It’s lovely to hear the little bees humming, busily working together, nurturing the hive – it reminds me of the hum of the sewing machine, and how just like the busy little bees, so much can be achieved when we work together x X
This months block “From our little hive to yours” is mostly an EPP (English Paper Pieced) project which can be sewn in the sunshine, on the beach, or nestled up in a cosy spot.
Block 6 measures 10 1/2” square before joining to other blocks.
So lets get busy, to make the block you’ll need….
11” square Off-white or Low volume fabric (e.g. Moda Bella Solids 9900 200)
Fat Eighth – Ivory/Cream floral (Caroline no. 18650 11)
Fat Eighth – Aqua (e.g. Caroline no. 18652 12)
Fat Eighth – Green floral (e.g. Caroline no. 18653 14)
1″ square – white or glittery fabric (for bees wings)
Gutermann Sulky Cotton (30 weight) col. 4001 – Parchment for hand-quilting
Embroidery floss in yellow and brown or black
Gutermann Sew-all thread in dark grey (col. 701) and taupe (col. 854)
Optional: Stabiliser or lightweight interfacing , silver thread for wings
Equipment: Sewing machine; Iron, ironing board and pressing cloth.
Notions: Clover water erasable pen (or similar), Small sharp scissors, thimble,
small fine quilting needle, embroidery needle.
Optional: safety pins or basting spray.
If you plan to Quilt As You Go*, you’ll need an 11” square of wadding, and if you’re following the 3 layer QAYG method you’ll need an 11” square of backing fabric.
(*For more information on the QAYG method, please read through Quilt Construction notes)
So let’s begin:
Cut out the template pieces, using a ruler, rotary cutter and mat.
Prepare the pieces
• Pin the paper hive pieces (1-5) number side up, onto the wrong side of the ivory fabric
• Cut out, leaving ¼” margin around each of the paper pieces.
• Turn over the ¼” allowance and tack.
• Pin the side pieces L1-3 and R1-3, to the blue fabric. Cut out, leaving ¼” margin around each piece.
• Turn over ¼” allowance on three sides of these pieces, leaving a raw outer edge.
• Pin pieces L4–5 and R4-5 to the green fabric. Cut out, leaving ¼” margin around each piece.
• Turn over ¼” allowance on three sides of these pieces, again leaving a raw outer edge.
Now you’re already to sew the pieces together.
Working on one row at a time, place side piece (L1) on top of hive piece (1), right sides together.
Using an over stitch, take a “tiny bite” out of the folded edge, and keeping stitches close together, sew along the straight edge.
Line up side piece (L2) on the other side of the hive piece (1), and sew in place.
Repeat for the remaining rows, till you have 5 rows of paper piecing, plus top and bottom.
For the top and bottom pieces fold over and tack just the edge next to the hive.
Place the rows in order, Sew row 1 to row 2, and so on until all the rows are sewn together.
Press and remove the papers.
To make the borders
From the Off-white or Low volume fabric cut:
• 2 – 6 5/8” x 2 ¼”strips (cm)
• 2 – 11” x 2 ¾” strips (cm)
Machine sew the 6 5/8” strips to the sides, then sew the 11”strips to the top and bottom. Press seams.
So now our hive is made, there’s just one more thing this hive needs, to make it a home ….
Embroidery – Using a water erasable pen and a lightbox (or tape to a brightly lit window) trace the little bees, so two of them hover close to the hive, and 2 on the border. Trace the word “Honey” onto the hive, or you could add a name.
• The stripy little bodies of the bees were embroidered using just 2 strands of Anchor Moulin in yellow and brown. Sew short lines of chain stitch across the bees body or use satin, or stem stitch.
• To make the little wings, fusible webbing or applique glue holds tiny fabric wings in place, before sewing a line of backstitch using silver thread to hold them firmly in place.
• Alternatively back stitch the wing outline using a dark grey or taupe thread.
• Two French knots form the antennae. While a curvy flight path is marked out in running stitch, using dark grey thread.
• Finally, the word Honey is sewn using tiny backstitches in taupe coloured thread.
Well done! Your block is now complete!
If you choose you can continue and Quilt your block as you go, follow steps below.
If using the Quilt As You Go (QAYG) method
• Layer your block, using an 11” square of cotton wadding and an 11” square of backing fabric, if following the 3 layer sandwich method 2.
• For the 3 layer sandwich, also leave a small margin un-quilted inside the 10” design window, to make it easier to peel back the layers when joining blocks.
• For more information on both QAYG methods, please see Quilt Construction notes.
Secure the layers using safety pins, or your preferred method of basting.Now you’re ready to quilt, thread a small fine quilting needle with Gutermann Sulky cotton 30wt. This is a thicker thread than used for piecing.
Quilt 1/8” inside the hive, closely following the outline of the hive
In preparation for joining Sampler block to Irish Chain blocks, trim a sliver of each side of the Sampler square, till it measures 10.5” square, to match the other blocks.
Congratulations! Block 6 – From our little hive to yours is complete!
We’d love to see the beautiful Sampler blocks you make, so please do post them on Instagram using the hashtag – #SweetestThingsSampler.
Till next time, from our little hive to yours,
Happy sewing x X
Dawn – Honeybee Cloths