Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Checker {Bee Hive Block Tutorial}

Late last year, my friend Alyce asked me if I'd be interested in designing a block for her project called the Bee Hive. The Bee Hive is a year-long set of unique block tutorials, deliberately designed so that each block creates an interesting secondary when placed together - making them ideal for bee quilts. From the outset, I wanted to design a really simple but effective block, that would be achievable for beginner quilters (and fast and fun for more experienced quilters) but still create a really interesting quilt. The result was Checker, a very simple block to put together, but one with lots of possibilities in terms of colour and block rotation. If you happen to be choosing a block for a bee, I promise you your hive will LOVE you if you choose this block - it is ridiculously quick to make. Even better, it works best if you make two at a time, so you may well end up with extra blocks ;o)



I've drawn up a few mock quilt layouts so you can see what sort of secondary patterns you can create with this block. This is what straight set blocks look like (in a 6x6 block quilt). 


This is my favorite layout I think - in this one, alternate blocks have been rotated to create pinwheels.


 Once I'd made my block for the tutorial, I got a bit enthusiastic and decided to make a whole quilt using this block design, but reversing the neutral and coloured fabrics. I've made 9 blocks so far, using a bundle of rainbow solids and small prints for the sashing strips and a pile of grey and low volume fabrics for the HSTs and rectangles. I've been fairly randomly choosing the coloured strips so far - but I think I'll start planning the placement to create a rainbow effect through the sashing. I need to decide on which layout I'll go with though - and I'm really torn between the two below. I love the diamonds that emerge in the greys in this first layout.


But I also really love the diagonal lines created with this layout.


Which would you choose? Either way I think it will be a fun quilt to quilt - and it's going to be a 6x6 layout so I have a way to go. Don't get used to this two posts in two days business either, I'm pretty sure it won't happen again for a while! Having said that, I'll be back to working on my Aviatrix tomorrow so I'm hoping I'll have some progress to share on that one soon! There might even be another post this week ;o)

xx Jess



14 comments:

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

What a really fun and interesting block, Jess! I love the version you made and am personally drawn to the diamonds that emerge in the background of the first photo!

Molli Sparkles said...

Does it really need to be said? Oh, okay! Give me diamonds or give me death! They also make the sashing strips have a more interesting repeat. Shine on!

Lisa J. said...

The second design has really interesting stars that emerge. It's a great block Jess.

Karen said...

I'm voting for diamonds, but both are great. I like the greys in the background better than the colored background alternative. I'm glad you made the blocks that way because I am so much more inspired seeing both colorways.

Karen said...

I didn't see Lisa's stars until I was almost ready to close the page. It would be fcool to emphasize just one of them by doing a nearly-black for the darker value side of the HSTs. Such an interesting block!

Kim B. said...

It's just crazy to me how you can make completely different-looking quilts out of the same blocks. I know that is basic quilting knowledge, but every time I see it shown like in your diagrams or blocks, it blows my mind.

I just love love love the colors in your first sample block.

ES said...

Love the coloured sashing! Love the first lay out!! Love love love!

Shasta Matova said...

I agree with Kim that it is just amazing how many different designs this block can make. I vote for the diamonds. I feel like my eyes are dancing around going back and forth looking at the diamonds and pinwheels and having a good time.

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Interesting new bee block, I like it!

Peta - SheQuiltsAlot said...

It's a fabulous block Jess. Love it!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

This is really beautiful, Jess!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Oh ... and I like the second one the best.
I like order :-P

SIMPLESEW said...

great block I am in the Bee Hive and want to use your block for my month.. Is it ok if I show your samples, given your permission . I will like all of them back to you for sure. I want to make a baby quilt. thank you

kt cos said...

Great block Jess. I prefer the diamonds that form. Love the rainbow sashing.