Showing posts with label Bee Block. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bee Block. Show all posts

Friday, 25 January 2019

Stash Bee June Block Tutorial - Flashback

That was my 2016 Bee Hive block request. Somehow, I never posted it on my own blog. So better do it now and be it only to serve as reminder of another unfinished project waiting for completion. 

Hello dear fellow bees across nine hives. I hope you enjoy the beginning of Summer and keep your sewing motivation up. Many beautiful designs have been chosen so far and I am excited to get to sew along and to marvel at all of your interpretations of the requested designs. I also love that we start to see finished quilt tops and quilts slowly appearing.

In my capacity as Queen Bee of June, I will ask my Hive 8 fellow bees to sew the super easy 'Double Square Star' design with me. We will do a loud and bright Summer interpretation of the block. We will be using a free tutorial by Jenny at 'Missouri Star Quilts' but beware (!) as we will work to different measurements AND include a further step prior to assembling the four subunits into the finished block.

Colour Inspiration:

Above: Sonia Sharma Events & Design, Below: Look I Was There Holi Festival

Look at these bright saturated colours (and notice the ornaments). Notice how there are next to no whites or neutrals in-between them? The bright pinks, oranges, yellows, purples, saffron and blues are placed right next to each other. Gorgeous! Therefore, we too will forgo whites and neutrals and revel in lush colours instead.

Fabric Requirements:

My hive mates have by now all received a teaser in the form of a letter that contained a 12 x 14.5 piece of Kona Cotton in the beautiful ‘Periwinkle Blue’. I am in love with this blue, which is just hinting at purple. It will serve as our background fabric for the Hive 8 June Block.

On top of the 'Periwinkle Blue' you need 4 feature fabrics in either hot pinks, fuscias, oranges, yellows, purples, saffron or gold with big, bold ornaments, flowers, wallpaper or tile imitations and geometric patterns.

Please avoid pastel colours, muted or muddy colours and batiks. Thank you.

To better understand what to look for in your stash, I would like you to have a closer look at my sample fabric pull in terms of type of prints and brilliancy of colours.

As in the finished Missouri Star Sample Quilt, the prints are big and bold and display big flowers, ornaments, geometric patterns or tile and wallpaper imitations. I think these big prints create movement, which is what we are looking for. The bold prints you choose should however still read as one overall colour.


Work with a 1/4 inch seam throughout. I am not fussy about which way you press the seams but prefer them to be ironed towards the dark fabric should a huge difference in tonal value arise.

Rehearse your feature fabric choices next to the ‘Periwinkle Blue’. Press your piece of ‘Periwinkle Blue’ and cut the fabric into pieces along the chalked on lines or measure anew to obtain four strips of 3 x 6 and four strips of 3 x 8.5 inches.

Of the four feature prints you chose, cut 1 rectangle of 6 x 9 inches each. Cut each rectangle further into pieces of 6 x 6 and 3 x 6 inches, and finally the 3 x 6 piece into two pieces of 3 x 3.

Once you have cut all the pieces, your should have arrived at the below.

Now have a look at the video tutorial for the assembly of the block (you can commence watching at 2:13, when Jenny starts assembling) BUT please remember that we will insert a further step prior to assembling the four subunits into the final block (!), so stop following the video at 5:48 and come back here.

Please note: Jenny does, what she calls 'snowballing the corners' at which point you will trimm off triangular scraps. Please hold on to those, as we will need some of them later.

Attach the short blue strip to the feature fabric square and take care to align the pieces correctly. Press the seam and attach the long blue fabric strip. Repeat the process with the remaining feature fabrics to form the four subunits of the block.

Once you have sewn the 4 subunits as below, we will pick four of the priviously trimmed off  blue triangles in order to sew those onto the corners of the subunits in such a way, as to form a wonky little blue diamond at the centre of the finished block.

Place a blue triangle in the corner of the subunit that will form part of the centre of the finished block. If you want to you, can fold the triangle at the base to mark the 1/4 seam line. Try to align the triangle sides evenly with the edges of the underlying fabric (as indicated by the arrows).

If it helps you, mark the edge of the underlying fabric with a soluble pen or chalk. to show you, where the triangle is suposed to go meet the underlying fabric (I have highlighted the points with circles in the below picture). This entire step is merely to gauge, where the triangle is supposed to end up.

Now for the tricky bit. In order to sew the triangle on you need to flip it over first. The points of the triangle should protrude over the edges of the underlying fabic by 1/4 of an inch or a little more. That is usually a good measure to ensure that the triangle, once sewn on and folded over, aligns evenly with the underlying edges as it should.

OK, now you either take a deep breath and sew the triangle on eyeballing it (top stitching) or you lengthen the stitch length of your sewing machine to 5 or 5.5 to baste carefully along the seam allowance line 1/4 of an inch from the edge without locking the start and end of the seam. Fold the triangle over and check if it is where you want it to be. If yes, shorten the stitch length again and re-sew the seam this time locking start and end of it as always. If the triangle is not where it is supposed to be, carefully rip out the basting stitches and try again.

Once you are happy, trimm off the protruding points of the triangle, as well as the bit of the feature fabric that is now going to be replaced with the blue fabric. Fold the blue triangle over, press and then repeat the process for all subunits.

Once your subunits look like this, you can assemble them into the finished block.

See, easy as pie. Feel free to ask questions. It took me 10 minutes to cut the fabirc and 45 minutes (checking back and forth) to sew the first block. The second one came together even faster. The finished block has a size of 16.5 x 16.5.

I expect the finished quilt to be either completely overwhelming or drop-dead-gorgeous, verging on possibly both. I hope all of this is not too restrictive and that you will have fun making this block.

Kind regards



Oh - by the way, this particular basic star shape has previously been requested by Stash Bee Queens, albeit in rather different interpretations. You can find the quilts here and here.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Stash Bee Queen of August - Block Parade

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing,

I know it has been quiet on this blog these last few weeks but somehow, I did not feel like writing much, nor like sewing actually. My time was taken up with recovering from surgery and building the most fun LEGO set ever. I might slowly get back into the flow of things though. Lets for example take a look at the Stash Bee blocks that were made for me. This August I was the Queen Bee of our Hive 4 at Stash Bee. I had asked for my own design the 'Static Interference' Block to be made for me and had chosen a delectable colour scheme based on turquoise. Over the course of October and November the blocks arrived on my door mat, where I got to unwrap them all. 

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, Stash Bee

The blocks were lovely and diverse. The only unfortunate bit was that six of them came in the wrong size. My fellow bees had forgotten to check that they were printing to size. Therefore, I have now got a multitude of blocks that I cannot use well together in the same project.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, Stash bee

Subsequently, I decided to use them up in small batches, commencing with my own queen bee sample block, as this one was incidentally not playing nicely with the others. This block was too coherent in itself and used a completely different shade of yellow.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

One of my friend's Birthday came up and I used the sample block to turn it into a lovely pillowcase. Albeit my head being in the game that day, I made one mistake after the other, measuring wise and others. I finally gave up on my initial game plan and improvised my way to the finish line. And surprisingly enough, I really like my happy accident. It turned out better than what I had initially in mind.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

My friend has a couch in a darker shade of that turquoise and was really happy about her present. She wrote me a message a day later about how well pillow and couch got on and how much the pillow played diva on the sofa.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

A job well done =)

Stash Bee

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Please feel free to be as creative as you like

The Stash Bee Hive 4 October Block was a request for a Cowboy or Fishing or Man's themed Library Block in Autumn colours (no pink or purple, please!).

Queen Kim says: 'my 80 year old uncle is a vociferous reader of western paperbacks. When I mean prolific, I mean he reads hundreds of them yearly! He would be so tickled to have a western themed library quilt to use when he sits in his favorite chair on his front porch reading.'

Now, I am sure we can help out with this request.

Puppilalla, bookshelf quilt, library quilt, scrap busting

All the fun cowboy related paraphernalia you could have in your book shelf like potted cacti, mounted revolvers, photographs of Indians, are those cowboy boots on the bottom shelf (?), oh a sheriff star and look (!), there hangs a horse shoe on that shelf board. I really had to reign myself in on this one, given that there are a number of my own projects I really ought to work on.

Puppilalla, bookshelf quilt, library quilt, scrap busting

I allowed myself to put one item onto the future shelf. So here are my beautifully bound and embossed books all subtly playing on the theme of wilderness adventure and a cowboy hat applique. I suggest sprucing it up further by some embroidery but I will leave that decision to Queen Kim.

The block is wider than the requested 12.5 inches but as library quilts usually have some shelf lenght to cover, I am certain that Kim won't mind.

Puppilalla, bookshelf quilt, library quilt, scrap busting, Cowboy Quilt, Applique

The picture does take getting used to as I never usually have black backgrounds.  =)

This block officially concludes my bee year. It was a lot of fun and again, I enjoyed the experience. All that is left to do is to wait for the majority of the blocks that were made for me to arrive by mail. As much as I enjoy these, I think I will not join a quilting bee next year. Working full time leaves me little time for sewing and my projects keep stacking up. Therefore, it might be more opportune to continue the respectable list of WIPs I have accumulated, for example by the way of participating in bees, while I still have a mind to actually finish them.

I link up with Let's Bee Social.

Stash Bee

Up-date: Look what a beautiful quilt Kim made with this block. =)


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Stash Bee September Block - Oh Scrap

September Queen Amanda’s block choice is the exact opposite from my orderly and precise foundation paper piecing request last month. For her block she asked us to pull out our scraps to organically grow a block by matching scraps of similar sizes, combining away until you had a piece large enough to trim to 9 x 9 inches. We were to avoid browns and pastels. I succeeded on the first part but looking at my picture now, some fabric read more ‘pastel’ than Amanda might like. The good thing about this project is that she can just cut my blocks up and re-combine them with other pieces if she does not like what they currently look like.

 I have prepared one 9.5 x 9.5 inches block and an extra piece that is about 8 x 9 in size. They are already en route to Queen Amanda.

Stash Bee

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Stash Bee Queen of August - The Royal Me

Puppilalla, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, modern quilt, Quilting Bee, Original Design,

Hello Hive 4 and hello respective fellow queens and bees,
I ascended to royalty this month and this is the tutorial I put up on Stash Bee for my hive mates.

It is August already. Crazy huh? This month we are trying our hand at Foundation Paper Piecing and I hope you just said ‘YAY’ with me.

Static Interference – Pattern Download:

As Queen Bee I am asking you to make is the ‘Static Interference’ Block, which you can download from here. It is my own design, which makes me ever so much more excited about sewing it with you. (woohoo!) Four of the basic blocks combined create one gorgeous 16.5 x 16.5 inches block, which in turn creates this gorgeous repeat.

Repeat 4

If you are proficient in Foundation Paper Piecing, I will not explain your craft to you. If you are new to Foundation Paper Piecing or would like to refresh your memory, I would like to refer you to this ultimate go-to tutorial, which I consider one of the best out there. If you want to see the technique in motion, please try this video (The explanation is good, but my - is she wasting fabric. You do not need an extra inch on each side).

What do I need:

  • templates 
  • glue stick (water soluble) / fine pins 
  • craft scissors 
  • fabric scissors 
  • fabrics 
  • pen 
  • colour pencils – optional 
  • scotch tape – optional in case your template rips and you need to quick-fix it 

The Colour Recipe:

The main colour of this quilt top is going to be turquoise, accented with dusky purple, lime green, yellow, black and white. You may use several different turquoise prints for the ‘background’ provided they are similar or same-ish in colour and value. The white is a white solid and the black is a black solid. The yellow, purple and lime green fabrics may have patterns or ornaments. 

Different colour values are fine, as are tiny splashes of other colours but your yellow, turquoise (not aqua), lime green and dusky purple should primarily read as these colours. 

Fabric requirements:
  • White Solid - C5, D5, A3, B3 
  • Black Solid - C3, D3 
  • Yellow Prints - A4, B4 
  • Turquoise Prints - D1- D2, C1-C2, A1, B1 
  • Lime Green Prints - C6, D6 
  • Dusky Purple Prints - C4, D4, A2, B2

A word on templates:

Print the templates, pages 7 and 8 for often as you like to make the block, (print once for one block, twice for two, thrice for three..., plus one extra if you intend to fussy cut) Take care to print ‘actual size’, which means you un-tick any ‘fit-to-page’ or ‘scale-to-page’ options.

Let’s have a look at the templates. First off- they are accurate. The doted lines denoting the seam allowance being uneven, is me grappling with the design programme. Ignore that, the templates are just fine. You will see that the block is made up of four template pieces A,B,C and D.

Secondly, if you look at the repeat made up by my four sample blocks, you will notice that some areas do NOT all line up neatly against each other, once you put the individual blocks next to each other. That is intentional. I will show further down, which parts should and should not line up. Also, template A is not a mirror image of template B, nor are C and D exact mirror images. The areas within the respective templates differ in size, which is also intentional.

Thirdly, I have decided that in this instant the same fabric will be used for the areas D1 and D2 and C1 and C2. Therefore, you can skip a step by combining the areas D1 & D2 and C1 & C2, while making sure that you cut your fabric pieces big enough to cover both designated areas.

Prepare you templates, by either colouring in all areas of the templates with the respective colours designated for the area OR taking a pen and writing the name of the colour in each designated area.

Take your craft scissors and cut out the templates, making sure to leave the seam allowance intact.

Sew your block units:

OK, you are good to go, cut your fabrics and sew away. A word of advice: Protect your ironing board! Depending on how you printed or copied your templates, the black ink might come off a little every time you iron your pieces flat. Therefore protect your board with an old piece of fabric or an unloved FQ prior to ironing. (I recommend ‘radiolab’ or ‘drabblecast’ podcasts to keep you entertained, while you sew =)

Once you have sewn your templates, join them to a block as indicated in the below pictures. Make sure all parts line up neatly.

Within the same block all lines match up as you can see when you allow your eyes to follow the diagonal sewing line in the above picture.

Upon joining individual blocks to create this repeat, only the triangle points of C3 and D3 at the bottom of the picture and the topmost corner point of each block line up. The other lines do not match because that is where the asymmetry comes in. =)

A word on sewing time, effort and resources

I do realize that the Foundation Paper Piecing skill levels among the bees may vary. Some are very proficient and just whiz away while others need more time. So some will find it easy to whip up the block and others might struggle. I am aware of that so do not stress. I doubt that anyone can complete four sets of templates in only 1.5 hours (although it sure would be awsome =). I am not asking you to either. Just try your hand and enjoy the process and see how you are getting on. Feel free to leave the paper in when you send your blocks.

So take it away and have fun – and thank you! Oh and if you use IG feel free to use #staticinterferencequiltblock

Yours royally

Stash Bee

Monday, 17 July 2017

Stash Bee - July Pumpkins

July Queen Lori asked for mini pumpkins.
I hope my block will fit in with her others.  They were fun to make but I had difficulties to find enough suitable orange scraps. My colours tend to be a bit on the very bright side. The background fabric is not actually white but the tan colour with dots did not photograph all that well. As the block is only 8.5 x 8.5 in size, I feel it would be opportune to make more than one block but my sewing mojo is somewhat down so probably won't.

I have commenced to think about my tutorial for August when I will be Queen. We will be making my 'Static Interference' Block. If only I could decide on my colour scheme. =)

Puppilalla, Pumpkin Quilt Block, Quilting Bee, Scrap Busting, Scrappy Quilt Block

Stash Bee

Monday, 3 July 2017

What ever happened to...

                                 all the Quilting Bee Blocks I made...

Is that not something we all want to know? I have to say this year's Stash Bee Hive 4 ladies are actually really good at sharing progress pictures of layout options and finished quilt tops. I participated in two bees last year and for the most part (exceptions here) never found out what happened to the blocks I made upon their arrival with their intended recipient. That is a shame because I always want to play fly-on-the-wall to just see what happenes next once all these blocks come together. 

Having said that, let's have a look at some more bee blocks of this and last year of which I do have a status report or progress shot. =)

of last year's pretties... 

Circle of Friends 

May Queen Lisa completed her quilt top last month and it is very clean and modern looking. Just pretty. It looks just like the quilt you would want for Summer.

Trails of Geese

September Queen Jen asked for Trails of Geese that had not yet been found their final layout the last time I checked. She might need a few more blocks unless she makes a mini.

Bear Paws

June Queen Marie of parallel Hive 3 requested 'Bear's Paw' blocks in plaids and finally shared a picture of the finished quilt with us. It even won 3rd place in the "Viewer's Choice" category at her local quilt show.


and this year's progress

Liberated Gwen Marston Log Cabins

March Queen Patty shared a group shot of her Gwen Marston Style improv log cabin blocks with us a while ago. At that time she had not yet received all blocks that were due.

Converging Corners

May Queen Bethany has received all of her blocks and reported that she was thrilled with the outcome. I believe the below was the final layout of the quilt top-to-be.

Poststamp / Low Volume Plus Block

January Queen Stephanie did not provide a name with her block request but I think most of you will have seen this block around. It is fun to make. And yes, I have spied my block among the eye dazzling variety below. =)

Missing U block

February Queen Carmit requested an improv log cabin block that I have also come to know under the name 'Missing U' (from Cheryl Arkinson in Sunday Morning Quilts, thanks Lisa =). Carmit has already finished her rainbow quilt. (and another furry friend fleeing the scene of the quilt photo shoot. I think I might start an IG photo stream #furrybottomsinquilting  =)

Now wasn't that fun? I love seeing all of these quilts coming together. It is somehow very inspiring. On to the second half of the bee year it is. I will ascend to Queendom in August and need to start preparing my block choice for next month.

I wonder what happened to the gnomes...