Friday, 9 September 2016

New Term

Gosh it's blowing a gale outside. Where did the summer go? It's just like someone flicked a switch.  Here's hoping you have better weather wherever you are.

It's hard to believe it's been a year since we first started blogging!! The time has flown by and it's been really rewarding.  Since Ros and I took over from Judith and Sarah in September 2015, Bee Blessed have gifted 45 quilts. That means 45 people's lives have been touched, but it wouldn't be possible without your support. Once again please accept our thanks.

A couple of us managed to get to The Festival of Quilts in the NEC, Birmingham, for the first time.  We came back inspired with lots of photographs, ideas and questions. There were some amazing quilts, traditional and modern...could we recreate some of them in a more simple form????

I've blethered on enough.  Is that an Irish word?  Anyway, since we last met these quilts have been gifted.


That is the second of the two Scrappy Frame Box Block quilts, from Sarah's tutorial. Thanks to all of you who very kindly sent us the blocks. A mother and daughter received these quilts. Our kind thoughts and prayers accompany them.

From time to time we receive donations of quilts in various forms of completion. You'll see a couple of them below.


The house quilt was a labour of love and it was given to a quilting friend last Tuesday.  Being a quilter herself she appreciated the appliqu├ęd blocks and the beautiful longarm quilting.


The perfect home came along recently for this small rag-quilt.  It's keeping the knees of a lovely lady nice and cosy.


The second of our Rail Fence quilts will be going to a new owner this week.


I'm not sure if any of you have heard of the Northern Ireland Big Sock?  You can read all about it here.  In short, a group of people are making hexies. They will then be sewn together, and they hope this will become the largest Christmas stocking recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.  The reason I tell you this is that one of our ladies (a Big Sock hexie sewer) came up with this lovely quilt top for us.  


We were very productive, as you can see...this panel was quilted and the binding added.


Some dinosaurs are being prepped for a baby quilt or play mat.


A tractor is nearing completion...
...and the reluctant photographs below prove how hard everyone worked.










 Big thanks to the Florence family who arrived with a bag of donated goodies.  We didn't get a chance to go through it on Saturday but as you can see below, there are many interesting looking bits and pieces poking out, fabric of all sorts, threads, patterns and who knows what else.  Much appreciated!!!!


Our new term is underway and we're keen as mustard.   I hope any new ventures you have started are bringing you joy.

Some of us are off to The Stitch Gathering at the end of September so if you see us please say Hi.  We know blog names, Instagram names but don't know many of you in person and we're excited to meet you.

Happy Sewing 


Friday, 2 September 2016

September Bee Blessed - Woven Block

Our last block was in pastels, soft and soooo pretty that we thought we'd try the same colourway this month.  It has been a struggle for me...I'm so used to sewing with bright, bold prints but seeing the blocks together it was definitely a good idea of yours - Ros!  We would like the plain background in white and the pretty patterns in pastel pinks, lemon, turquoise, soft greens, soft blues and peaches etc.  


I have seen a completed quilt on Pinterest made from a Woven Block in gentle colours. It was the inspiration for this quilt but I can't for the life of me find it.  Obviously I should have pinned it!!!

We would like the finished blocks to be with us by 30th September and thank you in advance for your support. 

Requirements:

Background fabric: 4 squares 3.5 by 3.5 inches

Colour 1: 1 rectangle 6.5 by 3.5 inches and 1 square 3.5 by 3.5 inches

Colour 2: 1 rectangle 6.5 by 3.5 inches and 1 square 3.5 by 3.5 inches

Colour 3: 1 rectangle 6.5 by 3.5 inches and 1 square 3.5 by 3.5 inches

Colour 4: 1 rectangle 6.5 by 3.5 inches and 1 square 3.5 by 3.5 inches
Assume 1/4” seams throughout 


1. Cut out fabric

2.  Lay out your block



3.  Working in quadrants - 
     Sew a 3 1/2” background square to a 3 1/2” coloured square and press to the dark fabric



4.  Sew this long side to the rectangle within that quadrant, pressing the seams to the dark fabric


5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other 3 quadrants

6.  Sew together the top quadrants and the bottom quadrants



7.  Sew the two rectangles together and press seams open



Tada!!!  A beautiful woven/basket block which should measure 12 1/2" by 12 1/2"


Monday, 8 August 2016

Stash Busting and Leftovers

We're becoming quite skilled at using up our leftovers at Bee Blessed.  This month, as well as updates, we've two lovely quilts to show you which are made completely from the remains of fabric that was donated to us after we had used it for another quilt.  Sampler blocks are a great way to use up scraps and Ros put this one together from the remains of fabric which was donated by Trudi from Quilting Prolifically.  Why not do some stash busting and make one yourself.


This was the original quilt which we gifted recently.


You may even see some more of it amongst this month's Hour Glass block...The tutorial was by Jeni Baker and you'll find all the info concerning the tutorial here.


No doubt you'll see it popping up in future quilts.

Thanks for taking time out to make us a block this summer.  We're aware that people have holidays, kids and all sorts of plans for this 'beautiful, sunny summer weather'... and catching a minute at the sewing machine isn't always easy.  

This is another 'leftovers' quilt made by our very own 'fabric princess' ...a name which is perfectly appropriate and embraced by the young lady concerned!!!  This may even be a first for her - in terms of using up scraps!  I can't remember whose dainty fingers are peeping over the top lol.




I'm sure you remember the original quilt, which went to a little girl this weekend.  


Hope you're not fed up looking at these photographs more than once but I like to give you a feel for what we're doing.  It's special to us and you're part of it.

This quilt went to a truly inspirational lady who has been unwell for a while now but doesn't let it hold her back in any way.  We hope she enjoys it. 


We were gifted some blocks by the lovely Rachel from thefloralsuitcase and got a chance to sew them together when we last met.  Check out her blog if you haven't already done so...all the heart eyes for her makes!!!  The quilt top is soooo pretty and my photograph doesn't do it justice.  Methinks I need a decent camera!


The smaller Framed Box quilt now has a border.  


Binding is now complete on this autumnal looking quilt top.  Aargh I don't even like to mention the word autumn whilst we await summer. 


And last but not least some more leftovers, not to mention stressful pinwheel fudging, have gone into this cutie.  A princess is making it ;-)


We know where it is going and will let you see it finished and quilted.

I don't think I'll post another block until the end of the month, just before we meet at the beginning of September.  I'm sure you are all busy and I hope that you have a wonderful August.  Also, wherever you are, I hope that the sun shines for you...  Happy holidays and...thank you for all your support in whichever way you join us.

Happy Sewing



Saturday, 9 July 2016

Bright Spot in the Basement

We're not having much in the way of sunshine in Northern Ireland so a day sewing in the basement was the only bright spot of the week.  To think we complained about how warm it was when we had a couple of early weeks of sunshine.  Hopefully you're having better weather where you are.  I know some of the lovely folk who send us blocks are living in warmer climes, whether in the UK mainland or Europe, and we are green with envy!!

Last month I got so carried away telling you about the quilts we were gifting (the best bit) that I didn't get to show you some of our finishes.  



We managed to finish a couple of Paddington Bear quilts but we haven't yet allocated them. 

  
Neither does this cute, modern, kiddie quilt have a home to go to as yet.  We don't like to hear of children and babies being unwell but we do like to have some quilts ready to go should the need arise.  I'll no doubt show you another pic of them when they go to their new homes.

That sums up what I didn't show you last month.  Now onto what we did when we last met...

We have another Rail Fence almost complete but it's being quilted right now so you'll have to wait until next time to see a pic.  It's worth waiting for...


It's a long time since I've done any free motion quilting but... having convinced my hubby a year ago that a new Juki was necessary for me to do it properly, I realised that it was about time I produced something.  I took the bull by the horns, took a deep breath, tried not to hold it in for too long, put my gloves on and my foot down.  I went for it... and not half bad methinks. I'll not show you the back, as part of it is a very unforgiving solid navy.  When I gave it to one of the other ladies for binding, it was like handing over a new baby.  We know where it's going to live and it will be a joy handing it over...honestly!!!


I think I told you that we were able to make two Modified Bento Block quilts with the amazing block tutorial by filminthefridge. This is the first of them and it was gifted last Friday.  I wish I could tell you the story behind the quilt but unfortunately, as I mentioned before, circumstances are quite often such that if I were to say too much it would become obvious who the recipient is, and many times the recipients wish to remain anonymous. I can tell you that we received a text message on the Friday evening informing us that the family were cuddled under it, watching a dvd. Thank you for helping us make that possible.


This is the second Modified Bento Block quilt ready for quilting.  We were able to use everyone's blocks so I hope that you can spot yours!



The Frame Box Block quilts are progressing nicely. I get tongue-tied every time I say that!!! If I had a penny for every time Ros has corrected me when I called it the wrong thing lol.  Just as well she is very patient.  As you can see above and below, one quilt top has been sewn together and the other one is within that process.  Thank you Sarah for allowing us to use your tutorial.


I wonder if our pirate transformer and his pretty sister can spot their blocks.


And last, but not least, some of our ladies made the current block.  We're using a brilliant tutorial by Jeni Baker and you can find all the relevant information here.  If you would like to make us one we don't need them until 25th July.  
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A wee word - We love to acknowledge and thank you for your blocks but sometimes we get one with no 'sender'.  We would love you to include your name/blogger name/email address, whatever,  so that we can thank you and let you know that they have arrived safely.

That's everything for now and it just remains for me to thank you for your much appreciated continued support, and wish you happy holidays, until the next time.

Happy Sewing 

Monday, 20 June 2016

We Start Them Young...

This picture made me smile...


.....A pirate transformer and his sister each made us a block.

I didn't even know pirate transformers could sew and I'm sure Sarah, who wrote the tutorial, didn't either. The pirate transformer is Joshua, aged 6 and his pretty sister is Abby, aged 8.  I'd say Sarah is also chuffed that Abby and Joshua made such pretty blocks using her tutorial. Abbey and Joshua, you made my day when I saw this photograph on Instagram. Bee Blessed want to say a big THANK YOU to you both.  Also a big thank you to mum for sharing the photo.  I'll never again get a chance to blog about a pirate transformer and his sister.  Two talented little ones!!  Maybe you'll make us one again some time??

How can we follow that!!!

Boo...it's pouring with rain here, so a perfect time to stay indoors and do what I should have done already.  A few days sunshine makes us hungry for more!!!

The grown ups were busy at Bee Blessed since I last posted.  We gifted many quilts and I've lots to report.

But first, here's a glimpse of us at work when we last met...

Lorna and Kelly, smiling for the camera, with Carolyn hiding behind

Me, Lorraine, making my usual dodgy, concentration face.  I'm putting borders on our second Rail Fence quilt


Marion and Karen, with Lisa M having a giggle in the background

Heather, hard at work...note the chocolate on the table.  We really needed that to sustain us!

Lisa C...aagh look up Lisa!  I'll get you next time...

And finally...
Ros, the boss, (she'll hate that lol) and Lisa M with the stunning Star Quilt which Lisa has been working on
Enough of the frivolities.  Down to the business of quilts now.  




don't think I've shown you even a glimpse of this quilt before.We gifted the quilt and the book to a little baby girl.....it is accompanied by our prayers and best wishes for the future.





This quilt was completed and kindly donated to us.  We knew it had a very special home to go to and we waited and waited.  Eventually we knew the very person...and it arrived with the recipient at the most appropriate time.  Doesn't it fit perfectly into its new home.  That blows us away.  There is a very special person ready and waiting for each and every quilt.


This is the second of our Churn Dash quilts, which we gifted to a lovely family.


Our first Rail Fence also went to a family and we hope its cheeriness went some way to brightening their day. 



I think I've shown you this beauty before.  It has been waiting patiently to go to its new home and left us last Saturday.  I'm sure it will be treasured.  




This quilt was gifted to a little baby boy, just this week. We hope he has fun pointing at the animals and making lots of 'moos', neighs'  and 'baas'.






And last but not least, this is the final quilt which was gifted this month.  It is sent as always with our best wishes and I have it on good account that it will be cherished.

That's what it's all about!!!!  And that's why month, after month, I thank all those who support us in any way. Everyone who receives a quilt from Bee Blessed is touched and cheered and reminded that they have been thought about, but Bee Blessed is more than just us, the Belfast folk, sewing once a month.  You know who you are...so a big THANK YOU.

I have more I could post, quilts in progress, blocks which you have kindly posted in etc etc...but as quite a bit of this blog has been about gifting, I want to leave it there..
so...more soon.

Happy Sewing