Tag Archives: bee blocks


Reassessing the List of WIPs

Sometimes WIPs don't exactly align with our current priorities. Sometimes we fall out of love with a project. Sometimes a project was really about learning a skill and once that skill was learned, the project no longer seems relevant. Regardless of the reason, it makes sense to reassess the project list from time to time.

Maybe you've seen my gargantuan WIP list. It's crazy. It's overwhelming. But every time I looked at it, I was still interested in finishing the projects. Or, at least I wasn't uninterested in finishing them. However, as we approach the new year, I've been thinking about what my goals are and what's keeping me from those goals. I have some changes to the blog in the works, and I'm working on my first quilt pattern. Realizing I don't have time to do everything I "want" to do, I decided to once again take a hard look at my WIP list. I asked myself some questions:

  • Have I already learned what I need to from it?
  • Is it in the style I'd most like to be known for?
  • Do I love it?
  • Is it a priority?

Then I looked through my list again and considered my answers. There are 12 projects I hope to finish this quarter. (I recognize that this is a really big, crazy goal.) So far I've finished four quilts, so I'm technically kind of on track (though they were the four smallest projects!). I'm sending another one out to a long arm quilter. That still leaves many to choose from when looking to trim the fat in the 33 quilt WIP pile.

How to decide which WIP/UFO quilt projects to purge. by Sarah at Sarah Goer Quilts

These three will be the first to go. All three of these projects will be donated to philanthropy at the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild. They've already left the sewing room. Yay, progress! On the bottom of the pile is a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt top that has been finished since January.

The two bagged projects are from the Little Letters tutorials from Temecula Quilt Company. The blocks are all made for both sets (one in bright colors, one in blues and greens) but neither project has a recipient. It should honestly be pretty quick to finish the quilt tops which is why I couldn't part with it previously, but there are just so many projects with a higher priority for me. And I'd much rather see these finished and donated. I included notes with each of these kits, as well as the link to the finishing page of the tutorial. It'll be up to the new makers whether they finish them as I had intended or reimagine the projects. I look forward to seeing how they turn out. Here's the current state of the blue and green project.


Bee Blocks

Also in the interest of cutting back, I've decided I won't be participating in any quilt bees in 2017. That leaves just this month in do. Good Stitches (where Jaime has chosen a rainbow variation of my Watermelon Plate block) and two months in The Bee Hive.

Quatrefoil water lily block by Sarah at Sarah Goer Quilts

For October, Laura chose the Quatrefoil block in The Bee Hive swarm Tisha, and her inspiration was water lilies. The background of the block has become the water, with a center flower and leaves on the corners. The flowers are a variety of water lily colors (pink, purple, white, yellow). I love this variation with the blue background instead of white. I wonder if Laura will fill in with some solid blue blocks mixed in with the lily blocks like you would see open water between the flowers in nature.


Heather Ross Swap

Nothing like a deadline. This week is shipping week for the Heather Ross Mini Swap on IG, so I had to finish up my mini. Unfortunately I had a problem in the quilting stage. I pieced the backing from two pieces of fabric and then failed to double check that my top was placed correctly. This resulted in a 1/2" x 12" edge of the quilt that the backing didn't cover... and I didn't realize this until I'd already quilted half of the quilt. :-P

I was unwilling to rip out quilting stitches, so it was time to get creative. Sadly, it was too big to be covered by normal binding. So I decided to do a faced binding, a way of binding the quilt that doesn't show from the front. I've been wanting to learn this new technique for a while, and while I was considering a regular binding I couldn't decide what fabric to use. Faced binding was the perfect solution. My friend Mel pointed me to this tutorial by Victoria at The Silly BooDilly. It was easy to follow and I took Mel's advice to press the 1/4" seam before attaching the binding strips. (I ignored her advise to glue baste out of laziness. ;-)) The faced binding did involve hand stitching to sew down the binding on the back, but that step went pretty quickly. Here's a view of the back.

Full reveal of my swap package on Friday! ;-)


Thank you for visiting. What are you working on this week?

I'm linking up to Midweek Makers and Needle and Thread Thursday.


Some weeks I look back on what I accomplished and I am surprised that I did so much. This is one of those weeks. Kids being back in school and a mostly unscheduled long weekend led to a lot of sewing progress for me.


Mysterious Things

Last Thursday the first sewing instructions came out for the Meadow Mystery quilt, by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. I managed to finish up my cutting that day, but I haven't yet started the piecing. I have all month to get it done and still be on track, so I've been working on some other projects first. Instagram and Facebook are filled with beautiful versions of the first blocks.


Things I Put in the Mail

Yesterday, on the sixth day of the month, I shipped all my bee blocks for the month! This is unheard of. I sent two for my Do. Good Stitches group and one for Shirley in my Bee Hive swarm. Plus the two bonus blocks that I showed you on Monday for my friend Mary. It's so nice to have the monthly commitment already checked off. Sometimes I get them sewn early in the month, but then I usually don't manage to get them out the door until the end of the month.


Kid Things

My daughter is making progress on her second quilt. Just like my son's second project, she chose to make a doll quilt. Her's is for a friend. I love that she has been coming into the sewing room to play with her fabric, neatly arranging it on the floor. Over the weekend, I consulted with her on her plan and cut her strips of fabric for her. She pieced them with supervision from me and is so proud that she finished her quilt top in one day. ;-) She raided my remnant binding box to choose something for her quilt and settled on a purple, with a scrappy low volume white to go with it since the purple piece isn't big enough for the entire quilt. She's pinned the purple up on the design wall with her quilt top. (In the first picture you can see a peek of the kitty fabric she's chosen for the backing.)


Slow Stitching Things

I get up at 5:30am now. I'm just over a week into this new routine. It means I go to bed at 9:30pm sharp these days, but the kids don't get up until 7:00am so I get a fair amount of time to myself in the mornings. I am not inherently a morning person, but I think this is working. Over the weekend I kept up my schedule, since I figure that's easier than sleeping in on some days. This meant even more time to myself since nobody else in the house had anything to get up early for. I've used this time in a variety of ways, but I spent one of those weekend mornings making progress on my La Passacaglia project. I was halfway through connecting the pentagons, and I finished that step and attached them to the center section. 20 pieces down, 70 to go in this first rosette. Now I need to prep a bunch of itty bitty triangles to make the ten stars that go around this section.


Things I Can't Really Show You

Secret sewing is exciting, but it's so hard not to share. Luckily, I have a few friends who I can text pictures to when I'm itching to share but can't post publicly yet. The first project is a quilt that I've finished the top for. I'll be able to show it off once I've given the gift. The second secret project is my Nine-Patch Challenge quilt for Quilt Con that I've finished drafting in Illustrator (with Daisy's help). I've actually designed two versions. I think I'll piece the easier one first and then I'll decide if I want to try to tackle the harder one. My next steps on this project include deciding what colors I want to use and  how to go about piecing the trickier parts.


Things That Are Colorful

I love color and I find inspirations in a variety of places. This week presented two color palettes that stood out to me. First, as I'm working on chipping away at pre-washing and putting away my summer fabric acquisitions I stumbled across this palette of solids that reminds me of a vibrant sunset. I have some improv piecing in mind for these lovelies.

My second palette came from a more surprising location, my dishwasher. I opened the dishwasher to find these colorful cups in a line in this order. Deciding I liked them well enough to keep the colors in mind for a future project, I snapped a quick picture. (Don't you just love that awesome 80's tile!?)

These palettes are both particularly interesting to me, because I generally gravitate to the cool colors. I'll have to finish a bunch of other projects before I can dive into these, but I'm keeping them in mind for when I "need" a new project.

Thank you for visiting! I'm linking up to Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday.


Here's the Q4 bee block report. I've chosen to only continue with The Bee Hive and do. Good Stitches moving forward, but I'll continue with the quarterly reports. I also share the blocks as I finish them on Instagram, if you aren't already following me there. :-)


Stash Bee: Lyssa asked us to make 16.5" x 12.5" bookshelf blocks for her. In her post she shared some of her interests which I had a great time incorporating into her block. She told us, "In addition to sewing, I love gardening, baking, hiking, skiing, biking, reading, playing board games, gnomes, the beach, collecting dishes, traveling, waterskiing, and hosting dinner parties."

The Bee Hive: We made the paper-pieced Star Plus block for Laura. Yellow and navy is a great classic combination and I'm sure the finished quilt will be stunning.

do. Good Stitches: In October we made these Mosaic blocks by Patchwork Square for Diane. I love the fun scrappy look of these charm friendly blocks.



Stash Bee: For our last block of the year Bev chose the Quatrefoil block (which is actually a Bee Hive tutorial). Her colors were aqua, pink, lime green, orange, yellow and red which gave us a lot to chose from. I immediately gravitated to the yellow and pink print in my stash which I had yet to use. Since that one was a little wild, I think it paired nicely with the lime green and aqua blenders I used in the other positions.

The Bee Hive: Our November block was purple, yellow and grey Spinwheel blocks for Amanda. I love the pop of yellow, and I'm always excited to be working with purple!

do. Good Stitches: Ailish challenged us with some improv piecing this month. The theme was symbols: "anything from plus signs, Xs, asterisks, pound signs etc." And we were asked to use bright fabrics in red, orange yellow or green with a black background. I knew immediately that I wanted to make an ampersand. I quickly got my first block done. Improv hashtags are fast! But it took me quite a while to complete my ampersand. Overall I'm quite happy with it. Though I'm not sure I'd try one again! I used eight fabrics for a total of 61 pieces to make the ampersand block. I used darting, y-seams and hand piecing (for two tricky seams). I lost count the number of times I had to rip out seams and the total time spent on the block (many episodes of Once Upon a Time, thank you Netflix).



The Bee Hive: In December, Tisha chose for us to make the Houndstooth block. She picked a variety of solid colors as our inspiration and wanted our choice to be paired with a black and white print. I chose to go with the turquoise color. These blocks went together super quicky. The striped sections are paper pieced and they are easy to chain piece since they are just rectangular strips of fabric to start with. (The tutorial gives instructions for cutting these strips before piecing, which I appreciated.) A great big thank you to Tisha for running our hive this year! Next month is our last month for the 2015 bee and finally my month to be queen, but I'll be continuing for 2016 with The Bee Hive.


The rest of my 2015 bee blocks can be found in these previous posts: January, February, March, Q2, Q3.

Thanks for visiting! I'd love to hear if you've joined a bee for the first time 2016.

I'm linking up to Let's Bee Social.