Last Bee Blocks of the Season

The cool thing about making blocks for quilting bees is that I get to try new patterns without having to commit to making a whole lot of them. This is different from my usual approach to quilting, which is to jump into a new project with both feet: buy and cut the fabric and start sewing — all before I have a clue as to whether I will enjoy the process. Bees have introduced me to some wonderful designs, many of which I will use again in the future. At the same time, the construction of some blocks has been so challenging I’m now keeping a mental “never again” list.

Two feathersM-R was queen bee in March and asked for Anna Maria Horner’s Feather Bed blocks. It’s been a long time since I worked with so many templates and I was a bit nervous not having any fudge room, but they seem to have turned out. Each feather is 18″ tall.

April chose the Simply Woven block designed by Jess Kelly, available from the Moda Bakeshop. You’d never know I made a huge cutting error from which I eventually recovered, but I do have a couple of new grey hairs thanks to these blocks.

Two Simply Woven blocks

Simply Woven blocks

At a sew-in in April I made a third pair of bee blocks and was so excited to have done them the very day I got the fabric that I gave them to the Queen Bee before snapping any photos.

Now it’s time to focus on a few of my works in progress, including a quilt from the blocks I received when I was Queen Bee. Hopefully I’ll have an update on that before the end of summer.


Making Lots of Gift Tags, the Quick Way

Even though we are well past December, many of us in the northern hemisphere celebrate year ends in June. For some it’s the end of the school year and for me it’s the end of quilt-guild season. (But certainly not the end of quilting season!)

Tag attachedGuilds run smoothly thanks to the many committed and competent people who give of themselves month in and month out. I’m on the executive of one of my guilds and wanted to give a token of thanks to those whose jobs fell under my umbrella. The gifts were a single votive soy candle and rather than buy gift tags (cards would have been too big) I decided to make them. This is what I did…

I sprayed two sheets of card stock with water followed by spritzes of Tim Holtz Adirondack Color Wash spray dyes; three colours per sheet. Then I sprayed a bit more water to help the colours run and tilted the pages to encourage mingling.Cardstock with colour

I chose one rubber stamp for each page and when the pages were dry I stamped them multiple times until they were completely covered. Coloured and stamped

The next steps were to cut each sheet into 2.75″ squares using a retired fabric-cutting blade in my rotary-cutter, and punch a hole in a random corner. To avoid having to write around 3-D embellishments, I wrote a little thank you message on the underside before decorating the front.

I attached embellishments like paper tape, dye-cut shapes, spiral paper clips, etc., then added little details with Gelly Roll pens, markers, even a little sparkly nail polish, to brighten things up. Here are 6 of the finished tags.

Some of the completed gift tags

It was fun to make these and not nearly as intimidating as a whole art-journal page. Which I have to get back to one of these days…

The little gift with the big (2.75 inch) tag

A little gift with a “big” tag