Rules for Queen Bees

Rules and Expectations for Queen Bees

The following section outlines expectations for Queen Bees.

 Complete All Previous Months’ Blocks

In order to take your turn as QueenBee you must be up to date on all your previous blocks, and for the month prior to your turn as Queen Bee you must have your block completed by the 25th of the month.

  • For example, if you are the May QueenBee, you must have your April block completed by April 25th, and be up-to-date on all blocks from January to April.

Post a Fulsome Tutorial On Blogger

Tutorials should be Posted on the 1st of the Month (not earlier), on the Stash Bee blog. Tutorials should be thorough and accurate.

Follow Rules for Blocks

Because this is a stash-centered bee, blocks will be scrappy by nature. When choosing a block to request for your turn as Queen Bee, pick a block that can be made well by people all over the world and still look good when combined together in the quilt.

When choosing your block, please ensure it meets the following rules:

 1) The Golden Rule: Time Limit

  • 1.5 Hour Time Limit: One block should not take more than 1.5 hours on average to create, including cutting time.
    • Queen Bees – please time yourself making the block you plan to request from your hive. If it takes longer than 1.5 hours you may NOT request your hive mates to make that block.

  • Excluding Fabric Selection Time: The time required to choose fabrics from your stash is not part of this time limit. However, the time required to choose fabrics for your block should be reasonable.
    • You may not request more than 10 different fabrics in a block. More information on fabric parameters can be found below.

2) Respect Copyright

  • Design an Original Block, or Choose a Block from a Free Source: Blocks must be either original designs, considered in the public domain, or from a free source.
    • If designing a block yourself please make sure that you have thoroughly tested the block and your cutting measurements are accurate.
    • It is also acceptable to use a tutorial from another blog that is available for free.
    • Traditional quilt blocks are considered part of the public domain, as they are blocks that no one person can truly claim ownership of. Therefore they do not require any sort of permission for anyone to use.

  • Give Credit/Provide Link to your Source: When using a free tutorial adapted from another blog, you MUST link to the original tutorial on the Stash Bee blog.
    • You should not copy the tutorial in its entirety -- your bee mates should primarily use the original tutorial to direct their block making and your post should include any changes you would like made as well as any explanations of parts you think your hive mates may find difficult.
    • You do not need to provide a step by step tutorial since one is already provided at the original tutorial source, but you should do your best to highlight any complicated parts of the block construction.

  • Blocks may not be copied from any copyrighted work: Participants may not choose a block from any pattern, book, or magazine available for purchase only.   -- ie. a book, magazine, or stand-alone pattern.
    • Additionally, it is also poor etiquette to replicate a block from a book, magazine, or for-purchase pattern, and figure out the dimensions for yourself, without permission from the author. You'd still be making that pattern available for free without the permission from the author/designer/publisher and infringing on their copyright.

3) Modern Blocks

Stash Bee is a modern virtual quilting bee meaning QueenBees can ask for modern blocks, modern techniques, and/or modern fabrics within the scope of the block restrictions. If you prefer more traditional blocks and more traditional fabrics (like reproduction fabrics, civil war prints, etc) then this bee is NOT for you. If QueenBees choose a traditional block, they should expect that the block is constructed with modern fabrics.

4) Number of Blocks & Block Size

  • One Block: Queen Bees may only request one block from each hive mate. If hive mates want to make more than one block, that is at their discretion.

  • Maximum 16” Square: Requested blocks may be no more than 16” finished (16.5” unfinished) square.

Disassembled or Two-at-a-Time blocks

In past years we have seen some Queen Bees requesting their hive mates send the block disassembled in four quadrants, or to use a method that makes blocks “two-at-a-time”.

Queen Bees may request that their hive mates send the block disassembled, or make two blocks, so long as, in total, it is within the size and time parameters:
  • The total size of the combined parts remains within the size parameters (16.5” unfinished) and;
  • The total time required to make all of the parts is within the 1.5 hour time limit.


5) Skills &Tools

  • Reasonable Level of Skill: Stash Bee is open to quilters of all skill levels. While we do our best to group the hives based on skill level, we can't always match all quilters with the same level of skills. Queen Bees should only request blocks that can reasonably assumed to be made by a quilter with an average skill set.

  • Alternative Construction Techniques: Queen Bees may request a block that involves a construction technique other than traditional piecing (paper-piecing, improve, applique). However, please be reasonable regarding the level of difficulty of your block, as these skills are new for many StashBee participants. 
    •  See the parameters for paper-pieced blocks below.

  • Standard Quilting Tools: Queen Bees may only request blocks that can be made with standard quilting tools/supplies. Queen Bees may NOT choose blocks that require the purchase of a specific tool.

 6) Fabric Specifications

  • No Specific Fabric: A Queen Bee may NOT require hive mates to use a specific fabric to complete their block. Queen Bees are also NOT permitted to request a specific brand of fabric, or particular designer or collection to be used in their blocks.
    • Requesting a white solid is acceptable, requesting Moda Bella White is not.
    • You are more than welcome to reference specific fabrics or collections to help describe your color palette, but you are not allowed to require that hive mates use fabric from it.

  •  Request colors or styles of Fabric: It is reasonable for a Queen Bee to request that her hive mates use or minimize use of certain styles of fabrics, but must understand that everyone is working within the limitations of their own stash and may not have exact matches in their stash.
    • Giving general requests is allowed; giving overly-specific requests borders on requesting specific fabric be used which is not allowed.
    • In your tutorial, provide an example of the desired color palette and type of fabric. For example, Queen Bees may specific dark purple, or florals. 
    •  In your tutorial, note what, if any, fabrics you would like them to minimize or avoid. For example, Queen Bees can specific no batik fabrics, or no moverlty or children’s prints.

Scrappy Blocks

Stashbee is about using fabrics in your stash, not necessarily your scrap bin. Because this is a stash-centered bee, blocks will be scrappy by nature of the blocks coming together from different people with different fabric stashes.
  • Limit of 10 Different Fabrics: If you request a particularly scrappy block, please limit the amount of different fabrics in one block to ten. If your block has more than ten pieces in it, it is reasonable to expect some of the fabrics to repeat themselves.
    •  If your Hive Mates want to use up their scraps and are willing to cut more than 10 fabrics that is up to them, but QueenBees may not expect more than ten distinct fabrics in each block.


7) Number of Pieces

  • Reasonable Number of Pieces: Queen Bees should remember that one block should not take more than 1.5 hours on average to create, which includes cutting time. It is difficult to say exactly how many pieces in one block is too many, but the more pieces the greater the cutting time, and the greater number of seams to sew.
    • Not everyone in StashBee has a stash of precut pieces, so they will need to cut each individual piece in your block.
    • If you want to request a block with a lot of pieces, consider whether the block can be constructed using a time-saving technique such as cutting multiple pieces at a time, strip piecing, or other quick piecing techniques that let you sew large chunks of fabric together, then slice off sections to create pre-sewn units.

Paper Piecing

Paper piecing is a technique some people love, and others love to hate! While Stashbee encourages people to get out of their comfort zone and learn new techniques, QueenBees should be reasonable in their expectations for paper-pieced blocks.
  • Limit of 10 pieces in a Paper-pieced Block: If choosing a paper-pieced block, QueenBees must choose a block that has less than 10 pieces in it. Ten pieces in a 16” block allows paper-piecing newbies to try the technique, while not being too intricate. If your block is significantly smaller, say 6 inches, ten pieces may be too complicated and intriciate to reasonable expect your Hive Mates to complete.

8) Blocks that are NOT Permitted

Based on feedback from StashBee participants in previous years, we have decided to create a list of Blocks that are NOT permitted. StashBee reserves the right to update this list at our discretion. If you feel a block does not meet the guidelines outlined, please let us know!

The following blocks are not permitted: 
  • Circle of Geese

  • Scrappy Crossroads

Keep Track of Blocks Received

Queen Bees should let their Hive Mates know when their blocks have arrived and keep track of whose blocks they have and have not received. Once all of the blocks have been received, Queen Bees should let the Hive Mama know.

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