Monday, 27 May 2013

Bee Blocks

Continuing my run on paper piecing, I serendipitously came across this bee block posted by Amy of Badskirt fame. It was great timing because Kim has requested bees and hexagons for June's do. Good Stitches.

One of the things I love about being in a bee is that it stretches me a bit. I only have to make one or two blocks so it's easy to try something new; and often what is requested is not something that I'd ordinarily do so it gets me out of my comfort zone and lets me learn new skills. 

Kim would like pale blues, greys, creams and yellows for this quilt. I'd have done this block in stronger colours left to my own devices, but I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product and what everyone does.
Currently this is about 6.25" across and it needs to be a 12" block so I'm trying to figure out the best way to piece it into the block... 

I'd like it to be off centre like this and I'm thinking I should've extended the original pattern to piece it, but I'm a bit stumped, never having made a paper pieced pattern before. After cutting out this paper pattern  I realised that if I do it like this it'll come out mirror image, so I need to put the bee right-side down first.  And now I'm thinking I'll extend two opposite sides  at 11 and 4 o'clock into an equilateral(ish) triangle and then two straight sides and two opposite corners? (Tried to draw a diagram but that's yet another learning curve!) I'll do it a bit bigger and trim it down I think. Is there a proper way to do this? How would you go about piecing this block into a 12" background?

Whenever I have to unpick it's usually because I've tried to be too economical with my fabric. My spatial awareness isn't good enough to orient the scrap properly if it's an angled piece and even when I try it out and hold it up to the light to check the seam allowance it seems to come out wrong sometimes. Better to trim a bit more off than have to unpick-again!

Then I just need to decide what I'll do for the second block...

I've also made blocks for May. Sharon requested pink and blue blocks like this:

Not pieced together so she can distribute everyone's colours and the scrap triangles were to be combined like so:

I've done a few more blocks for my wonky crosses and some unpicking into the bargain!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced
and with Let's Get Acquainted for the first time, hosted this time by Annabella at Life's Rich Pattern


  1. Such pretty blocks Camilla - your bee is stunning. I'm sure you will work out a way to get it up to size :)

  2. It looks like you've got it sussed, but you're right about the enemy of paper-piecing being economy. Every time I try to cut my pieces as tiny as possible, i end up cutting another piece.

    Lovely bee blocks!

  3. Love your bee! I have yet to figure out how to frame mine either! ;-/
    Did you copy yours at 100% or??

  4. Lovely bee! Good luck extending the block.

  5. Super cute bee. I must try one.

  6. That bee block is super cute!

  7. The first many tries with paper piecing has issues due to my economical thinking and weird shaped scraps I was using! Very frustrating! Your bee is awesome though!

  8. That's a cute bee. I'm currently making a quilt based on a beehive, if I had known about this block earlier I probably would have tried to do it myself and add it to the quilt somehow.

  9. Your bee is awesome, I have that same problem with spatial awareness and paper piecing!

  10. The bee block is lovely - such a cool idea for it to be a hexagon block!

  11. Hi Camilla, I came across your blog at random. I love the bee....he's so cute, and will work perfectly within the quilt I have in mind. I look forward to seeing how you end up piecing him within the block.

  12. Thanks for linking up Camilla - still loving that bee :)

  13. Love the blocks. The bee is very cute I keep seeing it and keep meaning to add it to my list of things to do.


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