Block 6 – From our little hive to yours x

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

From our little hive to yours 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:

Print out the hive template or


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.

Quilting options

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

2018-07-19T19:36:00Z 2018-07-19T19:38:00Z

A little piece of linen needle and thread….

Hand sewing is perhaps the type of sewing I like most, whether it’s paper piecing, quilting, hemming and, yes I don’t even mind darning socks too! It really helps me relax and put my thoughts in order. I guess you could really say it’s a kind of mindfulness therapy of sorts.

It can be done practically anywhere, and is perfect for spending long winter evenings cuddled up to some sewing, which is how this mini-project begun in early January – simply a small piece of linen, needle, thread and hoop – and often a cat too!

Pip loves nothing more than to cuddle up on a comfy lap, so hand-sewing is perfect, it doesn’t disturb her routine. Having spent 15 months in a rescue centre, before being spotted on a rehoming website, if there were any saying meant for Pip, perhaps it’s this one….

Life takes you to unexpected places, love brings you home

Pip’s a really good supervisor, and spends her days, busily checking the beds have been made properly; the clean laundry, still warm from the dryer is pressed; and if I leave my sewing lying around, she’s exceptionally good at un-picking too 🙂

Pip in our sewing corner under the stairs

The first step for our little handsewn project is to print out the quote and trace onto linen – dowload quote here.

I traced the quote onto the linen using a water erasable pen, able to see the quote through the linen simply by laying it on top of the quote. Alternatively tape the quote to a window in good daylight, tape linen on top, and it’s a lot easier to see quote through the linen – you have your very own improvised lightbox!

I chose not to use embroidery floss for the lettering, prefering instead to use plain simple dark grey Gutermann sew all thread. I doubled the thread and used a backstitch to sew the lettering.

Once your lettering is sewn, dampen the linen, to remove the water erasable pen. As some pen marks won’t erase once they’ve been pressed. Only once the marks have been removed press.

To complete the project a rough circle and some leaves is traced onto bondaweb – (the little leaves are really meant to be pussy willow – oops!)

Once the bondaweb is fused to the wrong side of fabric, the hoop and leaves, are cut out and positioned onto linen. Pressed, so each piece fuses to the linen.

If you’d like the template for the hoop and pussy willow, email me and I’ll forward it on.

In choosing materials for the pussy willow and hoop I went for those which had a subtle texture to them similar to a willow hoop, or pussy willow.

Lotta Jansdotter’s “Mormor” reminded me of the almost luminescent colour of fully opened buds, and Basic Grey “Fresh Cut” the grey unopened buds. For the hoop, Janet Clare’s A Field Guide no.1366-15 provided a subtle texture, for the woody hoop. It’s a really lovely versatile print, which would be equally perfect for the little wren I have in mind for a future block 🙂

Once the pieces have been fused in place either hand or machine sew around hoop and leaves.

It was one of those projects you could easily pick up and do for a few minutes, here and there and by the end of January, it was complete. I’m still deciding whether to make into a pillow, or use it in the larger nature themed quilt I’ve been planning for a while, which includes the little wren mentioned earlier – but that’s for another time 🙂

Till next time, stay snug and happy sewing x X
2016-02-06T23:01:00Z 2016-02-09T10:49:00Z