Tackling some challenging blocks

Things came to a crunch this week with some very over due Bee blocks that could no longer be ignored, no matter how hard I tried.

One of the things I love about doing quilting Bees is that you are challenged, every month, to make different blocks and for me it is a good way to try new, non paper piecing stuff.   This month’s challenges included…

Texan star 2This block is 12 1/2 inches square and was requested as part of the ScrapBeelicious Bee.  When I first looked at the pattern I was a little overwhelmed, but I cut the squares as I was cutting fabric for another quilt and chain piecing made the process less daunting.

scrap bee blockThe pattern, Star Value by Happy Quilting, is perfect for a Bee, because you do not want to be making a whole quilt of these suckers.  The free tutorial also has the calculations to make the block in different sizes from 12 inches up to 28 inches.

Surprisingly, I had a much more harrowing experience making these Bee blocks…

Feather 2The ScrapBeelicious  January block (yes yes I am very very late with this one) challenged us to make the Ann Marie Horner’s Feather Blocks

Feather 1For some reason these were the blocks I had to unpick the most.  The center grey spine of the feather was too short and I struggled with getting the pattern pieces to align.  In the end I just wanted to make a paper piecing pattern to make this sucker… it would have been so much easier!

The last lot of Bee blocks for this week were a simple and fun….

Rainbow starMy February do.Good.Stitches Block was the Starflower block by Ellison Lane. This block was so easy and the pattern makes two blocks at a time… genius!

So I have now done my quota of half square triangles (HST) for the month. For the rest of the month I am only tackling those suckers via paper piecing.

29 thoughts on “Tackling some challenging blocks

  1. They turned out great! I absolutely love the feather! One day I will venture into a bee. It is on my list, but I always worry my stuff won’t be up to par for the others and don’t want that stress…but one day!

  2. I have struggled with those AMH feather blocks myself… I have a small stack done, and waiting for me to make more. I am SO impressed by those first blocks- all the tiny pieces! Well done!

  3. All your blocks are stunning. I actually picked up a set of laser cut pieces for the feather block a while ago, of course they havent been used but I thought they may make the challenge a bit easier 😉 Do think paper pieced would be far more enjoyable.

  4. OK, you’ve made up my mind for me! I was looking at the feather quilt and wondering how much work it would be. And it’s going to be too much. They’re beautiful, but for me, life is too short. I’d rather spend my time turning out teeny little epp clamshells, which is the plan for the next hand piecing project. And I love your happy sunflower!

  5. Lovely blocks especially the star value block, the colours are gorgeous! Glad you got there with the feather blocks, not something I’ve tried yet, but they always look so pretty.

  6. That top block would be a challenge for most people (my sewing group would have mutinied if set it) and I agree that a paper-pieced feather would be the way to go.
    Love the colours of all your blocks!

  7. Chuckling here. The Bee I was in ended up with a lot of paper pieced blocks and it drove me batty. I’ll do HSTs any day. Good we are all different; we keep different designers and pattern makers busy making us varied designs to follow.

  8. I am planning out my bee block for later in the year and planning on doing fairly straightforward block based on a 9-patch. Sure, the fussy blocks are gorgeous, but I find a simpler block gives a more consistent result.

  9. If you ever feel like making a paper pieced version of the feather, I WANT that pattern. I have printed out the original AMH version at least three times, but can never get it right and give up in despair. Your blocks are, as always, simply gorgeous. 🙂
    E xx

  10. I just discovered your blog and had a lovely time wandering around in your world. It was particularly interesting as I did my first paper pieced block as part of a bee I’m in. After so much avoidance, I was delighted at how exact and pretty the blocks turn out. Now I can look at your patterns and try a few more!

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