Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Hive 6 September Tutorial - Funky Flying Geese Block

 Hello, my darling Hive 6! It's Nina, in beautiful Nova Scotia! This has been my first year with the Stash Bee (and basically my first year quilting) and it's been so much fun. I've really enjoyed sewing your blocks and learning more about quilting!

This month we're going to make a partially improv scrappy flying geese block using the "no waste" 4 at a time method. I love the graphic nature of the flying geese block, especially in multiples. It adds movement and rhythm to a quilt.

The finished block is 16.5" square.

I'm hoping the final quilt will look something like this:


I'm looking for cool colours for this quilt -- greens, blues and monochrome black/grey/white. You can use an off white if you like, as long as it's not too yellow. I prefer solids or blenders or tone on tone prints that read fairly solid. Modern prints preferred over traditional. But, at the end of the day, it's just a quilt and anything in your stash will be fine.

When you're composing your block, focus on pulling contrasting VALUES: a light, a dark and medium. You can mix colours, you can do it all one colour or you can just use black, white and grey, but the values of the colours you pick should be clearly differentiated.

Here's some examples I pulled from my stash: 

Multiple darks in the above photo.

Two possible lights in this photo, and I can either pick just one or use both.

The dark here is a darkish grey -- but you could use a black and then any of the greys could be the medium. It's all relative -- just consider the block.

The selection below uses a pale blue as the light. 

And you can mix greens and blues!


You've got your fabric pull, now assign one value to each structural part of the block. There are three parts:




The flying geese are going to be made in a standard way. The tiny bit of improv comes into play for the side sashing. You can vary the widths of these pieces, you can piece them together in any way you like, but the overall effect should keep the value of the side sashing within the category you've picked for it: light, medium or dark.


A: cut 1 piece 10" x 10" -- this fabric will be the flying geese triangles.

B: cut 4 pieces 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 -- this fabric will be the background of the flying geese. These can be scrappy, if you like, as long as they all read as the assigned tone in the context of the block -- i.e. dark, medium or light. Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner on the wrong side of each of these. Can use pen or pencil, you'll be cutting though this line later.

C: side sashing strips: I made one strip 9" x 16.5" and then just sliced it in two pieces vertically. That's the easiest way. Or you can piece it to make a strip 9 x 16.5 and then slice it. Or it can be two strips, one each of different fabric, whose widths add up to 9". Up to you. Again, if you're using more than one fabric make sure they all read as the assigned value for this unit.

A is the dark grey (flying geese triangles), B is the four white squares (flying geese background) and C is one solid strip of mid grey fabric 9" x 16.5" that I later split in two vertically. This is the simplest, most straightforward way to go for the sashing.



You'll need your A and B pieces and will make 4 units.

The flying geese units will each finish up 9" long by 4.5" deep (*before being sewed into the project)

You can follow this excellent tutorial at modernlymorgan.com

Or, if you prefer a video, try this one! https://youtu.be/_stvQx9cjEw

NB: Okay, these are supposed to be no waste -- you will have to trim the dog ears and you may need to trim a tiny bit to get the height to 4.5". If the width isn't quite 9" (or is too much) don't worry, we've got enough extra built in with the side sashing that the finished block will trim up just fine. Just get the height of each flying geese unit to 4.5"

1. Put two of the B squares on opposite corners on top of the A square, right sides together, with the diagonal line running all the way from one corner to the other. Sew 1/4" away from this line of each side of the line. 

Cut along the diagonal line.

This will give you two identical units, below. 

Set the seam by pressing just like this before you press the small triangles away from the big one. 

Now add your final two B squares, one to the top of each of these two units, in the top corner, right sides together, with the diagonal line running up and down:

Again, sew 1/4" away from this line on both sides of each unit and cut along the line. Do this for the two units and you'll now have four (only two pictured below).

Set the seam and then press the small triangles away from the large. You now have four flying geese units!

Check the measurements and trim them if needed, so that they measure 4.5" inches high and around 9" wide. Best way to do this is to trim the top edge of the unit so that it's straight and 1/4" away from the peak of the triangle.

Then trim:

Then I make sure the unit is 4.5" high, by trimming off the other side:

Then sew the four flying geese units together, top to bottom, like this, making a strip that measures 16.5" long.

If you haven't already cut your side sashing into two pieces, do that now. As long as one piece is least 2" wide (raw width) it'll be fine

I split this one into pieces that measure 2.5" wide and 6.5" wide

Sew them on each side of the four flying geese unit and you're done! Don't worry about trimming to size -- I can take care of that with my brand new giant 16.5" square ruler :) 

 Here's two units, below:

The blue block uses a simple pieced side sashing -- the values of the dark blues are so close it's hard to see. I pieced two pieces of dark blue 9" wide fabric together, trimmed to 16.5" long, cut it roughly in half. 

Here's a sample block that doesn't use white or off white as the light value (the super light strip is a pale ice green -- and the two contrasting side strips still read as lighter than the middle value). 

Anyway, I hope that's pretty clear. Make four flying geese units, sew them together in a row, sew some sashing on the sides! Don't sweat the details. I don't care which way you press seams. If a block is too short, I'll just piece it bigger! I'm very easy going and I know that anything you contribute will be so helpful and special to me.

Thank you so much for your help -- this is a project that's been in my mind for ages and I'm so grateful that it will commemorate what has been a marvellous year of sewing and camaraderie!

On the way!


Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Hive 1 August block for Karen


This was a fun block to make--such a great variation! I'm including a few HSTs for the border.


Sunday, August 22, 2021

August hive 1 for Karen

Karen, I made this entirely from scraps!it was a fun make. Included some half square triangles for your border.  Thanks, Carolyn B.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Hive 1 August Block for Karen

This block was a fast make for me thanks to having several half-square-triangles made from a previous project. I just needed to trim them down to the correct size. I look forward to seeing this completed project along with Julia's since they are so similar yet just a slight variation can make them so different. 

I put this in the mail this evening so hopefully you'll get it next week.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Hive 1 August block for Karen

 I've made this block myself for quilts because I always love diagonal designs in quilts.  Enjoy the scrappiness of your blocks.

Kathie L in Allentown

Friday, August 6, 2021

August Block for Karen

Hi Karen! Thank you for this great block and for helping me lower my fabric stash😀I have leftover half square triangles. I will mail them separately. Have fun putting this quilt together! Marie

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Hive 1, August Block for Karen


Hi Karen,

Thank you for the opportunity to browse through my scraps! Loads of fun.
Hope you don't mind those few animals peeking out.
Practise does help me getting them points met up, I don't even have to revert to paper piecing any more, to get it right! ;)

A few 'left overs' are included in the envelope, that'll go into the post box tomorrow morning.

Take care,

Monday, August 2, 2021

Hive 1, August - Jacobs Ladder for Karen


Karen, I enjoyed your block and the different corners really change the look.  I used 24 different colors for half square triangles so the bonus blocks are all different. I can't wait to see the finished quilt.  Enjoy.   Jayne

Hive 1 Block for Karen

Karen, I loved making this block! Thanks for the great tutorial!

I'm giving serious thought to just churning out a bunch more of these to make a scrappy quilt of my own. 

Can't wait to see everyone's brightly colored scraps together in your quilt! It's going to look awesome. 


- Julia D.

Hive 4 August Tutorial- Disappearing Rail Fence Block

 Hi! I’m Linda Schiffer and I live in Columbia, Maryland, USA. I’ve been making blocks all year for many of you and enjoying the journey. I’ve dithered around for quite a while, trying to decide what block to choose for my turn at Queen this month. With thanks to a dear friend (Barbara B.:), I discovered a great design called Disappearing Rail Fence.

The tutorial is thanks to Creating With Claudia on YouTube.



The specific tutorial is here.

Fabric Colors:

In the video Claudia uses monochromatic scraps on a white background but I’d prefer something more scrappy and eclectic. I prefer my blocks from you to be mixed in color (rather than Claudia’s monochromatic). 

  • I particularly love bright, rich saturated fabric prints (think Tula Pink or Kaffe Fassett) and interesting backgrounds (such as low volume prints).
  • Bright does not have to mean primary colors only (red. yellow, blue) - I like almost any color (except for neon shades). 
  • If you don’t own bright prints (I know, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea:), use what YOU consider saturated or rich prints from your stash. One of the beauties of a scrappy quilt is that it WILL all work together in the end. :)
  • For the background: Please don’t use white - use a low volume with white or cream background or a light color.



The cutting directions are pretty simple. Each 8’5” (unfinished size) block uses twelve (12) rectangles cut 2” x 5”


Follow Claudia’s directions to sew these into four blocks with three rails each. Cut as she explains along the diagonal on each three-rail subunit and re-sew the resulting HSTs to create a block. She suggests pressing seams toward the darker side … but I suspect pressing them open would work, too, if you prefer that. Either way is fine with me.

Please sew together the 4.5” sub-units into the 8.5” (unfinished size) blocks - rather than leave the sub-units single. 

Since these are small blocks, I’d appreciate it if you could make two for me (if you have time), please. 

The scrappier the better, imho. :) I will love whatever you make and look forward to creating a happy, scrappy quilt with all your blocks!

Here is a sample block I made for you to see how truly scrappy I would like your blocks to be.

:) Linda


email at lindaschiffer@me.com;

lindaschiffer on IG;

blog at https://seminolelinda.typepad.com/fiber_and_pulp/

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Hive 6- August Tutorial- English Garden block for Vonnie

 Happy July! I hope you have all had a parade, fireworks, and some cold watermelon. July has been a great month for a break.

Here is a picture of the block for August. The pattern was published in 'Down the Garden Path' (2000) by Fiber Mosaic's. The block is called English Garden. I chose this pattern with plans to make a baby quilt for my first great granddaughter due in December. Thanks for your help in welcoming a sweet baby girl to our family.

Fabric Selection
I have chosen to request all medium gray cotton fabrics for the flower petals.  I hope you have gray cotton fabric with calico or small scale geometric patterns, small prints rather than large or bold prints. See samples below. The color tone can be lighter or darker than the color pictured so long as there is contrast between the petals and the white background and darker grays don't compete with the bottom black border. 

The background fabric choice is white on white cotton. I had fabric strips that were wide enough for me to cut the squares and strips for each block. I was able to match the same fabric within each block except for one of my samples, so either works, all matching or different white on white fabrics.

The center blocks will all be pink cotton fabric. Hopefully, you can find a pretty pink scrap to add to your block.

The black border strip should be a black cotton fabric, not a solid, but once again a black on black  or gray on black pattern or geometrical design. Nothing too flashy that will compete or overpower the flower. 

Cutting Instructions

1.  Gray fabric - petals - Cut 4 - 5 1/2" by 5 1/2" squares.
2.  White fabric - background - Cut - 2 1/4" squares & - 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strips.
3.  Pink fabric - Cut 1 - 1 1/2" square.
4.  Black fabric (Not pictured) - bottom border - Cut 1 - 11 1/2" x 2 1/2" strip.
Total pieces cut - 18


1.  Draw a diagonal line from the top corner to the bottom corner on the wrong side of each of the 8 - 2 1/4" blocks. I use a fine tip mechanical pencil. I also line them up beforehand when there is a directional pattern on the fabric so once they are sewn onto the blocks the white on white pattern faces the same direction on all finished blocks. These blocks are facing down and there was not a directional pattern on this sample so I could just mark the corner to corner lines any which way. 

2.  Lay the four petal blocks in a square with the 2 1/4" blocks positioned in the correct corners. This allows for chain sewing with few mistakes. I begin sewing the inside top corner to the top left block, then work my way clockwise. I keep the small blocks in place so I know which corner the next round of blocks will be attached to. Once I sew the first four squares in place on each block, I continue to sew by attaching the bottom left square to the first block and work my way around clockwise again. At this point, all of the 2 1/4" blocks should be sewn to the gray blocks. I then sew my 1 1/2" pink square to the end of one 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strips and leave that in my machine while I clip the threads between my block chain.

3. The 2 1/2" blocks are then trimmed leaving 1/4" to the outside of each square. The white fabric is then pressed out which results in a new two colored 5 1/2" square. These blocks should be squared up to 5 1/2" if the white fabric is not even with the gray fabric. The pink square can also be attached to the next 1 1/2" strip for the center of the block.


4. Lay the block in place and attach a 5 1/2" x 1 1/2" strip between the to left hand top right hand blocks. Repeat with the bottom blocks with the strip joining the two blocks.  At this point you should have two equal blocks for the top and bottom of the block and one narrow block to sew between the the top and bottom blocks. 

5. Once the block is completed sewn on the black strip - 11 1/2" x 2 1/2" - it is sewn to the bottom of the block. 

Finish Block

The finished block measures 11 1/2" x 13 1/2".  I am excited to see the blocks you create. I am excited to put it together and give it away to our new baby girl. I am planning to back it with pink minky to give it a soft touch. Let me know what you think. 

Hive 2 - August Tutorial- Beat Paw Block for Kirsten R.

It's a Bear's Paw for August 2021!

Introduction and Inspiration

My husband and I got married ‘way back’ in 2006. We had roses everywhere, but they were pale green with a hint of red on the edge of each petal. I always thought of them as “traditional, but with a twist” and that’s what we’re going for with this month’s block - a traditional Bear’s Paw block - but in the loudest, brightest colors you can find in your stash - the twist!

Fabric Selection

The inspiration for this Bear’s Paw is this fabric I found several months ago (pencil for scale). I am hoping to use this fabric as sashing or plain blocks/triangles in between the blocks we all create this month.  

This is going to be a two-color block: you’ll need a solid black or reads-as-solid black for the background and a bright colored fabric for the paw. Think bright blue, lime green, yellow, orange, purple, pink, teal, bright reds, and even white (with a bright colored print) . . . anything that’s bright and will have a substantial contrast with the black background. I’d like you to stay away from paw fabrics that are dominantly colored black, brown, or dark gray, but it is okay if there is black or gray as part of the print. 

So for the paw fabric:

black background with a colorful print = Not okay

colorful print with some black = OK

Also, batiks are fine, but let’s stay away from novelty and licensed prints. 

Here are some fabrics I pulled from my own stash to inspire you:

Cutting the Fabric

The finished size of this block will be 14” when finished, so the block you sew will be 14.5” square.

For this block you will need:




Background (black or reads as black)


6.5” by 2.5” rectangles

Background (black or reads as black)


2.5” by 2.5” squares

Background (black or reads as black)


3” by 3” squares (for the HSTs)

Bright Paw


2.5" x 2.5” square

Bright Paw


4.5” x 4.5” squares

Bright Paw


3” by 3” squares (for the HSTs)

FYI - I used less than half of a fat quarter of each fabric to test my block and instructions.

Sewing the Bear’s Paw Block

*I used a lot of photos in the tutorial. I am solidly right handed, so my directions and photos reflect that. 

Let’s make some half-square triangles (HSTs)! 

If you’ve never made HSTs before, I’ve included some instructions below. If you have made HSTs before, feel free to use your preferred method. Note: I was pretty generous with the size of the fabric squares for the HSTs, so some trimming will be needed.

    • Pair up each Paw 3” x 3” square with a Background 3” x 3” square. 
    • On the Paw side, mark a diagonal line from one corner to another. This will be the cutting line in a later step. It should look something like this:

    • If needed, add two more lines 1/4” on either side of the diagonal line. These will be your sewing lines. (I often skip this step because my presser foot is just the right size to sew 1/4” away from the cutting line.) Pin using your preferred method. Your squares should look something like this:


    • Now sew on the sewing lines and 1/4” away from the cutting line on both sides. I usually sew all of the squares one direction then turn around a sew going back the other direction. 


    • Snip the threads holding the squares together and carefully cut the squares into two triangle shapes by cutting on the cutting line. (I’ve screwed this step up more times than I care to admit, hence the suggestion to move carefully.)
    • Now press the seams to one side. Because the background fabric is black, I suggest pressing the seams to that side.
    • Last, trim the HSTs up. 
      • Lay one square down with the sewing line going in the same direction as the 45° angle on your favorite ruler.
      • Line up the 45° angle with the sewing line and center the 2.5” by 2.5” space over your square.
      • Hold your ruler down firmly here - it will have a tendency to wiggle because the thickness of the seams/down the diagonal is different than the thickness on either side of the seam. Trim any fabric on the side and top of the square. 
      • Spin the HST 180°. Put the 45° angle over the sewing line but, this time, match the newly trimmed edges of the square with the 2.5” lines on your ruler.
      • Trim any fabric on the top and side of the square.
      • Repeat for the remaining HSTs.

The first trim of the HST: Notice the little flags on both ends of the diagonal seam. I match the diagonal on my ruler with the seam and then ‘ballpark’ the middle of the square. I trim the top and right. 

After I’ve rotated the HST and getting ready for the second trim: Only one flag at the upper right and the square is close to the 2.5” size needed. Again I trim the top and to the right.

Sewing the ‘Claws’

The Bear’s Paw block has a “left” (the paw color triangle points down to the left) and “right” (the paw color triangle points down to the right) version of the claws. 

Left claws

Right claws

You will need to make 4 each of the left claw pairs and right claw pairs. Lay your HST squares out, pin (if you desire), and sew. Press the seams to one side. 

Sewing the Paws

Lay out the following pieces:

2.5” x 2.5” black squares, the right claws 

Left claws - 4.5” x 4.5” paw squares

Sew the black squares to the right claws and the left claws to the large paw squares. Press the seams toward the black 2.5” x 2.5” square and toward the 4.5” x 4.5” paw square. (I do this "assembly line sewing" style and then snip the threads between the 'paws.') Now sew these two pieces together nesting the seams you just sewed. Press the seams to one side. (The direction of pressing the seam doesn't matter - you won't be matching this 'big' seam up with anything and I'll be using sashing or blocks between squares and won't be matching the seam up, either. Do what works for your situation.)

Last step! Lay out the pieces that are left:

Paw - Black rectangle - Paw

Black rectangle - Colored square - Black rectangle

Paw - Black rectangle - Paw

Sew them up using your favorite method and press! Again, because I will be adding sashing or plain blocks, there’s no need to worry about pressing direction, however, it would be good to press towards the black background when possible. 

And, we’re done! The block should now measure 14.5” square and be ready to be mailed.

Thank you so much for your work and creativity. And please let me know if you have any questions!

Kirsten R. 


P.S. Here’s some flower tax: I believe that’s my bouquet next to the table numbers we used (which I designed. Thanks, Photoshop!) This the Kamaleon variety of roses; sadly, they are no longer available anywhere. I’ve checked!