Karen’s Bee Block is Done!

Karen’s Bee Block is Done!

Last year, each of us took turns selecting a block for the other Bee Inspired members to make for us. I was doing fine until a series of unfortunate events late in the year derailed me. Try as I might, I simply couldn’t get that train back on the tracks.

I’m determined however to make those blocks. As proof, here’s one of them, finally!

Karens Wanta Fanta block 1

This one is for Karen @ Tu-na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. The block is called Wanta Fanta, and you can find the pattern in here. The pattern is by Blossom Heart Quilts.

Karen wanted her block scrappy with bright orange fabrics and white.

Karens Wanta Fanta block 3

I had a lot of fun digging through my orange fabrics for just the right ones. Aren’t they bright and cheerful?

Karens Wanta Fanta block 2

I hope you like your block Karen! I’ll put it in the mail today.

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Bee Blocks for Jen and Susan

Bee Blocks for Jen and Susan

I belong to an online bee, Bee Inspired, and each month our Queen selects a block and we all make one for her.

I’d done well at the beginning of the year, but recently I’ve fallen behind and they’ve begun to stack up. So I’ve made it a priority this month to make my bee blocks and to get them mailed off to each Queen at long last.

colors jen likes from the Color PalettesThe happy news is that I’ve gotten two of my bee blocks done! The first is for Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch. Jen told us to use this bright color palette and to make whatever we wanted, so I made her my Berry Cross block, a block I designed myself. I thought the block might remind her of me.


Jen Bee Block 1I designed the Berry Cross block originally for a blog hop, then hosted a quilt along with it. Here’s my Berry Cross quilt from that quilt along. I’m currently writing a pattern for Berry Cross, so look for it soon!

Berry Cross 1.jpgI’m mailing your block off today Jen! So sorry it was late. Hope you like it.

Susan color schemeI got another bee block done as well. Thank goodness for simple, modern blocks! The July Queen was Susan @ Seven Oaks Street Quilts. Susan wanted us to make toadstool blocks with a simple color palette—red, grey, and white.

I love the fabrics I found for my version, and I hope Susan loves them too.


Susan’s block is based on a block by I Am Luna Sol. If you want to make Susan’s variation, the instructions are here on our bee blog—Bee Inspired.

Susan block 1I love how bold this block is. What a wonderful quilt it will make! I hope you like it, Susan! I’ll put it in the mail today.

Now to cut the fabrics for the next bee block. Maybe it’ll help to get it done!

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Eye Spy Blocks for Paige

Paige is sharing Queenly honors with me this month, and for her block she requested a teen-aged version of a modern Eye Spy block. Here’s her sample.

I spy blocks 2Paige said we could use anything we wanted in the middle, as long as we used purple, pink, blue, aqua or grey solids on the outside. I have a large selection of solids so that wasn’t a problem. Finding modern prints that might qualify as Eye Spy was harder, but not too hard as I came up with several.

Paiges block 1Since the block was simple, Paige asked if we could make more than one if we had time.  She plans to sew them together into charity quilts for teenagers. The blocks were indeed very simple and fast to make. I had so much fun finding fabric for them, I made three!

Paiges block 3Here they are Paige! They will soon be on their way to you.

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I’m the Queen of March!

Not sure how I feel about that. March here is often cold, windy, rainy, muddy, and sometimes there are even tornadoes.

March SkyAs the Queen of March, I suppose I should feel bad that the weather for my month isn’t that great. Somehow though I don’t seem to care because besides a variety of weather, March includes the Spring Equinox, the Oscars, Palm Sunday and most of Easter weekend, and among other things Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, If Pets Had Thumbs Day, Popcorn Lover’s Day, Ear Muffs Day, National Proofreaders Day, Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, Girl Scouts Day, Something on a Stick Day, International Day of Happiness and World Water Day.

Isn’t that a great month to be Queen? Well, that’s not all!

Here in the U.S. quilting is celebrated on National Quilting Day, which is March 17th. Not to be outdone, Worldwide Quilting Day is also March 17th, and of course so is St. Patrick’s Day! I’m Irish, so this year I’ll be streaming my Irish music, indulging in corn beef, drinking green beer, and of course quilting my heart out on March 17th! <grin>

St Patricks Day 2016 2All in all, I’m glad to be the Queen of March!

Here in Bee Inspired, being Queen means I get to choose a block for my bee mates to make for me. Last year, my bee mates made me an Irish Eyes block (my design).

Irish Eyes block 4

After making a few more blocks, I sewed them together  with a plan of adding borders like this.My quilt idea 3

Recently though, I got the notion to do something else in the borders. Something more Irish. Something like this.

My quilt idea 7So. Back to being Queen. It seems fitting (especially since it’s March) that I ask my bee mates to help me finish the quilt we started together by making me Shamrock blocks for my border. The blocks finish at 4″ (4-1/2″ unfinished) so I’m hopeful that some of you will make more than one block. Of course that’s optional, but it sure would be appreciated as I need to make 34 of them!

Sharock Block 3To make 1 block, you’ll need:

  • (3) green 2-1/2″ squares
  • (1) green 3/4″ x 4″ rectangle
  • (1) white 2-3/4″ square, cut once diagonally
  • (9) white 1-1/4″ squares

Start by drawing a diagonal line on the back of all those white 1-1/4″ squares. Place one square, right sides together (RST), in the corner of one green 2-1/2″ square. Sew on the line, press it back towards the corner, then trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.

Step 1Repeat this on two other corners as shown.

Step 2Step 3

Next, center one white 2-3/4″ triangle on the green 3/4″ x 4″ rectangle, RST. Sew and press. I pressed towards the triangle.

Step 4Step 5Lay the other white triangle on top as shown, RST. Be sure to center the triangle as shown. Sew and press again, then trim the unit to 2-1/2″.

Step 6Step 7Step 8Sew the block together in rows then sew the rows together.

Step 9Step 10Step 11Here’s how I pressed the back. You can press it however you think best. I trimmed the block to 4-1/2″.

Step 12You can use any green for the shamrock, but please use the same green throughout the block. I’d like to use white on white fabric for the background. Here’s my sample block.

Sharock Block 2And here’s the quilt top as it looks right now, so you can see the variety of greens and whites used in it.

Irish Eyes top 1Thanks everyone for letting me be Queen! I can’t wait to see your blocks.

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February Bee Block for Ann

Well, just under the wire I got Ann’s bee block done.

Anns block done 1This block was easy to do. In fact, I had so much fun I added three strips to Ann’s block instead of just two.

Anns block done 7The only part that’s tricky about this block is matching up both sides of a strip when it crosses another strip. I simply marked the seam allowances on the back side of the first strip to help me pin the second part of the strip I was adding and sewed, and that was enough.

Anns block 7Anns block 7BNow to get my post done for March. I’m up as Hive Queen! <grin>

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Blocks for Emily and Sharon

I had a very busy December, working almost every day at the quilt shop. So I’m late in doing my bee blocks. Just this week, I finally finished December and January. For December, Emily @ The Darling Dogwood requested a book block. Emily is a librarian, so this block is so perfect for her!

Her size requirements were rather free-flowing (13″ tall by 13 to 16-1/2″ wide), which gave her beemates and me a lot of options. Emily wanted us to use a theme for our fabric choices, and to add “something you might find on a shelf” to our block. For the theme, I chose the Wizard of Oz because I had a lot of those fabrics and because they are a great series of books.

Emilys block 1I added Dorothy’s ruby slippers to the stack of books as my “shelf item.” I hope Emily that you like your block! I’ll be mailing it off soon–we got hit by an ice storm last night so no travel for a while. You’ll find Emily’s tutorial for the block here.

Emilys block 2For January, Sharon @ Yellow Cat Quilts chose the Quatrefoil block. I’ve never made this one before so I was looking forward to it.

Sharon told us that she’s going to put her blocks together for a Project Linus charity quilt. Isn’t that nice? We were given a wide range of colors to work with: pink, yellow, blue, green, turquoise, and coral color scheme. I found some butterfly fabric in my stash that had most of the colors in it so I think it’s perfect. I hope Sharon will too.

I think I originally bought the fabric for a quilt for my daughter when she was little so it cheers me to think it’s going on to gladden someone else’s heart.

You can find the tutorial for Sharon’s block here.

Sharon block 1Can’t tell you how good it feels to be caught up! Ann is up next and I can’t wait to see what block she’ll choose! I’m up for March so I need to put my thinking cap on…

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A Dog Gone Cute Block for Ann

I wrote about this block a while ago, and until now, couldn’t find the time to post about it. In August, Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting very fittingly chose a dog block, designed by Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts.

Elizabeth Hartman sample

Ann asked that we choose a block that looked like a dog we’d had as a pet. I have only owned cats as an adult, but when I was little, our family had two dogs—Shamrock and Sandy. Sham was a great dog, a mutt, who was mostly German Shepherd. She was gentle, smart, and the most wonderful dog ever. Dad used to tell us he’d see her every day in the pet store window as he walked home from work, and one day he just couldn’t resist her and he brought her home. Lucky us!

Flynn family summer of 1963 reduced size

Sandy was our adopted dog. Someone let her out of a car right in front of my two brothers, and we took her in. Sandy was a bit untamed, but she quickly responded to our loving care. She came along just in time for Shamrock who in her old age wasn’t eating well and who would often wander too close to the street when we let her out to relieve herself. Sandy would protect her from the dangers Sham could no longer see, and by her simple presence, also encouraged her to eat more. Sandy probably gave Shamrock a few more years of life and I’m forever grateful for that.

Here is Sandy (on the left), with Heather (in the middle). Heather was the first of my Aunt Betty’s Scottie dogs. Shamrock is there on the right.

sandy heather and shamrock reducedI chose greens for my block because Shamrock was Irish <grin>. I modified the pattern to match her sweet floppy ears and her coloring. Ann, I hope you like your block! It’s in the mail to you.

Ann block1

Jen, I’m working on yours now. First stop, a look at my color wheel so I can pick appropriate tertiary colors. Man, your quilt is going to look wonderful! What a great idea for the coloring.

Janice, at least I’m not officially late on yours. <grin> Love your block and all it’s possibilities!

You know, I love being a part of this bee and sewing up the blocks each month! I’ve just started a new job so time is short but with a little patience you will all soon have blocks from me.

Ann block 2

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These Blocks Inspire Me!

July was my month as Hive Queen for the Bee Inspired online bee. So what does that mean? Did I get a crown or something?

New Years 2015 1

Alas, no crown for me! <grin> Being Hive Queen does mean however that I get to choose a block and my bee mates will each make that block for me. Makes me feel like a queen, and I don’t have to wear a funny crown! Win-win.

I chose a block of my own design, which I call Irish Eyes. My intention (once I receive the blocks from my bee mates) is to create a modern Irish Chain quilt.

Sample quilt 1

Let’s take a look at the blocks I’ve received so far. The first block I received was from Irene @ Patchwork and Pastry. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. I could be wrong, but it seems that Irene is almost always the first one done with the block for that month.

Irenes block 1

I’d asked everyone to send a scrap bit of the fabrics they’d used in their blocks, to help me make the border for my planned quilt and Irene sent two! Isn’t she sweet?

Next, I received a block from Velda @ Granny Can Quilt. Not to be outdone, Velda sent me two blocks! She also sent some fish fabric by Kaffe Fasset. How did she know I love his fabrics?

Veldas block 1

Sue’s block (Sue @ Seven Oak Street Quilts) arrived next, along with a bright square of matching fabric. I had asked my bee mates to place the darkest green fabric in the center of the block, with gradually lighter greens radiating outwards. Isn’t Sue’s block wonderful?

Sues Block 1

It was only a day or two later that Emily’s block (Emily @ The Darling Dogwood) arrived. Like Irene, Emily included two lovely scraps of green fabric.

Emily's block 1

I received Paige’s block next (Paige @ Quilted Blooms). Her block includes the loveliest bright greens! Isn’t it beautiful? Paige included three strips of green fabric matching the fabric she used in her block. I’m simply overwhelmed by her generosity! The scraps that each of my bee mates have sent will really help me make a wonderful coordinating border for my quilt.

Paige block

Here are the blocks all together. To add to this wonderful collection, I have the block I made as a sample, and a block I received from my friend Alice. Alice saw my block tutorial (it’s here) and she loved it so much she made me a block! You can pick out Alice’s block easily–she adores shiny fabric!

Blocks I Have Gotten So Far 1

A few more blocks are on their way, and I’ll share them when they arrive. We are an international group and sometimes blocks take a while to get here. We are also a group of busy quilt bloggers and so sometimes, the business of quilting must take precedent. Frankly, I hope they take their time because I love the anticipation!

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