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Posts Tagged ‘paper piecing’

October Do Good Stitches Bee Blocks

This month I managed to get my bee blocks done well ahead of the end-of-the-month deadline!

October English Paper Pieced Bee Blocks

It’s been a little quiet around my blog because we’ve been settling into the new house, I’ve been spending a lot of time learning new things at work, and I’ve been traveling for a the last few weekends to visit family. The bee blocks were perfect for all the travel, as they were english paper pieced using Rachel’s template. Perfect for riding in the car (or for a little stitching while playing Settlers of Catan and Carcassone!).

Hand stitching and settlers

More EPP and carcassone! I'll have my bee blocks done in no time.
My pile of quilts to share is piling up again, as are some crafty makings for other events, so I’ll be back to share more soon!

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Bee block closeup

Hi everyone! I’ve been mulling over the quilt design for my circle of the Do. Good Stitches for April, and I think I have *finally* settled on what blocks I want the members of the group to make. My initial idea was to make a lattice quilt, and I made some test blocks. But these just seemed a little drab to me, and I’ve really been craving color! So, I decided to modify the plan, and I whipped up this test block to share with members of the circle.

Do Good Stitches scrappy bee block

The block is made using a paper-piecing method, and the tutorial I used can be found here. Instead of using a white strip down the middle of the block, I went for all color. Each big block (which measures 12.5 inches square) is made up of 9 separate 4.5 inch blocks. For each block, I started by cutting 9 squares of paper that were 4.5 inches tall and wide. Next, I used a gluestick to lightly attach the center strip to each piece of paper. I cut these middle strips to be 1.5 inches wide and 7 inches long.

laying the first strip

Next, I raided my scrap bin for all brightly colored, saturated fabrics that I had that are green, yellow, orange, and pink. I attached the scraps to the paper squares until each square was covered, and then pressed with a hot iron. I trimmed the excess fabric, and then peeled the paper off the back of the squares. Finally, I laid them out in a diamond pattern, and sewed the blocks together.

laying out the bee blocks

Here are a few tips I have for those making these blocks:
1. BE SURE to reduce your stitch length when sewing scraps to the paper block. This will really help when trying to pull the paper off the back!
2. I found it easiest to press my seams to the side. This did make it a little bulky when I joined up my squares, but my machine could handle it just fine, so I am not worried about a few bulky seams. It also seemed like it helped hold things together well to iron to the side.
3. Make sure your scraps are large enough to fully cover your square. A few times I thought I was all set, but needed one last small scrap to cover the very end of the block. This is not a big deal, but it can be frustrating.
4. For this particular quilt, I tried to mix up the colors evenly, so I didn’t have any blocks that were mostly one color.
5. I made the middle strip 1.5 inches wide on each square, but I allowed the rest of the strips and scraps that I attached to vary in width and size (and placement– I think the “wonky” look works well with all the color!)
6. Have fun! Hopefully the bright colors and freedom to piece wonky scraps will make these enjoyable blocks to make!

scraps for my bee blocks

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