I signed up to another Instagram swap “Bee Still My ♥ ” which had a bee theme to it. As soon as I saw this swap I wanted to be involved as I knew exactly what I would make, a mini quilt that is on the cover of Little Quilts designed by Sarah Fielke. I’ve always wanted to make this but never had the need too. My version is a little different to Sarah’s. Sarah has pieced the front of her quilt with hexies and has a single piece of fabric backing, I however have a one piece of fabric on the front and have a hexie pieced back.
I used my Big Shot to cut out the hexie papers and fabric. Due to the size of dies I had my hexies were smaller than in the pattern and I used more. My swap partner liked blue and green and I was lucky to find honeycomb fabric in both colour tones so I used only these 2 fabrics to make the piece. Originally I was going to have the pieced hexies on the front like the original pattern but when it came to tracing on my bee stitchery I couldn’t see through the fabric even over my lightbox with the house in darkness so I had to decide on a plan B. I’d already pieced the fabric so I really wanted to use it in this mini so I decided to use this as the backing.
I’m actually glad my plan A never worked as I really like the bee stitching on the tone on tone hive fabric. It’s so simple yet but really effective. The bee is hand back stitched using 2 strands of floss with the wings on the veins done with single thread. To quilt this I wanted to frame the stitchery in a hexagon so I used an acrylic template to trace around it. I then repositioned the template tracing out the shape over the entire piece using the centre hexagon as a guide. I marked it with a frixon pen (the same way I marked out the stitchery) I didn’t think it would be enough quilting to so I used a smaller size hexagon to trace out an inner line in each one. I used a Rasant thread that matched the fabric. I wanted the quilting to blend into the background. The binding is some pre-made bias I brought at the June craft show. I took fabric swatches with me to get a colour that matches. I found a tutorial by the Haby Goddess on how to sew curved binding as I’ve never done it before. I struggle with regular binding let alone curves. I followed advice from the tutorial, took my time and it was actually easy.
Looking at it I can’t believe I actually made this. It has turned out better than I imagined it would. The quilting on the front mimics hive fabric. I kept the bee stitchery simple. The best thing was I had fun doing this project. It was a combination of hand work, machine work, learning new skills, problem solving. I gave myself plenty of time and I didn’t rush this. My swap partner really likes it and I got to make a pattern I’d wanted to make.