The Crystal Crown – February #TheHoneyPotBee Mod

After the very positive response my modification of the #SewRoyalBlock got on #TheHoneyPotBee Facebook group, I asked Molli about the idea of sharing the pattern for it and got an extremely supportive thumbs-up, so here it is – a foundation-pieced band of glittering jewels to adorn your crown.  Rainbows optional, but fabulous!

You will need:

  • The pdf of the pattern, found here
  • Molli Sparkles’ pattern for the #SewRoyalBlock, found here
  • Your usual sewing paraphernalia
  • Fabric for the “diamonds”
    • approx. 3″ x 2″ scraps work well for this; note that the central diamond is longer than the others!
  • Fabric for the background
    • a 5″ strip cut from a fat quarter should be more than enough
    • cut two 1″ x 4″ strips from your background fabric before you start foundation piecing
  • A rotary cutter, cutting mat and quilting ruler
  • Clover wonder clips or similar (optional, but they do make life SO much easier!)

All seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted. Familiarity with the foundation-piecing technique is assumed.

Assembly

First, download the pdf of the paper pattern and print it out. Seam allowances are already included in the pattern and do not need to be added.

IMPORTANT!  Make sure that you print the pattern in landscape format with no scaling or at 100%, and use the 1″ square to make sure that the block has printed at the right size, or it will not fit the #SewRoyalBlock!

Cut out sections A-G and note the piecing order and layout as shown in the coloured diagram. Piece 1 in each section is the coloured diamond; all other pieces are the background fabric.

Piece the sections using your preferred foundation-piecing method, then join them in the order A>B>C>D>E>F>G. The clips are really helpful for holding sections together and flat as you join them. Do not remove the paper until the entire #SewRoyalBlock is completely assembled.

Take the two 1″ x 4″ rectangles of background fabric and join them to the short edges of your jewelled band as shown below. Use the ruler and rotary cutter to trim the strips level with the top and bottom of the band (see diagram).

Your finished band should measure 3″ high and 8-1/2″ long.

Now, get on over to Molli’s place and follow the instructions there to assemble your #SewRoyalBlock, using your jewelled band in place of the horizontal gold-and-purple band.

Stand back and admire your beautiful new crown!  🙂

Jars and a Crown

Yup, more Honey Pot Bee blocks!  I shook off some work yesterday and spent the afternoon happily making Quilter’s Pantry blocks to, imo, good effect:

This is the one I’m keeping – I couldn’t resist pairing up these two novelty fabrics like this!  Here it is next to the Strawb:

Not totally sure where this is going, but if nothing else, I’ll end up with a number of blocks that I can use in smaller projects if I like and I’ll have had fun making things I might not have otherwise.  That’s a win in my book.  🙂

The jars were so much fun to make, in fact, that I decided to make more and put them together into two little tops for Project Linus:

They’re intended for premie babies and babies in ICU, so they really don’t want to be too big.  Now, however, I am trying very hard to shake off a mental image of a larger baby quilt with lots of different shapes and sizes of jars to play “eye spy” with.  And I totally don’t have enough novelty-type fabric for that.  *sits firmly on hands*

While I was playing with my jars, Molli smacked us all with another Wild Card block – the rather glorious Sew Royal block – because what’s a bee hive without a Queen (or several!) and what’s a Queen (or King) without a crown?  A challenge was also issued – take this crown and make it your own.  Challenge accepted, my friend!

I woke up Inkscape and marked out a rectangle for the band of the crown, thinking that some foundation piecing and diamond shapes were in order.  After some fiddling, I ended up with a band of off-set diamond or kite shapes I was happy with:

Once I had the foundation-piecing sections marked up, I printed them out and got piecing.  I used two diamond prints from Jennifer Sampou’s Shimmer 2 for the points of the crown, and a third dotty Shimmer 2 print for the band because I didn’t want a directional print in all that foundation piecing!  I think this crown may end up going with my RSC17 blocks, so I used Kona Graphite for the background:

The scraps of colour were just that – scraps I dug out of my recently sorted baskets and arranged in colour order to make sure they flowed well before I pieced the sections.  I still rethought my red and purple choices during assembly, though.

In general, I think it came out ok.  There was one lil hiccup, but I saved it and I don’t think it’s obvious to the casual observer so I’m certainly not going to point out what it was.  You get an Internet Cookie if you guess, though.  😉  (Or possibly a Welsh cake, since I made a bunch of them yesterday.)

See my side-bar for link-up buttons!  🙂

Bleen and Grue!

No, not a number between six and seven and a thing you are likely to be eaten by.  I’m talking about turquoise, aqua, blue-green, green-blue, aquamarine, seafoam, teal, cyan, cerulean – the colours that lie in the spectrum between “true” green and blue.  They can be awkward to work with sometimes, but I love them anyway.

This is February’s RSC17 colour, and to continue on with my plan of combining two sewing challenges into one I chose use it to make one of February’s Honey Pot Bee blocks, the lovely Star Kisses by Fi of Living Cloth.  Turns out that I have lots more of this colour group than I thought, so much so that I ended up further splitting it away from the blue and green baskets I put together a few weeks ago.  I need more baskets, dammit!

Once I’d gathered all my teal-ish scraps together, I carefully sorted them into three broadly similar piles.  Then I said, “Oh sod it,” and jumbled them all up again to make my blocks.  Larger or more distinctive prints were used for the feature squares and the other colours were used for the smaller squares and flying geese corners.  Once again, my Shimmer 2 left-overs played a significant part thanks to having a number of gorgeous prints in this colour family.

To continue my theme of adding in a contrast colour, I dug out a slightly corally pink blender (not actually the one I had in mind, but the only one I had enough of to make what I wanted) and threw it at some of the star corners to add some punch and variety.  When rootling around for fabrics, I also uncovered a big chunk of Tula Pink’s Chipper fox print left over from making a tee-pee and was overjoyed to find that foxy fitted neatly into a 3.5″ square, so I couldn’t resist doing this:

The pink of the blender is just about close enough to the pink on the fox for it to work well, and the background is teal.  Clearly Tula knows her colour wheel too, lol!  The blocks went together really well despite my cavalier approach of not bothering to draw diagonal lines on the flying geese squares.  I just trusted the Pfaff to sew straight and aimed it at the opposite corner.  It worked pretty well!

Initially, however, I wasn’t wholly sure about the first fox-free block I made, but after I looked at it from a distance and after a night’s sleep (and next to the purple Starflower blocks from last month), I decided that I do love it and am very happy with the way both blocks have turned out:

I’m really enjoying how this is going so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how this more “modern” rainbow sampler ends up.  I’ll keep on making two blocks each month for this project and keep adding in quirks through the use of the contrast colour.  Tomorrow I plan to make several of the other Honey Pot blocks for February, the Quilter’s Pantry block by Adrianne at On The Windy Side.  I don’t have all that many “novelty” prints, but I’m going to make the best of what I’ve got.  🙂

Roll on March!  😀

For any link-ups I join, see my side-bar for the buttons and schedule.

Honey and Rainbows

I’m kind of eyeball deep in cracking the piecing of the mini swap quilt (and, ummm, keeping up with the day job), but I decided to take a cheeky afternoon today to limbo under the January deadlines for two online quilt bees – the 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge and the Honey Pot Bee.

The idea behind joining both these follow-along projects is to make me use more of my scraps – and it seems to be working so far!  And yeah, I am totally merging them to kill two quilty birds with one patchwork stone.  😉

The Honey Pot blocks for January (there are two each month, picked by two different people each time) were Strawberry and Starflower.  I also joined the Facebook group, and have been blown away (and rather intimidated!) by some of the examples people have come up with.  However, finally I rounded up some suitable scraps and made my own versions of these blocks.  Here’s my Strawberry (I decided I only wanted to do the small version):

It’s supposed to look like it’s ripening, but I’m not sure how apparent that really is!  It came out quite traditional in appearance, and made me dip into some very chintzy Moda prints that I got in a scrap pack some time ago.  I’m not sure about the use or positioning of that stripey shot cotton, but I CBA to unpick it – it stays!

I’ve already decided that I’m likely to end up with (at least) two quilts after this exercise – one that’ll be more scrappy-happy like the Strawb and one that will be slanted towards the RSC17 theme, that is, whatever the current month’s colour is on a Kona Graphite background.  Speaking of, here are my Starflower blocks:

I didn’t originally intend to add yellow here, but when cutting my purples I found I’d miscounted and only grabbed seven – instead of having another rootle in the purple basket, I thought it might be more interesting to chuck in a complementary colour for one blade of the star and the Shimmer diamonds were begging to join in, so in they went!  Thankfully, the purple looks better against the Graphite than I feared it would – it’s a pretty dark grey and if I didn’t have 5 yards of it, I would probably be considering something a bit lighter.  However, I really like this and am half toying with the idea of sticking with Starflower as my RSC17 block and making them all like this – seven blades in the colour of the month, plus one in the complementary colour.  I think it might be interesting, but I might do a mock-up in Inkscape first to make sure.  Or I can stick with seeing what February’s Honey Pot blocks are and choosing the most appropriate to go along with the Starflowers.  Decisions, decisions!  And it looks like Molli’s just posted the blocks for Feb, so I’m gonna go have a read and a ponder.  🙂