Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hive 4 November 2020 - Improvisational Low Volume Block

Greetings Hive 4 

What a year! I have really appreciated the structure and creative energy Stash Bee has provided in 2020.

This year my quilting has revolved around scraps, circles and helping. I found a way to incorporate all three of these into my tutorial. 

I was completely inspired by Carolyn's Stash Bee quilt that she finished a year ago.

I also want to create a quilt with two elements - a low volume background upon which I will hand appliqué many circles. The background will represent the layers of community that are essential for my wellbeing.  Adding the circles by hand will provide moments of calm and focus and remind me of the larger picture.  

I’d like your help building the background with low volume black & white or gray scraps. Please build a block anywhere between 12.5” - 16.5” inches. It can be a square or a rectangle with untrimmed edges. You can even send me bits (explained below).

Step One - Pull your low volumes.  It’s okay for these low volumes to also include small pops of color. Here’s a picture of my black and white low volumes. I wish I had even more, especially geometrics.

Step two - Spread your fabrics and scraps to see what odd bits are available.   

Step three - Now you get to play.  Place low volumes next to each other to see who plays well together.  You can build your block by sewing together pairs that have approximately the same size on one side. Then continue to sew pairs together to keep building. Or you can build the block log cabin style if you have some lovely strips of low volumes.  

When I was building my sample block, I started with seven bits.  I joined the two easiest pairs first, then worked by quarter sections.

I have lots of curved pieces remaining from a huge unfinished project, so decided to incorporate some of those.  You are very welcome to just use straight seams.

I've also built some rectangular units that I'll incorporate as I build the top with your contributions. You are welcome to send sets of these instead of a joined block.

This is the retro fabric from Japan that I will use as my backing.  I've begun to pull solids to use for the circles.   

Thank you very much for contributing to my quilt.  Email or send me a message through Instagram if you have any questions.

With much appreciation, 
aka Kitch Kouture

Hive 1 November Tutorial: Wonky Christmas Tree Block

Hi Hive-mates,

My name is Rita, I live in Dublin, Ireland. This is my first year participating in StashBee and I’m having so much fun, that I want to join again next year, if the Bee is continuing.

So, this is my first time as Queen Bee (Hive 1), I’m all excited. For the last 10 months I was agonising what I want to request from you. I’ve now settled on requesting a ‘Christmassy’ block. So far I don’t have a Christmas Quilt in the house, so, that’s what I want to do.

Personally I always struggle with matching points and sewing accurately – probably, because I have to be so particular in my job, that I’m a bit rebellious with my quilting.... (Thanks to sewing for you guys this year, I’ve gotten better, though.)

Therefore I’ve designed a little block, that doesn’t need point-matching at all!
Also, I love ‘wonky’, that’s why I’m asking you to do a ‘Wonky Christmas Tree’ block for me.

A note in beforehand:
I’ve tested the block a few times and think it should come out at about 12.5” square – However, if your block turns out smaller/bigger, please do not stress!!! 
As I said, I love wonky, and will use the blocks as I get them! Promised! – If it goes "wrong", blame my tutorial! J

Here is what I have in mind for this block:

Fabric pull:

I would like you to use at least two different green fabrics for the Trees, mid- to dark-green, a mid- to dark-brown for the tree trunk and cream/beige(y) off white background (please no whites/white-on-white).

Anything goes, really. Go as simple or scrappy as you like. If you want to get rid of some scraps, please do so! Below is a picture of my fabric pull. Note that this is all my mid- to dark-green and all my browns (no idea, why I haven’t more...).
Don’t match my fabric pull! Just in the contrary! If you have something I don’t have – brilliant! Christmassy fabrics and Novelties are welcome!

You will need:

Green (please at least 2 different green, which makes at least 3x each):

Total:                        6x           4” x 6”
Brown:                     2x           2.5” x 1.5”
Background:           8x           4” x 3”
                                 2x           4” x 4.5”
                                 2x           4” x 5”
                                 2x           2.5” x 3”
                                 1x           2.5” x 5.5”

Here is a quick overview of where the different pieces are needed. Shuffle around the same colour fabrics as you like!

For the whole block I am assuming a ¼” seam allowance, but don’t worry about it too much – I won’t! 

We’re starting with Row 1

Use two Green 4”x6” pieces and two Background 4”x4.5” pieces. Lay all pieces Right Side up on the Cutting Mat. Overlap one of the Background pieces with one Green piece on the 4” sides by 3.5” on the Right of the Green piece and the other ones on the Left of the Green piece as shown in the picture below.

Now make a cut anywhere within the overlap, the top of the cut leaning towards the middle of the Green piece. See picture below for guidance.

Take the resulting matching pieces and line up the just cut edges for a ¼” seam allowance (Right Sides together). I found lining them up on the cutting mat, using a ¼” line as guidance helpful. No perfection needed!! See picture below.

Sew. Press seams open or to the darker fabric as you please. I tend to press open, but do what works best for you!

Take those Green/Background pieces, lay them Right Side up and overlap the two Background 4”x5” pieces on the straight 4” edge of the Green pieces by 3.5”. See picture below for guidance.

Now make a cut anywhere within the overlap, the top of the cut leaning towards the middle of the Green piece. See picture below for guidance.

Take the resulting matching pieces and line up the just cut edges for a ¼” seam allowance (Right Sides together). Sew. Press seams open or to the darker fabric as you please.

Now lay out Rows 1 to 3 on your cutting mat, all fabrics Right Side up. Line up the Green 4”x6” pieces of Rows 2 and 3 about middle of Row 1 and overlap the Background 4”x3” pieces to either side of the Row 2 and 3 Green pieces by 2”. See picture below for guidance.

Now make a cut anywhere within all the overlaps, the top of the cuts leaning towards the middle of the Green pieces. See picture below for guidance.

Take the resulting matching pieces and line up the just cut edges for a ¼” seam allowance (Right Sides together). Sew. Press seams open or to the darker fabric as you please.

Straighten up the bottom side of the Row 1 pieces, the top and bottom sides of the Row 2 pieces and the top side of the Row 3 pieces, in preparation for sewing those rows together. No need to have them parallel.

Sew the Row pieces together. Press seams open (I think this is best at this stage...).

Straighten the right side of the left Row 1-2-3 piece and straighten the left side of the right Row 1-2-3 piece.

Sew together. Press seams open. Straighten the bottom side of the finished Row 1-2-3 piece.

Sew the Row 4 pieces together in the following order from left to right on their 2.5” edges (Right Sides together):

Background 2.5”x3”, Brown 2.5”x1.5”, Background 2.5”x5.5”, Brown 2.5”x1.5”, Background 2.5”x3”. 

Press seams open or to the darker fabric as you please.

Sew Row 4 to the bottom of the finished Row 1-2-3 piece.

Press seams open.


No need to trim to size. You can straighten the edges, if you absolutely want to. As I said, the block should now be roughly (!) 12.5” x 12.5”.

I hope you enjoy sewing this block and won’t stress about my haphazard tutorial.


If you have any questions, please contact me via my yahoo email address or as a comment on this post.

Please note that my postal address on the address list has changed since beginning of the year.


Thank you all already, I’m looking forward to see what you come up with.


Happy Sewing,


Monday, October 26, 2020

Hive 1 - October Block for Karen

 Hive 1 - October Block for Karen

While this block is not a difficult block, picking fabrics for it was a daunting task. I kept second and third guessing myself and then realized it was now the end of the month.  I had to just do it, hopefully the fabrics will work for you, it was very hard not sneaking in any tiny skulls or lightening bolts 😆 
This is going in the mail today!


Friday, October 23, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hive 1 Block for Karen

 I love how this block can look so many different ways.  You’ve inspired me to try this in the New Year.  (Because what we all need is yet another quilt in the making.....or perhaps that’s just me).  It will be vibrant and lovely!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Blocks for Karen

 Fun blocks to make Karen---although I did mix up placement because I was trying to put them together too quickly😞! I fixed them!

Can't wait to see how your quilt comes out!

They should go in the mail this week.

Liz Horgan

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Hive 1 Perkiomen Valley Blocks for Karen

 Your quilt is going to be so scrappy and fun, Karen!  These block were easy and fun to make.  Happy quilting.

Friday, October 9, 2020


Hi Karen,

Hope these blocks will work for what you have in mind.

They were so easy to make, so I just made two at once. I like the idea of the log cabin effect you were writing about.

The blocks went into the Post on Wednesday, so they hopefully arrive with you soon.

Stay safe.

Greetings from (not surprising) rainy Ireland,


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sheltering At Home - Our Story -- Our Neighbourhood

Hello to all my Stash Bee buddies.   Today is an wildly meaningful day because its the day I get to share my finished 2020 Stash Bee Quilt.

But First...

Many of you know how vital I believe it is that we document our lives in 2020 because these are, in all likelihood, the most extraordinary days any of us will ever witness.  You perhaps also know I spent bags of time this spring searching for some way to remind myself that everything going on in the world right then was not PERMANENT; I wanted something joyful to look forward to during the really bad, terrible, awful days when it seemed possible that the worst outcomes were gonna happen.   

When I realized I was part of a wonderful world-wide community of "Makers", each with a story to tell, I knew exactly what I needed.....a quilt to celebrate our lives in 2020 and to remind me that we are all in this together. 

I imagined a quilt that would tell our stories of "Sheltering at Home" so I asked my hive-mates to stretch their imaginations and make a big quilt block about their home/neighbourhood and to share a bit about their life during the early days of Covid-19. 

I was simply blown away by how everyone in Hive 4 reached out  and went so far above and beyond my wildest expectations to make something personal for my quilt...some of you made more than one block....and I even received blocks from folks in other hives.  My heart is full.  Here is our quilt.  

Its just stunning. I am blessed to be part of this group and grateful for all the work you did to make my vision a reality.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Hive 1 blocks for Karen

 A nice easy sew.  I hope these will fit in. Will be mailing this week.  Paulette

Monday, October 5, 2020

Hive 1 October blocks finished

 I have more that enough scraps in my stash to make not just one but two blocks this month.  If you need an angel block, consider it made.  I live very close to the Perkiomen Valley here in southeastern Pennsylvania, so this block is well loved here.  Enjoy.

Kathie in Allentown, PA

Crashing Hive 2

 I love the Circle of Friends block. So I am crashing Hive 2 and will be sending these two blocks off to Betty.  Hope you like them.   Paulette

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Hive Two October Tutorial: Circle of Friends Block


Hive 2            October 2020

“Circle of Friends”

I made this block in a local group of ours, early 2019.  

My block is turning out to 13 3/4 inches. I am planning on adding a dark border around each block before I assemble the quilt, so don’t get too hung up on the size.

I prefer a light tone on tone (off white, cream, beige) for the background fabric. It can have a design on it.  (No solids please.  No Halloween fabric please.)  I like movement/dark/bright fabrics for the focus fabric, not juvenile.  My favorite colors are purple, red, orange, brown, black, earthy tones.

In my block the background looks solid, but it does have a subtle design on it. To show the blocks step by step I’ll be using a scrappy background.

Block A

Cut four 3” x 3” focus fabric.                                                                                                        

Cut four 3” x 2 ½” background fabric.                                                                                          

Cut four 5” x 2 ½” background fabric.      




Block B

Cut eight 3” x 1 ½” background fabric.

Cut eight 5” x 1 ½” background fabric.

Cut four 3” x 3” squares focus fabric.



Block C

Cut one 5” x 5” square of background fabric.


Block A - These blocks are the four corners.

1. Sew the 3” focus fabric to the 2 ½” x 3” background fabric.  Press towards the background fabric.

2. Sew the 5”x 2 ½” rectangles background fabric to one side.  Press towards the background fabric.

Units A are complete.


                                     Block B - This block is positioned in the centre top, bottom, and centre of the sides.

1. Sew 3” x 1 ½” rectangles to opposite sides of a 3” x 3” square focus fabric.  Press seams to background.

2.  Sew 5” x 1 ½” rectangles to other side of focus fabric.  Press seams to background.

                                     Block C - Cut one 5” x 5” square of background fabric.




The nine patch block is assembled by sewing the units together as shown.

Create three rows and press the seams towards the unit A blocks on the top and bottom rows. Press the middle row towards the Centre block.

I have been sewing up a storm in my little sewing room in Kamloops, B.C.  As we have now entered my favourite season, I look forward to even more sewing.  I have been enjoying this group very much and look forward to receiving your blocks and creating my One of a Kind Quilt from all your contributions.   


Hive 1 October Tutorial: Perkiomen Valley Block

Hi.  My name is Karen.  This is my first year participating in a Stash Bee hive although I’ve watched from the sidelines off and on over the last couple of years.

It’s my privilege to be the Queen Bee of Hive 1 in October.

Below are directions for the scrappy Perkiomen Valley block that I’ve chosen.  The guild I belong to made a bunch of these blocks for the Ventura County Thomas Fire survivors in 2018.  It's an easy block to make with lots of layout choices. 

Overall I’m going for a light and dark scheme, resulting in the look and layout options of a traditional log cabin block.   Here is a picture of one block and also four finished blocks together for reference.  Each block is basically a nine patch.

My preference is to please exclude white, white on white, pastels, and novelty prints.  Everything else is fair game!


For the Light side, I prefer cream, off white, and / or low volume light prints.  Zero whites please.


I would like the center square to read RED.


For the dark side, I prefer saturated Medium / Dark colors.  I realize that “dark” fabrics read dark based on what they are set next to.  So…  use your own judgment!


Honestly, I’m open to anything!   I LOVE SCRAPPY! 


Below are sample fabrics I pulled from my stash for the Light side and the Red square.

I’m purposely not providing a picture of Mediums and Darks.  Please use whatever fabrics you think go well with the creams and red in your stash.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Start by browsing thru your stash...  You will need...

  • 5 Mediums / Darks
  • 5 Lights
  • 1 Red

Cut as follows... 

  • From Mediums / Darks  
    • 3 (B)  4-1/2" squares  
    • 2 (D)  5" squares  - to be used to make half square triangles         
  • From Lights
    • 3 (A)  4-1/2" squares   
    • 2 (D)  5" squares  - to be used to make half square triangles
  • From Red
    • 1 (C)  4-1/2" square 

Make Half Square Triangles using 5" squares...
  • Draw diagonal lines on the back of the two Light 5" squares (D)
  • Align the Medium / Dark 5" squares (D) with the Light 5" squares, right sides together
  • Sew a scant 1/4" seam on both sides of the drawn diagonal line
  • Cut apart on the line
    • You will end up with 4 HST's although the block only uses 2
  • Press to the dark side

Trim HST's to size...
  • Align 45-degree line on your ruler with diagonal seam and trim to 4-1/2" square

Sew into rows, press, finish up...
  • Layout squares to form Perkiomen Valley pattern as shown
  • Sew together into rows
  • On top and bottom rows, press seams toward center square
  • On center row, press seams away from center square
  • Butting seams together, sew rows together to complete block
  • Press final seams away from center
  • Block should measure 12-1/2" square - Voila!  (Bob's your uncle!)

You will have two extra half square triangles left over.  If you want to send them to me with your completed block, I would be happy to include them in the final quilt somehow... maybe in the border!