July 13, 2011

Bee Blocks: Trial Runs

I decided to try out a couple of blocks for upcoming bees: the famous [3x6] bee, and its new sister bee, 4x5.

I'm glad I did, because there were, well, issues.

That's the star block I made, and... I don't even know what to say about it. I'd pictured it differently in my head, and so of course it's my own fault for not following my vision more carefully. Needless to say, I've started this one over.

The Left and Right block, which you may know from Quilter's Cache, may look promising, but it was a little fiddly. The main problem was that I make paper piecing templates out of tracing paper, which comes in 9" x 12" sheets. For each quarter, I used a 6" square of tracing paper, cutting two from each sheet in an attempt not to be wasteful. But to get a the 12.5" square block that's the requisite size for bees, I really needed 6.5" quarter blocks, and adding a .25" seam allowance to all sides is actually pretty tricky when angles are involved.

But since I'm happy with the way it came together, I think I'll use it for the next round of the [3x6] bee. Only I'll go easy on myself, reducing each quarter template to 4.5" and adding a bit of a border. Stay tuned for another trial block.

In the meantime, even though these aren't so perfect, they are giving me a head start on some sampler quilts!