Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bees and WIP's

Midsummer's Eve is a big celebration in Latvia so when I was looking for inspiration for my first block in the Star of Africa Bee for June, it seemed ideal to try and think of something that might represent the holiday. The celebrations associated with Midsummer have their roots in pagan times, so revolve around being in the country and include such things as washing your face in the morning dew (apparently good for the skin, but I have yet to try it!) and eating a special cheese containing caraway seeds (much more my style).

During the festivities, which involve lots of singing and dancing, young girls wear national costume and flower garlands in their hair. The celebrations also involve leaping over fires and drinking beer, as you can imagine very painful injuries are not uncommon! You can see photos of the costumes here

I decided to make my first Bee block a representation of these flower garlands using EPP hexagons to represent the garland. We were asked to make an 8.5" block so the garland was necessarily small, next time I think I might try a Dresden plate block as I have just bought an Ez-Dresden ruler and can't wait to try it out:)

I am waiting to find out whether we should add a signature to our blocks before sending this off.

As I was in the mood for Bee blocks I decided to get the July blocks for the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee sorted too. This month the colour for the blocks is blue, which I was fairly sure I had plenty of scraps in, and it turned out I was right.

Although these blocks are very straightforward to do, they seem to take me much longer than they should and I have now realised why!

This very untidy bag is what I plough through every time I am looking for scraps! I really need to do something with them, so I am looking for ideas. How do you organise your scraps so that you don't spend more time than you need to looking for that piece of brown fabric that you know is there somewhere?

Don't forget to check out tomorrow's posts in the Lets Get Acquainted Blog Hop from Sarah  and Catherine

As it is Wednesday again, here's how my current project list looks
Completed projects

  • Shades of Green, Fleur Bleu, Checkered Heart, Orange and Reindeer cushions
  • Orphan Block needle roll, Pieced Arc Tea towel, Purse and Padded Hangers Tutorial
  • Sunflower and Sew Happy QAL quilt
  • Play mini-quilt challenge quilt 
  • Patchwork Block Bag  
  • Dragon Bag

  • 6 blocks of In Color Order HST BOM 
  • (Almost) Irish Chain quilt basted
  • 8 Zakka-style SAL projects completed
  • First border of teatime quilt completed
  • 5 blocks of NY Beauty QAL completed and fabric cut for remaining 5 blocks
  • 12 blocks of Craftsy BOM completed (on schedule)  
  • Yellow rainbow cushion waiting to be appliqued 
  • In the Bag Ugly Fabric challenge fabrics arrived waiting for inspiration!
  • 4 Summer Quilt Bee blocks completed
  • 1 Star of Africa Bee block completed


  • Indigo and violet rainbow cushions
  • Last block of Sampler quilt
  • Amy Butler bag
  • Bag Making Bible Fashionista Bag
  • Christmas mini quilts 

At long last my waiting list is getting smaller! Hope you are having a productive week too.

Happy July 4th too!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday


  1. Your Bee block is lovely! Love how you've chosen to represent Latvia.

    I'm no help on storing scraps. Half mine are mixed in with fabrics and half shoved in plastic bags. I don't even know where I draw the line between scrap and stash. Hopeless aren't I!!

  2. Love your bee blocks, especially the story behind the first one!

    I store all my folded scraps by color in gallon Ziploc bacs. I put all the bags in open bins. The bins worked out great because they are the perfect width for the bags and the perfect length for my shelves. Right now my scraps only take two bins, so that works for the moment! I have a ton of blue too, it is the only color that takes up two bags!

  3. Love your flower garland, Fiona! I had to Google EPP... what it stands for, not how to do it... LOL!!! Did you join in the fire leaping?

    I store my scraps in Glad snap lock bags and put the bags in a square basket on my shelves... easy to see at a glance what's in there.

  4. Love the block, Fiona!! Beautiful story behind it as well. Could use some helpful suggestions on what to do about signatures! it's not something I had even thought about!

  5. Fab bee blocks, love the blues ones. My scraps are stored a bit like yours, I keep intending to get them into some sort of order but haven't quite got there yet.

  6. I keep my scraps by colour in ziploc bags so I can see what's in them.

    The blocks look great, although I think you should have tried interpreting the drunken fire jumping, I think you were just being lazy ;o)

  7. They all look very intricate and pretty!

    As for storing scraps...I may suffer from the same issue. I have a huge laundry bag I made for myself when I went to uni which now I've left has become a giant fabric scrap bag.

  8. Your hexies are great and fit perfectly with your inspiration! As far as scraps...well mine are all in a bag too and they were scattered all over the floor today as worked to catch up on my Craftsy blocks. I have been thinking about getting sm-med size plastic baskets, one for each color on the color wheel and put all the baskets on a shelf or two and sort that way -- I seen it in a book and thought it would work pretty well. Now do I have the baskets or shelf yet, no but at least its on the radar! ;)

  9. Great bee blocks! I bought a bunch of clear containers with lids and sort my scraps by color, makes for much easier sorting!

  10. Congrats on "beeing" the first one in our little hive to have completed the block! The hexies look cute! I am still in the thinking process ;-)
    Dont ask me about organizing fabric. My place is a total mess!

  11. But I did buy clear plastic containers at IKEA with lids on them (just like Jessica). They come in many different sizes. Are there IKEAs in Latvia?

    1. No IKEA's in Latvia, our nearest is Helsinki!

  12. I love your blue block and your floral hexie :-) I'm still trying to figure out fabric storage myself ;-)

  13. Great bee blocks and I love the story behind your garland hexies, I have no clue about how to organise scraps. I continually sort mine in various ways and then they mix themselves up again as soon as my back is turned!

  14. I cut all my left overs ino strips. I aim for 2.5 inches, and thy go ino one drawer, then all the thinner ones go into another drawer. Bonnie hunter's blog has great suggestions for scrap sorting. Mshe includes squares too, but I was happy to limit mysel to strips - 2.5 is great for binding, small hexies and scrappy jelly roll race quilts as well as log cabin, so that'll do me

  15. Your bee block is beautiful, and very representative of your inspiration for the wreaths. How interesting is to know the customs of other countries through our hobby.

  16. I keep my scraps separated by colors, in plastic baskets, on a shelf over my sewing place. It seems Taryn and Pam's way of storing them in zippered plastic bags is great, I'll give it a try.

  17. I store mine by colour also - large clear plastic boxes for fabric and zippered plastic bags for smaller scraps. I also have a zippered bag for all my selvedge edges. Loving the flower garland block :)


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