Monday, August 26, 2013

Another bee block: a favorite

This first bee block for the Bee Sew Modern bee this month is based on a tutorial that can be found here, and is pretty rockin'. I LOVE this block. 

It starts out simply enough with white squares. I sat down on my floor with all of my scrap jars and pulled out pieces that would play nicely together and give me 2" strips of the required lengths (5", 8", and 12"). This took a lot of time, and I'm not always incredibly patient with really making sure everything is set up before jumping in and sewing. But boy was it worth it. I was able to chain piece my way through these blocks, carefully keeping track of my piles of strips as I went. 

I repeated some prints, but kept the look pretty scrappy by making sure the repeats weren't in the same block and trying to mix up the colors as much as I could. My four quadrants before trimming are above.

Once they are trimmed and assembled, it looks something like this! The star in the middle really pops, and the strip sets along each edge will combine with an adjacent block to make a scrappy diamond. HOW COOL. It's gonna look so neat. I think one of the strengths of bees is the ease with which you can achieve a truly scrappy look. Rarely do members use the same fabrics (unless requested, like the white here) or even the same color families. It can look quite stunning. Check this one out! (The quilt in the link is the first bee quilt I ever participated in, and I love what she did with it.)

I have really strived to get some mileage out of my scrap jars for most of my bee blocks, when possible. It helps me be a little more creative with my fabric combinations and constantly amazes me at the utility of these little leftovers. I will admit, I did finally go through after piecing this block and got rid of some smaller pieces... 

At any rate, I'm stoked at how this block turned out, the tutorial was written really well, and I think the finished product will give a lot of bang for the proverbial buck. The block is visually interesting on its own, will combine to give neat-o secondary patterns, and it was fast and fun to make. A trifecta! I'd consider this for a full project of my own someday.

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