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

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - June Block - Pineapples

Unbelievable that it is already June and almost half of the year already over. I enjoyed Queen Alison’s request for a pineapple block made of simple squares and half square triangles. It was fun and fast though I could imagine an entire quilt top of those to be a bit overwhelming. 

The combination of yellow and white in quilts is always quite pretty and may be something to bear in mind for a future project.

I guess it is about time to give my block choice for the month of August some thought. I am almost sure that it will involve foundation paper piecing.

Stash Bee

Monday, 8 May 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - May Block - Converging Corners

May Queen Bethany asked us to make yet another log cabin variation =) This is the third 'Log Cabin' style block in 5 months within this quilting bee hive (merely an observation =) The blocks are all rather different of course and always fun and easy to piece, so let's have a look at what was requested this month.

Queen Bethany asked for coral and purple blocks she intends to assemble into a 'Converging Corners' quilt as seen @Film in the Fridge, who also kindly provided a tutorial for the blocks.

Converging Corners, Film in the fridge, Puppilalla, log cabin block, Quilting bee, Patchwork

Still I would not mind piecing another block design next month =) Incidentally, I know we will. The June Queen who already participated last year, will ask us to make more of the pinapple blocks she requested last year. Yes,  I was naughty and had a sneaky peek at her tutorial, which has already been scheduled. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - Crashing Hive 3 - Windmill Pluses

Queen Lisa asked for a ‘Windmill’ meets ‘Plus Sign’ block in cool denim style blues combined with a blue tinted grey and/or red. I am happy to oblige. Incidentally, Lisa is not per se my Queen but such details don’t bother me at all. =) 

So here is my block, a denim blue combined with a red cool blender, which played utter havoc with my phone’s camera. My phone’s camera always goes into meltdown mode when it is being confronted with vibrant reds or pinks or oranges. It simply cannot cope. So let’s call this an approximation of my block’s colours and be done with it.

This one was very quick and easy to make. No bother at all. I expect the resulting quilt to look like that piece you always had or was it your parent’s? Some designs and colour combinations are simply timeless and the denim blue – cool red is such a combination. As always, I am looking forward to a group shot.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - April Block - No Rules

April Queen Rhonda asked for a simple block design of framed squares. No rules. No color limitations. No strip dimensions. The centre square even did not have to be a pretty fussy cut as her plans entailed, to cut the finished blocks apart diagonally. The thus halved squares are to be randomly combined to create new blocks.

My block was made from scraps and left over fabric strips and came together really fast. The only stipulation was that there should be some contrast between the fabrics that had been used.

Puppilalla, Bee block, Stash Bee, Scrappy string block, quilting, patchwork

I like how my block worked out. The greens and oranges play very well together and give off a nice warm feeling.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - March Block - Gwen Marston Style

Puppilalla, Gwen Marston, Improv Block, Patchwork, Liberated Quilting, Improv quilting

This month’s Queen Bee Patty invited us to broaden our quilting horizon a little bit by embracing Gwen Marston and her ideas on ‘liberated’ quilting. Patty made a few sample blocks and provided a wealth of resources to delve into in support of our monthly assignment.

The assignment was fun even though it took quite a while to complete, certainly much longer than the short hour bee blocks are meant to take up. I found the sewing experience overall satisfying and think I succeeded in creating visual interest.
I would however not necessarily want any such items – look wise – in my living surroundings. I believe that trying the ‘liberated’ quilting techniques is helping me to grow as a quilter but the overall look reminds me too much of ‘crazy quilting’, which is just not my thing at all. Therefore, I am not sorry to let this little block go but I certainly hope that Queen Patty will like it.

Puppilalla, Gwen Marston, Improv Block, Patchwork, Liberated Quilting, Improv quilting

I am also approaching the finishing line in completing my improv pillowcase, which I only started last year in February, so no need to hurry right? =) I will have to make some bias tape to frame the pillowcase and it will be done – in time even for the First Quarter FAL.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Stash Bee March 2017 – A Universe of Stars!

Puppilalla Illustration Queen Bee Pirate

My former Stash Bee Hive 8 mate of last year Lee has turned Queen of her current hive this month and for the sake of the good times had, I felt honour bound to hive crash =)

Queen Lee is looking to populate the firmament with a universe of stars. She left it up to her hive mates to decide what kind of stars. The only request was that they had to adhere to a colour scheme of dark blue and coral, preferably both in one block, sprinkled with optional hot pink and turquoise.

This did strike me as the perfect opportunity to finally make the ‘Summer Perseid’ block by ‘Leland Ave Studios’ I have had an eye on for a while now.

Crashing Stash Bee Hive 3

Summer Perseid Block, Puppilalla, Leland Ave Studios, Quilting bee, free block, patchwork

The ‘Summer Perseid’ block was created for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop in 2015 and in my opinion, it has not yet gotten the attention it deserves. It is such a fabulous block with its asymmetrical star working very well for me.

Therefore, falling into the trap of ‘I’ll just quickly whip this up…’ I naturally spent most of Saturday making one block for Queen Lee and one for myself.

I had meant to add the ‘Summer Perseid’ to my blocks-in-waiting- to-be-turned-into-sampler-quilt for a while now and this was as good an opportunity as any to finally do it.

Summer Perseid Block, Puppilalla, Leland Ave Studios, Quilting bee, free block, patchwork

My block has already been stashed away with its fellows and Lee’s block will go into the mail at the end of the week. =)

Next I better attend to my own Hive's March Queen’s block request. It is a Gwen Marston style improvisational log cabin block. I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - February Block - Improv Log Cabin

Puppilalla, Quilting Bee, Stash Bee

Carmit, Hive 4 Queen of February asked for an easy, improv log-cabin-y block in a colour of our choice to make a monochromatic block with a neutral centre. Additionally,  for a bonus level challenge, Carmit pointed out that she does not like solids.

I chose yellow as it seemed that I had the most scraps in that colour. But once I got sewing it did not feel as if I had actually enough scraps. Strange phenomenon. =)  I could not entirely do without solids either as firstly, solids lend character and secondly, I needed something anchor the busy prints. The block is a little bigger then it needed to be but this way Carmit will be able to choose which print she wants to see more or less of and trim accordingly.

Improv quilting, log cabin block, Puppilalla, quilting bee block,

Carmit also said that she is really bored of her own fabrics and can’t wait to introduce a bit of variety into her existing blocks. So I hope my block contains enough new prints to shake things up.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Stash Bee 2017 - January Block - Scrap Happy

A new year, a new hive and a lot of motivation to get going. I have spring-cleaned my sidebar to make space for new adventures and re-vamped my little Queen Bee. I am about ready to get going.

Puppilalla, Queen Bee 2017
January Queen Stephanie asked for a post stamp variation block against low volume fabrics. As Stephanie put it, this was a chance to use up our scrappy scraps. The only thing she asked is that we not use civil war fabrics as they contain more brown than she liked. For the low volume pieces it was OK to have colour in them as long as the read dominantly white, gray or off white.

Reading her request, I stayed away from scraps that contained the colour brown. The block looks bright and happy, if a bit scant at the sides. Nesting the seams of the rows and columns might have robbed a minute amount of fabric each time, so that the block is almost 1/4 of an inch scant. It is not too bad, so I hope Stephanie can work around that. Scant seams, true seams, wide seams - it not easy to make everything work just right.

Quilting Bee, Bee Block, Scrap busting, Scrappy Block, modern scrap quilt, Puppilalla, Post Stamp Quilt

I have some bee friends of last year in parallel hives, which means I have to watch out for their bee queen months coming up so I can hive crash their party and contribute  =)

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Bee Hive 2016 - December Block - Wanta Fanta (again)

Yule Queen Bee Ileana was the last queen in 2016 to request a block. Ileana settled for the lovely 'Wanta Fanta' block, which I thus got to make a second time that year. That time round, the fabrics were to shine in the ever classic combination of inky blues and off whites and in my case a bit of ivory thrown in. The fabrics were to be floral or geometrics and the blues were to be veering towards the cool and muted spectrum. I expect the quilt top with its timeless look to be an instant classic.

Puppilalla, Wanta Fanta, free bee block, Quilting bee, The Bee Hive, Foundation Paper Piecing

Bearing in mind that fellow bees, yielding to life's demands, had to partially bow out throughout the bee year, I decided to make two blocks with the 'angel block' making up for the absence of a former fellow bee. It is hard on the queens, whose turn comes late in the year, when fellow bees have to bow out and thereby do not manage to reciprocate the efforts that this bee invested throughout the year.
 (That is not to say that I am not fully understanding of bowing out. Sometimes it cannot be helped despite one's best intentions) Anyway, I made these two blocks.

Puppilalla, Wanta Fanta, free bee block, Quilting bee, The Bee Hive, Foundation Paper Piecing

I myself fell in love with how the blocks turned out and am happy to report that Queen Ileana approved as well once the postal workers' pre - Christmas strike in the UK cleared and she finally received her queenly mail. =)

The only misgivings I have concern the absence of light during the eternally grey Berlin winters. It is almost impossible to shoot a decent picture (meh). 

Puppilalla, Wanta Fanta, free bee block, Quilting bee, The Bee Hive, Foundation Paper Piecing

A worthy finish to the 2016 bee year. Happy New Year and cheers to new challenges.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

My Quilting Bee Year - A Resume

It is amazing how time flies. It really does. Just last year around this time I was exceedingly excited about participating in a quilting bee for the first time ever. And what a whirlwind it has been =)

So with hindsight, would I do it again? Definitely! Immediately and without hesitation. I had a lot of fun, in fact, I will be a Hive 4 bee at Stash Bee in 2017.

Quilting Bee, Bee Blocks, free blocks, Puppilalla, quilting, BOM, Patchwork

So let’s look back. This year I was part of two very different quilting bees, namely ‘Stash Bee’ and ‘The Bee Hive’. Both operated rather differently from one another.

Stash Bee vs. The Bee Hive

On ‘Stash Bee’ 99 bees in 9 hives all used the same blogger blog as platform for their communications. Each bee was to post a picture of the completed block on the blog before the monthly task was counted as done. That means all requesting queens got to see all the blocks they would receive prior to those actually reaching them in the mail. Using the same blog as platform allowed for something as fanciful as hive crashing, where bees took to sewing additional bee blocks for queens of parallel hives.

The ‘The Bee Hive’ swarm, which was dubbed ‘Interquiltinentals’ early on by our swarm leader, as we had participants from three continents in the bee, used groupbox (a terribly unwieldy application I would not recommend) as communication platform. We decided to keep the completed blocks a secret until the requesting queen had received them. The queen then revealed the blocks she received to all the other bees. Definitely a lot of suspension, surprise and fun.

Quilting Bee, Bee Blocks, free blocks, Puppilalla, quilting, BOM, Patchwork

A Resume

Generally, I found that the bee format suits me. I got challenged to sew blocks I would not otherwise have tried and to accommodate colour requests that would not have occurred to me. One or two blocks a month and a bit of other sewing on the side is just about what I can manage time wise, making sure sewing stays a relaxed hobby.

What astounded me the most was how differently people interpreted blocks and colour requests. Sometimes though, I had difficulties to follow the train of thought of a fellow bee, which had led them to the conclusion that their finished bee block was complying with the block requirements of a given month, when I might have begged to differ... 
(I refute the thought that same may be said the other way round too – ha ha =) But it really is amazing to see how differently one can interpret the same set of instructions.

Of course I did sew plenty of blocks that were not down my personal alley design or colour wise, but it was a great learning exercise to put myself in somebody else’s shoes and to sew what they considered pretty. I pride myself in having managed to get tone of the requested blocks just right. To me it was very important that the requesting queen should receive blocks she felt were exactly what she had had in mind. That is not to say that the rendition of the block might not have held surprises but overall it should have felt, as if the queen bee would have pulled the same fabrics from my stash for the completion of her block.

What I had the most difficulties with were insufficiently clear or detailed tutorials, as well as sample pictures that had not been taken in daylight, which meant that you had to guess what the requesting queen was truly looking for.

What I loved the most was the element of surprise in opening letters from fellow bees and finding the beautiful blocks they made and maybe an unexpected goodie on the side. I loved the shared sense of excitement and passion in sewing for each other and also the readiness of the bees to help each other out. Such amazing blocks did emerge.

Puppilalla, Bee Block, free quilt block pattern, quilting bee

I had a great number of lovely e-mail exchanges behind the scenes and hope to remain friendly with the bees now that the bee year is officially drawing to an end.

By the way of sewing for my swarm & hive mates or by crashing other hives, and NOT counting my own bee months, I had a hand in creating 21 bee quilts, now probably in different stages of completion. How neat is that? I got to see a few snap shots of other queen’s bee blocks together but way too few. I would love to see how far all the queens have gotten in assembling their quilt tops or even only how all the blocks they received look together. That would be the icing on the bee year cake. 

Quilting Bee, Bee Blocks, free blocks, quilt top, finished top, BOM, Patchwork
1. Jenn Trumbo - 'In the Middle' 2. betyipiernaty - 'Wanta Fanta' 3. Anita - 'Houndstooth'

Oh, yes in case you are interested to see how far I have gotten with my own bee quilts, check here and here for the state of play.

So have you tried a quilting bee yet? Did you enjoy it? Any major turn-on or turn-offs? 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Bee Hive 'Double Star' Quilt #5 - Quilt Top Assembly - Now What?

Puppilalla, stained glass, finished quilt top, Double Star Block, The Bee Hive

Ta da - pretty huh? Don't we all love a stained glass quilt shot? I was busy on Sunday and joined all blocks. By the time I was done, there was no proper light left for a progress shot but a stained glass one still worked.  =)

A few weeks ago I completed three more 'Double Star' blocks to bring the number up to 20. My fellow swarm mates were incredibly generous with the goodies they sent along in March. The extra material they provided went towards making the last blocks look and feel like those provided by my fellow bees.

Puppilalla, Double Star Quilt Blocks, Free Quilt Block pattern, Bee Block, Quilting Bee

Each block will have a size of 12 x 12 finished. Laying the blocks out in a grit of 4 x 5 blocks will yield a quilt top of 48 x 60 inches. That is not very big at all. I would like to make the quilt bed sized without adding further blocks. More blocks would only make the quilt top look even busier than it already is.

Puppilalla, Double Star Quilt Blocks, Free Quilt Block pattern, Bee Block, Quilting Bee, Blossom Heart Quilts

Proceed with a plan

Therefore, I have decided to add borders. I am still changing my mind every five minutes but right now I think, I might add a broader white border, followed by a pale green border followed by a colourful border imitating the squares that are hidden in the repeat of the joined blocks.

Puppilalla, Double Star Quilt Blocks, Free Quilt Block pattern, Bee Block, Quilting Bee

Like so – ish. What do you think? Any clever ideas as how to improve on the idea?

Completing the 'Double Star' quilt is one of my Finish-A-Long goals for the last quarter of the year, though I doubt that I will manage to add three borders, sew a backing, sandwich, quilt and bind until the end of the year. Any progress is still progress though.

Puppilalla, Double Star Quilt Blocks, Free Quilt Block pattern, Bee Block, Quilting Bee
Final block layout prior to sewing. No, wait, I swapped two more blocks after that shot was taken. 

I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'

Sew Fresh Quilts

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Bee Hive 2016 - October Block - A Masculine Treasure Hunt

Queen Bee, Puppilalla

Bee Hive Queen Magda asked us for the 'Treasure Hunt' block this month. Magda looks to create a modern and masculine quilt in different shades of grey with some low volume and just a bit of citrus yellow. The fabrics were to look modern, with geometrics and text prints being perfect and florals or animal prints to be avoided.

This was the first month, where I actually could not accomodate the block wish working from my stash. It called for various degrees of grey and I simply did not have any, certainly not enough. Therefore, fabric shopping I went. I got this lovely graphic selection of greys and a few extras for fun.

stash building, modern fabrics, Puppilalla, monochromatic fabrics

I was however mindful of the fact that I had also pledged the 'The Year of The Stash' pledge at the beginning of the year, which was about less stash building, more stash using in 2016 and restrained myself from going over board.

Truth be told, I had already splurged my Christmas money on a lovely stack of fabrics back in March - it did not take long to break the pledge ey? - but was very good this year otherwise. I just stayed away from the temptations. I even did NOT get the 'Mendocino' line by Heather Ross I wanted so much. In other words I have mostly been good. And fabric wins do not count anyway!

I had won this lovely and very soft fat quarter bundle of solids from Cloud 9 Fabrics during the 'Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop' in September. =)

Anyway, I seem to be digressing. Including some of the new purchases, I created this lovely monochromatic looking 'Treasure Hunt' block sporting citrus for a pop of colour. I love how modern it looks. Magda's sample blocks are a treat for the eyes as well.

Quilting Bee, The Bee Hive, Bee Block, Treasure Hunt Block, Puppilalla, monochromatic quilt

Burp Cloths Interquiltinental

And because there is cause, I also went on sewing this pretty little elephant fabric burp cloth as an extra goodie for Magda. Incidentally, using a free 'Cloud 9 Fabrics' pattern to do so. Back in March  Magda told us that she had a baby bee on the way. After some background consultation we remaining bees agreed a secret baby-shower mail project. I like practical gifts and thus proposed to sew burp cloths. As babies are known to be notoriously leaky, burp cloths are just the thing.

Burp Cloth, Puppilalla, Cloud 9 Fabrics, free pattern, baby shower

We agreed to use the same pattern and then everybody was free to design their own, provided they found time to do so. The idea was for the mom-to-be to have an individually designed set by the end of her month as queen bee.

The burp cloth is also a project of my last quarter 2016 FAL list. (A finish - woohoo =)

Bee Block, Quilting Bee, Puppilalla, free pattern

The project however has a somewhat sombre note as well. A second swarm mate told us at the same time that she too was pregnant. The baby shower project was initially aimed at both moms - and dads but that little baby-to-be stopped growing around week 13 or so. I felt very saddened about that and my thoughts were with the grieving parents for the last few months. The hard and the easy, sweet and bitter always side by side. Here is a song I would like to share with you. It is about celebrating life.

The Bee Hive

The end of the bee year is near and I am already thinking about taking stock but that warrants an entire post of itself.