Sunday, December 31, 2023

Hive 3 January 2024 Tutorial - Chainlink block for Helen

 Hello ladies

Happy New Year to you all, hope you have had a lovely holiday break - I am really enjoying my summer holidays after another long difficult year. Each year seems to get more difficult as I get older.

I would like to continue making a quilt with your help for the king single bed in my husbands office. It is the only bed in our house without a dedicated quilt made for it. And every bed needs at least one quilt right?

The block I would like you to make for me this month is an adaptation of the Chainlink block which you can see the original free tutorial here:

This is a drawing of what the quilt might look like. You are making me the part in the drawn squares. The extra sashing parts make the alternate block appear.

Here is a picture of 4 blocks I have made and sewn together with the sashing that I would prefer. The original block has a lot more pieces than my version and I am only asking you to make the block without the sashing parts. However, at the end of the tutorial, I will ask you to send a little bit more fabric to me with your block - more on that later. 

Here is a photo of the blocks I received during the 2023 Stash Bee. I am so pleased with how it is starting to look. Thanks so much to my 2023 bee hive for getting me so far along.

Please ignore the EPP rosettes at the top and side, that is part of another quilt I am trying to finish in time for an exhibition in May 2024 - I am a bit behind. 

And here is an example of a 10.5 inch unfinished block that I would like you lovely ladies to make for me.

This is a very easy block to make using 2.5 inch squares and 3 inch squares turned into 2.5 inch half square triangles and then all sewn together in the right order. The affect of the chain link comes from the colour value of the fabrics.

Choosing fabrics:

You need a black or very dark grey/charcoal, a medium grey, a light grey and a low volume neutral that is light enough to contrast with the lightest grey.

You also need a clear bright coloured floral. 

The fabric needs to be modern style fabrics as per the rules of stash bee.

Here is a photo of my fabric pull for this quilt:

Please try and keep the light grey contrasting with the neutral and the medium grey so that the "shadow' affect can be seen in the block.


You are selecting 1 of each fabric colour (the quilt will be scrappy but each block is made of 1 each of the 5 colour fabrics - please see pictures of blocks as examples and my 1 block pull below)

Fabric sewn into the block

Dark grey or black - 4 x 2.5 inch squares

Medium grey - 8 x 2.5 inch squares

Light grey - 4 x 3 inch squares (for 2 at a time HST) OR 1 x 8 inch square (for 8 at a time HST)

Background/neutral - 4 x 3 inch squares (for 2 at a time HST) OR 1 x 8 inch square (for 8 at a time HST) and 4 x 2.5 inch squares 

Brightly coloured floral - 1 x 2.5 inch square

Fabrics not sewn into block but sent to me with your block.

Background/neutral - 1 x 6.5 by 2.5 inch strip

Light Grey - 4 x 2.5 inch squares

Floral - 1 x 2.5 inch square


Please use a scant 1/4 inch seam through out.

Making the centre 9 patch:

Take the 4 dark black/grey squares, 4 of the medium grey squares and the bright floral square and make a 9 patch. I tend to press my seams open but you can press them to alternating sides in each row so they nest if you prefer. I don't mind either way. I am not providing pressing instructions.

 A successfully sewn 9 patch should measure 6.5 inch square unfinished (with seam allowances).

Making half square triangles

There are 2 ways to make these, one is the 8 at a time method and a tutorial can be found here:

The tutorial says start with 7.75 inch squares but I suggest rounding the starting squares to 8 inches and trimming down the HST afterwards - gives more wriggle room. So instead of 4 x 3 inch squares of lightest gray and 4 x 3 inch squares of neutral/background, you would start with an 8 inch square of lightest grey and an 8 inch square of the neutral/background.

The other way you can make them is 2 at a time as per below:

Take the 4 x 3 inch light grey squares and the 4 x 3 inch neutral/background squares and make 8 half square triangle blocks.

- mark a diagonal line on the back of the 4 light grey squares with a pencil or erasible pen (I use the ones that iron off - they are on the back so it doesn't really matter as long as they can't be seen from the front).

- pair up right sides together with the 4 x neutral/background 3 inch squares and sew a scant quarter inch seam either side of the marked line.

- cut the unit in half along the marked like and then press the block open ready to be trimmed down to 2.5 inches. I over-sized this deliberately at 3 inches to start with so that the block could be trimmed down rather than be too small right from the start.

Arrange the remaining 2.5 inch squares and the 8 half square triangles you just made around the 9 patch you also just made. Please note the orientation of each of the half square triangles. Correctly placed, they make the shadow affect so that when all the blocks are put together, creates a "chain" affect.

Sew the top and bottom 5 blocks in a row in the right order and orientation and then the 3 blocks on each side in the right order and orientation. Sew the 2 side strips to the centre 9 patch and then the top and bottom strips to the block. Take care to line up seam intersections. I press my seams open so I pin either side of the seam intersection so the fabric does not "slip" forward with the presser foot.

How to keep those points nice.  

Pin so you can see where the point edge of the block attaches to the straight part and make sure your line of stitching runs just to the right or left of the point in the background or darker fabric. If your cutting and seam allowance is reasonably accurate it should be easy to keep your points.

See the stitching line to the left of the point.

Your finished block should measure 10.5 inches square with seam allowances (so unfinished). Don't worry too much if it is slightly small, the block will have a tiny amount of give in it. If it is a bit more too small or large for that matter, you need to check your cutting accuracy, seam allowance and sewing the blocks accurately. If you are new to quilting, this block gives you a chance to learn 3 simple techniques - accurate 9 patches and getting that seam allowance correct, how to make half square triangles, and colour selection. 

The Sashing Strips

I have modified my sashings to a more simpler look. If you could please send to me with your block a strip of neutral/background strip of fabric at least 6.5 inches long by 2.5 inches wide, 4 x 2.5 inch squares of light grey and 1 bright floral square 2.5 by 2.5 inches. They can all be a repeat of the fabrics you used in your block - this is because they will be spread out through the double sized quilt I want to make. But they can also be completely different fabrics if you want. If you decide to make me more than one block, may I please have a set of extra sashing fabric pieces per block you send. 

And that is it - really looking forward to receiving your blocks and please do reach out if you have any questions or need any further help with colour selections, sewing the blocks or any techniques you are not sure of etc.

Happy sewing


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hive 1 stained glass

 Molli, your blocks are in the mail.  They were super fun to make.  This was a great block pattern to end on for 2023.

One is larger, but you said you would trim them down to size.

Enjoy putting your quilt together.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Hive 1 - Stained Glass for Molli

Whenever there's improv sewing involved I stress a bit, but these were within my comfort zone. I can't wait to see your finished project. With the rainbow colors, it's going to look amazing! Here is mine, plus the angel block that I made for Jennifer. One is a tad big but I figure you can trim it however you like.

~ Diana

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Registration for StashBee 2024 is Live!


Registration for StashBee 2024 is Live!

CLICK HERE to access the sign-up form. 

Registration will be open until December 15th 2023, and Hives will be announced mid December via email. 

Please share the link with your Quilty Friends and encourage them to sign up too!

New to Stashbee? Read on, to find out more!

What is StashBee?

Stash Bee is an annual modern, international, online quilting bee.  It runs for 11 months (January-November) on multiple platforms including facebook, instagram and on this blog. 

StashBee is open to new and returning members. Stash Bee is international friendly. All hives can expect to have a mix of countries. In the past, the majority of participants have been American, with 1-3 hive members from other countries. Participants are responsible for the cost of mailing blocks to their Hive Mates.
Participants are divided into several hives, each containing 10-11 Hive Mates.  The total number of hives will depend on how many people sign up, so invite your friends! We need 10-11 people per hive, so there may be a wait list if there is an incomplete hive.
Each of the members acts as “Queen Bee” for one month. Before their month arrives, the Queen is responsible for testing out their choice of block and creating a tutorial post on the Stash Bee blog for their Hive Mates to follow. All of the hive members then create the requested block from their own fabric stash, and mails the block to the "Queen Bee".
As "Queen Bee" you specify the block, and the color scheme and type of fabric you would like your hive mates to use (ie. solids, prints, low volume, novelty, florals, tone on tone etc). Since this is a modern bee you  can ask for modern blocks, or a classic block but with modern fabrics. 
By signing up, everyone commits to making 10 blocks over the course of the year (January to November). In exchange, when its your turn as "Queen Bee" you will receive 10 blocks.

Reasons to Join

1) One block a month is an easy commitment!
2) Make new Quilty Friends around the world!
3) Try new blocks and new techniques!
4) Make a dent in your stash!
5) Make a quilt with a great story, and a wonderful diversity of fabric from other people's stash!
6) Have fun!

Rules & Expectations

Please review our Rules and Participant Roles & Expectations before signing up. 

If you have additional questions you can email me at the StashBee email:

During the sign-up process, you will be asked what platform you would like to use (facebook, instagram, or the blog). Hives will be assigned based firstly on platform preference, then skill and design/fabric style preferences will also be taken into account. Anyone not assigned to a hive will be placed on the waiting list in the order that they signed up.

One more thing...

Follow our StashBee Instagram profile, and tag us in your StashBee makes!

Hive 1 - Stained Glass for Molli

 Finishing up this pretty block today, popping it in the mail in the morning!


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Hive 1 - November Stained Glass for Molli


Thanks for a nice block method!  Gets my wheels turning for a scrap project in my future. 

Will drop in the mail tomorrow. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Hive 1 - Stained glass for Molli

 It's been sew great sewing with everyone this year and I just love this block that Molli picked for us. I was working from my scrap bins so got a little creative. 

As always, I can't wait to see the finished project!

Happy sewing!
Nicole P 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Hive 1- Dala Horse for Nicole

I forgot to post my finished block! A bright and colorful horse!

Friday, November 10, 2023

Stained Glass Block for Molli

 Hi Molli,

These blocks are already on the way to you. Unfortunately, I don't have any rainbow prints in my stash, so I hope these are okay for your quilt. 
It was fun to just go for it and put blocks together mostly from my scraps and see where that took me!

Enjoy stitching the top together,

Monday, November 6, 2023

Crashing in-Fabric for Diane

Hello from Hive 6!

Here is "fabric" for my friend and fellow South Florida Modern Quilt Guild quilter, Diane! I was sure hoping this block would make a dent in my stash, did not😂 But it was sure fun to piece together! It's leaving in the mail this week!  Marie (crashing from Hive 6)

Friday, November 3, 2023

Hive 1 Stained Glass Block for Molli

 Hi Molli, 

Hope you like my contribution to your rainbow quilt! I can’t wait to see how it turns out :)

Happy Sewing,

Nicole B. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Hive 4 - November Tutorial - Fabric for Diane

Hello my Bee Friends, 

It's already November, which means this is our last month together. It was delightful for me to make blocks, to share in IG and on Zoom with all of you. This month we are going to do something different. Instead of making a traditional block, you are going to create fabric…not to worry, this is easy, almost no rules and very fun! 

Rule # 1 use solids only 
Rule #2  my background fabric is a very dark navy, so avoid the dark blues, the black/charcoal. 

Please create a 12.5" square of fabric that I will slash into “bolts”. These bolts will be used in a pattern by Libs Elliott called “Static Age Quilt”. 

Instructions: assemble together your left overs of solid fabrics in all colours in any manner you wish. The pieces should not exceed 3” in width to create the effect I am looking for. Some people call doing this “crumb quilting.” There are many sites on YouTube where you can find additional instructions. I find working in small sections is easier. Here are photos of me making one block.
If you have trouble assembling sections together, just send me parts that are not assembled. I will make it work.
Place a 12 1/2" square ruler under the pieced fabrics and when it covers the ruler, stop and leave the block as is.  Do not clean edges. Please leave it just as it is. are done!
This is how your fabric making will end up. Thank you for helping me. Having a wide variety of colours will be awesome and without knowing exactly which of the fabrics you created, I will remember that you all participated in making this fun and colourful quilt for me.
All the best and much thanks to you all! Diane

Hive 2 - November Tutorial- Not a Christmas Tree for Andrea

This month we'll be making a tree.  Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom has an excellent tutorial, so I'm just going to direct you over there.  The only change is the background color.  Instead of having all red backgrounds, I'd like any background of a rainbow color.  The final block is 12.5x12.5" square.

Greens for the tree: 8- 2.5x2.5" squares and 4- 3x3" squares.  Please make sure the fabric reads green.  If possible please use at least four different greens for the tree.  Please no batiks, but solids are fine.  

Brown for the trunk: 1- 3x3" square.  Please no batiks, but solids are fine.

Background - any happy rainbow color: 19- 2.5x2.5" squares and 5- 3x3" squares.  I'm doing a medium blue, but I also added a few other color examples.  You are welcome to use any rainbow color, not just the colors that I give examples of below.  If possible, please use at least 5 different fabrics (again no batiks) that read their given color.  Also if possible, try to stick with a specific color - i.e., light blues vs medium blue.  This last request isn't too important, but it will help make the trees stand out more. Again, please no batiks, but solids are fine.

And here's another block!  Again, this finishes 12.5x12.5"

Please note that the address has recently changed, so if you write the addresses out in advance you'll need to recheck the address document.