Thursday, September 10, 2015

July Bee Blocks: AKA How to Make Bee Blocks in 13 EASY STEPS!!

In July,  Coast to Coast Quilters made X+ blocks for Jacqueline.  She raided her scraps and sent out all kinds of fun prints to all members of the bee. Click HERE to see her inspiration quilt.  Jacqueline made all the small blocks for her quilt and the Bee Girls made the large blocks. The tutorial for these blocks can be found HERE.

Today I shall explain the very best way to make Bee Blocks!
Are you ready to learn all kinds of new tips and tricks??

1.  When your squishy envelope filled with fabric arrives, do a happy dance, because bee blocks are AWESOME and you love to make them!
Put it in a safe place.  It is important to have a designated spot that you consistently use every month. Lost squishies are a very bad thing!

2.  Three weeks later when you are ready to sew the bee blocks up go to that designated squishing holding spot and........find nothing there......hmmmmm....  Where did that squishie go?  Did it grow legs and run away?? 
 Can I blame this on the cat??

3.  After 2 hours of tearing the sewing room apart, discover that the squishie envelope was right where it was supposed to be all along, but that you'd piled fabric and quilt blocks on top of it and buried it.  Sigh.......  Be sure and feel really silly about this!

4.  On the Bee Block sewing day being well rested is important!  Handling sharp rotary cutters and running power equipment (a sewing machine is a power tool, right??) while sleep deprived isn't a good idea.
On the day Daughter and I made up our blocks I'd had a whopping 4 hours of sleep the night before.....and the night before that......and yes, the night before that.........  So you can see I was well prepared.

5.  Read over the instructions before you begin working on the block.  When working with someone else, discuss the steps so you both are clear on what to do and how to do it.  Daughter  and I subscribe to the - measure 6 times, keep checking the pattern to make sure we are right, and measure a couple more times then confuse and contradict each other at least dozen times - method of cutting fabric.

6.  Set out all the cut pieces and begin to sew them together.  Be sure and sew things together that shouldn't be, and use the wrong stitch length, too, 'cause using the seam ripper is so much fun that you want to take every opportunity to use it!

7. When cutting the excess fabric from easy corners, be sure the block is right side up on the cutting table and trim leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Then when you realize you cut the excess fabric from the easy corners with the block right side down and you actually cut away the fabric that was meant to be left stand there with your mouth open like an idiot, your eyes bugging out as the full horror of what you have just done settles in.
The corner pieces are actually lavender, although it looks grey in this shot. 
Begin to say "oh no, oh no, oh, no, oh no ......... " Then your sewing buddy can keep asking you "What's wrong?  What's the matter?  Did you cut yourself?  What's wrong?" because it is important to cause maximum panic.  Stare in horror at the mess you have just made!  You have just ruined someone else's fabric......and there are no extra pieces in this squishie!

8.  Take lots of deep breaths and write the queen bee a note and let her know you have just ruined her fabric and ask her what to do and beg for forgiveness.

Get very lucky that she's home from work and reads the email immediately and responds in seconds.  She says not to worry --because she is such a nice person!--and to just add stash fabric in similar color, or even just use anything that works.  Spend quality time with the seam ripper and take off all the other purple pieces you didn't destroy. Squirm in embarrassment every few minutes.

9.  Go to stash and look for light purple fabric to replace what you just destroyed.
Realize that purple is the most under represented color in your stash and secretly resolve to start collecting some purple immediately!.....
Find some blue fabric that will work and use that instead.  Breathe a sigh of relief when you manage to sew the units and trim them correctly.  It should be a very BIG sigh!!

10.  Now line up all the units and begin to assemble the four blocks.  
Be sure and arrange the units into new and wonderful forms to create fantastic new blocks!  
Be sure and have a really good giggle fit with your daughter when you see what kind of mess the two of you have managed to create. Laugh until you have tears running, are in danger of damp knickers and diet Coke coming out your nose. 

11.  Pull that seam ripper back out and take that mess apart and try it again.

12.  Rejoice and do a happy dance when you FINALLY get it right!!

The samuri fish just kill me! 

Jacqueline lives on a dairy farm! Moo!

The block I cut wrong and had to do over with blue fabric from the stash.

And here's the set!  

13.  Put those beauties in the mail!  Whew!  Bee Blocks are finished for another month!

Seriously though, Jacqueline is going to have a wildly crazy fun quilt with all the scrappy fun blocks that were made in our Bee!

Happy Stitching!


Lisa C said...

This was priceless! You had a very "interesting" day!

Denise in PA said...

I have done all of those things!!!! o:) o:)

Kell said...

Not bee blocks but yesterday I sewed 2 rows in one of my blocks wrong. :/ I was so happy when I posted a pic of all 4 blocks I did at once on instagram. Someone else pointed out the mistake. It's too much trouble to rip it apart(7.5" blocks with lots of little piecing) but I'm not sure if I'll leave it or make a new one.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Oh dear! They're gorgeous blocks, though!

margaret said...

what a good read at the start of the day, loved this blog you have done and so good that eventually the blocks came out beautifuly

gwenyth said...

Oh dear..sounds like the kind of thing I would have done, so glad it worked out so well in the end.

Jacque T said...

Oh Staci, this is a scream!!! I laughed so hard almost had my own moist knickers!! :)
I wish I could of been a mouse in the corner listening and watching. Really, sorry they were such a Payne! :) (play on words) They turned out so lovely and I can't wait to finish this. I need to make some more small blocks and plan on finishing it up end of the year/beginning of next for sure. Thank you again for a great story and doing such a great job!! Hugs!

Leslie can't stop quilting said...

Staci this sounds like me!!! You are a hoot!!

RobinLovesQuilting said...

You know, I think I may have used that process before, except without the daughter bit. I'm glad it all ended well, though. At least it makes a good story after the fact :-)

Ranch Wife said...

LOL...oh, dear girl! It's good to know you're not alone, isn't it? I think you ought to submit this post to a quilt magazine...its fabulous and you're so very clever. After all of the trauma you created some really FUN blocks!