Thursday, 17 August 2017

Quick Fuse Bee Happy Swarm of Bees

This bee is very happy!
If you are using the quick fuse (fusible webbing) method for the Bee Happy sew-along here is a fast way to make the five bees.

From yellow/orange fabric cut:      
Two 1½” x 12” strips and one 1” x 12” strip
From black fabric cut:       
Two ¾” x 12” strips
(I would recommend starching your fabrics before cutting as it will help when stitching the strips together.)

Using a ¼” seam allowance stitch the strips together along the 12” length as shown.  Press the seams open or towards the yellow.  
The 1" yellow strip is in the middle.
Your bee patch should measure 3½” x 12”.  Do not worry that the strips are not straight - they will distort a little with pressing but your bees will still look good on the finished quilt. (If you want to be really accurate then I suggest you make each bee individually - see the bottom of this post.)
The strips will distort slightly when pressed.
Don't worry - the bees will still bee happy!

Cut a piece of fusible webbing 3” x 11”.  On the paper side of the fusible webbing mark a line down the middle of the paper.  Trace five bees onto the paper using Bee Happy Shape D16 - lining up the center marks on the D16 shape with the marked line down the middle of the paper. 
Line up the Bee Happy shapes with the center line

Iron the fusible webbing tracing onto the WRONG side of your bee patch, lining up the marked line on the tracing with the center of the patch.
Center the tracing onto the BACK of the bee patch

Cut out your bees and welcome them to the Bee Happy hive.
A swarm of fusible bees waiting to earn their wings!

If you want to cut your bees from five different fabrics you can make each bee individually. In this case you will need to cut two 1½” x 2½“ strips and one 1” x 2½” strip from yellow/orange fabric and from black fabric cut two ¾” x 2½” strips.  
Single Bee patch measures 3½" x 2½”. 

Stitch the strips together along the 2½” length.
Center the tracing using the markings on the  Bee Happy shape

Line up the center markings on the D16 tracing with the center of the patch and hey presto - a new bee is born.

Until next time ......................             

Saturday, 12 August 2017

More Spelling Bee Picture Blocks

Spelling Bee Dog Block

I have completed another four more Spelling Bee blocks this week - the cutest of which is the puppy dog block – I say puppy because this is the smaller 6” block (the book also includes a larger 12" block). 

The Spelling Bee book by Lori Holt

Then came the flower block – another quick and easy block and a touch of Patchsmith gingham.
Spelling Bee Flower Block

Next was the globe bock which has three options – a one-piece globe, a patchwork globe and this heart globe. 
Spelling Bee Globe Block

This block requires you to trace the arc from the book onto the fabric – which is quite hard to do unless you have a light box or you tear the page from the book and tape it up to the window.  Instead I went over the arc with my thick black sharpie which made it show through the background fabric well enough for me to trace over it.
Making the template darker so that it shows through!

And the last block I made this week was the patchwork heart.  A very easy block
Spelling Bee Heart Block
.
I have decided to start sashing the blocks.  With careful cutting I was able to cut all the coloured sashing strips from one fat quarter (I folded the fat quarter into thirds and cut seventeen 1" wide strips to give me 51 sashing strips - two more than needed.  Be warned though - there is no room for error!)
All 49 check sashing strips were cut from one fat quarer.
I shall add scrappy posts to the sashing but more about that next time ..... 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bee Happy Union Jack Flag Block


Lori Holt has kicked of the preparations for the Bee Happy sew-along with a great tutorial for the flag and pinwheel blocks (you can find it here).

The flag is a lovely Americana flag - which I love - but I want my Bee Happy quilt to reflect me, so it needs a Union Jack flag.  Not a square Union Jack like my patchwork blocks .....   
Union Jack Quilt Blocks and Table Runner

 ........ but a rectangle 'Bee Happy' Union Jack.  So I've created a paper-pieced Union Jack block that will fit perfectly - 10” x 8” to be exact (finished size).....
.... and I thought I would share it with you   


The pattern doesn’t include how to paper-piece so if you are new to paper-piecing check out Amy Gibson’s video tutorial from her 2012 Block-of-the-Month course on Craftsy - and like my pattern it is FREE.  (It is October’s class).

If you want to join in the fun you can find all the details by clicking on the button below.

Until next time ......

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Spelling Bee Picture Day Quilt


Another five blocks are made.  And here are a few tips for sewing along with the Spelling Bee book.

Firstly – don't overlook the pressing directions – they make a real difference.  Especially when nesting the seams of the little triangle corners on the cake block.
Spelling Bee 6" Cake Block

You’ll need good light on a dark, dank August day otherwise you just may misread the lettering on those little diagrams.  I made a mistake on the car block by sewing the blocks for the windows in the wrong order.  It doesn’t make any different in this instance but I may not be so lucky next time.
Spelling Bee Car Block

Measurements are not given in any particular order (i.e. height first and then width) so if you are using a directional print you will need to pay attention when cutting.  Use the handy picture in the top corner of the block page to make sure you get your stripes all going the right way
Spelling Bee Camera Block

And sometimes all it takes is two main fabrics and you can turn four patches into a pretty butterfly.
Spelling Bee Butterfly Block

Finally, use up scraps for the little pieces (the caravan step and curtains) – it is so satisfying to add the finishing touches to a block using something you would normally throw away.

That's it for now - come back next week and I may just have some more fabric fun to show you.  

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Bee Happy Sew Along Guide


The Bee Happy sewing guide for the sew-along is available on Riley Blake’s Website.  It hasn’t been added to the Riley Blake Bee Happy page yet but you can find it by clicking the link below:


Lori will be hosting tutorials on a Monday starting tomorrow for some of the patchwork blocks used in the quilt.  So make sure you follow Bee in My Bonnet to get ready for the sew-along. 

Let the fun begin .......                     

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Spelling Bee Picture Day Sampler Quilt


My Spelling Bee book arrived and although the sew-along won’t start until October I couldn’t help myself. 
So much fun in a spiral bound book.

I am making the Picture Day Quilt (page 158 of the book) which uses 20 pictures blocks.  I am using 6" blocks and have made three to date......

Block 1 – Apple Block.  Very quick, very simple – a perfect start to this project.
Spelling Bee Apple Block

Block 2 – Bee Block.   Love this block and it went together quite well except for the head.  I think the H squares that you sew onto the head are too big – they result in a pointy face for this bee – not at all like the book.  

So I cut those the background H squares to 7/8” square.  It worked well.  (I kept the H blocks as per the size in the book for the top of the wing.)
Spelling Bee Bee Block

Block 3 – Bird Block.   Another easy and very well written block pattern.  The head looks a bit strange but it will flatten when it is stitched in with the other blocks.
Spelling Bee Bird Block
 
I am trying to make a block a day so do come back and check at the weekend to see how its going.  Until then .....................

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Sewing Bee Sew-Alongs

Two fun sew-alongs are due to start shortly – the ‘Spelling Bee’ sew-along and the ‘Bee Happy’ sew-along – both of which are designed by Lori Holt.

Newly released book
The Spelling Bee SAL doesn't start until October but the book was released this week in the USA and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival.  I will let you know as soon as I know the exact start date.

However, the ‘Bee Happy’ Sew-along is due to start on the 28th August and the pattern guide will be available via the Riley Blake website from the 1st August.  



The ‘Bee Happy’ SAL uses a free pattern although it does say that you’ll need the new set of Sew Simple Shapes. 
Bee Happy Sew Simple Templates
These can be quite expensive so it might be worth getting together with another quilter and sharing the cost.  Alternatively you may have a lot of similar shapes already in your pattern library which you can use.

I will be joining in both sew-alongs and have treated myself to a fat quarter bundle of Lori’s Bee Basics fabrics which I shall mix with my stash.  
This will make sure my quilt is economical and scrapilicious.  But if choosing fabric is always a problem for you then the Fat Quarter Shop has some quilt kits to pre-order together with backing kits and buttons - check it out HERE.
Pre-order your Bee Happy Quilt Kit and save 10% off the price

I will be blogging about each block as I make them so be sure to check back with me next month.

Until then ...........

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Patchsmith Schoolhouse Block

Patchsmith Schoolhouse Block Pattern

I am working on the Patchsmith Sampler quilt and created the sweetest little Schoolhouse Block this week.
Patchsmith 6" Schoolhouse

It is so sweet I just had to make a bigger one ..............
Patchsmith 12" Schoolhouse

The 6” version will be included in The Patchsmith’s Sampler Quilt book which will be released this autumn.
Patchsmith Schoolhouse Sampler Block

But if you can’t wait until then I have added the pattern for both the 6” and the 12” Schoolhouse Block to my Craftsy store.

So now you can build your own Schoolhouse for only $1.99.  Go figure!

Friday, 23 June 2017

The birth of The Patchsmith's Sampler Quilt Book

What started as an ordinary thought (“I fancy fruit for breakfast”) led to a new block design:

From this one little watermelon block springs a big idea!

This fun watermelon block then led to the idea to create a Patchsmith Sampler Quilt Book and sew-along.   

At present it is just a thought but that is how my other five books got started.  (All are available in paperback via Amazon or click on a book below to go through to the PDF version available for immediate download via Craftsy)






It might take a month or two of some seriously hard work but I'm talking serious fabric playtime - surely that's gotta be worth it!  

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

English Rose Mug Rug

June is the month for roses here in England .......
English Rose Mug Rug

They come in all shapes and sizes.   Some large and colourful, others delicate and fragrant (the roses framing Jane Austen's cottage fill the little house with a beautiful scent).
June at Jane Austen's cottage at Chawton

My English Rose is based on the Tudor Rose associated with the Royal houses of York and Lancaster. The House of York favours a white rose whilst the House of Lancaster prefers red.
The English Rose makes a beautiful 6" quilt block

You will find this rose on road signs and maps throughout England - guiding the way to a place of historical interest.  And now you can have it on your table all year round - in any colour you like.
Mug rugs aren't just for mugs - they are great for vases too!

The English Rose mug rug pattern is available for immediate download for the royal price of just $1.99.  

So join with me and add a little touch of Englishness to your table today.