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Portland, OR


Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Surrounded by Scraps

The bee blocks are back!

Linda Nussbaum

Thursday was a good day in the sewing room. Got a lot done. Too bad it started out with a 2.5 liter jug of water spilling out in the back of my car on my way to the studio. But, at least that gave me a reason to use the towel from my gym bag!

My main objective was bee blocks. This year I am participating in 4 online bees (though one finishes in a couple of months): Friends + Fabric round 2, do. Good Stitches Bliss Circle, Design Camp 2 [Think outside the block} and the new Simply Solids. Wowzers!

Yesterday I was able to get 2 1/2 of those checked off.

F+F2 - Cross / Plus Blocks


There was a little confusion at first as to what scale we were supposed to make our 12.5" blocks. I went with my gut, which as it turns out was not what our queen bee this month had in mind. However, apparently due to the discussion this brought up, she showed immense adaptability and openmindedness and said she'd be happy with either scale.

Being that what she initially had had in mind were single 12.5" blocks with a single plus / cross, I decided to go ahead and make 2 of those guys as well - easy peasy!


Now, her color choices were interesting to me - she requested "low volume" prints with just a splash of color. This was the first of two times this week I've read the term "low volume" in the context of quilting, and honestly it's the first I've ever heard at all in that context. Am I out of a trend loop or something?? (it certainly wouldn't be the first time!)

do. Good Stitches - Bliss - US Flag blocks


Chris posted these AWESOME hand-drawn instructions on our group page, and though I'm not too into the representational blocks, I have to give her props for this one! I did kind of take the easy road and use star fabric in the corner instead of making a star block at that scale (4"), and as you can see, I decided to go a little more modern and whimsical on one while going not-quite-traditional on the other. Hope these work for her!

Design Camp 2 - Scrappy Stripes


Shelley selected and sent out the background fabrics and asked us to use scraps for the pieced parts without taking into account the background colors. And let me tell you, she chose some GORGEOUS and RICH colors for this quilt! Looks like I'll be redoing that blue one soon, but wanted to check in with Shelley first, since it sounded like she was hoping to keep the size of the background pieces pretty consistent, so I might be in a pickle. But other than that little blip, these guys were definitely a fun excercise and a great way to make a dimple in the basket of my teeny scraps.

I am still waiting for the fabric bundle for the Simply Solids bee, but technically that doesn't start until February, so the fact that so many of the groups are posting projects already just shows how excited we all are for this new bee!!

I guess that pretty much sums things up for now. Next step is to pack up and send off the ones that are complete and then I'll REALLY feel like I've accomplished something! So here's a question for you all - with all of the great tutorials out there on the internet, and the fact that so many of the quilters who do the online bees tend to take part in multiple ones, do you ever get tired of any of the requested blocks? This is something I'm struggling with right now as I think about what quilts I want to request when my turn is up as "queen bee" in my respective groups. Food for thought.