Mini Monochromatic Bee Blocks

Instead of two larger blocks, Ellyn asked us to make a pile of mini blocks in clear, bright colors for her August prompt. I chose three of the four colors that she assigned us, based on what was plentiful in my fabric stash. She asked for oranges, blues, aquas, and yellows. I didn't have enough variety in true blues, so I stuck with the other three. "Piecing can be any improv technique you like... anything goes!" A true opportunity to play!

The first thing I did was pull fabrics, anything from a small scrap up to yardage. I started with all my smallest bits as I began piecing.

I'm a chain piecer whenever possible. I like to pair up a bunch of fabrics and then line them up at the machine to sew many seams in one go.

Sometimes I have a plan for what will go on after the current seam. In the case of the block above, the right edge is the seam I'm about to put through the machine (top view on the left, bottom view on the right). I have pinned on the next two pieces I'm adding on to this triangular center to keep the pieces together. This helps me stay organized, even when I am working on many blocks at once. After I sew the seam on the right edge, I'll unpin my extra pieces at the ironing board to press my seam and then this block goes back in the queue to attach one of the light orange pieces next.

Ta da! I made Ellyn twenty 4 1/2 inch blocks. That orange triangle block from below is in the bottom left corner.

This is one of my favorites. Often the piecing in random improv blocks is dictated by the shape of my scraps and I love seeing what happens.

The best part of a prompt like this for me is that the finished units all look cohesive, but if you look closely you can see the personality of each maker in the design decisions they made in their piecing.

Ellyn has already put together her quilt top!

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