Being Brave

Let’s Mis-Bee Hive!

As you know, this week is pretty special for me because I’m participating in the New Quilters Blog Hop. Inspired by the friends I’ve made, I designed a Bee Hive block. You might use the block in a quilt, or in a gift for one your own bee/hive mates! I’m going to use one of my blocks to make a special zippered pouch for a friend.

The basic block is pieced, and I designed it to use up your fabric scraps…gotta love that!

The bee hive entrance is appliqued using the fusible applique method. Quick as a wink, your block can be done!

For an extra special touch, you can add an applique bee…or simply sew on a bee button or two. I found my buttons at Joanne’s.

I couldn’t resist adding a “flight path” for the bee using a simple running stitch. The antennae and smile are drawn on using a fabric marker although you can stitch them as well.

To keep the edges from fraying on my fusible applique, I used the new applique technique Lara Buccella introduces in her Crafted Applique book. I won’t reveal her secret, but I will tell you that if you’re planning on adding just one book to your quilting library, this book should be it! Her technique is life-changing. I was lucky enough to win a copy of her book in a recent blog hop, but I’d have bought it if I hadn’t won—it’s that good. (honest opinion)

I'm pretty happy with my Bee Hive Block, and I hope you are too. Making an applique pattern was my Brave Quilter challenge this month, so that makes me even happier!


To celebrate the New Quilters Blog Hop, I’m offering my Bee Hive Block pattern for free until midnight Sunday, EST. After that you’ll be able to purchase the six page pattern for download for a mere $3.00. If you like the pattern, come back this week as I add another quilt pattern to my online store! Exciting times indeed.

Enjoy my Bee Hive block and have fun my virtual friends and bee/hive mates! If you make anything with the block, I’d love to see photos! I have a special Facebook group and a Flickr group you can post directly to, or simply share the photo through social media using the hashtags #BeeHiveBlock @InquiringQuilter.

See ya tomorrow! In the meantime, don't forget to visit my hive mates who are also participating in Week 2 of the New Quilter's Blog Hop!



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Tell me something about any online hive and/or in-person quilt bee you belong to. What's its name? What activities do you do as a group?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Being Brave - The Applique Challenge

I’ve been participating in the Brave Quilter Challenge  over at Pink Doxies for several months now and I’ve found that it really pushes me to try things I’ve been putting off because I’m afraid I won’t do them well. Previously, I challenged myself to make something with a zipper, to be more artistic, and to create a quilting sampler. Here are my results so far:

Zipper Challenge

Art Challenge

Quilting Challenge

This month, I thought I’d return to applique. I’m pretty confident when it comes to using applique, but not when it comes to including it in a pattern. I design my quilts in Electric Quilter but I’m fuddled when it comes to using EQ to add applique. So this month I want to figure out some way to create a pattern that includes applique.

So I’m at it again! <grin> I’m joining Julie’s #BraveQuilter linky and saying right here that I want to overcome my reluctance to design quilts with applique. Here we go again! Wish me luck.

I share my blog posts to these awesome linky parties, including Brave Quilter.

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Tell a quilter, what are you scared to try? What's holding you back?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Being Brave About Quilting: The Results

For May’s Brave Quilter challenge, I decided to focus on quilting. I quilt my own quilts when they are a reasonable size, so improving my quilting is something with instant benefits. Besides the actual act of quilting, another thing that is always hard for me is deciding how to quilt a quilt. So for the challenge, I decided to make a quilting sampler of some of my favorite patterns. This would allow me to practice my quilting skills??? while also creating a tool that will help me select quilting patterns in the future.

First, I cut two pieces of muslin the size of a scrap of quilt batting. Then I stitched some sections into it like this.

Next, I looked though some of my quilting books for patterns I liked. I started with The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, a book I had the pleasure to review recently.

I quilted this swirls and pearls from page 103. Honestly, I've done a much better job with this pattern before on my quilt Rainbow Connection, but oh well.

Then I tried swirls from page 114. I love this pattern but could not quite get it. The swirls are supposed to have long tails but not all of mine do. Sigh. I'll probably quilt another sample of it. Hey, maybe practice will make perfect!

Next, I decided to quilt some narrow border designs because I often have quilts with borders. I quilted some straight lines first to divide the section into “borders”. Then I quilted ribbon candy, square chains, zig-zags, and spiral chains from pages 27-31 in the book. The spiral chains I did not really get at all. Since I like the idea, I'll try doing them again too.

I also searched Pinterest and tried to copy some of the designs I saw there. First I tried various triangle fills. I used the squarish one on my Rainbow Connection quilt, and thought it looked pretty good.

Then I tried a loopy fill. I've always liked the look of this one.

Obviously, I need more quilt practice. In my own defense I'll only say that when I take my time I do much better but I really just wanted to collect quilting designs so I didn't really concentrate as much as I would have on a real quilt.. But even with the mistakes in the quilting, this sampler will definitely serve its purpose—as a collection of favorite quilting ideas. Making this sampler was on my Quarter 2 Finish Along list, so I can mark off another one!

Thanks Brave Quilter for making me brave enough to finally make a quilt sampler and to post photos of the less than ideal result. If you haven't tried Brave Quilter yet, I urge you to try. It will push you to try new things, and to pick a goal and achieve it. There's another Brave Quilter linkup opening June 4th, so be sure to scoot over to Pink Doxies and give it a try. You won't regret it, no matter what the result. Gare-un-teed. <grin>

I share my blog posts with these awesome linky parties, including Brave Quilter!

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Tell me, do you have a quilting sampler? Where do you go to get quilting ideas?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Zippers? Bah! I’m Not Afraid of You!

In March, I challenged myself to make something with a zipper. The result was this cute as heck zippered pouch.

Isn’t it adorable? Unfortunately, I no longer have the pouch because I awarded it to one of my Stepping Stones Quilt Along participants who completed her quilt.

On the bright side, I may not have the pouch but I still have my fascination with zippers. During my Quilt Along, I needed to make some gifts I could use for giveaways. So I combined the two and made a zippered scissor cozy.

To make it, I first scoured Pinterest. There, I found a pattern for a zippered cozy by S.O.T.A.K. Handmade. Svetlana’s directions were clear and easy to follow---something I needed since I have a fear of zippers.

Or did. I dunno. I mean, I still am not too excited about making anything with a zipper, but I have to admit I'm no longer afraid of them. Call me wary.

Even though I no longer have the scissor cozy (it was another giveaway for my quilt along), I have something else: another finish on my Quarter 2 Finish Along List!

What about you? Are zippers a yeah! Or a bleah?

I share my blog posts with these awesome linky parties!

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