Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Geese for Diana

I've used my blocks as a sewing distraction last weekend.  I'm neck deep trying to finish another quilt and needed a short break.   I'd already pulled the fabrics, just had to cut and assemble.  As easy to chain piece 2 as 1 ...

Diana asked for things to watch or listen to in the background.  I'm working my way through Netflix shows.  I "watch" about 2 episodes each evening.  Right now I'm almost through Reign, but I usually like crime dramas ... Alias, Bones, Castle are some I return to time after time.  Also, I rewatch the Harry Potter and Twilight movies with my girls far more than I probably should admit ... usually with some handwork or binding in my lap.  Right now my youngest LOVES Newsies--the Disney stage version.  The music is catchy and the plot simple ...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hive 5 January 2018 Block for Cathleen

It's another year of Stash Bee for me and I'm loving it.  I liked how this felt a bit improvisational.  After pulling my fabric I did strip widths & lengths somewhat randomly.  I think it came together well.  Thanks for this block idea and the story behind why you selected the color palette. 

Hive 1 - January Block for Diana

Can't believe how quickly January has flown by!  Last weekend and I'm playing the "must post" get my block posted game!!

After a couple of years hiatus from Stash Bee, I'm back and looking forward to it!

I'm living in the UK, with my hubster and my 3 black cat furbabies.   I'm a European Quality Director for a multi national 1st Tier automotive company, so a lot of travel and stress, so knitting and sewing keeps me sane.

So Diana - here's your block - hope you like!  :)

I don't tend to watch tv when I'm sewing, I do listen to "Simon Mayo Confessions" (available on itunes - a BBC Radio 2, show segment pulled into a weekly podcast)

I do love Netflix - I'm a Marvel netflix original girl, so like luke cage etc....  Also Designated survivor (who doesn't like a bit of Keifer Suterland!)...  currently on a Amazon Prime binge as all the old Grey's Anatomy series have been released - so back to series 1 - only 14 to go!!!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

January block for Paulette Hive 4

Greetings all!

This is my 4th year in the Stash Bee and I love being stretched and trying new blocks!  Paulette's block this month was a lovely twist on the 9 patch, and I decided to make 2 for her.

This quilt will be so fun to see!!  Since I'm queen next month, I'll give more details about myself then.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hive 4 Block for Paulette

I am so excited for my first block in my first year of Stash Bee!
Thanks for a great block to start with, Paulette! It was lots of fun to make.
The block in the upper left corner looks more purple in person :)

It's on the way to you first thing in the morning.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hive 1 Block for Diana

Diana is Queen for January and has requested a great block!!
I was already working with greys and reds so didn't have to go far to find the fabric.  The block is done and will be in the mail tomorrow.  Hope it fits into the quilt you are making.
Add caption

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January - Hive 7

It’s a new year, new group members, new choices! Laura requested Asterisk blocks. She gave us workers the choice of sewing the four 6.5 blocks into a single block or let them be free. I jumped in this the first day it was posted. In my haste, my habit of pressing to the dark went against the directions. A few weeks later, I sewed another 4, all pressed correctly.

And now they are packaged and ready to head to their new home.

Hive 1 block for Diana

Hi Diana, Here is your block. I thought it was like mine, but it was better then mine. I love the flying geese. Hope this works for you. Looking forward to a fun stash bee this year. 
Enjoy Rose

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hive 4 - Star

This block was a wonderfully easy block to get back into the swing of things!  I was going to do blue and orange, the colors of my alma mater, but then realized I didn't have enough bright orange that was mostly orange in one fabric.  Yellow contrasts nicely though too!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Frozen Geese

25 years I moved from California to Mississippi, quite the culture shock. Several years later, I began to be able to understand most of what people said to me. The Deep South is different, slower, less sophisticated, but not at all unpleasant. 

You would have laughed at us on Monday though, when snow flurries were expected by Tuesday morning and everything in town was cancelled. Schools, stores, doctors, banks, all announced they would be closed. Everyone rushed out to the store to stock up on supplies and bottled water (me too). Then we got about 0.125" of snow and the streets got damp.

It is so cold here that all the smart Geese just kept on flying and all the people are huddled up indoors. I know this is a weenie complaint, but here in central Mississippi, the average low temp is 25ºF and we are totally unprepared and under-insulated for temps in the teens. 

I'll bet even Diana in central Florida is cold too. So here is a picture of the frozen geese I made for her. I will post them as soon as it gets warm enough to go out the door again.

January geese for Diana, Hive 1

I had fun with this block. . . .and even my husband thought it was pretty cool.

I am looking forward to seeing how my block plays with the others that Diana gets.

This is the second time that I am in the Stash Bee.  My first time was in 2016. . . and I still have not completed a quilt with the blocks that I received.  I have been trying to decide how I want to set the blocks. . . . and if I want to make more blocks for a larger quilt.

I have recently been doing a LOT of hand quilting to get a long term UFO completed and have been listening to books on tape.  I am on the last published book (so far) in the Outlander series ("Written in My Own Heart's Blood").

I enjoy reading of any kind. . . and books on CD allow me to listen to a book with my hands free to do the quilting.

Of course it is harder to listen while sewing (although I have done it with the volume at full blast). . . . .but it is impossible when I am using my quilting machine. . . I need all my concentration on that.

We here in New Jersey had another bit of snow. . . . hardly anything where I live though.  They say that it will be getting warmer by the weekend so I am guessing that most of it will be gone by then.

Have a wonderful day,


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Queen Diana, Hive 1

These may look a little off with shadows from a nearby bush but I couldn’t fuss with the picture much because it’s 10 degrees below zero here in northern Wisconsin!  I spent the day with my mother yesterday-packed a White sewing machine that I found in a “free” stack at a rummage last summer and worked on these blocks.  She loved them so much that I think I added a new project to my list of must dos.

Happy to be back for a third year with the Stashbees.  I have been sewing since I was twelve years old-48 years now and I still feel like a newby with so much creative talent around me.  We all have our ying and yang.  I am a lawyer in a courtroom almost everyday all day- sewing and working with beautiful patterns, colors and fabric takes me away from work—it’s my happy place.  For background while I sew, I often just listen to a local public radio station operated by volunteers with incredible tastes in music in all genres.  I’ve  also been binge watching the Netflix series “Madmen”—a drama consisting of seven seasons with more than 90 episodes so lots of material, and surprisingly contemporary issues.  I also loved the Netflix series “Frankie and Grace.”  Looking forward to learning more about my bee mates.🐝

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January block for Diana in Hive 1

Happy New Year!

This is my second year in Stash Bee and I love it!  The amazing ideas, the new & challenging blocks, the familiar & skill-building blocks, the great people -- this is a wonderful place and I am so very excited and grateful to be a part of it!

I picked a few of my favourite wild fabrics for these geese.  I hope you like them, Diana.  As for things to watch or listen to while you're sewing... I can't watch while I sew or I quit sewing... unless it's Firefly.

Like many Browncoats, I regularly let it play in the background when I'm home, because...

Usually, I listen to audio books, podcasts, or Pandora.  Lately, I've been listening to J.D. Robb's "In Death" series, the "Freakonomics" podcast, and a Pandora station seeded with "Black Betty" by Spiderbait.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January Hive 4 Block for Paulette


This was a great start to the year! Thank you for a fun block...funny part...I pulled out oranges for the background because I have a bunch to choose from, and you wanted a different fabric for each piece if we could...then I pulled out a blue for the star, until I saw you already made one like that! So I pulled out a fun green instead...enjoy!

It's on its way to you today!


Monday, January 8, 2018

January 2018 Hive 1 block for Diana

This is my first year with Stash Bee, although I've followed the blog for a year or two.  I love the idea of using up my stash to contribute to quilts that others are making.  I've been gravitating toward more modern looking quilts lately, so I enjoyed making your block, Diana.

You asked for media suggestions.  I must be on a western kick, because recently I finished the Longmire series and the Godless limited series on Netflix.  I loved them both.  Strong women in the West.  I'm also enjoying the British women monarchs on The Crown and Victoria.  Last night I started the book Manhattan Beach, which my husband read and liked.  I hope you try some of them out.

Here are the two blocks I made this month.  It was just as easy to make two as one.  One is my favorite color green and my granddaughters' favorite color of orange.

Kathie L from Allentown, PA

January Star for Paulette - Hive 4

Its my fourth year participating with Stash Bee and I was eager to get it started.  Paulette gave us a relatively easy block.  The hardest part was choosing the colors since the only parameters were that it should read the same tone. 

I chose aqua....but the photo wasn't in the best light. 

I've left it untrimmed per your request.... It will be interesting to see all the colors you receive.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hive 6 January block for Emily

Hi! Emily requested a bookshelf block. I thought about it for a bit and came up with this.

I ended up paper piecing the teapot and used selvedges for the book titles. I am tickled with how it turned out. Stay warm!

Are you a gadget girl or guy?

I’m thinking about gadgets and how we use them.  I’m also thinking ahead to the block I will ask my Hive 2  Bee buddies to make for me...away into the future.  That led me to start thinking (and dreaming and drooling) about my new obsession...curved blocks. .FYI, for me this is the year of the curve.  I am resolved to master this skill in 2018.

I know many of us are a tiny bit freaked out about making blocks with curves.  Ask me someday about my theory re how the drunkards path block was named....I’m convinced the maker may have had one...or six...glasses of wine during the construction period.

So after that somewhat convoluted introduction, I want to know what rulers and gadgets you rely on in your cupboard.  I’m also curious if you have any tips on how you use these gadgets to make better blocks. And...of course I want to know how comfortable you are making curved blocks...because I’m really really interested in making a quilt that involves lots of beautiful curves.

These are the rulers and or gadgets I have purchased over the years because they seduced me into thinking that I could, with their help, produce a perfect arc.

Quick Curve Ruler
Quick Curve Mini Ruler
Omni Arc
EZ Circle Ruler

I’ve had various levels of success and some spectacular failures  with all these products.  Right now, my go-to Ruler is the EZ Circle. I like it because it’s really versatile and can be used to cut many sized arcs, and half or full circles..  It is however somewhat fragile...Either that or I have a very heavy hand...mine broke in two pieces  at the 10” mark...but I can still use it.  And I intend to use it a whole lot this year.

How about you? Are you a curvey girl or guy? Do you have tools in your toolbox to make curved blocks?  Would you be comfortable to do so? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Look to the Blog

In case you hadn't noticed, the blog looks a bit different. That beautiful banner at the top of the blog is thanks to our very own mama from hive 3, Alanna!  She came up with the graphic for her hive and I loved it so much that I asked if we could use it for the entire bee.  The website needed a bit of a refresh and I thought it was just what we needed.

Thanks, Alanna!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jan 2018, Hive 1

Hi Diana!
Fun block to start the year with!
The stripe that looks greenish is more grey in real life--I hope you'll agree! I'll clean up all those stray threads before I mail it off to you.
I finished it earlier this week. Here in Northern NJ/NY area, we're getting hit with the storm that's been moving up the coast, so with a snow day today, I'll get it packaged up and hopefully drop in the mail tomorrow morning!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Paulette's star blocks

These went together easily, Paulette. The trick of nesting the 2 star points together worked like a dream.
Hope the colors go well together. The yellow block has a star more orange than red in color.
This should be a great quilt.
Hope to get them in the mail in the next 2 days. The weather is below zero here with a chill factor.

Hive 2 January Tutorial

Hello Hive 2,

I bet you were wondering if I had forgotten. Nope, just running late.  Hope you have had some time off and getting to spend some of it with family and friends and maybe if lucky getting some sewing done.  This is my 3rd year as a Hive Mom and am looking forward to all that we will be making and seeing what someone has picked for each new month.  I am interested in seeing your post on IG, which is new this year.  I live in Tennessee and I am a RN who works in a Cath Lab and I also own a brick and mortar quilting shop, The Dancing Bobbin (also on IG).  I do the long arm for the shop which keeps me busy which means I never have enough time to sew for me and always have many projects in different phases. Always thrilled when I get one completed.  My least favorite part of quilting is binding and usually I must admit get someone else to do it.

Well the good news is I have picked an easy block that shouldn't take you long to sew up.  I have been wanting to do a pink and navy quilt for a while and have been collecting a lot of fat quarters for this.  Therefore, I thought this would be a good way to get going, then I had to find a block.  A couple weeks ago Jedi Craft Girl released her Sparkle Quilt (http://www.jedicraftgirl.com/2017/12/sparkle-quilt-free-quilt-pattern.html) and I decided that was perfect.  Easy block that will show off the pink and navy and I always love a quilt with a secondary pattern when put together. She also posted her finished quilt on her Instagram that you can go view. (if you don't follow her give her a look, Mufasa is worth it alone),

So let's get started and this is what the block will look like:

I would like 4 different Pinks and here are some of the ones I have already cut:

I would like 4 different Navy (color didn't really photograph well but color should be truer towards navy) and here are some I have pulled:

I would like the Grey to be light to medium and read grey not with much other colors, here are some I pulled:

Finally here are some of the low volume (preferably more whites that creams) I picked:

You will need 4x 5" pink squares and 4x 5" navy squares and 1x 5" grey square and 8x 2.5" low volume squares.

Draw diagonal lines across the low volume squares and place on 2 corners of the blues across from each other.  I usually sew next to the line as opposed to on the line. I find it gives me a truer size square when you snow ball it. Then trim 1/4" and iron open. Now ready to make the block.  I told you this was easy.

Lay out block making sure your navy corners are pointing in towards grey to form X. I pressed the rows towards the pink squares and that allowed it to nest making it easy to sew rows together. Then I pressed rows towards the center row.  Your block should finish at 13.5 ". Here are 2 more I blocks I have made.  Let me know if you have any questions. Can't wait to see what you make!


Hive 5 January 2018 Block - WInter Trees

Happy 2018 Hive Five!

I am looking forward to participating in Stash Bee this year and getting to know each of you through your posts and creations.  

I would like to construct a modern winter tree quilt. I was inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's winter quilt that you can see here. https://blog.fatquartershop.com/2012/12/blogger-choice-elizabeth-hartman.html I would like to create a forest of monochromatic gray trees. I am intrigued by gray and also want to create something that will help me process the wildfires that destroyed about 3000 homes in my town this last October.  
You can help by creating a 15.5" square of fabric that I will use to create a forest of different sized trees.  

This is the process that I used to construct my samples.

Pull your grays and organize them from darks to lights.  My gray stash has been growing.
Choose 10-12 and arrange them so that the darks and lights are in a random order that you like. It's okay if they aren't all pure grays.  It's even okay if your grays have a pop of another color, as long as the fabric still reads primarily as gray.  
Once you've identified your favorite order, cut a strip from each fabric that is a minimum of 15.5" long.  You can cut it any width between 1" to 2.5".  I cut each strip so that it would be a different width than the one below and above.  Some of my strips were longer simply because the scrap I used was just a bit longer.  Those extra little bits will come in handy.

For anyone who wants a guide, I cut the following widths:
  • one 1"
  • two 1.25"
  • one 1.5"
  • one 1.75"
  • one 2"
  • one 2.25"
  • four 2.5"
But, seriously, have fun cutting any way you'd like based on your fabric choices staying between 1" to 2.5" wide.

When I sewed my first sample, I was lazy and speedy.  Consequently the outer edges of the block were wider than the center of the block. When I attached my walking foot the second time, my block had more uniform horizontal strips and wasn't wider on the edges.

I placed the strips on my design wall and then chain pieced one strip to another until I had a combined unit that measured a minimum of 15.5" square.  Astute observers will notice that my block is a bit taller than 15.5."  

I pressed all the seams open so that I can cut the trees from either direction.  
This is what your block might resemble when you mail it to me. 

When my fabric unit was completed, I was able to cut three different size trees and still have some little bits remaining that might lead to some interesting experiments for the quilt back.  

I am still debating on a background fabric. On white, there's hardly any contrast. On black, there's a lot. Ironically enough, the trees showed best in a photo when I hung them on some exterior bricks. I'd really appreciate any suggestions for a different background fabric. To share your suggestion, post a photo of your block folded at an angle sitting on a fabric that I could consider.  
Please send me your block untrimmed so that I can have fun with any extra little bits.  

I hope this will be an easy block for each of you, and one that lets you play with contrast.  

Email or send me a message through Instagram if you have any questions.

With much appreciation, 
aka Kitch Kouture

HIVE 3: Pink & Purple Stars

Happy New Year Hive Three!!!

It has been really fun getting to know each of you through our email chain over the holidays. For those that have not yet shared, please reply all and tell us about yourself (using the four questions as a guide) before the end of the month.

For those that at aren't in Hive 3- Hello, I am Alanna. I live in Northeastern BC, 14 hours from Vancouver, with my dog Indi. She is a pitbull mix and I adopted her from the same organization that Dawn in Hive 1 (hi Dawn) got her dog from!

As Hive Mamma I am first up for January. Choosing a block is often the hardest part of Stash Bee, so this year I am not overthinking it. At my local quilt guild's holiday party we each had to take a random magazine, then turn to page 36 and rip out the page. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to make a quilt or wall hanging inspired by the page.

This is what I got:

So, taking a very literal interpretation, I've decided to make some pink and purple stars for this challenge.

I am following a pattern from CluckCluckSew, which was made available for free before Christmas. You can find it here:

Step 1
The first step is to choose your fabrics. You will need three fabrics in total, and you have two choices:

  • For a pink star on purple background : two pinks and one purple; or
  • For a purple star on pink background: Two purples and one pink.
Please go for brights- prints and solids are okay but no batiks please. If you have a pink or purple fabric that has some yellow in it as the secondary colour, that would be fine too, but otherwise pink and purple should be the dominant colour in any print. These are fabrics that I pulled:

Step 2
Next cut the fabric:

  • The background should be the colour that you are using only one shade of (in my example its purple). Cut eight 4" squares.
  • The points and the centre square should be two different fabrics in the same colour (in my example its two different links). Cut eight 3" squares of one (these will be the points), and one 4" square in the other (this will be the centre).

Step 3,4 &5
Next, make four Half-square triangles as follows:
  • Mark the diagonal on the wrong side of the 3" squares. 
  • Place the 3" square on top of the opposite colour 4" square, placing it in the bottom right corner, right sides together (the diagonal should be placed so it touches each side).
  • Sew along the diagonal.
  • Trim 1/4 inches from the diagonal
  • Press the corner out, with the seam towards the triangle colour. 
  • Repeat so you have four units

Step 6 &7
Make the  second point on each of the four units:
  • Mark the diagonal on the wrong side of the four remaining 3" squares. 
  • Place the 3" square on top of the HST unit in the adjacent bottom corner, right sides together.
  • Sew along the diagonal, trim and press the corner open
  • Repeat with all four units.

Step 8
Layout the blocks.
Sew the units into 3 rows as shown. Press the top and bottom rows so the seams go out toward the back ground blocks. Press the centre row inwards towards the centre square. This is so the seams will nest nicely together. Sew the three rows together.

You're done!