Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hive 1 Block for Katie

I loved pulling all these fun colors for this month's block. I think it took longer to pull and cut fabric than it took to sew it together. I love it and can't wait to see Katie's quilt all put together. I think the angle on my photo is a little off, but I promise it's square. ;-)

You can see all the bee blocks I've made this quarter on my blog.

Katie asked us to share our must have quilting tools. I love my little 7" rotating cutting mat (with 6.5" x 6.5" ruler) which I use a ton for trimming down blocks. Pinmoors are my must have for prepping a quilt for quilting. And I can't believe I ever pieced without a 1/4" foot on my machine. Love it!

:-) Sarah

Hive 9 September

I love the look of this block. Perhaps I'll make my own pineapple quilt someday. Great block Grace! It's heading your way.

As far as sewing space, everything is currently packed for our cross country move in a week (FINALLY!). I haven't seen the new house, so I don't know what I'm in for.

HIve 3 September Block

Martina here, just in time. I did enjoy how this block came together and I cannot wait to see what the quilt will look like. Margaret, I did not trim it to length because I wasn't sure if you wanted me to trim the top or bottom.
As for my summer highlight - that would have been a week at a Centerparcs in the Loire Valley in France. The kids had a blast, my husband and I enjoyed being in the laguna pool with them. It was perfect!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hive 9 - September Block for Grace

Hi all, this month our queen...aka Grace asked for a pineapple block. I really loved making this block, so much so that I made two. They went together quickly, once I cut my strips.  I am definitely putting a quilt using these blocks on my to do list.

I took my photos this morning before heading to the post office, so the low volume fabrics look much more white than they are. I'm not normally drawn to dark colors, but these blacks and grays are really calling my name.

I even sent Grace some of my leftover 1 1/2" strips.  I can't wait to see what the finished quilt.  Now for her question she asked for us to show photos of our sewing space.  My sewing room is a decent size or was until I added a long arm. But I've just about decided to make a couple of changes. The cabinet my sewing machine sits on is designed to fold down and be about 2/3 of the size it is now. And that is great, but since I never fold it down the space behind the door is dead space to me.  Also you can't see but behind my chair is a little door area, that isn't great for storing much.  So I'm thinking of getting an Ikea table so I can put those fabric tubs under one end of it, if not both ends. I am also thinking of changing out the chair. My sister bought this one for her desk and then decided she didn't like it. It is comfortable but takes up a lot of space.

The great part of the room is that it faces east and I get great morning light.  But since I sew mostly at night I have to have an extra lamp. I keep a chrome book to play movies/shows while I sew and a tablet to look up any directions/instructions/etc on the internet. Behind my chair is a cork wall. Now I'll be honest it isn't really that functional, I put them there to cover holes in the wall that one of my dogs ate. But it lets me keep my white board close and my mini foxes quilt that I won. Above my sewing machine I have a very cool metal piece my niece gave me for last Christmas that I need to get hung. Next to the stack of tubs is a cabinet that I store yardage and fat quarter bundles in and a book case that houses more tubs. The room works, but if I could design my own space it would be a little bigger so I could have a little more wiggle room.

Well that is it for me this month.  I can't wait to see what block I get to do next month. It has been a fun journey this year, and I've really had fun doing all the blocks.

Hive 5- Finished Blocks for Liz

It's not feeling much like fall here in Albuquerque, but I am wishing it was after making these fun maple blocks for Liz.  They were super easy and I love the autumnal colors she asked for.

I am super tempted to add these blocks to my own wish list.  They would make such a cute fall table runner.  We'll see if I have the time. 

Liz's question for the month was how do we quilt our quilts and what advice do we have for newbies.  For the last couple years I did most of my quilting on my domestic sewing machine with a preference for free motion quilting designs.  In March I took the plunge and got a Longarm Machine. I love love love it!  My advice for newbie quilters is to not be afraid and practice, practice, practice.  When I decided I wanted to learn free motion I made a bunch of 12X12 practice sandwiches and would quilt on one every day.  After just a couple weeks I was already a million times better than I was on day one. Because I was doing it everyday I didn't have to relearn the skill each time a sat down at the machine. 

Hope everyone had a great September.  Can't wait to see our block for October.


Hive 3 September block!

This was an adorable block!  I can't wait to see what garden it will join!!!!

As you all know, I'm more challenged with exact measurements these days, but I know it gets me to focus more - (and takes me a little longer than a few hours!)

The highlight on my summer: its easy but sounds ridiculous at first.

My husband was out of work.  It was time he departed after a long time ( decades ) with the business. But.....we got to spend four weeks on the road in our 16' camper!  It was a super time!  We even borrowed hot spots to fill out applications!  We hit Colorado ( Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Salida, Crested Butte, Montrose, Payson, AZ)  then we went stright north to Utah (St. George, Heber, Flaming Gorge), Idaho, Colorado again (Fruita), Wyoming (Jackson, Grand Teton, Yellowstone).  It was awesome.  We figured we better take advantage of the opportunity.  It was hard leaving our little 69 sf of home!  He started back to work three weeks ago.

Lowlight of fall:  he's now working from home!

Happy Fall!


2015 Hive 4 August Finished Block for Chiska

Stash Bee Hive 4 Aug Finished Block
Chiska, You really pushed me to try something that I found very intimidating before now. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that a Cathedral Window block is not as difficult as I thought I was.
I will surely make more of these!

I sent these other pieces of fabric on to Chiska so that she would have squares to add to the other corners where she joined our blocks together.
Sorry that the pictures are a little blurry. I guess my lens had some fingerprints on the inside.
Hope you enjoy Chiska.
You had asked about our go to baby quilt. I have made a few, and usually just do random squares of materials in the color scheme that the nursery is planned, or just colors the expecting parents would like. I try not to make a baby quilt for all babies, unless I know they will want one. I received so many blankets and quilts when my children were born, that despite trying to, I never used them all. I loved the one that I received that was cotton on one side, flannel on back, with no batting. It folded up nice and small, but was warm enough as a winter car seat blanket, yet light enough that it could be used as a nursing cover up too. sized 36 x 36.

September Hive 3

Hello again, it's Heather from Quilts Actually.  I made the flower block for Margaret from her tutorial.  I hope this fits with your flower patch!

Flower Block for Stash Bee

She asked what the highlight of our summer was.  We had a big summer.  We moved from North Carolina to New York.  Moving wasn't really a highlight, but while we were in transit we lived in our camper for a month while we worked our way north and that was great.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!

2015 Hive 4 July Finished Block for Pam

Stash Bee Hive 4 July Finished Block
Thank you all for your patience with my procrastinations this year.
Here is a picture of the block that I had finished and mailed off to Pam.
This was a fun block. I plan to try a quilt like this for my house too!

If I were to make this again, I think I would make sure that the second cut would have been made on a seam in the firs strip, or at least at the same angle as the seams in the first strip. Even though both sides of the first strip were lined up when I sewed in the second strip, it looked a little off to me. Hope it was OK for you Pam.  
If you still need more orange blocks, let me know, and I can try to get it done for you in the next month.
You had asked where we like to shop. I prefer to shop locally, to try to keep the local quilt shops open, but sometimes online prices are just too tempting. We have a local shop, Affordable Fabrics. They buy end of bolts fabric in bulk and from the fashion district in NY, and all of their fabrics are $2.99 per yard. All fabrics, from cottons, fleece, specialty fabrics, upholstery fabrics, everything. I love their shop, and frequent them to supplement my stash, but when I am doing a coordinating quilt project, I usually would shop our local store Colchester Mill Fabrics.

Hive 3 September block

Hi, Bianca here,

I had fun making these adorable posy blocks.  They go together so quickly, and I couldn't decide between the colours so I  made two.  Hope you like them!

Margaret asked what the highlight of our summer was.  I had two; First was my sister-in-law's Cinderella themed wedding, complete with horse drawn carriage (I wish I had some pictures).  Second was later in the summer when my younger sister got engaged and we threw her a massive party!  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hive 7 - Blocks for Jane

Jane's block request looked so simple when I first read the tutorial but my first attempt was awful (the piecing) and the second wasn't much better, so last evening I disassembled most of both blocks and went at it again.  Not sure why I had such a hard time with them -- I've done improvisation piecing before??
The good news is that they are finished! 
And they are packed up waiting for the mailman tomorrow morning!! 
Jane asked what colors and prints I would add to my stash? 
Hard question for me since I have a big stash and have been pretty committed to working it down for the past 5 years. 
Two colors that are on my current "to-buy" list are true greens (because I use lots of greens but most of my stash is currently heavy on greens with a yellow tinge) and true purples (I don't like purple but sometimes I need a dash of it).
I would like to add more "modern" prints but I shy away from them because I find that I have trouble mixing them in with fabrics from my stash.  Not enough practice with that category I imagine.
Hope my blocks work in with the rest of your collection, Jane!!
Mary Huey

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hive 6 August Blocks

This is Samantha.  I really liked searching for fabric for these blocks.  These were fun and quick to make.  I would love to try an Eye-Spy type quilt with these blocks sometime.  I have never been to a retreat before, so I don't have any advice.  My local modern quilt guild is having a one day retreat in October which I am considering attending.  But I grew up in Michigan.  It should be beautiful this time of year.  Enjoy!

Hive 6 September Blocks

Hi all!  This is Samantha checking in, FINALLY.  I have been MIA for a while and I apologize for that.  It feels good to get back to sewing a bit.  These blocks were fun and easy.  I was surprised that I didn't have any orange in my stash!  Time to go shopping I guess!  Anyway, I have plenty of blues to choose from.  I organize my stash by color.  All the reds together, then all the oranges, yellows, etc.  And within those colors I try to organize lightest to darkest.  I'm not good about separating amounts of fabric, so I have scraps mixed in with large yardage.  But I have limited stash space as well.  Here a my two blocks.  I'll be sending them this week!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hive 1 September Block for Katie

Hello! It's Bev from 44th Street Fabric. Here's my September Block for Katie in Hive One! I haven't trimmed up the block yet because of all the stuff on my cutting table but I wanted to get this turned in and in the mail. Hope you like it Katie!
So Katie asked us to name our favorite quilting tool. I am in love with the Strip Stick. This tool allows me to press seams open with ease! Seriously good for sewing long strips together. They offer a long one and a shorter one. Love it deeply and truly-lol!
I also love my porcupine quill! It is better than a stiletto! It has tiny, tiny hooks that hold the fabric like it's glued. 

Hive 4 September block for Katie

Laura here and these are the blocks I made for Katie.   I did "cheat" and traced the daisy onto the white fabric instead of ripping paper.  The first block was stitched as directed and then I accidentally sliced through the white with my seam ripper after taking the paper off the back.  Second attempt was traced and I could not tell any difference.  My daughter saw these and wants a quilt using this technique.

Katie asked what keeps us quilting.  Like so many others, it gives me a creative outlet.  I hope you can use these blocks.

Hive 8 september

Finished this month's block! Enjoy!


Late blocks July and August hive 8

So sorry for running behind on my blocks. Here are my July and August blocks. I sent off the July book block weeks ago. The star blocks will be out this weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

August Block For Emily - Hive 5

Kelly here from Hive #5. I'm so embarrassed by how late this block is but better late than never. I loved the colors Emily chose and hope I did the block justice.

Emily asked how we store our WIPs. Well I don't really have too many of those. But I have a stack of WIWTS (works I want to start) - I just made that up in case that isn't a thing already! The few projects I have in progress just sort of lay around in my sewing room. I have a really large center work island in my craft/sewing/office so everything sits there. Then I have stacks of patterns and books and fabrics I want to work on one day. It is my 'someday pile'.

September Hive 8 blocks for Megan

This month we were asked to help make tree blocks.
The finished size of 8x11.5 stumped me lol but after clarification I made up a few and sent them to Megan to add to her charity quilt. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September Hive 4

I'm Renae from Hive 4. Katie asked us to make this fun reverse appliqué block for her this month. I really enjoyed making these blocks!

Katie asked what keeps us quilting. For me quilting is a stress reliever and a chance for me to escape for a little while.

Hive 9 - September Block for Grace

Grace asked for a pineapple block this month.  The tutorial was good, but I learned the hard way to pay close attention to ruler placement when trimming.  If you don't, you end up with a wonky pineapple!  The second try came out much better.  Your block went off in the mail today.  Hope you enjoy it Grace!

For this month's question, Grace asked that we share a photo of our sewing space, as well as some tips for sewing room organization.  My photos are from earlier in the year, but other than rearrangement of fabrics, looks about the same.  We remodeled 2 years ago and this room was improved during that.  The best tip I can give from experience is to get rid of anything that you no longer love or have an interest in finishing.  It has been so freeing to not have those undone projects hanging over my head, causing all manner of guilt! 

Stash Bee, Hive 2, September

The blocks I have enjoyed most in Stash Bee, and I have enjoyed it, have been the ones that have a bit of humour in them or have a story behind them. ~ When Jennifer asked for I Spy blocks for her niece I was delighted. I particularly like children's quilts that have a story attached to them, I Spy fits that to a T.

Jennifer asked for 6 1/2" blocks made up of 1" postage stamps. The I Spy component was therefore to be a multiple of 1" plus seam allowance. Jennifer asked if the surrounding fabrics, or camouflage, be from the same or coordination colour family. In that way her niece could also look for say the red block, or the blue block.

The hard thing was going to be deciding what way to go. A little like Little Red Riding Hood, which way was the way to Grandma's house?  This made up very quickly and easily. One down, three to go.

Next up was the wolf who unfortunately gobbled up Grandma, or locked her in the cupboard. (A great story to tell the children when Grandma has annoyed Mother). No matter how many times I lined and pinned the wolf and his postage stamps, they still wouldn't line up and lie flat for me. This difference with this was I had cut 1" squares to sew together. With LRRH (Little Red Riding Hood) I had cut strips, sewn them and then cut to size. This seemed to be the way to go.

I then made another more successful wolf square, using a pack of wolves rather an individual wolf. Now I can handle Grandma being eaten by a lone wolf, but have a difficulty with Grandma being eaten by a pack of wolves! Maybe Jennifer will gloss over that bit. In any case this square was much more successful.

Using this same successful formula I made a Santa square, not quite a Santa selfie, but Santa getting his photo taken. And then a street of houses.

I hope Jennifer's niece enjoys her quilt. I sent her the lone wolf too, it can guard the back of the quilt!

Helen x

June Hive 6 - Complete Top!

This top turned out AWESOME!
I used everyone's blocks and made 6 to complete this top!
Thank you all so much for beautiful blocks.

Hive 8 September Block for Megan

Here is my block for Megan! Have fun with all of these trees!


Hive 4 September daisy block

Andrea here.

Super fun and easy block to make. I wish I had more navy background to make another.

I keep quilting because it is my creative outlet. I love spending time in my sewing room where there are no rules and I can create something new. 

Hive 8 Blocks for Megan

Hi all! Audrey from Hot Pink Quilts here. These tree blocks are for a special quilt for Megan, and I'm thrilled to participate in such a fun project.

Megan asked where our happy place is. Isn't that a fun question? The beach is my happy place, particularly the Pacific coast. I've visited beaches all up and down the coast, and there's just something about it that fills me with peace and wonder. I live in a landlocked state now, and it's been a couple of years since I was able to visit the Pacific. I should fix that soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

July Hive 9 Complete

Thank you quilt for friends all complete. Thanks for your help Hive 9. Several blocks arrived too late to be included in the quilt. I will save those for a future project.

My girls wanted to make the quilt fly from the tire swing.

Hive 6: September 2015 Plus Blocks for Michelle

I've seen plus blocks but never sewed any until now.  They were quick as a breeze which led to me making four blocks.  I made two blue and two orange blocks.  I was visiting a friend when I made these blocks so I was able to dip into her stash for my blocks.

My blocks were pressed more neatly than they look in this photo. Also the lower left block is more orange than it appears in this photo.  I didn't realize how terrible the lighting was until after I sent my blocks off.  Oops.

I organize my stash semi thematically.  I store mine in boxes that slot into Ikea's Expedit.  One box has kid prints, one box has text prints, one box has solids, one box has designer faves (Tula Pink & Cotton and Steel mostly) and one box is scraps.  There are several boxes which are semi-organized. I put fabrics that I think are similar together. It's an eclectic method that I want to improve on.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hive 6 Blocks for Michelle

Hello All!

I loved Michelle's choice for our blocks this month. I have never made these before, and they were on my to-do list. I also really liked how quick and easy they were. Once I had the fabric cut, they took only 15 minutes to put together!

I don't have much orange in my stash, so I made a couple of blue blocks. I hope the one on the left isn't too green-blue!

Michelle asked us how we sort our stashes. My stash is pretty small, and unorganized. I keep all of my Anna Maria Horner and Alison Glass in their own containers. I sort everything else into 4 small bins--low volume, neutrals, warm colors and cool colors. I don't have a lot of scraps at the moment, as I've been trying to sew them all together into improv slabs, and eventually a large scrap quilt!

Hive 2 September Blocks for Jennifer

So fun! And tiny! These block as are on my to-do list for sure. 

I do store my growing solids stash separately from prints. I sort prints into tote baskets by color and can stack the baskets when needed. Nothing I would ever post a picture of, yikes! Oh, how I long for an actual sewing room.