Hello my dear Bee friends! May is here and it's been such a lovely month!
You may have already received your fabric in the mail for my May block. The pattern I've chosen for Bees Knees has been on my wish list for a long time...
|Image courtesy of Norma Whaley - Timeless Tradition Quilts|
The block is called sunbeam and the pattern is Summer Days, designed by Norma Whaley and my mom, Leslie Ison. It is one of my favorites of their designs. The pattern is sold by Norma as a Timeless Traditions Pattern. Norma generously gave me permission to share the block instructions for our Bee.
One of the things I like best about this block is how perfect it looks in 30's fabric. (I have a little 30's addiction!) I also love that it takes a lot of "ugly" fabrics to make this quilt beautiful. The wild mix of fabrics is harmonized by the happy yellow centers and the sashing and posts.
It amazes me that something as simple as half square triangles can look so different just by adding an appliqué center.
Make 4 half square triangles measuring 5-1/2" unfinished. I've sent extra fabric for you to mix and match to make your blocks. The squares are precut to make two half square triangles at a time, with just a little extra fabric for squaring up your block. I love Amy's post here, with a quick method for squaring up. I've sent enough fabric to make 10 HST units which makes two blocks, with two HST left over, since I would like each block to be a little different. You can make two blocks if you'd like, or just one and send any extra HSTs back, so I can use them in the quilt.
Sew together 4 HST units with the triangle points meeting in the center.
The yellow applique centers are made using the same method that we used to make centers for Lori's wonderful Dresdens. Her tutorial is found here, toward the end of her post. I originally planned to use a different method, but had a very hard time finding yellow fabric that didn't show through. Lori's method was the perfect solution to the problem and made the yellow more opaque. I've sent sew in interfacing, already marked with the circle. I've also sent a freezer paper template with the fabric, which you won't need now, but since I had already made the for you, I sent them anyway.
*** I have just one change to Lori's method. I want the centers for my quilt appliqued by hand, using a blind stitch. If this is something you are comfortable with, stitch away. If you don't want to tackle it, no worries, just send the yellow center back with your block and I can stitch them on. Please use a lightweight thread. I use Aurifil 50 weight, and it works great. I also use Lori's tip for centering the circle by folding the circle in half and then half again and pressing, to use the marks as a guide.
What size quilt block do you want your bee partners to make? (Give finished and unfinished measurements, just to be sure.) The blocks are 10-1/2" unfinished (10" finished).
Can your partners use any of his/her own stash fabric to use in your quilt block? If so, are there any limitations? Yes it would be fun if you added your own fabrics to a block. Please use mainly 30's or fabric with a 30's sensibility ; ).
Is there a specific color of thread (white/off white) you want your partners to sew with?
Any light colored thread is fine.
Does your partners have to use at least a little bit of every fabric you send or can your partners decide? No, I've sent extra fabric- especially if you are only making one block.
If your partners are super motivated and are able to make two blocks out of the fabric you send, would you accept more than one block from your partners? Yes it would be lovely if you made two blocks, but one is great too. Please send back any unused HST units so I can use them to finish the quilt.
Do you want your partners to return any leftover larger size scraps to you when they return the completed blocks or can they keep them for their own scrap stash? If you would like to keep anything, feel free, otherwise you can send back unused HST or fabric that I can use to finish the quilt.
I hope I've covered everything! Let me know if you have any questions.