I pulled out my honeybee blocks the other day. The quilt was planned for my daughter, Melissa, whose name means “honeybee”. It has become a UFO that I need to finish this year. I first started the quilt as an idea for a quilt challenge put on by JoAnn fabrics, planning to make the quilt for my daughter as a wedding gift. She celebrated her third anniversary last week. That’s what caused me to pull out the blocks and revisit the project. She asked me when I was going to finish her wedding quilt.
A honeybee block is a 9-patch bordered with side and corner squares. Then, shapes of a bee body and wings are appliqued at each corner. Check out this link to McCall’s Quilting for a free Honeybee block pattern. I expanded on the idea and placed twenty different 9-patch patterns in the center. I chose a paisley fabric in pink as the main fabric, then added a solid patterned pink similar to the color from my daughter’s wedding. A lighter pink is also in some of the blocks to add contrast. Two shades of green fabrics with leafy designs were used in the block borders and a multi-colored stripe for the bee body with beige wings. All the fabrics are from a Susan Winget Legacy Studio collection that was purchased at JoAnn Fabrics.
Here is my first block in the traditional pattern. I added buttons in the corners to represent the bee’s head. It also covers up any imperfections in my applique points. I have a few bees to finish appliqueing, so this project has become my take-along project. It’s a lot easier to carry along than the Rose of Sharon quilt study project that I need to finish. The Rose of Sharon blocks are spread out on my sewing table and I would rather not fold everything up into a small bag to carry with me. Instead, it is my stay at home sewing project.
Here are sixteen of the blocks in a straight set. Four other blocks would be set in the corners of a wide border.
Here are the blocks in a diagonal set. This would require side setting and corner setting triangles and only two additional blocks. The set would allow for a larger quilt while only having to make one more block.
I haven’t decided how I will set the blocks together. My initial plan had the straight set and planned elaborate applique borders. But, now I am thinking that I just need to finish the quilt. The last four blocks have not been pieced, but they are cut out. I would also have to prepare all the honeybees. I will have to think about this while I finish appliqueing the last block that is already stitched.
I also could add sashing between the blocks, but kinda like the look of the four bees where the blocks intersect.
Quilters always like to get the opinion of others when putting together a quilt. So, what do any of you think? Straight set? Diagonal set? Sashing? Wide borders with applique? What fabric in the borders? I have lots of fabric to use in this quilt and plan to use the striped bee fabric on the back. Still lots of paisley, green and beige fabrics.
Share your ideas!