Stash Bee (part four)

Here is my last Stash Bee update, at least until I finish assembling my quilt top.

I am going to take a break from Stash Bee next year for a bit of selfish sewing, but I would recommend it. It has made me try different blocks and different colour combinations, some I love so much I want to make a whole quilt of them, and I have crossed paths with a new group of talented sewers.


Lori asked for deep red, dark blue and tan/off-white star blocks in any size. I had a stack of these colours already set aside for my Union Jack quilt, so her fabric pull was easy.

It is a good thing that she said any size block. I had planned to make two 12-inch blocks, but when I grabbed my old set of templates for the cross block (I think it looks like a spiky star), I forgot that it was a 13-inch block. I did not realise until I had finished it!

The first block uses a fabric that features all of Lori’s colours: blue, red and tan. I hope the lighter blue is still acceptable. I love this fabric and thought it would work in her colour scheme.

Yes, Y-seams do not frighten me! Oh, no!

Star patchwork block

This could be a star or a cross.

Morning star patchwork block

My book says this is called a morning star, and it is a neat 12-inch finished block.

Lori’s question for the month was about our favourite block or design. I am not sure I have a particular favourite block, but I guess if I had to narrow it down, I would say that I am fond of blocks that I can appliqué. They are not necessarily the ones that I like the look of most, but hand sewing allows me to sew in front of the TV and watch movies from my comfy armchair. I also have a soft spot for the double wedding ring, and I made one a few years ago.

I also gatecrashed Hive 6 and made this for Kate. I have made dozens of wonky stars, but this improv wonky star challenged me. It was supposed to end up about 12 inches square, but my calculations fell in a heap. It is a peculiar rectangle with scope for squaring up. Fortunately, that is what Kate wants.

Wonky star patchwork block

I made a wildly wonky star for Kate.


Our hive’s task for our last month, November, was to make dark red and golden-yellow blocks. I only had traditional fabrics in these colours, but I emailed a photo of what I had to our hive’s queen bee and she approved these choices.

We were asked to make red and gold blocks.

We were asked to make red and gold blocks.

Christina liked the Japanese print, so I included it.

Christina liked the Japanese print, so I included it.

We were asked to share our favourite quilt or quilted thing that we have made for:

  1. ourself
  2. others.

This is a difficult question to answer as I like most of what I make, so I am going to tell you what I have had the most fun making.

For myself, I have had the most fun making my Dear Jane quilt. I have been working on it for three years, and it is not yet finished. It has driven me batty at times, but I enjoyed the challenge of making all those daft, tiny blocks and proving that I could. After a very long break, I have just started hand quilting it this month.

For others, I have had the most fun being part of the Possum Magic group. Eight of us, spread across Australia and New Zealand, spent a year on a round robin project. Every quilt was different, and each project pushed me to try something new. It was a lot of fun, and I recommend trying a round robin if you have not done so already.

In my usual gatecrashing style, in November I also made Helen in Hive 2 a courthouse steps block incorporating selvedges. My chosen bright colour was aqua. Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl beat me to orange!

I love the cheerful aqua of this block for Helen.

I love the cheerful aqua of this block for Helen.

I am very proud of my clean bee record. In spite of family tragedy and overseas travel, not a single block was late. Yay for me!

18 thoughts on “Stash Bee (part four)

  1. If I had to pick a maker from anonymous blocks, I think I’d have been able to pick you from the first block! No. 2 as well, but lots of people use red, white and blue. The rest are not at all what I’d expect, particularly the dark red and gold. Having said that, they’re all great blocks, even the definitely strange wonky star!

    • With bees, one has to make things that are not to one’s own taste to suit the queen bee. I wonder what signs give away the maker’s identity? My favourites in this batch are the first two and the aqua block. I love the bright simplicity of that one.

  2. Bees are certainly a great way of expanding the repertoire! I really like the aqua block! And I agree, it is hard to pick a favourite block or quilt! It’s a bit like trying to pick a favourite child…..

    • It is interesting how everyone has a different favourite. I had not seen the red and gold blocks before making them for this bee, but I imagine there are dozens of ways of laying them out to create different designs.

  3. YOu do so much for the stashbee with your PERFECT piecing! I just LOVE looking at your perfect points and fabric choices. I am in love with your stash! Also, thanks for your good example of hive hopping or crashing as you call it. I love your work so much and will continue to follow your projects.

  4. All are great blocks and such wonderful fabric choices on each. Stash bee will miss you next year. I’ve never participated in a round robin bee and to be honest, it scares me to no end! I love seeing the finished projects of others, but I fear that the pressure of coming up with something clever on my round would be the end of me!

    • I can see how a round robin could be scary, but as each project arrived, it was not scary at all. It was rather fun trying to come up with something. I genuinely enjoyed the way it encouraged me to try new things.

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