Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Gridster Bee: Paper Pieced Honey Bee Block Instructions

May is my month to be "Queen Bee" for the Gridster Bee and I'm going literal with this one.  I am asking for Honey Bee blocks.

The first step in this adventure will be to visit this link for the pattern by Piece by Number.  Download the pattern to your computer.  I am asking for a 10" finished block.  To do this the pattern will need to be printed at 166%.  Or you can print regular size and have it enlarged at a copy center.  There are some helpful tips on the pattern page itself in regards to printing the size needed.

*EDITED* Bee members, you will get the pattern emailed directly to you

Bee bodies should be brown and yellow.  Any shade of brown and yellow will do, small prints are OK.  Just keep in mind to have the bee contrast with the background fabric you choose.

Wings: White, white on white, cream on white, grey on white, even silver on white.

Background:  Any range of the purples, blues, indigos, violets would be lovely.  The background doesn't have to be a floral. (the bee on top has feathers)  Try to avoid backgrounds with large sections of white, so that the bee wings will stand out from the background.

Let's make a bee!

I am still fairly new to the paper piecing world - so these are just the things that I do to help me along.
1. I print out two copies of the pattern.

2. I like to color my pieces so I have a good idea what goes where.

3. Then I cut out all the pieces.
4. I pin them, word side up to the wrong side of the fabric.

5. Cut generously around each piece and then lay them out in numerical order.  Generous is most important here on the pieces that end up on the outside of the block.  Skip to step 9 for an explanation.

6. Begin stitching the pieces in order on the second pattern that was printed.

(true confession: I didn't know you were supposed to fold back and trim 1/4 inch after sewing the seams until Nancy's amazing instructions.  Changed my life.  I actually like paper piecing now)

7. After the head and the body have been pieced, trim 1/4 inch along the lines where the head and body attach.  DO NOT TRIM THE SIDES OF THE BLOCK YET

 8. Attach head and body.
 9. BEFORE YOU TRIM: DO NOT MEASURE 1/4 INCH FROM EACH LINE AND THEN CUT.  It will not come out to a 10.5" block.  It won't.  Trust me and my four practice blocks.  Just use a ruler to center the block and trim it to 10.5".  Don't worry about perfection here, they are bees, they don't need to line up perfectly.

10. Embroider the antennae.  You can do this with a machine satin stitch or by hand.  Which ever you feel happier doing.  I did machine satin stitch because it was faster.  If you choose to do it by machine, leave the paper on.  Use black thread and set your machine to a reasonable sized satin stitch.
 This is what it looked like on my Viking.  I'm not going to be picky if yours is a little wider or a little narrower.
 Do be sure you are stitching from the top, this photo is just to show you how the paper was left on to stabilize the stitching.  Now you can remove the papers.
If you embroider by hand - remove paper first and use either perle cotton or embroidery thread to stitch antennae.  A back stitch, stem stitch, or satin stitch would be fine.  Again - I'm not too picky.


And that's it.  Hopefully not too hard.  I can't wait to see the variety of bees that come flying my way.

*EDITED* Please include a signature block - thank you.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 This is the bee that I made for my sampler quilt.  (sans antennae in the picture.  she has them now)


Needled Mom said...

These are going to be so cute!

OPQuilt said...

I hope you are having a blast, celebrating your birthday. I'm going to be creating a fun bee for you while you are gone...bzzzzz!

Afton Warrick said...

Are you requesting one block or two?

Afton Warrick said...

Oh no! I completely combed #9, #10, and remembering a signature block. I'm so sorry!

Unknown said...

È possibile ricevere il pattern dell' ape?

Unknown said...

Please can i get a copy of the bee pattern the link is not working thank you Jenny Smirnov

Skiptonius said...

Just letting you know that the link to the pattern no longer works. :-)