Stash Bee (part three)

I cannot believe how long it has been since I updated you on my antics over at Stash Bee. My last Stash Bee post was back in May!

So, let’s look back, one month at a time.


In June, Hive 7 made flowering snowball blocks for Deana. Inspired by Mary at Molly Flanders, I have long had this block and quilt on my to-do list, so I was happy to give the blocks a try.

Flowering snowball

This block is one I have long wanted to try.

The curved piecing came together without a problem. Cutting took a little time. If I get around to making a whole quilt, I might consider buying a set of templates so I can rotary cut them.

Flowering snowball

Sewing is easy but cutting the curved pieces by hand takes care.

Where possible, I chose prints from my stash that had more than one of Deana’s chosen colours; for example, one print has brown, blue and green. I also tried to find a selection of background prints that used her chosen colours. My blocks ended up a whisker too big (no more than a quarter of an inch), but I left trimming to size to Deana for safety’s sake.

Deana asked us what got us hooked on quilting. For me, quilting is just an extension of sewing, and I have been sewing and dressmaking as long as I can remember. My tenth birthday present was an antique sewing machine, and I had been using my mum’s before that. At the time, we were living in a rural area without electricity, so I did not waste my childhood watching television; instead, I sewed and read. My first quilt was hand-sewn hexagons, which I started when I was 15 and did not finish until my thirties. It was almost my last quilt! I love hand sewing, but I am not sure about my 15-year-old self’s colour choices.


In July, these bird blocks were fun to choose fabrics for as Mary wanted colourful. Each block is not very big, so I made four, using my favourite large-scale and brightly coloured prints for the wings.

Bird quilt blocks

Mary wanted us to identify the species. Clockwise from top left, we have a garden dicky-bird, a technicolour turtledove, a diamond-tipped parrot and a blue-chested desert hen.

I found it helpful to cut some of the background pieces bigger than they needed to be. Mary asked that we not trim our blocks, so all I did was tidy them up a bit, keeping them as large as I possibly could while trimming off any flappy bits of excess background fabric. For that reason, some blocks are bigger than others.

Mary explained that she is a birdwatcher and asked us what our life-long passion is. My passions are not that exotic, and I can only identify the really common birds in my area, but like Mary I had an uncool hobby in my teens, when I was sewing my own clothes and knitting. I guess I have two life-long passions: sewing and reading. Other hobbies have come and gone, but I have sewn and read since my early childhood. These days, I work in the publishing industry and have a house full of fabric and books.


In August, I was queen bee. I asked everyone to make lightly coloured blocks in cool colours with random pinwheels thrown in. These are arriving in the mail, and I will write more when I have them all and start to plan how to assemble them.

You can check out my block instructions here.

Sixteen-patch block with pinwheels

The pinwheels can be placed anywhere at random.

Sixteen-patch block with pinwheels

I asked for restful, cool colours.


Jane asked for wonky churn dash blocks in bright pinks, reds and oranges. I had a few possible combinations and could not choose, so I made all three. One is in the correct combination of pink centre, red sides and orange corners; the others are variations.

StashBeeSeptember1 StashBeeSeptember2 StashBeeSeptember3
It is a really easy block, but I still managed to stuff up the side pieces the first go and had to unpick – I had sewn them on too far in!

Jane asked us what colours and prints we would like to add to our stash. If I am perfectly honest, I would have to say that I should not add anything else to my stash! I really have enough fabric to keep me going for a while. I had a recent panic thinking I was short of blue, but I soon realised that I had just hidden it all from myself in various project bags. If I could choose anything to add to my stash, it would be Liberty and linen. You can never have too much of either for making small bits and pieces, and I love floral prints, which Liberty does so well.


Of course, being me, I had to crash some other hives.

I made this for Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl. Yvonne is in Hive 2.

Quilt block in the shape of an envelope

Yvonne asked for large letter blocks.

I made this for Diana of Red Delicious Life, who has been in another bee with me. Diana is in Hive 4.

Grey and teal windmill block

Grey and teal were Diana’s chosen colours.

I made an improv quilt-as-you-go block for Kelly in Hive 5, whose in-laws suffered a house fire and could do with a new quilt or two. What a tough time her in-laws must be going through.

Improv quilt-as-you-go block

I raided my bright scraps for this block.

In August, as I was queen bee in my hive and did not have any blocks to make, I made some for Shauna in Hive 9. She asked her hive to make flying geese using the four-at-a-time method.


This method of making flying geese was new to me.


Shauna likes purple, so I had to make sure purple was in at least one block.

Finally, this month, I made this giant block for Grace in New Zealand, also in Hive 9. I follow Grace over on Instagram.

pineapple quilt block

Grace asked for pineapple blocks in grey, black, navy, teal and yellow.

At the end of the year, I will have to tally up how many blocks I made and mailed off during 2015. The number is growing!

33 thoughts on “Stash Bee (part three)

  1. I love so many of these, but I think my absolute favourite is the grey and teal block. And the birds are wonderful! One good thing about posting late about all this work is that you have heaps to show…

  2. You were very busy! I love the birdblock and the curved…. and the pineapple in these colours! I like the idea of your beeblock very much, your colour choice and the random pinwheel and I’m looking forward to seeing the blocks you receive.

  3. You were very busy! I love the blocks with the birds and the curved one… and the pineapple in these colours. I like your colour and pattern choice esp. The random pinwheels and looking forward to see the blocks you receive.

  4. Gee I love that flowering snowball block Carla! It’s wonderful. Would love to give it a go. Do you know where you can get a template for it? You’ve sure been a busy bee….

  5. Yay for catching up!!! I sewed along with Mary with the flowering snowball and had such fun, even with all the hand cutting! I used a layer cake of Weeds 🙂 all your bee blocks are beautiful and wonderful 🙂

    • I think the trick with cutting a whole quilt of flowering snowballs, Vera, would be to take one’s time and make it as a gradual project. Cutting them all at once would be daunting, but pulling a few fabrics from my stash each week and cutting those would be fun.

  6. I’ve seen at least some of these on the stash bee site but it’s actually really cool to see everything you’ve been making in one place – it adds up to a lot of blocks, doesn’t it? I too love the birds and the giant pineapple and think your pale blocks look very promising too.

  7. Pingback: Bee, myself and I: January | Granny Maud's Girl

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