Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Bee Blocks and a Very Valuable Tip

I told you I was President of the Last Minute Club!

Spent time making my Supernova backing, and then basting it (that gets its own post), but it's patiently waiting, all rolled up, while I finish up some Bee blocks today. Tomorrow will be a quilting extravaganza!

These two stacked strips blocks are for Valerie in The Maple Leaf Bee. I love LOVED making these!
Maple Leaf Bee2 for xerxia 2Maple Leaf Bee2 for xerxia

I've been admiring those strip-type blocks and quilts for a long time but I hesitated to try one because I could never manage to do strip piecing in a way that didn't have all kinds of (unintentional) wonkiness in the finished product. Like I even have trouble strip piecing!! I *always* have to cut and sew more strips than directed, because inevitably one or more bits of my strips are way too far off to be useable.

But! And here's my VERY VALUABLE TIP. After following Lee's recommendation for pressing the bias seams in the Supernova without steam, I found that all my seams were much straighter. The lightbulb over my head flickered a bit, and I tried the hot dry iron technique with the stacked strips blocks. And it totally worked! Too bad I was too clueless to have used it for these two blocks, which aren't truly as wavy and wonky in real life as they appear here, but they did give me some challenges (believe it or not - only straight seams!!).

Sew & Bee Happy for Hannah
Sew & Bee Happy for 

The block directly above is actually for May, but I was using the same technique and most of the same fabrics (scrappy blues) so I made both at once. I am feeling quite smug about being ahead of the game in one bee at least. It's offset by my being late with another. But in my defense, the fabric (thank you, Canada Post, she says sarcastically) didn't arrive til the 15th.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend! I spent today at swimming lessons for the kid then she and I went on an adventure to a quilt show. Fun!!


  1. Thanks for sharing your lightbulb moment! I really love that stacked block you worked on, it's been on my to-try list for a long time, thanks for reminding me! And I will definitely steer clear of the steam on my iron :)

  2. I've never used steam but it's been unintentional. I started quilting using a dry iron and just never went to steam as I was fairly happy with the results. Congrats on your beautiful blocks!

  3. I love those stacked books blocks (I just made some myself that I need to post!), and the advice to not use steam is brilliant. I realize that I often don't out of laziness (not refilling the iron) but now it can be intentional!

  4. I guess it works to my advantage then that I am too lazy to go refill my iron?

  5. I started pressing my seams open, and it really helps with te strip piecing! I pressed all of my strips open for my postage stamp quilt, and I was really happy with how straight everything stayed.

  6. I love your fabrics! My iron never has water in it so I am always pressing with a dry iron - but I do have a spray bottle with water in it for when I am pressing yardage.

  7. I HAVE noticed that a dry iron works better in general. Sometimes steam is still tempting, though, because it's quicker and makes seams so nice crisp! I like Katrina's idea of having a spray bottle handy.

  8. I think we're all president of the last minute club! I love your blue blocks.

  9. These blocks are wonderful! The colours of both sets just work so nicely and your piecing is lovely!


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