Friday, November 8, 2013

New Year of Stash Bee!

This week I officially signed up for the 2014 Stash Bee.  This online quilting bee is a group of modern quilters who use our stash to make beautiful blocks for our hive mates.  Here is the link to the sign-ups for this next year.  We will be assigned to groups of 11 and only go for 11 months (December off!)  Danny, our Bee Mama, is awesome!  She has a clear vision of how things should work and is so organized.  Even though she will not be sewing along with us this round, she has agreed to stay on and be our fearless leader.  Thanks, Danny!!

I cannot speak highly enough of this experience.  I signed on after only quilting for a little over a year.  Almost all of the blocks I made were a stretch for me in one aspect or another.  Below are all the blocks that I made during my tenure.  I came on half-way through--I had been stalking the site because one of the blogs that I follow would post her blocks regularly.  I love her style and liked what I saw--when a call went out for Angels (someone who sews an extra block for someone who can't do it one month), I volunteered.  I ended up not filling that role, but ended up with so much more.

My first block was a starburst block for Danny. (All the links are to the tutorials that each person posted on the Stash Bee blog.)  I ended up using rectangles of paper to foundation piece each half and then sewed the halves together.  That was a first for me.

Next came a wonky star and a wonky log cabin block for Vickey. I had a tough time finding strips in my stash that were long enough for the outer log cabin blocks, but it was a fun exercise.  I enjoyed the play and the way they turned out.  It was my first attempt at anything wonky, and I read a lot of tutorials and watched a couple of videos before actually sewing these.

Colby wanted a foundation-pieced rainbow star.  This was definitely one of my favorites.  The colors worked out so well.  My second attempt at paper foundations--I loved the way this turned out.  It gave me the gumption to start my string quilt.

Taisia wanted grey and yellow stained glass blocks.  This block taught me that colors can read either cool or warm--I really had to work my stash to find cool greys.

Then came Kat and her striped Dresden plates.  This was the most visually stunning block, I think.  It's also the one I wish I could go back and re-do.  I just couldn't get the 1/4" seams to work right. It had never mattered before this one, but it came out just a bit small.  It took me almost 4 weeks AFTER I sent this one off to figure out the correct adjustment on my machine--now I could get the stripes the proper widths individually instead of being off about 1/16".  If it weren't for this block, I never would have figured that out.

Pippi Longstocking was Tanya's request.  Loved the improv, but definitely need more practice.

A traditional churn dash block was for Emily.  This block really looks amazing in modern fabrics.  I can't wait to see her finished quilt.

Jo wanted improv trees. I like solids, but am still not sure of myself with them.  It was also hard for me to see one step ahead to how the tree would turn out.

These stars and crosses were for Beky.  These were by far the easiest block I did.  I wasn't sure how I'd like the quilt, but when I saw her finished pics, I was in love.  This is something to try for someone who wants to start slow with the improv style blocks.

For my month I chose a modern twist on the traditional Granny Square block.  I'm waiting for one last one to come in the mail, but I decided to try an ombre-type effect with a single color.

I made birds for Sandra.  These were so cute, but again I struggled with pairing solids for her.

And, finally :), Tiffany wanted x-plus blocks.  I've seen many of these quilts floating around, but they looked so complicated.  I was so glad to find out that they're really not.  I love this--maybe I'll go for a whole quilt myself one of these days.

Here are another couple of links with more information about Stash Bee if you're interested:
Block Ideas
Roles and Expectations
Modern Quilting & Fabric
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  I would love to see lots of new people in our wonderful sewing community!  It only takes a couple of hours each month and I got such a feeling of satisfaction that I really can't imagine giving up this small indulgence. See you there :)

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