Sunday 27 August 2017

How to spell Patchsmith in a Spelling Bee

Even though the sun has come out I still found time to make another five Spelling Bee Blocks.

Lori Holt's Spelling Bee Book

The House block is a really easy block – great for new house builders.
Spelling Bee House Block

The Jar block I would class as intermediate for two reasons.  One the heart is small and you need to match up the jar top with the lid – can be a little tricky.  But the main reason is that the photo of the block in the book does not match the directions.  You need to follow the cutting measurements given and the directions – not the photo.
I didn't patch the heart for the Spelling Bee Jar Block - it's simpler this way!

Next was the Sailboat block which I have named HMS Miss Bee. It reminds me very much of a sailboat block I created last year for my Block-a-Day - I named that one HMS Patchsmith (of course!).  
Spelling Bee Sailboat Block

And then I decided to make my ‘letter’ blocks – a capital ‘P’ .....
A gingham heart for The Patchsmith

And a lowercase ‘s’ .....
And a gingham daisy to follow!

Needless to say I added a little Patchsmithian touch of gingham– just to make the quilt uniquely mine.

I still have three more blocks to make but they are going to have to wait for another day.   But pop back in the week when I will be sharing some Bee Happy blocks and tips .....

Friday 18 August 2017

Craftsy Maker's Black Friday - pick up a bargain for the Bee Happy Sew-Along

Craftsy are having a special sale this weekend and I've found some great bargains for the Bee Happy sew-along (just click on the photos to find out more).

First up is this Aurifil thread selection – the colours are perfect for the Bee Happy sew-along.
Perfect Bee Happy colours

It goes without saying that we will be making good use of Lori's embroidery threads .....
Now we can all embroidery just like Lori Holt!

Then there is Kona fabric by the yard - perfect not just for the Bee Happy sew-along but great for your stash - you'll be using this all the time.  (Kona Snow is my FAVOURITE background white - it is the only one I ever use).
Stock up on Kona Snow and it will see you through the Bee Happy and Spelling Bee sew-alongs

And this Aurifil thread collection has the perfect machine piecing colours - but you'd better be quick - it is half price!
Perfect neutral colours for machine stitching

And what about these Karen Buckley scissors?  I have the 7.5” scissors in dark blue.  They have serrated edges which means they never blunt.
Every size you'll ever need.  Ideal for cutting your Bee Happy applique.

But don’t stop there ..... there is batting and fabric, kits and more fabric, classes and even more fabric.  Check out all the special offers HERE.

But hurry – these offers end this Sunday evening (20 August at 11.59 pm MST)

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 Carol Doak's website for some helpful guidance).

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.