Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Pink Quilting Bee 2018

What an adventure it has been! Last year I was lucky to be invited to join a group of wonderful girls to go on a year-long adventure - the Quilting Bee. I had no idea what it was and how it really worked, but after reading some history information behind it and some blogs, I thought that it was a wonderful opportunity to help all 11 girls make a quilt each and get help making my own pink quilt along the way. I am so grateful that the girls picked me for this project and let me use my stash for sewing for them.

Each months one of the Quilting Bees picked a particular block and sent us the instructions and colour preferences and then it was up to us to pick the fabrics from our own stashes, sew the block and send it to the Queen Bee. It was fun going through my stash each month and pulling the fabrics that I felt were right for each and every block. Even though I felt quite scared at the very start of this adventure, I am happy I joined the group and got to know the Instagram girls much better. So let me show you all the 12 beautiful blocks that I have made during 2018.

January. This block is called "Circle of Friends" and was picked by Dawneika @dawneika for her pink quilt. Such a wonderful name to start our journey! A perfect pink splash and a touch of aqua. I have to tell you that when I first saw this block, I felt intermediated - so many tiny pieces! But once I realised that they were just squares and rectangles, I felt much better. It turned out that sewing this block was easy and fun. 

February. What a beautiful and unusual choice to continue the Quilting Bee adventure. Gina of @partyofeightourstory made the perfect choice and I have to say it was pure joy putting this "Dresden" block together. I decided to finish the middle of the block with some hand embroidery of flowers and bees instead of just fabric.

March. Oh how I love strawberries! Sweet juicy berries that my grandparents used to grow in their garden. This block took me right back to my childhood. Jonna @bespokeoutlaw picked the "Strawberry" block for her pink quilt. Well, it's going to be such a yummy quilt! I tried my best fussy cutting all these cute prints and I absolutely love how it turned out. I want a strawberry quilt too! This block inspired me to take a small detour and play around with some strawberries and flowers and I put together a few blocks, that I am planning to turn into a quilt. But shhh...it's still a secret. :-)

April. The Queen Bee for this month was Vickie @crochetingvixen. She picked the "Scrappy Cross Roads" block that ticked all the boxes for my symmetrical mind. It has perfect symmetry and straight lines and the best mix of pinks, aqua and yellow. Fussy cuts always make me excited and I was thinking that this block would be a breeze, but it turned out to be challenging for me. I could not get my head around how to sew it until I made the four pointy parts on each side of the middle 16 piece panel. Once I placed them on my designing board, it was like a magic - all of a sudden everything fell into its place and I could see the entire block. The rest was easy. I really like this block.

May. Annika @snugglefriends picked the "Fancy Flower" block for her quilt. It's a darling block that would make a wonderful quilt. I had troubles picking the prints for this block and figuring out how to cut the fabrics. It took me a while until I realised that there was the second page with the instructions. :-) Once I saw it, everything went smoothly and the block came together nicely.

June. The Queen Bee for this month was Shannon @shannonquilts and her choice  was "A Scrappy Trip Around the World". What a great name for this quilting adventure! This block was fun! 49 pieces all together with some fussy cuts. When I saw that the pattern calls for 49 squares, I was scared. The number seemed huge, but once I started cutting the fabrics, it progressed quite fast.

July. This was my month to be the Queen Bee. I have to be honest and tell you that it took me almost six months to pick the block or the general design for my pink quilt. After a few tries and a lot of searching on the internet, I finally settled on this simple, but fun block that I saw on Instagram. It's called "Scrappy Happy1", but I call it "Bubble Gum" because it reminds me so much of Japanese gum wrappers from my childhood. I still need to make 8 more blocks for my quilt and I am leaning towards hand quilting, but I have no idea how long it would take me to complete this project.

August. The Queen Bee for this month was Kayla @kayladrorbaugh and she picked the "Stella Star" block. A lovely block that gives you an opportunity for fussy cutting. Pink and aqua and a touch of yellow always make me smile.

September. Kate @maisymakes76 was our Queen Bee for this month and she chose this delightful block that was fun to put together. Even though it had many small pieces, by this stage I was feeling much more confident and less panicky. Belle and Boo fabric always makes a wonderful accent pieces.

October. The most delicate combination of low volumes, pastel green and pastel pinks come together is this block called "Easy Flower" picked by Chiara @chia.poli that really reflects her style. This block was a breeze to sew and is very delicate and elegant. I am calling this block "Pure Delight" that't how I felt while working on it.

November. I wish real pineapples would come in all shades of pink. Can you just imagine that?! Yvonne @quiltydream was our Queen Bee and she made a great choice for her quilt. Just like the strawberry block, this block was fun and a perfect chance to pick all sorts of pinks and fussy cuts.

December. The most delicious block "Candy Cane Lane"picked by our Pink Quilting Bee coordinator Jennifer @crimsonconfection was the perfect choice to finish our year-long adventure and to celebrate Christmas. This delightful block would make a wonderful quilt to enjoy during the holiday season. While sewing this block, I fell in love with this pattern and now I really want a quilt full of candy canes for myself.

Well, maybe some time during this year I might start working on it, but for now I cannot wait to see all the quilts come together this year or maybe a bit later (talking about myself here). I just know that the girls would sew their quilts quickly and they all would look AMAZING. Go to Instagram and check out the #pinkquiltbee2018 hashtag to see all the other blocks made by girls. They are truly beautiful!

While enjoying this adventure, I have learned a few things about myself along the way:
  • I am not a quilter. Even though I enjoy sewing quilt blocks and making occasional small quilts, I tend to get more satisfaction from sewing small, quick projects that are mostly designed by me. I suppose I have to stay true to myself and sew what makes me happy, but at the same time challenge myself a little bit as well.
  • I cannot plan ahead. At all. Even when the pattern tells you exactly what and how to cut, I do it in steps or in my own way that does not always end well. I should practice more planning in my future sewing, trying to see the whole picture from the start.
  • I always feel a bit intermediate by new instructions and patterns, and feel like I won't be able to make it. I should just go for it and trust myself and keep on trying.

  • I tend to sew only when I am inspired. Inspired by the design, the fabric, the person I am sewing for, some fine details I have in mind. I have to be in the right mood for sewing. Hmm...this one is hard. I am not sure there is anything I can do about this.

  • I have to grow my low volume stash. The combination of white and a touch of grey/black mixed with any other colour really sparks joy for me. But I have to remember to buy only the prints that make me happy and I would be willing to use.

  • I enjoy sewing for others, but I have troubles parting with the things I make. Am I the only one who feels this way? :-) Well, I have to say that no matter how much I liked the small things I made for my friends, I still gave them away and felt good about it. So...give out more!

  • Oh! I have troubles with deadlines... it's so hard to be on time for me when I sew only when I feel inspired. Can I buy some sewing inspiration potion somewhere? :-)
Well, it's been a long post and if you are still reading...thank you so much for stopping by! Happy sewing adventures and inspirations, dear friends! Larisa xox


  1. These are all so beautiful, I especially love the strawberry block and all of the fussy cut centres in some of the others. I too prefer smaller projects and don't like new instructions, it felt like I was reading about myself. Happy sewing for 2019 x

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  3. What' lovely work! The idea of a block a month is good as it's reasonably achievable, I have done some that are just too time consuming and take over from everything else. the way you have analysed what you have learned is very brave and I identify with some of the points you make! so what's the challenge for this year?

  4. Every one of the blocks you made was so beautiful and sweet! Your sewing and stitching is amazing and you should not doubt your ability! All those adorable fussy cuts! You have a awesome stash I am thinking. It looks like so much fun to belong to a Bee group. I would be terrified to make blocks for such talented ladies tho. I agree with you on also wanting to keep everything I make but it is a wonderful feeling giving something that is made from the heart with love. Can't wait to see your finished quilt! Thanks for another lovely post!

  5. All of your blocks are beautiful and filled with your special touch and ❤️ love!

  6. Beautiful blocks! I really enjoyed reading this post as I can relate to so much! Sewing on a deadline is always so stressful, especially when it's for someone else! The fabric and colors are lovely and sweet, but then pink is my favorite color:)

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