the $2,000 bee block + a tutorial

interesting title, i know, but stick with me and it will all make sense

awhile ago i participated in the 2014 new quilt blogger blog hop (say that three times fast)

through that adventure, i met a lovely group of ladies, and accidentally got signed up for both a bee group, and a round robin group, but i love them both very much, and am so glad i did!

i’m so excited, because january is my month to be queen, and i have been anxiously awaiting my turn since we started back in june.

i have literally been saving and sketching ideas for months, trying to pick the perfect one. i took a poll, and the majority of the members did not feel comfortable with paper piecing, so that cut out a lot of my ideas right away.


it’s a lot of fun, but also a lot of pressure. you have this one chance to get 8 talented ladies to help you essentially cut your work load down tremendously. they also share their precious stash of hoarded fabrics on your blocks, so you know they really do love you 🙂

one thing i knew for sure, was the the color scheme i wanted to use. i ran across this picture on instagram


then quickly pulled from my own personal stock pile


as you can see, i love black, white and gray…and “true blue” or “cobalt blue.” (my rug even matches, lol)

i also like low volume prints, or large scale prints…i don’t really have much in between. the patterns are also very geometric and/or simple, such as polka dots and stripes.

about a month ago i really thought i had narrowed down my selection, until i discovered this gem on etsy


it was love at first sight! and it was almost my color palette, what are the odds?!

can you believe this quilt measuring only 48 inches square is selling for $2,000?! (now you see where the name of this post originated from? i told you it would all make sense lol)

although math was never really my forte, i have gotten pretty good at quilty math, and knew i could draw up this pattern with ease. it’s a bit larger than any of the blocks my group has made so far, but i don’t anticipate that being a problem. there are basic squares in the block, so the most work will really come from the hst’s/flying geese.

i don’t have any fancy designing programs, so after first drawing it on graph paper, i whipped this up on the computer using microsoft word, and paint, lol

*this tutorial was written for the ladies in my bee, but i figured i could share it with everyone while i was at it*

before i begin, i have to tell you that i hate flying geese, because i stink at them. therefore, i always just use two half square triangles put together. you can do whichever method you prefer. obviously hst’s are more work, but i can get them to be perfect, and i have a touch of ocd, so yea. i also make my hst’s a whole inch bigger to begin with, so i know for sure i will have adequate trimming room; again, you don’t have to do this if you are better at it than me and don’t want to waste the fabric. (just remember to make your adjustments to the pattern below accordingly)

bee blockhere is the breakdown

16.5 inches unfinished/16 inches finished

i used 14 different fabrics, a combination of solids and patterned (you don’t have to follow the color placement exactly as i did, i just needed a starting point)

fabrics 1-4 are the corner squares 4.5″

fabric 5 is the center block, also measuring 4.5″

fabric 6 is the background of the center sawtooth star, cut (4) 2.5″ squares for the corner blocks

from fabrics 5 & 6 cut (4) 3.5″ squares. combine them to make (8) 2.5″ hst blocks

fabrics 7 & 8 are the top flying geese/hst’s

fabrics 9 & 10 are the right border of flying geese

fabrics 11 & 12 are the bottom flying geese

fabrics 13 & 14 are the left border of flying geese

for all of these borders repeat cutting (4) 3.5″ squares, and combining them to make (8) 2.5″ hst blocks

in total you will need 4 sets of 4.5″ x 2.5″ flying geese

(if you prefer to make flying geese, here is a tutorial with cutting instructions for the measurements we need)

hopefully this will help you visualize it a little better

block instructions

here are the sub units before piecing


and finally, here is my example block all put together


i do prefer for the seams to be pressed open, as i have enough trouble lining them up as is…sad but true

please let me know if you have any questions…my quilty math makes sense to me, but i have never had to explain it to others before

i can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

❤ xtina

ADDENDUM:  thanks to the ladies in my bee, an error was brought to my attention. the sets of flying geese should rotate around the block in a clockwise direction. oopsie! here is the updated diagram, and corrected block as well

bee blockwpid-img_20150218_204631.jpg