Saturday, 19 September 2015

Time well spent ...

On the rare occasions I try and rationalise the amount of time spent on blogging and on Instagram, I am instantly put right by the amount of support and inspiration I get from those 'time-bandits!' Fellow quilters really are the best people, aren't they? So much of what I'm working on at the moment, I wouldn't be if it wasn't for the people I've met or if I didn't receive the help or see the ideas everyone is willing to share.

Over on Instagram, six of us have started a Bee where each person works on a section, then passes it on to the next and so on until the quilt comes back to you with all six sections completed. There are no rules but you are guided by the design of the quilt owner's first block and any colour preferences they suggest. Our tag is #weshouldbeesectioned ... and I definitely thought I was going mad last week when trying to think of what to do!

After reading many great tips on the Internet - just googling 'quilt bee' brought up dozens of fabby ideas - I decided I would go for a seasonal-themed design. Yes, you are correct in your immediate thoughts - there are only 4 seasons - but I'm giving everyone carte blanche to just choose colours or themes that represent their favourite season ... so if I end up with six autumns (my favourite season), so be it.

The finished block is 27" x 21" and is made up of 5 different sized sections (wonderfully organised and put together into a pdf for us all by Julie @mackandmabel) and my first attempts (and a now discarded half dresden plate which will now be made into a cushion!) didn't float my boat:

That's supposed to be an apple in the top left! So, back to the drawing board ... any autumnal block surely has to have a leaf in it so that was easy:

Afterwards, I went back to the dresden plate (because I really like them) and found (in a very old quilt book) what was described as a Grandmother's Fan - only needs a 1/4 of the petals - so that was my next block and, for the strip in between, I just went with some simple blocks out of apple fabric I had in my stash rather than trying to paper piece 3 x 3 1/2" apples:

Now for the bit that made me think I had lost it! I decided to make a paper pieced pumpkin - in the biggest section - an 18" block! What was I thinking?! It's been ages since I'd paper pieced and even then, it was only simple stuff. Ah, what the heck - let's go googling again! And whilst I didn't find a template for exactly what I had in mind, there were plenty of tips and good sites for me to feel confident enough to crack on.

It took a while; I had forgotten about the extra amount of fabric you need to use: 

But by putting that photo on IG, my friend Maria (@sewlovetosew - our Queen Bee) reminded me and eventually (it took hours and hours!) my pumpkin was finished. In the end, I had to make him in 3 sections:

Here he is with the other blocks:

Maria may regret giving me great advice because she gets my block first!! 

And my other finish this week was an 'old and forgotten' group of blocks that I made about 4 years ago and put away because I'd fallen out of like with them:

After putting the photo on IG - 'should I bin or add to and finish? I was so humbled by one of the responses: 'I think someone would be very happy to get this, especially someone who doesn't have much.' (thanks again, Tammy) that it chivvied me along to finally finish it:

Kindly photo-bombed by Nell! And another great use of time on social media is the link ups - thanks to Amanda Jean and Sarah - through their link ups, I have met lots of talented and kind quilters and learnt loads. 


  1. Your autumn section looks great! Love the pumpkin. And the pink and yellow quilt is so cheerful.

  2. its very nice! who wouldnt be happy with it?!

  3. Aah, we get to choose a season! I better get planning.

  4. I just finished my first bee and it couldn't have been more fun. I need to find another. I never thought about instagram for looking.
    You make me want to start a fall project even though I'm more a summer girl. Your quilt top is lovely and that is a great motivating comment. There is always someone in need of quilty love...

  5. Great pumpkin!! I like piecing but you sure have to get your head into it. I find that there are times when I troll quilting blogs more than I quilt. But it is so inspirational and I have learned tons. Have fun with you bee - sounds great.


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