Monday, February 28, 2022

Wonky February

 Hey Marie,

I lost track of time this month but these two are on the way! I hope you enjoy them. 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Hive 1 February Block for Marie

 Per usual, February kicks my butt bc it seems shorter than 28 days....

I had so much fun shopping my stash for your color choices! I knew I had ZERO solid brown so I had to go shopping (darn)

I pulled all of my fabric together the first week of the month and there the pile sat on my sewing table until the 23rd. Sewing wonky is def my jam but I had to keep an eye out for not being TOO wonky!

I hope you enjoy these blocks and I can't wait to see your final creation!! These will be in mail Monday morning 📫

Friday, February 25, 2022

Hive 1 - February block for Marie

Hello Marie!

Just finished these two blocks and really had a blast. I made two blocks since I had a lot of cuts left so hopefully one of them is to your liking!! The colours are a bit off (the blue leaves are really more blue than purple) but hopefully you get the jist of what it looks like...

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Hive 1 Block for Marie


I had never done "just a little wonky" before, but now I am big fan! It was super fun to just sort of eyeball it see what happens. I also could not turn down the opportunity to make a rectangular block. 


Hive 1 - Not So Wonky Block for Marie

 Try as I might, wonky just doesn't seem to come out of my sewing machine! I don't measure, but it still works out to be fairly straight all the same. But I still like the look of it and I hope you do, too, Marie!

~ Diana @ Red Delicious Life

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Hive 1 Block for Marie


Hi Marie! Thanks for taking the pressure off by making a slightly wonky request. I had a lot of fun picking out the fabrics from my stash. Can't wait to see what you create :) I'll pop this in the mail this week.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Hive 1 Block for Marie

What a fun request, Marie, and I love your color choices! This took me a bit outside my comfort zone in the best way. Can't wait to see what you make with all our slightly wonky squares!


- Julia H.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Hive 1 February block for Marie


Slightly wonky is harder than I expected! Marie, I swear I tried! My second attempt (bottom) turned out a little better. The top one is oversized and can be trimmed to be a little less square if you like--I'll leave it up to you. These will be out in the mail this week. -Julia C.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Hive 1 February Block for Marie


Here are the blocks I made for this month. I hope you like the colour choice and making these blocks was really good fun! Somehow they turned out about the same size, eventhough that was not planned.

Slightly wonky is definitely a sewing technique I identify with!



Hive 1 January Block for Marie


Hi Marie,

I enjoyed making those blocks, hope they are what you were looking for.

The blocks are in the post on the way to you.

Slightly wonky is just my jam :)

Happy sewing,


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Hive 1 February Tutorial - "Slightly wonky" Box in a Box in a Box

Dear Hive friends,

Here's (I hope) a fun and stress-free block for which you don't need to measure precisely, unless you feel more comfortable to do so, of course. This block should not be fully wonky, just slightly "wabi-sabi". 

I was inspired by a tutorial from Hive 2 posted last November. The tutorial is very well done and I invite you to follow the directions here to complete the project.

Here is my wish list for the construction --

Please work around blue, green, gold, and orange. 


Use solids, batik, and if you want to add prints, I prefer novelty with flowers and leaves. 

-Layers: Prepare at least five layers of boxes. It does not matter if it is a square, a rectangle, or a mix of the two.

-Special request: Please add a thin, less than 2 inches, solid brown layer. Place it at any layer that looks best. 

-Measurements: No need to measure the width, and no need to sew straight. Piece slightly wonky if comfortable with doing so. I appreciate imperfection!

Thank you so much for sharing your time and fabric stash for this project. I can't wait to see your beautiful blocks!


Hive 4 - February Tutorial – Scrap Jar Star

For those of you who were in the HIVE4 in 2020 you’ll remember this as Em’s block in February! Ever since I made it, I have been obsessed with this block!  I reached out to Em and she is happy to allow me to use the same pattern!  (I did do some research and found out this pattern on a website called I used this website’s tutorial as a guide to writing my block.)

Here we go!

PS - Being Canadian, I spell “colour” with a U and “centre” a little backwards.


I want to see your pink scraps!  

Pinks:  You can use the lightest of blush to the deepest of fuscia; bubblegum, coral, hot pink, pink lemonade, salmon, ballet slipper, peony, strawberry, rose, watermelon, cherry blossom, flamingo, raspberry and everything else in between.  When using prints, please keep the other colours in the prints muted so the pink stands out. I really don’t love batiks so please stay away from them.  If you have some fun, novelty fabrics that you can fussy cut, like I did with my raspberry and strawberry fabrics, have fun with it. 

Background: I would l like white’ish. White on white would be preferred, but if you don’t have white on white, solid white works great. I would prefer that the background pieces are all same fabric.

Notes on Fabric:

-        I know that the rules say that I can’t ask for more than 10 fabrics, so if you need to stick to the max 10 fabrics, that is totally fine. But if you have loads of pink scraps feel free to use as many as you have.  

-        For the pink 2” x 2” please try to use as many different fabrics as you can.  If you don’t have that big of a variety in pink, when you are making your central grid please try to keep the fabrics that are the same far apart.

-        For the pink 4.25” X 4.25” blocks, you can use four fabrics or eight. I chose to use eight, so my block had a lot of variety.


(20) 2” x 2” pink squares
(4) 2” x 2” white squares
(4) 4.25” x 4.25” pink squares
(4) 4.25” x 4.25” white squares
(4) 2” X 3.5” white rectangles

Making the Block

Make center of the star

Step 1: Using sixteen of the pink 2” squares, create a 4x4 grid.  If you aren’t using 20 different pink fabrics, please make sure that no two of the same fabrics are side by side or one on top of the other.

Step 2: Using a ¼”seam allowance, sew the squares together in rows. Press the seams of each row to the same side, alternating the top row to the right, the second row to the left, the third row to the right, the fourth row to the left.

Step 3: Sew the rows together.  To save time, sew row 1 to row 2 and then row 3 to row 4. Then press the rows and then sew together rows 1 & 2 to rows 3 & 4.  To get nice straight lines, try butting up the alternating seams together. Press the row seams in one direction.  

Make the star points

**If you are using four different pinks:

Step 1: Draw a diagonal line across the back of the pink 4.25” x 4.25” squares.

Step 2: Pair one pink square with a white square, with rights sides together (RST) use a quarter inch seam allowance and sew on each side of the line.

Step 3: Cut down the centre of the block along the line, which will make two half square triangles. Press the seams to the pink side. Repeat for the other three 4.25” x 4.25” squares, you will end up with eight half square triangles.

Step 4: Press to the pink side.

Step 5: Using a ruler trim the blocks to 3.5” squared.

**If you are using eight different pinks:

Step 1: Cut the eight pink 4.25” x 4.25” squares on the diagonal and cut the four white 4.25” x 4.25” squares on the diagonal.

Step 2: Sew RST, one pink and one white triangle to each other along the long sides. Note – If you are going to use this method, you will be sewing on the bias, so you need to be gentle and make sure that you don’t pull the fabric out of shape.

Step 3: Press to the pink side.

Step 4: Using a ruler trim the blocks to 3.5” squared. I used my long 4” x 14” ruler because it has the 45-degree angle on it.

Make corners of the block

Step 1: Sew each of the four remaining 2” x 2” pink blocks, RST, to one of the four 2” x 2” white blocks using a ¼” seam allowance. Press seams to the side of the pink fabric.  If you are using fussy cut fabrics make sure you are a cognizant of the direction that you want the image when you are sewing.

Step 2:  Sew each of those pieces to one of the 2” X 3.5” white rectangles. You will need two segments with the rectangle on the right and two with the rectangle on the left.

Layout the block ***I forgot to take pictures at this stage!

Step 1: Place the four-by-four grid in the centre. Reference the image below.

Step 2: Lay out the 3.5” x 3.5” squares around the grid; two on each side of the grid. Long sides of the white half of the HST together.  Reference the image below.

Step 3: Place the corner blocks. Make sure the pink blocks are on the outer corners of the blocks, rectangles of the corner blocks should be along the pink long sides of the HST. Reference the image below.

Sew rows together

Step 1: Top Row - Sew centre HST blocks together. Then sew the corner blocks either side of the pair of HST block.

Step 2: Middle Row - Sew the left side HST together, then sew the right side HST together. Then sew each pair to either side of the grid.

Step 3: Bottom Row - Sew centre HST blocks together. Then sew the corner blocks either side of the pair of HST block Step 2: Press the seams to either side.  

Sew the rows of the block together

For this portion of the block, I used lots of pins as there are so many seams. I nested the seams where I could. 

Step 1: Sew the top row to the middle row

Step 2: Sew the top and middle rows to the bottom row 

Voila! The block should measure approximately 12.5” x 12.5”. Please do not trim the block. I will trim them when they arrive!

Here are some others I've made: 

Thank you so much in advance.



Hive #2 February Tutorial - Lozenges Block for Gayle


My pick for this year is a simple block. This block has been used in antique quilts and I found the free Lozenges block done by Bonnie Hunter and scaled it up in size.

You will need 4 different fabrics from my color choices of any shades of blues, purples, and grays. Below are examples of the fabrics in light and dark shades. I prefer prints. They can be textures, blenders, small prints, grunge and batiks are okay. I would like them to read mostly as one color, it is okay if there are just tiny bits of another color in them (for example, the purple in the darks, fourth from the left has little bits of red, yellow and green). Solids would be my last choice, but you can use if you need to. (If you have some fabrics that are closer to a middle value for the center fabric, just decide if it is closer to light or dark and make sure you have a good contrast for the corners.)


 You will make two halves that will be sewn together to make one square block. One half will have a dark center and light triangle corners and the other will have a light center with dark corners. 

For one block:

1 - light 5 by 9 1/2 inch rectangle

1 - dark 5 by 9 1/2 inch rectangle

4 - 2 3/4 inch dark squares, all same

4 - 2 3/4 inch light squares, all same

Mark the diagonal on the 4 squares.

NOTE: Please read through all the directions and follow these next piecing and pressing instructions. This will allow the seams of the units to nest and get a perfect match at the diagonal seams on the edges when sewn together. 

Place your rectangle right side up and place a square corner in the upper right hand corner and the lower left corner. Sew on the marked diagonal lines.


I find this hint makes the flipped corners more accurate. Do not sew exactly on the drawn line but just a hair to the outside of it, closer to the block corner.

Press these out to the corner, then flip back the edge triangle and trim the seam to 1/4 inch of the two layers below.

Now take the two remaining squares to the upper left and bottom right corners and sew the diagonal. This time, before pressing, trim the excess layers first and then press these seams towards the center. 

 So now you should have a unit that has opposite seams each going one direction and the other two the other way, matching the photo below.

Make the second unit exactly as above but with light center rectangle. Next you will sew them side by side, lining up the seams so they nest nicely. This will create a good match at the edges. Iron toward the block with the darker center.


The square now should measure at 9 1/2 inch square, (9 when finished).

Here is an assortment I have made so far.

Contact me if you have any questions. I can't wait to see all your scrappy variations!

Hive # 3 February Tutorial - Circle Block for Nina

 Hello Hive-mates!

This month I'd like you to make me a circle block, simple or more complex, using pretty much any technique. I'll list three ways to do it below, with instructions. But first, an overview.

Overall Quilt Design

I've decided to explore basic shapes through my StashBee quilts. Last year was triangles with a flying geese-based design. This year I want to go ROUND, which is the title of this quilt. Actual colours and patterns will vary wildly, of course, but this is my overall plan.


I'd like my Hive mates to make me a 12.5" square block, with one contrasting circle on it of any size from 3" to 10". The background of the block should be one fabric, but the circle can be pieced. The circle does not have to be centred on the background piece, but shouldn't be closer than 2 inches to any edge.


Please draw your colours from these palettes, choosing for good contrast between background and circles. 


Solids, blenders and modern prints that read largely as one colour from the swatches above are perfect for this. Pick at least two colours, with good contrast between them. Below is a selection of blenders I had on hand that fit this palette pretty well (the darker green is a bit off - should have subbed in something more olive)


I know sewing curves is not everyone's favourite thing :) So I'm giving options for construction, from simplest to more complicated.  The three methods are shown in the photo below: Appliqué (bottom right), Set in Circle (top and bottom left) and quarter circle/Drunkard's Path (top right). 

If you have another method you want to use (turned edge appliqué for example) GO AHEAD! I'll love it :)


You can appliqué a simple circle (from 3" to 10" in diameter) to your background fabric using any method you like.  Or you can piece together a square of fabric and cut your circle out of that, and then appliqué it to the background.

FUSIBLE WEB : I love fusible web so much! (Here's more info about fusible web.) You can draw your circle on the paper side of the f.w., then roughly cut it out and then iron the non-paper side onto the wrong side of the fabric you're going to make your circle from. Cut out the circle neatly, remove the paper backing and iron the circle onto your background fabric (it doesn't need to be centred). Then you stitch all around the perimeter of the circle with a tightish zig zag stitch (or, if your machine has a special stitch you like for appliqué, go for it!)

Want to make a more interesting circle? Snowed in with your stash? Hiding from other things you need to do? Piece the circle fabric first! I sewed some strips together:

and cut my circle out of that ( I think that's the 6" circle template folded in half -- you can find downloadable templates in the next section of this post).

Here it is zigzagged onto the background fabric -- I didn't even use anything to stabilize it during sewing besides pins! I'm so crazy!

If you want to actually be less crazy, here's a nice simple fusible circles tutorial from A Bright Corner. 

And if you don't have fusible web on hand, just dab a little washable glue stick or fabric glue on the wrong side of the circle and place it on your background fabric. Let it dry and then zig zag around the perimeter. Or use some fusible interfacing to give some body to the circle: here's a tutorial using fusible interfacing rather than fusible web from Bijou Lovely.


This is remarkably simple to do with a large enough circle, as long as you take it very, very slowly! If you've done garment sewing it will seem quite familiar - it's like setting in a sleeve.

Basically, you're going to cut a circle out of your 12.5 inch background fabric (I'd cut the background fabric to at least 13" x 13" and trim it afterwards) and then set in a circle of a different fabric (or a self-made pieced fabric)  that's one inch larger in diameter than the background circle. 

For example: cut a 7" diameter circle from your background piece and then cut out an 8" diameter circle to set into it.

You can download different diameter circle template pdfs here to print out:

6 inch

7 inch

8 inch

9 inch (this is a semi circle template - place the diameter line (the straight one) on fold of fabric)

Tutorials: Colour Girl Quilts tutorial on setting-in a full circle. Ignore all steps before step 6, (She's using a special ruler -- if you have it, that's great! But just print out two adjacent sizes of the circle templates above, cut them out and cut the smaller out of the background and the larger out of the circle fabric. The rest of the tutorial is great.)

If you prefer a video, the same maker made a nice YouTube video showing her set-in circle technique. Go to timestamp 3:45 to skip the use of the special ruler and start at the other steps. She calls the background the concave piece, fyi, which is fair enough :) 

Here are my own photos documenting this technique with a 7' pieced circle set into a 6" circle in the block background. 

I made the simplest pieced fabric for my circle -- two 8" wide chunks, sewn together: 

I creased the middle of my 7" circle template and then placed it on the seam and pinned,  

I cut it out (I used scissors but if you're proficient with your rotary cutter then that's a great way to go.
 Now you've got a 7" circle.

Now use a size smaller template to cut out the hole in your background fabric. 7" circle? Cut out a 6" background hole. I wanted it fairly centred so I creased the template and finger pressed the fabric into quarters and lined them up. It doesn't have to be centred for this quilt, so don't drive yourself mad.

From this point things progress as in  Color Girl Quilting's tutorials. You crease the circle and crease the background fabric giving you registration marks. Her tutorial does a great job of explaining it, but I've documented my own steps below in case it helps.

Here's the circle resting over the cut out circle of the background piece.

Pin the background fabric (concave piece) to the circle all the way around, folding the background fabric over so its right side faces the right side of the circle. This may seem confusing. See photos.

Here's some pics of my process, taken while I was making a different block. First pin gets put on the right (what we old people would call 3 o'clock) -- just folding the background fabric over to match registration mark (crease) on both pieces:

Second pin at the bottom, just folding the background up over the circle. 

Third pin at left. 

Fourth pin at top - shown with work turned over. 

Continue pinning around the circle. I used a lot of pins and could have used more.

Take the work to your sewing machine and sew, VERY VERY SLOWLY round the circumference of the circle. This is the key. You cannot rush this. You want to sew slowly and with the concave (background) side upwards so you can really focus on not sewing puckers into the damned thing, almost stitch by stitch (certainly inch by inch). It's just like easing in a sleeve if you've done garment sewing. If you take it very slowly and watch your quarter inch seam allowance you'll be golden. You may need to use a bodkin or a purple thang or a skewer to poke the upper fabric flat and make sure you're not sewing in puckers. And, honestly a  little tiny pucker won't matter. I had one of those and it didn't really matter after pressing.

And here's the set in circle, fresh from the sewing machine! Don't panic!

Now press it into submission.  Press the seam towards the outside edge of the block-- it will tend to go that way on its own. I used lots of Best Press -- even water will help it relax into its proper shape. 

And it's done! So satisfying! Trim the entire block to 12.5 inches square or let me do it :)


I've left this one to the end because I personally have the most trouble with it because there's more matching of seams to be done to make a full circle block and I suck at piecing. But I know that some quilters are dab hands at this and it is very old traditional block pattern so what the hell.

If you want to try this technique, I can't write a better tutorial than you find on this very attractive free pdf pattern by Leanne Parsons for The Quilters Planner. The pattern includes a 6.5 inch quarter circle template -- four of them make a 12.5" block! I would take her advice and add an extra quarter inch to the outside of that template so you have some room for trimming and also for matching the damned seams :) Keep all the background fabrics the same, and you'll be golden.

Here's another very calming tutorial on the Drunkard's Path block at Lee A. Heinrich's site. Almost Zen.

I did make a block using this technique and hated it because I suck. I liked the idea of being able to do contrasting quarters within the circle, but found it easier to just piece the circle fabric first rather than set them in quarter by quarter.  But you do you.

I hope this is okay. The way my brain works I over-explain some things while glossing over others almost entirely. That's why I linked to so many other tutorials. Circle blocks are one of the staples of modern quilting design and I love how they look. However you choose to make a block for me, I'll be so grateful!