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.  
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!!!'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 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 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

Bee Blessed June Block

I hope you are all having some nice summer weather......but I hope it means you'll still find a few minutes in between barbecuing and sunbathing, maybe even gardening, to run us up a block or maybe even two ;-)

This month we're using a brilliant tutorial by Jeni Baker.  I've just recently bought her new Half-Square Triangle book, which I'm loving, and while looking for this month's block I came across a Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month which she ran in 2012.  Doesn't that seem such a long time ago!!!??

In August 2012 the BOM folk were sewing together this Hour Glass Block. You can find the tutorial for that block here.  Jeni Baker gives two methods for cutting and assembling the HSTs. I used her instructions for the Traditional Method (4 inch squares) and there is a link with instructions on how to assemble and trim them here.  Don't forget to trim your HSTs to 3 1/2 inches.  The resulting block will be 12 1/2 inches.

We've been making a lot of bright, scrappy quilts recently so we're thinking that perhaps this time we should opt for subtlety.  Not one for subtlety, I had to dig deep into my stash to find sufficient suitable fabrics...but I love the finished blocks. We're thinking patterned soft pastels, or as close to soft pastels as possible.  Pink, lemon, turquoise, soft greens, soft blues and peach etc would be our preference but a splash of red, blue or a stronger colour is fine within that theme.  We would like the background fabric to be white.

We would like the blocks by Monday 25th July, please, so that we can sew them together when we meet on Saturday 30th July.  If you need any further information, clarification, or the address to post them to, just send us an email.  You'll find the email address here.

I hope you have fun with your HSTs this month and look forwarding to seeing your blocks. Thank you in advance, once again.  We really appreciate your support.  

So here's to some lovely summer weather...

Happy Sewing  

Monday, 23 May 2016

May Bee Blessed

Just a quickish update on what happened last time we met.  All photographs have been taken now and there is lots to show you.

But first and foremost Bee Blessed want to say this...

When we send the quilts to their new homes we get some amazing feedback and hear some humbling stories but unfortunately it's not always appropriate to share it online, as it may become obvious who the recipient is and they may not want to be exposed in that way.  We wish we could share all the lovely stories with you, to show you the difference you collectively make to peoples' lives by being part of Bee Blessed; by offering your support in whatever way, either by making blocks, coming to our group meetings, donating fabric, or in any other way. We want people to realise they are not alone in whatever their circumstances and somehow receiving a quilt seems to sum that up. We love being able to tell you real life stories but for now can we just say thank you!!

Remember the Churn Dash blocks?  Hard to beat a Churn Dash! This is just one of the completed quilts which will be delivered to a most deserving home tomorrow. The other one is almost ready and I'll show you it next month. Once again we had exactly the number of blocks required. I have to say this is one of my favourite blocks and I'd like to make myself a similar quilt one day but I know I'd take forever trying to choose suitable fabrics to meld together, whereas you guys get it right every time. It just 'works'!!!

You sent us sufficient Rail Fence blocks for two quilts.  Thank you!!! They are being quilted and bound at present and we have new homes in mind.  I'll show you them completed and fill you in when I next blog.  We're busy bees right now and I must say what a blessing it is to see them come together.  We really have the nicest job lovely people do the hard work and we get to put them together and drool over them!!!

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 I can thank you and let you know that they have arrived safely.

A few of you wanted to put a face to our names so here come a couple of reluctant photographs...

This is Ros. When Judith and Sarah  felt that their time at Bee Blessed had come to an end, Ros agreed to take the reins and I said I'd give her a hand.  Those of you who kindly send your blocks to us monthly, will recognise her name.  Ros is the administrator and the CEO hahaha...she'll have my life for saying that but she doesn't know how to access the blog to change it!!!!!  

This is me...I'm Lorraine and I write the blog, do other techy bits and pieces, Instagram, emails, set the blocks etc.  We work well together and thankfully what one can't or doesn't want to do, the other one can and will.

Here is the group hard at work.  I'll take a better photograph of the lovely ladies next month and put some more names to faces.

Now that I've put that to bed here's what else we got up to.

Our Modified Bento blocks continued to come in and were so pretty that we cut into quarters or not...

...we decided to go for it and they were 'in for the chop'.  Once again we received the perfect number for two quilts..Wow isn't that amazing.  I dread ever having to leave out one of your lovely blocks. DO NOT PANIC IF YOUR BLOCK IS NOT THERE ;-).  It will be in the other quilt.
This is just a little glimpse.  We don't want to spoil the surprise too much and look forward to showing them closer to their completed loveliness, in our next blog.

This quilt, which was donated (thank you), is now completed and making its way to its new home today.  We trust it will covey our best wishes to its new owner. 

 Well, I could ramble on but I've said enough for now and look forward to chatting again.

Happy Sewing!