like Kim I can't believe this year is almost over.  This is my second year doing the stash bee and I have enjoyed it even more this year. I like seeing other people's color combinations and all the different block designs.

The center fabric of this block is a scrap from the first quilt I planned out and made.  It's a Frida Kahlo themed quilt.  The main fabrics are from the Folklorico collections by Alexander Henry.  This scrap is the from the fabric that inspired the whole quilt. Here is a picture of the quilt top with a guest appearance from a cat of mine.  As you can see, he had extra toes on his front paws.

And here is the block I created.  It's very different from the super colorful quilt it came from & I think it looks great.

Hive 5 improv block for Susan

I hope you enjoy the forest colors of this block? It will be fun to see the finished top! I'll get this in the mail tomorrow. Happy Halloween, All!

Hive 8 - October Block

Hello Hive 8!

I had fun choosing fabrics for this block and working out the arrangement (I was a challenge for me to remember to keep the yellow ones within the X so lots of trial and error was needed)

All the blocks I've seen posted look amazing and together will create a striking quilt!

Hive 7 - October Block

I am currently working at an Early Voting Site in North Carolina – as you can imagine, all of my days (and then some) are very, very busy!
Ich arbeite gerade in einem Wahllokal in North Carolina – wie ihr Euch wahrscheinlich vorstellen könnt, geht’s bei uns rund!
Sherry chose a block that included partial seams – but they were VERY easy (and the block was really quick).
Sherry hat sich einen Block gewünscht, der schnell zu nähen ist und auch Nähte hat die man teilweise am Anfang näht, und dann erst zum Schluss komplett schliesst (die aber auch sehr leicht waren).
And here it is:
Und hier ist er:
I like this block! (I feel as if I am saying this every month, but we have had a LOT of really nice ones)
Mir gefällt dieser Block sehr (aber ich glaube ich habe das jeden Monat wiederholt).
The block was mailed today – day before last (not proud of that)
Der Block wurde heute abgeschickt, am vorletzten möglichen Tag (darauf bin ich nicht stolz) 
Patchwork and Pastry (

Hive 3 October Block

This block was fun to do and came together much quicker than I expected.   I hope the colors agree with what Lauren wanted.  Sorry for sending it right at the end.  It's been a busy month!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Block for October

We are almost done with this wonderful year!  I feel blessed to have gotten to try out so many new blocks!  This one did not disappoint!

The middle square came from fabric that I got in my big stash buy a few years ago.  I really like the flowers and the old feel of the fabric.  Hope you like it!

October Block for Sherry

Happy Fall to my Hivemates! 

I don't know why I let "partial seams" paralyze me the entire month! They are not a big deal at all. It's great to learn something new.

Sherry, I hope you like the block! Will be mailed out on Monday. 

Hive 7

When I first read the directions I was a bit intimidated but in the end it was an easy block and fun to do!  

Very interested to see what the blocks look like put together

Friday, October 28, 2016

October paper piecing for Lauren

Lauren chose a quick to sew paper piecing pattern and was kind enough to send us the pattern so we didn't have to size adjust. She loves Tula fabric and I can't say I blame her. I had a little so I used it to make a block I hope works for her quilt. It's brighter than it looks here - bad night time lighting!

Linda Licht
Hive 3

Hive 4

Hi,    Sorry to just post a picture all by it's self.  I don't really don't  know how it write from my phone, so I  usually just post the picture and then go to my desk top to finish up.   I just didn't seem to get time for that this month. I finished up this sweet block for Kim.  I wasn't to sure about it, but I do like it. Hope it works for you Kim.  ok ready for the last block of this year.  Wow! Where did the time go.  It has been fun.  It has been a great year in Stash Bee.  Looking forward to another group of  interesting blocks.     Thanks all, Enjoy Rose                                                                                                                           

Hive 4 "Don't worry, be happy"

I almost sent this one out as a 12.5" was even in the mailbox.  But then I reread the instructions for some reason and noted that it was actually 15.5" and ran out to get the envelope back.  Luckily, it was quite easy to make it a little bit bigger.  It went back out in the mail a few days ago, so hopefully you'll get it soon!

Hive 1 September Block

Well this bad boy is super late to the party! So sorry about the delay but it will be winging it's way over the pond to you asap!

Hive 4: October block for Gayle

I think I maybe have a different conception of what low volume means and I'm not sure I hit the mark on this one, Kim. If it's not what you're after, let me know and I'll try again, but it'll be a bit late. If it's ok, I can have it in the post by the weekend - just let me know!

Greetings from Munich,


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hive 9 October block

Mary picked a super simple block that when cut up and refashioned will be a very impactful design.  Now purple is my favorite color and now I realize that I don't have anywhere near enough in my purple stash. I'd be glad to fix this 😄. I do have a lot of green, so green it is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hive 6 - October Block for Sue

Hi Rebecca here from @oneweebird with Sue's block for October

I love quilts made with flying geese but loathe sewing them all together so getting the Hive to do it for you is perfect. It was a gloomy day so the contrast and pop isn't showing up well but I think they'll work. Great block Sue!

Hive 8 October Block for Lisa

Lisa approved the beginnings of a fabric pull for her block, then Hurricane Matthew decided to pay us a visit.  I was able to cut squares without electricity and even sewed the strips using generator power, but I could not press to complete the block until power was restored.  Internet was intermittent and remained so until we replaced the router. Thankfully things are beginning to feel normal again. The block has been mailed and should arrive soon.  I hope it plays nice with the rest of the blocks.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Inside Scoop on Lower Postage Rates

Being the daughter of a lifelong USPS employee, I've learned a thing or two about mailing letters and packages. For example, did you know that there is such a thing as a book rate (formally known as media mail)? Yep! Of course, some restrictions apply but it's often a rate that many people don't know about. (And just to clarify - I'm not suggesting that you try to send a block using this rate!)

So let's talk about mailing out your blocks and how to get the cheapest rate possible. I've posted about this method before, but I want to revisit it in more detail. Here are my 2 not-so-secret weapons: Glad Press'n Seal and 6"x9" manilla envelopes.

The key to cheaper postage is getting your package as flat as possible. The envelope shouldn't be padded. What's important about this envelope is the size. A 6"x9" envelope is considered a standard letter size, according to the US Postal Service (see this handy chart).

Now in order for it to ship at the letter rate, it cannot be thicker than 1/4" and it should not be completely rigid. It needs to be a bit flexible so that it can go through the automated sorting machine. If you add in a rigid piece of cardboard it might have to be sorted by hand and that increases the postage. The best product I've found to protect my block during shipping is Press'n Seal. Not only does it protect your block, it aids in getting it as flat as possible. Unfortunately, I don't think that this product readily available outside the US.

So here are the steps I take:

First, I rip off a fairly large piece of it and lay it sticky side up. I include a small note that has the name and address of the recipient, face down.

Next, I fold up my block to a size that will fit in the envelope. I find that you can get it flatter by folding it with the seams on the outside.

I carefully fold the block up in the Press'n Seal, pushing out as much air as possible. I then use tape to secure it.

And here is how thin I was able to get it:

I don't live near a post office, so I always mail my domestic blocks from home. How do I know how many stamps to put on it? I use my kitchen scale to determine the weight of the envelope and go to this USPS site to calculate the postage. Typically, it will require 2 stamps to send a block.

International blocks require a trip to the post office, but I still package the envelopes the exact same way and if you keep it to the letter size, you shouldn't be paying more than $6 to send it overseas.

And there you have it! I hope this helps to reduce your shipping costs.  You will find all of this helpful information under the Resources & Tips tab at the top of the page.

October Blocks for Sherry

Here are 2 blocks for Sherry.  Easy block after looking at tutorial.  Spent more time worried about getting the colors right. Hope you like them. I am interested in seeing how what this looks like all put together in a finished quilt. Looking forward to seeing next months block which will be our last one of the year.

Also, crashed Hive 9 for Mary and made her some purple and green blocks.  Spent more time picking out material than sewing together 9-patches. So simple, next thing I know I had 4 blocks picked out. Enjoy Mary.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hive 1 Block for Tanyia

The Spinwheel Block was quick and easy!   Seeing the other blocks, I can't wait to see them playing together.

October Hive 8 The Grand Finale

Sniff Sniff, sigh. Hive 8 is finishing up early due to a drop out, so this is my last block of the year.  It was a great one, though!  I had a good time choosing fussy cuts and reminiscing with my scraps.  I hope to see all of you next year, maybe even in the same hive, wouldn't that be neat?!?  -Lee

October Hive 7

Finally finished, this block scare me at first but it went together very easy. Enjoy.will be mailed out on Monday

It's All About the Blocks!

As we get closer to sign-ups for 2017, I wanted to take some time to talk about blocks.  All of the specific rules and expectations can be found here, but here is a recap:
  • Your block can be no larger than 16" finished (16.5" unfinished)
  • The block should take no longer than 1.5 hours to make
  • The block cannot require specialty tools in order to make unless they are provided by the queen.

Now let's get to the fun part - selecting a block to make! Sometimes, that can be the hardest part of participating in Stash Bee. Also, selecting the right type of block can make all the difference in a successful bee quilt. If this is your first time participating in a bee, here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep it simple.  Blocks that require precise points and seams that need to match up perfectly can sometimes lead to frustration when it comes time to assemble all of your blocks. 
  • Think ahead - to sash or not to sash.  One way to eliminate slight variations in block size is to add sashing to your blocks once you receive them. That can also eliminate the need to line up several seam.
  • Select a block that can be trimmed down.  It is absolutely okay to ask your bee-mates to send the block untrimmed. Here are 2 examples.  Sarah's July block was a string block that was made larger so that she could trim it down to the size she wanted. 

    The disappearing 4-patch block that Bonnie requested in March is another example of a block that can easily be trimmed down to any size: 
  • Colors may vary.   Requesting very specific colors can lead to disappointment. Everyone perceives and interprets color differently, so one person's aqua is another person's turquoise. That's why it is better to make broader color selections. Fabric examples from your own stash are helpful but remember you may not ask your bee-mates to use a specific fabric line/color.
  • Block pattern must be free and not copyrighted.   You may only use block patterns that are free-of-charge to the public. If it's in a for-purchase-only magazine or book, it cannot be used, even if you modify the dimensions for a smaller/bigger block. Likewise, If it's from an online source such as Craftsy or Etsy and has a price attached to it, then it too cannot be used.

Block Resources

Looking for a good bee block? Check out these online resources. You will also be able to find these under the Resources & Tips tab at the top of the page.

The Bee HIve - this is a great series by Alyse from Blossom Heart Quilts.

Piece N Quilt - blog by Natalia Bonner & Kathleen Whiting that has some great block tutorials

Fresh Lemons - blog owner Faith has some great tutorials on techniques and blocks.

What about you? Know of any great bee block resources? Please share them in the comments below and I'll add them to our list.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hive 9 block for Mary from Allison

Making these big nine patch blocks for Mary was super easy and super fun. I love your color choices, Mary, and I can't wait to see everything when it's cut and put together.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Forest Blocks for Susan

I had a great time making these simple blocks and making up a story of a walk in the woods. I live in the mountains very close to the woods, and chose colors that describe the trees and fungi I see. Pine, Fir, Tamarack that are a deciduous larch with needles, Blue Spruce, and Ponderosas. Growing on the fallen trees are fungi in bright orange colors: Chanterelles, witches' butter, wood ears, white lions' mane, and the delicious scented anise shelf mushrooms. Hanging from trees are fun lichens in colors from grey to sage to chartreuse. Overhead the sky is blue with grey clouds.

From Idaho to Washington with love
The super fun part of my story is that I am traveling to Seattle in 2 weeks for a FART (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip.) I am taking a 2 day workshop from freddy-moran, one of my long time bucket list dreams. And... I am going to meet Susan!!! Can't wait!! Photos to follow on my blog.