Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hive 5 Finished Block

Just in the nick of time...

Here is my finished block for Rebecca.  She asked for a string block that will finish in the spiderweb configuration.  Here are my strings in bright colors:

And here is my finished block.  I actually finished it last week and mailed it Monday.

Rebecca's question for us was if we could go back in time and change our career choice what would we select.  I am pretty happy where I ended up, but sometimes I wonder how life would have been different if I had stuck with my original college major of Education instead of switching to Business Administration.  


April Hive 4

Hi, I'm Renae and I made a Eastern Sunrise block for Heather. I really like the colors that Heather picked, I had more than enough scraps for this block. They are definately colors I often use!

Heather asked about a favorite notion and I really LOVE my wonderclips! If you do not have them, you must try them!

Hive 9 April Blocks for Heather

Heather had us make the Card Trick block for April. Like others have said, I've wanted to try this block for a while, so I'm glad she chose it. I had fun making it. She picked Coral, Chartreuse, Plum, and Indigo for her colors. I was so excited by her color selection because it gave me an opportunity to finally use the two indigo prints in my stash that never seem to fit into the blue or purple category, and therefore, always get tossed in the reject pile when I'm making color specific blocks. Yay!

Heather asked us, "if you could go back to school and learn anything, what would it be?" That's so easy for me to answer. I'd finally go back and get my master's degree in Music Theory. I have my bachelor in Music. While I'm a decent pianist (my chosen instrument), my mathematics loving brain really excelled at Music Theory during my undergraduate program.

Hive 6...Polaroid Shots for Nicole

Nicole created her own "polaroid" block for this month.  I cannot tell you how much I love this super easy but so cool.  I was very busy this month so waited till the last minute....I wish I'd started sooner so I could make more!  I made a group of four polaroids for Nicole.  I went with a springy theme of birds and flowers....I'm going to make myself one with the same material this weekend so I can add it to my sampler bee quilt.

But then I'm definitely going to print some photos on fabric and use these to make some Totes for my nieces.  

Nicole asked us what is the best thing I ever made....Thats a tough one...I've been sewing for a long I'm picking the quilt I just finished.  I appreciate it so much more because its so recently completed.  Its a wedding gift, so I don't get to keep it....but I know it will mean a lot to the happy couple. It's off to be quilted by my Mom...I can't wait to see it all finished.

Early May block for Jan from Lori

Happy almost May,

I was happy to see Jan posted her Hive 7 tutorial early, due to the fact that I will be traveling next week.  Here's the blocks I made her.  Like potato chips, (can't eat just one) I can't make just one.

I hope everyone gets lots of sewing done this month.


May Block Tutorial for Hive #1

It seems like we just started this Bee and my month is here already!  :)  First, a little about me.  My name is Jackie and I live in Oregon.  I am a mom of two boys ages 10 and 13.  Besides quilting, I love to work in my garden in the summer and crochet in the winter.  I also like to read which I do every single night :)  I like spooky/scary, mystery and paranormal romance.  Right now I am reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.  If you like those types of reads, I highly recommend it.
 I am also an avid horseback rider.  We have 4 so taking care of them keeps me busy.  My other 1/2 is a team roper and the boys are learning as well.  Me on the other hand-- I would rather go a little slower :)  Hit the trail, take a beer out of my saddle pack and enjoy the scenery.

 This is my second time in the Stash Bee.  I was in two hives the original year it was started.  I took last year off from Bees and Swaps.  This was one of the quilts I finished from 2012 Stash Bee, Hive #2.  It's called Arkansas Crossroads.

Here it is, 3 years later, and it's my turn once again :)  For my block I chose the paper pieced version of the Kaleidoscope pattern.  I have always loved this pattern but have never made one.  I came across this one here from Kitchen Table Quilting and was instantly in love ♥  She shared templates on her blog, but I wanted a bigger paper pieced block.  I found this one from Fresh Lemons which has a free down loadable pattern.  I made two over the weekend and they came out perfect.  They stitch up really fast too :)

Download pattern here.  Print 4  and make sure it is at actual size, not fit to page.  There is a 1" line for reference on the pattern.

Here is my color inspiration courtesy of Design Seeds:


Yellow, Lime Green, Dark Teal, Red-Orange and Light Lilac.  ♥ it!!  For the background, I would like low volume. Here are my fabrics:

As far as tutorials go, there isn't much to it.  We all have paper pieced before, especially last month.  I figured since we all made the origami crane for Liz that this should be simple enough.   To make the process go more smoothly, I would suggest doing the following:

Trim the pattern down and layout the pieces.

Decide which block you are making and mark the numbered section you plan to have as a print.  I put an "X" like the photo above.  That way you will know as you assemble each section, which will be print and which will be background/ low volume.

Here are my finished sections.  When you are happy with your layout, sew sections together.

If you plan on making the alternate block, remember to mark those sections that are going to be a print with an "X".

And here are my two finished blocks.  They measure 12 1/2" unfinished. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at:

 Thank you very much!  I can't wait to see what you make :)

April block for Elizabeth From Lyssa Jane

Well, this one is coming in just in time!  I will mail it today.  I hope Elizabeth is enjoying her Eastern Europe adventure and will come home to some fun parcels.

This was my first time paper piecing.  I can see the appeal of the precision it allows.  It will require a little more practice to love it but it was great to learn something new!

Hive # 5 Block for Rebecca

Sorry - I forgot to put my name on here when I posted it origianlly!  This is Holly James here writing from sunny AZ...

Here is my spiderweb block for Rebecca this month.  It was really easy and fun to make!
Rebecca asked us if we could go back to our 18 year old self would we choose the same career path, and I definitely would.  My degree is in Heavy/Civil Construction Engineering and I have worked for a homebuilder since college.  I love what I do and wouldn't change a thing!  (ok, in a perfect world I would be home sewing all day, but since fantasy land doesn't exist this is the next best thing!)

Hive 3 block for Heather

Hi, it's Bianca here,
I had fun picking a block for Heather's real world red and white quilt.  I went with Cordelia's Garden,  which I've been wanting to make for a while now.  I hope it finds a comfy spot in your quilt, Heather!

Heather asked If we did any sewing other that quilting. I started sewing at 8 when my grandmother taught me. My favourite is garment construction, making dresses and occasionally I make shirts for my husband.  In high school, I started making bags, but am falling more in love with it lately!  

Hive Six April 2015 block for Nicole

Hi this is Julia S (the other Julia of Hive 6).  I love polaroid quilt blocks so much but I hadn't got around to tackling them until this month.  Nicole's post was great. I loved that she made her own paper piecing pattern and that you could make tilted blocks.

I went overboard making blocks.  I have a stack of "windows" at home waiting for me to start stitching.  This was also my roommate's favorite quilt block of the bee (so far).

I did a mix of solid gray and patterned gray.  On a whim I bought a layer cake from Kona in "silent film." It's all shades of gray. I haven't done much with the layer cake but this was the perfect time to whip it out.

Here are the 10 blocks I made (one set of 4 and a set of 6).  

And here is a close up of each set

I love them all so much. I think my two favorites are the clock from the upper right blocks and the dancing calacas from the lower left.  I made a queen size quilt using a variety of day of the dead motifs and it was nice to use the scraps.

It's so hard to pick what the best thing I've made is. I do garment sewing, costume sewing, knitting, cross stitch and other crafty fun.  The thing I had the most fun sewing recently was for a saucy swap.  I took fabric of hunky guys & did trapunto quilting to highlight certain areas. I could not stop cracking up when I was sewing it. It's completely ridiculous.

But I think the actual best is this quilt I made for my niece.  She's my first niece (my brother's daughter) and I am absolutely crazy about her. This is not my most elaborate piece by any means but that wasn't the point. The fabric is super soft & cozy (brushed cotton & flannel). Right now her parents are using it as a play mat in the nursery. It's filled with intense auntie love which makes it the best.

Hive #1 April

I'm told it's the last day of April.  I have no idea who thinks that is a good idea....5 weeks til school is out?  Say it isn't so!  It's been month of illness at my house, so this block progressed slooooowly.  Like finished this morning slowly.  I did get to learn that my printer scales, which didn't help my cause any.  It looks a little light, but I think it's more a function of my poor living room lighting.  So here it is, Origami Crane, the original and the properly scaled.

Now back to that term paper.  Ugh!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hive 5 blocks for Rebecca

Hello all, it's Genevieve.  Here are the two spiderweb blocks that I made for Rebecca this month.  

Like Kim's February block, this one was a great way to use string scraps.  I'm loving the whole string-piecing technique, and the results are gorgeous.  I definitely want a quilt like this, but I'm not sure I can stand making all the block myself.  Can anyone say Stash Bee 2016...?  :-)

Before I assembled the blocks, I couldn't help laying them out to emphasize the "spiderweb", instead of the star.

This is going to be a gorgeous quilt.  Rebecca, I'm jealous.

As for going back and changing my career choice...  I actually recently changed careers.  18 months ago, I was a research astronomer at Princeton University.  It sounds cool and fun, but in reality academia is a slog.  Every detail of every project has to be nailed down so tight that by the time you release it into the world as a publication, you're bored to death by it.  Also, it sucks to constantly relocate your family every few years.

So now I'm the Chief Data Scientist at a small San Francisco-based start-up.  The work is fascinating.  I've learned more in the last 18 months than the previous 5 years and I'm loving it.  It uses a much larger set of my skills and my brain, not just the pointy math part (although I need that too!).  Also, I get to live in Santa Cruz, which is essentially paradise.  All the years doing the astro PhD and the subsequent research weren't wasted---I absolutely needed that background to do my job today.  

So no regrets, no re-do for me: I just did that!  One of the best decisions I ever made.  It's never too late to stop something you don't love (anymore) and start doing something new.

Hive #5 - April Block for Rebecca

Here is my bright spiderweb block for Rebecca for April!

I loved this block and am definitely going to need my own spider web quilt at some point!  (Maybe with a little help from Stash Bee 2016!)  Plus, with the fabric foundation, there are no papers to rip and the seams from the strings are all nicely contained.  The back of the block is so pretty and clean!

Rebecca asked us what, if anything, we would change about our career choice if we went back to our 18 year old self.  Honestly, I really don't think I would change a thing.  I loved my major (Biomedical Engineering) and I really enjoy my job (academic research).  If I could eliminate the 2.5 years right after college I spent in a job I didn't enjoy, that would be a plus though!

Hive 6 Block for Nicole

Hive 6 April block was Great
I loved making this block!
To make it truely polaroid style I got my kids to pick pictures they would take, so we ended up with some prized fabrics in the mix.

Whats the best thing I ever made.... Not sure I always seem to doubt what I have made and rarely take pictures of the finished product.But if i had to choose one,  I have a quilt made from charm squares from my mother's scraps, she recently passed away so this quilt means alot to me, even though the colours are all wrong together.

Hope you like your block,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hive 8 April Bee block for Melodee

Melodee requested a house block and I had alot of fun including putting a little piggy in the window.

I hope she will love it!!

I have recently learned how to fmq and love just doing swirls and tear drops. I am also learning how to use a long arm. I am always willing to try anything!!

Happy Spring to all!!

Hive 4 April Block

It is Laura and while I was looking at all the blocks for this month, I realized that I had never posted the block I made for Heather.  I can't wait to see the finished quilt as this is a block that I have on my "to do list." It is a great stash buster.

Heather asked what our favorite notion was and I have to say that it is my super fine quilting pins. They are long like the flower pins, but a lot thinner and I have an easier time getting my points to line up when I use them.

April Block Finished - Hive 1

Finished my blocks for April.  Hope they work  with the others!

Hive 5 April Block

Hi there. It is Kelly from Hive 5, here with my first-ever Spiderweb block for Rebecca. I'm doing all sorts of new things since joining this group. So much fun!  Here is my block. I hope it is bright enough for her.

As for her question of what we would re-do as a career if we could go back to being 18... Well I would probably do something very opposite of the art/design career I have now. I would probably try to go to the FBI academy or become a lawyer. Something very 'Law & Order'-like.

Hive #2 April Block

~Well, I have just about snuck in under the radar this month. It's the 28th of the month, and as there are 30 days in April, I have made it with  24.5 hours to spare! I like to live dangerously!

Angela asked us, in hive 2, to make sunburst squares in green and blue fabrics. They really didn't seem to difficult and I was looking forward to making them on my return from my break in New York over Easter. However, on the return flight my feet swelled up something terrible and went all red and shiny. Really painful. Combine that with a day job that requires standing all day, and I was working extra days and the result was me lying most nights with the feet on a cushion watching tv. I did what sewing I had to, and everything else got delayed.

Fast forward to Sunday morning, the time I had "scheduled" to sew my block. Sunday morning is usually spent listening to music, the old fashioned way, on vinyl. A cooked breakfast and the papers complete the morning. The sound of my machine whirring, sorry, squeaking, it needs serviced, is usually surplus to requirements. The blocks however had to be made.

Rather smugly, I got the first made very quickly and put on IG. The second was underway when Jo, who was queen bee in February, messaged to say and I quote " erm...... looks great........but........ did you mean to rotate the corner blocks??" Put it this way, just as well Jo was more awake than myself!
A little ripping out and a little jiggery pokery and they were set aside to finish sewing on Monday, and posted to Angela.

the "wrong" block
the "right" block

another "right" block

A few weeks ago my elderly aunt, aged 93, came for Sunday tea and we admired her hand knit scarf. She told us proudly she knit it herself, but you never ever knit on a Sunday - what you knit/sew on Sunday you rip out on Monday. Sometimes these old adages prove to be true in more ways than one.
When I was looking for an envelope, I came across two short zips that were the same shades of green and blue I had used so popped them in too. Maybe Angela will make a double pouch to match her green and blue quilt!

Hive 9 - Card Trick for Heather

Hi everyone, I'm Shauna and today I'm going to show you the Card Trick blocks I made for Heather. I was very excited when I saw she picked this block because my sister and I had talked about doing a quilt with this block but were a little intimidated by it. So here was my chance to make one and see how hard it would be. I sent Heather some fabric options and she picked the combo she liked best. But before I made her block I wanted to do a test block.  So I picked a few more fabrics in the colors Heather requested and got cutting. It was really not that hard, and my test block turned out good enough to send to her as well.

Test block

Second block

I think I will be doing a quilt with this block at sometime in the future.  Now Heather's question was "If you could go back to school and learn anything, what would it be?"  I would love to go back to school and take some Art classes, like color theory.  I always struggle picking colors, and I would love to learn how to do it better.

I am looking forward to seeing Heather's quilt, the blocks I've seen so far look great.

April blocks for Liz

Liz asked for muted blue tones and crane blocks with LV backgrounds. 
Apparently my first fabric had a spot on it or it rubbed off the other block but it came off so I am sending both of these to Liz later this week. I sure hope she likes them. 

Hive #3 April Block

Heather gave us free reign this month and requested any block as long as it was 12.5" unfinished and used bright red, tan, white or brown.  I was worried that this might be a bit on the busy side but Heather gave me a thumbs up so this is going in the post to her today!

I chose a block from Stichery Dickory Dock's Sugar Block Club.  I quite like it but it photographs a little bit on the active side.  I loved this colour choice made primarily for the dogs and cats that like to sit on quilts.  I am going to have to do this myself someday.  Dogs are in moulting season and the lint rollers are getting great use at the minute!

Heather's question was if we did any sewing other than quilting and to be honest the answer is very little!  I do like embroidery and do a teeny bit of that from time to time.  I like to knit complicated patterns like cables and lacework , am really impatient doing rows and rows of plain and pearl and other than quilting which takes up most of my free time,  I guess photography would be my hobby of choice!

Thanks Heather for allowing us a free choice - hope it lives well in your quilt!

Monday, April 27, 2015

April block for Melodee

I have to say I really love my little yellow house here! Such a lovely and easy pattern.  I can't wait to see your finished quilt, Melodee!

My answer to the month's question:  I like letting other people quilt my finished quilt tops. Maybe I shouldn't admit that? I have no experience in free motion quilting and not enough patience for hand quilting.  Luckily for me, my husband grew up with a longarm in the basement and my mother-in-law is incredibly talented!

Happy Monday!

Hive 4 April Block

It's done!  It's done!  This is the Easter Sunrise block for Heather and I can't wait to see her blocks all together.  I was so amazed at how much this resembles a kaleidoscope.  It looked even more so before I trimmed my blocks and put them all together, but it's really fun.   Thanks for choosing this block Heather!  It will got in the mail to you tomorrow.

As for a favorite quilting/sewing tool:  like a couple of other people have said I love my wonder clips too.   The only tricky thing about them is keeping them from my kids as they think they're pretty neat too.   I also recently got Nancy Zieman's 5 in 1 sliding gauge and I really like it.  Circles and hems (though I've yet to brave buttons) in one tool has been pretty amazing for me.

Hive 2 April Block

I really like the colors used in this quilt and I can't wait to see all the blocks together.

Here is mine:


My favorite childhood memory is when we lived in Ohio and we're taking a trip to Florida to visit our cousins. It was winter and at the last minute we decided to fill a cooler with snow and bring it with us.  When we got to their house and they came outside to greet us, we pelted them with snowballs under their coconut trees. It was a fun surprise.

April block - Hive#1

Leo here - waiting for the rain to stop - and I think my crane is not muted enough .... but at least it's blue ... I hope it will still fit ...

StasBee - Hive#1 - April

Hive 8 April House for Melodee

This was one of the most deceiving blocks ever! I looked at all the pieces on the tutorial and thought "oh boy"... but it was SO simple!

Melodee asked for a scrappy house...really wide open to anything (right up my alley!)

I started with a starry night sky & worked down from there. Hope  you enjoy it Melodee!

I'm just getting started on the whole quilting part of this, I can't really answer that. I'm hoping to load up my Grace frame and see how that does.

Thanks for a fun block!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hive 9 April 2015 Block! :)

Hello all!  Here is my card trick block for Heather- strung amongst the delectable creative chaos at The Stash Bash retreat this past weekend.  I hope you like your block!  It will be in the mail tomorrow- April 27.  I have enjoyed making all of the blocks we have made so far in Hive 9, and I am looking forward to hosting next month.  It's paper pieced- so get ready!

As for what classes I wish I had taken in school...  I only have a few college courses under my belt, so no degree.  I don't regret any class I've ever taken, including the ones I hated.  But, I do sometimes wish that I had pursued an opportunity to attend SCAD to study textiles.  Having said that, I don't really know that that would have been the best thing, so I try not to spend too much time with feelings of regret.  Better to just move forward and look for the next opportunity, whatever it may be. 

Now, what shall I ask all of you?  Hmmmm...

Blocks for Heather

This month Heather asked us to make the "Card Trick" block.  Definitely a challenging block for me. So much so that when an Angel Block was needed I jumped at the chance to do it and improve on my block.  Using the color chart is a must, or you end up ripping out multiple seams.  Where I had problems was making the sections the larger size then trimming them.  When I made the second block I cut them the actual size and things went much easier.  Apparently I am math challenged.  Here are the 2 blocks that I ended up with.  They will be in the mail tomorrow.  I hope you enjoy them Heather!

Heather's question this month was "If you could go back to school and learn anything, what would it be?"  It would have to be architecture.  My degree is in Clothing & Textiles with a minor in Interior Design.  When I took my design classes I fell in love with architecture, but it was too late to change majors.  So if I were starting over again I would head straight for the Architecture department! 

Blocks for Heather

Hi Rose here...
I ended up making two blocks for Heather.  It was the first time I tried this block
and so I cut out two just in case I had a problem with it.  My points aren't perfect on the first but not 
to bad.  The second one came together much faster and easier. Thanks for a great new block pattern, Heather. I think I will have to try this again sometime. 

As for the question...I am sure I would take art classes.  How that I am older being creative is
a relaxing way to spend my  free time.  I am sure I will have much more of that when I retire.