Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hive 2 - February for Sherry

Nice easy blocks this month, done a couple of weeks ago, but work travel has overtaken my life...  so late posting!,

Think the light and dark will make an interesting quilt.

Hope you like.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Hive 2, February block

Hello Hive 2, This was a fun block for Sherry.  I really meant to make to more squares, but with extra family things going on I ran out of time. Hope you can use the extra blocks. They are on their way.
Enjoy! Rose

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Delayed picture for Hive 2

Sorry for this late post.  I thought I had written and posted my February blocks for Hive 2, but apparently not.  Here's try 2.  I know they have already arrived at Sherry's, so I'm glad I did THAT part correctly!! Enjoy.
Kathie L

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hive 2 February Block

Had a lot of fun making this super cute block this month! and i got to use my stash, which was super fun!

Hive 2 Block for February

Hi Hive 2!
I am trying to stay warm in a super cold February, and I’ll admit that the cold is draining my motivation to get stuff done. It’s too tempting to cuddle under a blanket and read a book instead. But I managed to wake up from my hibernation to ge this block done. It was fun to sew, and I enjoyed getting to pick whatever fabrics I wanted. This is in the mail first thing in the morning.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Block for Sherry in Hive 2

I'm also hive crashing Hive 2. Here is a block for Sherry.

Hope you like it. I left my email address in the comments on your tutorial post, please send me your address so I can drop this in the mail.

Block for Dawn in Hive 1

I am hive crashing Hive 1, because I have soooo many 2.5" strips. I loved Dawn's cross blocks, so I decided to make her some.

I will not be sewing them together, because I used the same 4 fabrics for the 4.5" strips in both blocks, that way Dawn can mix and match.

Hope you like them, and please send me your address so I can get them in the mail (I left my email in the comments of your tutorial post). Thanks!

Hive2 blocks for January and February

Somehow I missed setting up the link so I could add my blocks. Thanks to Paulette and Alanna for their help. Happy Valentines Day everyone ❤️. Joan

January - Hive 2 - for Paulette

January flew by, this was done and posted, but blogger got the better of me!

Not a block I would normally go for, but think the colours work well and the overall effect will be brill.  Looking forward to seeing them all together.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

September 2018 Hive 6 Quilt Finished!!

Finishing this quilt was number 1 on my crafting to-do list for 2019, and I had a lot of fun making it.  The blocks from my hivemates were all beautiful, and I made a few more to make this quilt the size I wanted.  I'm participating in Stashbee again this year, and I'm having fun working on my bee blocks.  I'm not Queen until November, so I have time to think up another block for my 2019 Stashbee quilt.

 I quilted it in straight lines about 1/2" apart, and bound it with a bright teal.  I'm very happy with how my "Improv Spinners and Hourglasses" (I couldn't think of a better name) quilt turned out.

 I'm smiling behind the quilt. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hive 2 - February blocks

Here are some fun blocks for Sherry.  Another easy fun block to make, made a few extra. I hope you like them.  Sorry for the bad lighting.

Hive #2 - January block

January blocks for Paulette,  hope you love them!  These were easy and fun to make.

Stash Bee Hive 2 February Blocks for Sherry

 These are the blocks for February, Stash Bee - Hive 2. I hope these will play well with your collection, Sherry! They were simple and fun. Thanks!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Hive 2 blocks for Sherry

 I loved making these cute little blocks.  I hope they will suit your project Sherry.  I will be mailing this week.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Boxed Squares

A few months ago I finally bought a 2.5 inch fussy cut square ruler, and was excited to put it to use for my February block.  These came together quickly!  I'll get them in the mail this week.


February 2019 - Hive 4 Tutorial

The last time I was in this bee was 2014. I finally finished that bee quilt in 2017. I'm hoping this one won't take as long because it's a quilt for my son's big boy bed. He's been in that bed for a while now, but has been small enough to fit under his baby quilt and blankets, but he's getting too big for those now. His room has a book theme, so I went back and forth, and finally decided on a bookshelf quilt.

There are plenty of tutorials floating around the internet (and this blog) of the easy way to make these blocks. But since I always have to do everything the hard way, here is what I did with it.


Size: 16.5" x 16.5" square

Fabrics: White solid for the background (I am using Kona White, but any "true" white solid is fine as I'll be sashing the blocks with a dark wood grain fabric. For the books and accessories on the shelves, you're welcome to use whatever, solid, print, novelty, etc. Whatever fits. And no, I have no issue with any colors, including pink, flower fabrics, or anything else. If it fits your block's theme, go for it. The only thing I ask is that you not use too many dark grey/black fabrics in your block, so it doesn't blend too much with my wood grain fabric.

Theme: Try to come up with a theme for your block (let me know what you picked on our Facebook group so we don't get duplicates). I went with Harry Potter (so that's taken), but you can do travel books (Atlas, tour guides, travel memoirs, etc.), crafting books, gardening books, children's books, Lord of the Rings, and so much more. If you need more ideas, just ask.

Accessories: I'm hoping you'll add a thematically appropriate accessory to your shelf, either paper pieced or appliqued. Fandom in Stitches is an amazing place to get free paper piecing patterns, but there are certainly many other places on the web to get free or inexpensive patterns. Some examples: globe for travel books, sewing machine for crafting books, bonsai or potted plant for gardening books, Winnie the Pooh stuffy for children's books, Tree banner and the one ring for LotR.

Signature "Book": If it's not too much to ask, I would love one additional strip/book with your name and location on it, so I can add those to my pieced backing.

List of Books: If you could send a list of books with your block, I am going to try and embroider the spines of the books. Please do not add any titles to the spines yourself, as I want them to be uniform.

Here is my fabric pull for my block and a fabric pull of novelty fabrics that would make for fun themes (background in both is my sashing fabric):

Top Row: Cookbooks; Middle Row: Nature (2), Science (2); Bottom Row: Nursery Rhymes (1), Travel (1), Christmas/Children's books (1), Crafting (1)

I started my block with a sketch (you don't have to do that). I used a 16x16 grid, sketched out where I wanted the different pieces to go, and then added .5" to each measurement for the seam allowance.

I may or may not have taken a picture of my HP books to see what the predominant colors of the spines were (and measured the height and width) - you REALLY don't have to do something like that:

I opted to paper piece the books, but if you follow the tutorial link for the 2016 bookshelf block, there is a faster and easier way to make the books. Here is my version of paper piecing (there are also many other ways to paper piece):

Print your template onto paper (I use regular printer paper, but thinner papers work too). Cut out the pieces (I like to leave room around the seam allowance, because these templates don't always have an accurate quarter inch seam allowance). Cut your fabric to roughly the right sizes. I will often just use fabric scissors, although for these books, a rotary cutter ended up being faster.

Take pieces 1 and 2 and position them on the back of the paper so that piece 1 covers the entire area for section 1, and piece 2 overlaps the line between sections 1 and 2 by about .25". Using a light source helps with this.

Make sure your stitch length is reduced to around 1 and then sew on the line through the seam allowance, if applicable (if you are starting in the middle of a piece for something more complicated, then you'll want to start about a quarter inch from where the line starts and end about a quarter inch from where it ends. Fold the paper back along the line you just stitched, and trim the fabric edges to a quarter inch from the fold.

Iron, finger press, or use a wooden presser wheel, to press fabric 2 up so it covers all of section 2. If you're not sure that it will actually cover, it's always good to give it a quick check before you trim and iron, just be folding it up and making sure it covers the section using a light source.

Now add piece 3, overlapping it along the line between sections 2 and 3 by about a quarter inch. Again, using a light source helps with this step.

Sew, trim, iron, repeat. Continue on in this way until you have covered all the sections. Now take your finished sections and sew them together. First trim a quarter inch from the lines (I like to use my ruler to determine how far from the line that is, because not every paper piecing pattern has accurate quarter inch outside seams).

If piecing a pattern with diagonal edges, it's a good idea to use a pin to line up important points on your block. Also, set your stitch length to longer when sewing together sections of a block (I use 2.5) as a sort of basting stitch. Check that your important points line up, and then either go back through with stitch length 1 to perforate the paper more, or just leave it at that.

When you are done with your paper piecing, make sure all the paper is removed from the back. I find a seam ripper works wonders for getting those tiny bits out from between the seams.

Once you're done making the smaller bits of your block, finish it up by adding background fabric in between. You'll notice that the background piece on the end in the second from top row is longer than it needs to be, so I can trim down to 16.5" before proceeding. And the top row piece is also taller than it needs to be for the same reason.

Sew the pieces into rows, then sew the rows together, and trim your block to 16.5" square.

Some additional helpful tips. I try to iron my seams open whenever possible to avoid bulk. But that's rarely possible when paper piecing, so I tend to press towards the side that has less bulk. In the case of my block above, that means ironing towards the background pieces around the Leaky Cauldron sign and the HP with the golden snitch. Also at the top of the potion bottle. Though I was able to sew them open between the books.

Thank you and Happy February.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Hurray! Hive 4 2018 Finishes. Baby Polaroid “Eye Spy” Quilts

Thanks to the generosity of my Beemates from 2018 Hive 4, who sent so many adorable Polaroid pictures to me that I was able to make two quilts!  One will go to baby Camden, born to a family of teachers, and the other is being sent to Project Linus in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  I feel so grateful to be part of such an inspiring and generous group- the Stashbees. A special thank you to Robin for donating the perfect backing. After these were finished, I started tidying up my sewing space and found more blocks, so if yours were not in these finishes, I will be using them in my orphan block quilt later this year which will also be a Project Linus gift. Aho.

ABC Backing
Project Linus

Friday, February 1, 2019

February Tutuorial for Hive 1, the Plus + Block for Dawn

Hello hive mates! 

I have chosen a tutorial for a PLUS quilt block, with a wee bit of modification to keep it simple and yet interesting.  Thank you to for sharing this pattern.  You can find the original tutorial here, but I deviate quite a bit from it so see details below. 

I made up a couple of sample blocks.  My ask for the block will actually be two, sewn together, finishing at 16 1/2 x 10 1/2".  I have a plan for about 80 of these beauties pulled together for our summer quilt, so I am excited to pick this for my month as queen to add some variety and make this quilt as scrappy as possible! 

For low volume please choose fabrics that will read from light to medium.  Some colour is ok, even background colour is good as long as it reads light to medium on the scale of volume.  I don't have too much low volume with colour in my stash, so I did grab what I could pull to photograph (the top row), and the bottom row is neutral colours.  I have a lot of those!  The volume of a few on the bottom right reads about medium, and its ok for neutrals to read a little bit darker.  Repeats in fabric are fine.  Its a scrappy quilt afterall!

For the plus' think lots of colour with the volume reading medium dark, but not too dark and definitely not too light.  Three fabrics in my pull below actually read quite dark, I am going to use those sparingly.  While I love geometric prints, for this quilt, please save those for another project.   I am aiming for something more organic, think curves, and less structure design, lots of colour please.  Large print, small print, and anything in between.  Two-tone would be ok as long as it does have some contrast and not read as a solid.  Please save your batiks for another project.  Here are some examples to show you what I am thinking and trying my best to describe!

All pieces will be 2 1/2 " wide.  I changed the dimensions thinking that many of you will have strips or scraps maybe cut into 2 1/2" strips you can pull from. 
From the low volume, please choose a selection of fabrics with different volumes and be somewhat contrasting - in the following sizes
4 - 2 1/2" squares
8 - 4 1/2" strip (2 1/2" wide)
2 - 10 1/2 " strip (2 1/2" wide)

For the plus, you'll need two different fabrics, with the following of each fabric:
1 - 6 1/2" strip (2 1/2 " wide)
2 - 2 1/2 " squares

Here are all the pieces

The layout of the block.  Note the orientation of the plus fabric and that the sashing strip is only on one side of the plus.  

From here is is straight forward and quick piecing, with a scant 1/4" seam.  Start by joining your 2 1/2" squares.  Then joining those to the 4 1/2" strips.  Then add your centre plus fabric.  And last, the sashing strip shown on the right side in the photos.  For seams, I pressed towards the darker plus fabric.  Either that or open, though if you are an open seam presser - can you give me some hints?  I find the iron and fabric too hot, and finicky to press the seams open. 

And voila, a quick block.  Thank you!  I can't wait to pull these blocks together into a quilt top.  With any luck, I might have this project wrapped up for this summer!  I am laughing, yes, I am laughing.  That is so not likely.  But a girl can dream!

Thanks Hive 1 - Sew for you soon.

Quilt on