February 19, 2019

Red and Aqua Scrap Quilt

In late 2017 I decided to start a birthday bee block exchange. I'd seen them around Instagram and thought it looked like a really fun way to make friends and create scrappy quilts together, so I put out a call on IG and gathered 11 other ladies, some I "knew" and some I didn't. Natalie @smileyannn the organization queen assigned each person a month based loosely on birthdays, made a Google Doc with addresses, and each person picked a free block pattern and colors. I put together a Pinterest board of good Birthday Bee Quilt Block Options. I love what everyone picked! Each month in 2018, the birthday queen got all sorts of happy mail, it was the best.

For my block I chose to have the ladies help me add to my red and aqua 9 patch scrap quilt. I'd started it a long time ago but was far from achieving the size and scrappiness that I'd envisioned. I wanted it to look like something grandma made, where every fabric is different and you're not sure where it came from, which makes it just so mysteriously delightful. These ladies helped make it perfect!

Block: Simple 9-patch, finished size 6”

Fabric requirements: (9) 2.5” cut squares for each block-
Block A: 4 red and 5 white
Block B: 4 white and 5 aqua

Here are some of the other blocks that I loved making.

Fabric requirements:
28- 2.5” low volume squares
17- 2.5” pink or red squares
4- 2.5” half square triangles-- half red/pink and half low volume

-Blocks are 7 squares by 7 squares
-Squares are 2” finished (2.5” unfinished)
-Assemble based on the picture above

Two people chose the Fussy Cut Economy Block Pattern from Red Pepper Quilts. These were so much fun!

You can see Kristen's finished quilt here. So amazing!

My friend Sue Ellen chose the cute Modern Christmas Tree block. I didn't get a picture of the ones I sent her, but here is her finished quilt. Adorable!

Natalie chose my free hot air balloon pattern Rise. I really want to do that sew along again!

I didn't get pictures of all the blocks I sent out, and I don't think everyone has finished their tops yet, so I might have to share again another time. It was so much fun and I'm really grateful for the sweet ladies who participated with me. The even surprised me with a quilt for my baby boy born in June. It is such a treasure! It's backed in navy minky and still a very coveted quilt around here. 

Though I couldn't participate again this year, it's something I certainly hope to do again and again in the future. So much fun! It helped me to do all the things I love- try new blocks, sew for fun, finish something small and check it off, and send quilty packages!


  1. If you ever do that again, I'd love to participate. Your red and aqua quilt is just lovely!

  2. Thank you for sharing these block tutorials. I needed this reminder, as I have made them in the past and loved the results. I especially remember some of them being addictive and making a 'few' of each, to give away :)!
    How your littlest has grown. Also love the quilt you made for him - lovely colours and prints in there!

  3. What a great idea. I love your red and aqua quilt and what a great way to finish up those blocks. I love all of the quilts. I have one of those fussy cut economy block quilts started and have been picking at it for awhile now. I'd like to give it to my daughter-in-law some day.

  4. Cute idea, but I have not had much luck with bees. I remember one year we had a lot of participants so that each member received 100 different disappearing 9-patches. Of mine, only 27 were usable, the others had 1/8 seams, or were way too small. I'm glad to know sometimes it works! Love the economy block quilt!

  5. All beautiful!! I was lucky to get in the Birthday bee 2 group, we had lots of fun too!

  6. Love the creativity in this group! Such beautiful quilts! Would love to do the hot air balloon....is there a pattern