Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Hello creative friends and welcome to Blue Heron Quilting! I am so glad you stopped by. My name is Althea Gyde and I am primarily a longarm quilter. My studio is in Wenatchee, Washington, USA. I also design quilt patterns. In my former life I was a secondary science teacher. Often, my quilting and pattern designs intersect with my love for science and math and teaching and learning!
I am so excited to be participating in the Seams To Be Sew "It's A Garden Party" Row Along for 2020. I am eager to share my design with you but, first, a little back story.
I have a secret love affair with beetles. Did you know, according the the Smithsonian Institution, there are over 350,000 varieties of beetles, making them the largest group of animals on Earth? I love them all!
Green Beetles, and...
One day I want to have a gorgeous reading room in my home with beetle wallpaper on the walls. In my minds' eye, there are giant houseplants and big, squishy, distressed brown leather chairs tucked near a bright window where my husband and I can sit and read.
In the meantime, my reality is several giant teenagers, two greyhound dogs, and an African Grey Parrot who supervises everything in our home. Reading rooms aren't an option for us...yet. But, I can make quilt blocks with beetles on them and now, so can you!
Before we get started I'd like to thank Northcott for the fabric that I used in my blocks. I used Orange 9030-55, Red 9030-58, Blue 9030-49, and Green 9030-72 and these made fantastically colorful beetles!
I would also like to thank our sponsors for this week of the Row Along: Timeless Treasures and Electric Quilter. Please read all the way to the end of my post for discounts and giveaways from our sponsors.
Thanks also to all the fabulous designers who drafted patterns for this event! I've truly enjoyed our brainstorming sessions on social media and I am looking forward to sewing several of the designs!
Now, let's make some beetles! I'll give you the step-by-step photo tutorial below, but here is the document if you'd like to print it and follow along:
Step 1: Prepare background fabric: cut squares at 6.5" each. I used grey Grunge by Moda and a metallic silver that I found at my Local Quilt Shop.
Step 2: Using the Sharpie, trace the beetle body parts onto the template plastic.
Step 3: Carefully cut out the beetle body parts from the template plastic.
Step 4: Using the plastic templates, trace 6 of each piece on the paper side of the fusible material.
Step 5: Attach (using the manufacturer's instructions) the fusible to the wrong side of the fabric to be used for the beetle body parts.
Step 6: Using serrated scissors, cut out the beetle body parts. (this is a great task to do while watching television. I watched an old episode of Survivor with my kids and the cutting went by so fast!
Step 7: Layout the beetle parts onto the background fabric. Use the quilter's pencil to mark the placement of the beetle body parts centered on the block. When they are placed how you like them, fuse into place.
I ironed a halfway mark on each side of the block and eyeballed the placement for the beetle body parts.
Place the two antennae such that they are about half-inch away from the edge.
Center the beetle head over the two antennae
Center the thorax at the base of the head.
Center the two wing cases at the base of the thorax.
Place the back legs such that they are about half-inch away from the edge.
Middle legs tuck under the wing cases just above the halfway mark.
Front legs are placed between the two antennae and the two middle legs
Step 8: Prepare tulle. Cut squares 7.5" each. Working with one beetle block at a time, lay a square of tulle over the beetle block. Using pins and patience (go slow!), baste, using a normal stitch length, the tulle all the way around at approximately 1/8 inch, making sure the block lays flat. This stitching won't show once the blocks are sewn together. Trim the excess tulle so the original 6.5" block remains.
Here you can see the basting stitches holding the tulle in place (after trimming).
Step 9: Sew the beetle blocks together in two columns or rows of three (depending on your final Row Along layout). Once everything is sewn together, use a pressing cloth and iron your piece from the back being careful not to melt the tulle.
I hope you enjoy making some beetles of you own. I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback and I love show and tell! Share your beetle blocks on social media using the following hashtags:
You can find me on Instagram @blueheronquilting or Facebook @altheagyde and @blueheronquilting. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, for discounts and giveways:
First, to read the rules and regulations regarding giveaways, please visit Seams To Be Sew: https://www.seamstobesew.com/its-a-garden-party-sponsors-schedule/
You will also find the complete schedule and links to all the designers who are participating in the Row Along. There are so many fabulous designs to check out over the next several weeks!
Next, Electric Quilt https://www.electricquilt.com is offering a 20% discount code
off any products except for EQ Academy during the row along. The coupon
code is: GARDENPARTY20 I use EQ8 in all of my quilt pattern designs and I recommend it to anyone who wants fast, easy, and accurate pattern designs. I love my EQ8 software!
Click to visit the website.
Finally, my giveaway is for a Timeless Treasures Fat Quarter Bundle!
Click the logo to visit the website.
To enter the giveaway, please use this Rafflecopter from Marian at Seams To Be Sew:
Remember, each designer in the Row Along is offering a giveaway so be sure to check the schedule https://www.seamstobesew.com/its-a-garden-party-sponsors-schedule/ and visit all the blogs each week to download the patterns, view the tutorials, and enter the giveaways!