Monday, August 14, 2017

Bee Happy Sew Along - Cherries and Bee Tutorials!!

Hello again!
August 28th is coming fast 
and is the official kick off day...
and I'm sew excited!

Are you ready for a few more
 head start tutorials?

As I said in last weeks tutorials...
I thought it would be a great idea
 to get a jump on the 
pieced blocks in the quilt...
and then...
when the official start week is here...
it will be all about the appliqué:)

This is the schedule of tutorials
 that I will be doing here 
on my blog each Monday.

to download and add to your 
Sew Along Guide

This is simply when the tutorials are given...
this does NOT mean you have to 
keep up with this schedule each week
 by having the blocks completed.

Everyone has different sewing time 
available to them each week...
and my sew alongs are
 no pressure sew alongs!

Sew when you can...
 and enjoy the journey:)
If you are able to keep up each week...
If worries.
All tutorials will remain on my blog

With that being said...lets get started on this weeks head start tutorials:) 

There are four churn dash blocks 
in my Bee Happy Quilt.

Inside each of them is an 
appliquéd block...
 so I thought I better
 show you those too!

Let's do the cherries first!

There are 3 Cherries blocks in the quilt...all 3 are pictured above.
The one with the "X" background is the one that goes inside the
 Cherry Churn Dash Block.

I did all three blocks at the same time...
it's more efficient that way!

If you have all of your cutting completed...
your blocks will be in baggies and labeled and you can just grab them.


The above photo is everything
 that you need for all three blocks.

The Sew Simple Shapes used are D-1 and D-15.

Trace around each shape onto the
 co-ordinating size interfacing pieces.

You should also have 
2 - 5/8" wide Nutmeg Solid strips
and 1 - 5/8" wide Cinnamon Solid strip
 for the stems.

You will need to run them through the 
1/4" bias tape maker 
and they will look like 
the photo above:)

I first showed you my favorite way to do this during the 
 using my very first set of Sew Simple Shapes!

We used the 1/4" bias tape maker for all of the stems in each flower block.
FYI- this is block number eight in the sew along:)

For the Bee Happy Quilt we are using 
several sizes of bias tape makers
 and they are all listed in the 
"other supplies" 
section of the 

If you are new here 
and need to know how to do this part...

 to view the video where
 I show you how I do it:)

I like to use a little bit of light starch on my strips BEFORE I run them through the maker...I spray them and let them sit for a minute until they are just barely damp and then run them through:)

Last week I showed you how to sew the star appliqué shape for the flag.
You will sew the circles and the leaves the same way as always.

Six easy peasy steps...

1. Trace on to Sew-In Interfacing
2. Match interfacing to fabric with right sides up and sew directly onto traced line...
all the way around...
oversewing about 1/2" where you started.
3. Trim approximate 1/4" seam allowance around stitching
4. Clip any inner curve and cleavage areas before turning.

5. Cut an "X" in the interfacing ONLY and turn right side out.
6. Shape and Press.

I cannot tell you enough how important using the point to point turner is for this step.
Remember that when using the iron after shaping...just give them a quick press on the fabric side and when I say "press" I do not mean iron....just press.

Another reminder about using the iron when making the appliqué shapes...
do not use steam or starch on the interfacing ever...and don't use it on your fabric pieces AFTER you have cut them out to sew.
The time to use steam is starch if needed is BEFORE cutting out your fabric.
If you use it after your pieces will shrink:)

Press your 5" background squares in half before pinning the pieces on of appliqué...then you will have a center mark for placement.

This photo is for placement of pieces guide...but I recommend that you do the embroidery stitches on the solid pieces before you appliqué.

On most of the solid fabrics in the Bee Happy blocks...
I have done a simple running stitch using all 6 strands of my Aurifloss.
I usually use a color darker than the in this example..or lighter...just so that there is contrast.

Of course this step is optional...
but I like the character and 
the texture that it adds to the blocks.

There is no tracing on a pattern needed for this step...
just do a simple running stitch
 around the shape edges.

Pin your leaves and cherries onto the background first and then you can glue baste the stems....trimming the length needed and tucking the ends under the appliqués about 1/4".

I always use the glue for the bias kepis nice and flat. 
I just use a few drops going down the center 
and the edges are kept free to easily hand or machine appliqué.

After your blocks are prepared...
appliqué by hand or machine.

Give them a quick press from the back of the blocks.

Now trim them down to 4 1/2" square.
Use the lines on the ruler to center the pieces!

Easy peasy!!!

Now you have 3 cute little cherry blocks!!!

Set these two aside in your
 "Fun and Done" pile:)

This little cutie goes inside the
 Cherry Churn Dash Block...
and we will do that piecing next week:)

Now for this cute little bee:)

This is the one that goes
 in the Bee Churn Dash Block... 

But there are actually 
4 other Bee Blocks in the quilt.

So grab the bags from your
 cutting labeled Bee Blocks:)
(yes...I made these all at the same time too)

The Sew Simple Shapes used are D-5 for the wings and D-16 for the bodies.
Trace the shapes onto your interfacing pieces.

Run your 5/8" wide Steel Solid strips through the 1/4" bias tape maker...
I'm going to show you how to use these bias strips to make easy peasy stripes on the bees!

Grab your bee body rectangle and trace a line 1" in from the edge... 

Like this.

Now draw another line 3/4" in from that one...

Like this.

You can see that they are not centered on the rectangle...
they are not supposed to be so don't worry.

Now glue the bias tape pieces onto the lines...with the line being in the center of the strips.

Place your traced interfacing piece onto the rectangle like this...
pin and sew like normal:)

It's so much easier to add the stripes onto the bees before sewing than after:)
Sew easy!

You can also do a little fussy cutting for these wing pieces by pinning on a different area of the text...just make sure that you leave enough seam allowance:)

Now that you have all of your bodies and wings sewn, turned, shaped and pressed...

Here is your placement guide onto your 5" square backgrounds:)

When pinning...keep in mind that these two  bee's should face this direction...

and these three bees face this direction:)

I like to trace my embroidery onto the pieces and the background before I appliqué so that I can do it all at the same time.

I used all 6 strands of the dark gray in my Bee Basics Aurifloss collection:)

I used a running stitch on the solid wing and the flying lines...a backstitch on the antennae and a french knot for his eye.

I also used my 4 1/2" Trim-It Ruler to trim up the blocks to 4 1/2" square.
Just for future reference...
All of the blocks that you see pictured above are trimmed to 4 1/2" square after appliqué:)

You have made 5 cute little bees:) 
Set this little one aside...

To go in the 
Bee Churn Dash Block next week.

Place these remaining four in your
 "Fun and Done" 
pile for later in the sew along:)

Next week I will show you 
how to do the heart 
and the daisy so that we can 
finish up the churn dash blocks:)

And I'll show you the 
Hexie Flower Blocks as well...
so stay tuned if you like to
 "Bee Prepared!"


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bee Happy Sew Along - Flag and Pinwheels Tutorial!

Good morning!
Here's another blog post to help y'all
"Bee Prepared"
for the Bee Happy Sew Along!

If you are just joining us..
Click HERE 
and then
 to get caught up on all info so far:)

As you know...
the majority of the blocks in the quilt are appliqué...
but there are a few pieced ones and so I thought I would show you how to do those 
before the sew along begins on August 28th just to get a good head start:)

Keep in mind that 
just because I am
 showing you now...
does not mean you have to
 have them finished before the 28th.

After you get your kit...
and you have done all of the cutting...
and if you have time...

If not...
when it's time to start 
you can always 
refer back to this post 
because it will remain here 
and you can find the link 
to each and every week 
on the right sidebar 
here on my blog:) 

First up is the flag:)
It's easy peasy simple piecing.

You already know the
 sizes to cut the
 pieces from the 
instructions in the 
Sew Along Guide
to download it 
if you haven't done that yet.

Lay out all of your pieces
 on your design boards 
and make sure that you 
have them all cut and ready:)

Before piecing...
you will need to 
appliqué the star 
onto the blue 5" square. 

Trace the 
D-14 Sew Simple Shape 
onto the co-ordinating size of
 Sew-In Interfacing
(size chart is in the guide)

If you are new here 
and this is your first time doing
 my easy appliqué method...
to see the video tutorial 
from my last sew along ...
for the Sweetie Pie Quilt:)

FYI - I'll be doing 
another video tutorial 
on week one of this
 sew along as well!

After you you have sewn and trimmed...
you will need to give each 
cleavage area between the
 star points a quick clip. 

Clip just once...with small sharp embroidery scissors ...
all the way to your stitch line 
but not into your stitches.

You will need to do this
 in order for your
 star to lie flat:)

After turning and 
shaping with the 
point to point turner...
Press your star on 
the front side only:)

Center it onto the 
5" background square 
and appliqué 
by hand or by machine.

Either way...
I always use thread 
that matches the piece
 that I am to appliqué.

There are several rectangle blocks
 as well as square blocks in this quilt.

For all of the rectangle blocks
 I have given you instructions 
to cut each background
 the exact size 
that they need to be 
when sewing the blocks together 
after appliqué is completed.

For ALL square blocks...
I have had you cut the 
backgrounds bigger...
 and then after appliqué
 trim them down.

I much prefer to cut
 backgrounds bigger when appliquéing 
and so for the square blocks 
that is entirely possible... 
because they are super easy
 to trim up afterwards 
because of "exact size" 
square rulers available to us.

the reason I did not 
have you cut backgrounds larger
 for the rectangle blocks 
is because there are NOT
 "exact size" rectangle rulers 
for these and so I cut mine 
the exact size needed 
and was just very careful 
when doing appliqué and embroidery 
so as not to fray the edges:)

I used a 4 1/2" Trim-It Ruler 
for the star block.

After using the lines on the ruler
 to center the star...
I always trim along the 
top and the right edge first...

Then turn my little mat and 
trim the two remaining edges.

Now that your star block 
measures 4 1/2"square...
go ahead and sew your
 strips together into 
2 sections like this.

Make sure that you 
cut accurately and use an 
accurate 1/4" seam allowance when piecing your blocks throughout making the quilt. 
If you do...
 your blocks will be the 
size necessary to sew into the quilt:)

Finish putting your flag
 together like this...
and you have your first block
 for the Bee Happy Quilt completed.


It should measure 
8 1/2" x 10 1/2" 
at this point.

Now put it in your pile of
 "Fun and Done" 
and lets move on 
to the pinwheel blocks!

There are 8 pinwheel 
blocks in the quilt.

I have had you cut 
2 -  3" squares from print
2 - 3" squares from background 
for EACH pinwheel block.

Pair them up like this 
and I'll show you how to
 make the red pinwheel!

Grab a background square 
and a print square 
with right sides together 
and sew 1/4" on each side 
on the diagonal 
from corner to corner.

You could draw a line 
from corner to corner 
before sewing...
 but I don't have to 
because I use my 
Seams Sew Easy Guide

I simply place the corners
 on the line to the left side
 (which is exactly 1/4" 
from the center line) 
and sew.

Then I turn my square around 
and do the same thing again 
on the other side.

(I always chain piece and do all of my squares at the same time)

I end up with two sewn lines 
exactly 1/2" apart...
or in other words...
1/4" from each side of 
the center of the squares 
on the diagonal.

Give them a quick press 
to set the seams.

Cut apart between the
 sewn lines like this.

Before you press them open...
use a 2 1/2" square ruler 
to trim them up.

Place the center line 
of the ruler directly onto 
your sewn seam like this.

Everything that you see 
sticking out from beyond 
the edges of the ruler 
will need to be trimmed off...

Like this!
Using a cute little 
small mat 
that is easy to turn 
really helps during this step:)

Now you can open up your 
half square triangle 
and press the seams open.

And now you have a 
super cute and super accurate
 half square triangle 
that measures 2 1/2" square.

Trim up the other half and...

You will have two!

Repeat the trimming and pressing
 on the other matching sewn square...

until you have a total of 
4 half square triangles.

Lay them out on your 
design board like this...

And sew them together
 to make a pinwheel.

YaY again!

Your pinwheel should measure 
4 1/2" square at this point.

I really LOVE pressing my
 seams open on small blocks 
because they lie super flat!

Sometimes we quilters concentrate 
so much on the sewing...
 that we can overlook how important 
the pressing is. 

  Good pressing 
is an important step for
 keeping your blocks accurate!

If you have bulky and unevenly
 pressed seams...
chances are that your block 
will be smaller than it should be:)

***Another Tip from Miss Bee***
Do not use steam or starch 
on your pieces AFTER 
you have cut them 
because when you apply moisture 
and then heat to cotton fabric
 it shrinks!

You don't want your blocks 
to be too small...
so only use starch or steam
BEFORE cutting your pieces out...
and after they are cut...
keep them dry:)

Moisture + Heat = Shrinkage 

I really love this method on
 making quick and accurate 
half square triangles...
and it's the method that I teach 
in my books as well.

Inside of my 
Scrappy Project Planner 
you will find a chart on 
what size squares to 
start out with for all different
 sizes of half square triangles:)

With easy cutting...
 and just a little bit of trimming...
the results are perfect every time!

Here are all eight 
of the pinwheel blocks 
needed for the 
Bee Happy Quilt.

Next Monday...
I'll show you how to 
do the Churndash Blocks!

Now that the 
Bee Happy 
Sew Simple Shapes
are here...
as well as the
 rest of the fabrics...
y'all should be getting
 your pre-ordered kits soon!

If you have not 
ordered a kit yet...
check with your local quilt shop 
simply do a google search 
to find out who 
has one near you:)

If you need any other supplies 
for the quilt...
(all supplies needed 
are listed in the guide)
check with your quilt shop
as well to see if they stock them.
Chances are...
if they are cutting kits 
for the quilt...
they will have all of the 
supplies needed as well.

If they don't stock them ...
I do have some (not all) 
of the supplies needed 

I hope you are happy
 with this weeks 
"Bee Prepared" tutorials 
and are as excited to be 
starting the quilt.

I'll be back next week!

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