Stashbee Queen month yeah! Hive 3 2018 Fred the Cat

“Guten Tag” and hello from Germany, hive 3!

Here is my block for September. Please feel free to ask any questions any time. I hope you have fun with it!

The motivation

I am thrilled to be queen for the first time ever. That is very fitting as the quilt I want to make with your blocks is the first for someone in my family. You know how it is.

You want to make extra special and beautiful quilts for those closest to you and so you wait for later. As in later when you have more practice. Later when your skills are better. Later when you find the perfect pattern and fabric. As my dad has fallen ill and also is quite old – I decided that later is now.

The colours

I would like you to use neutrals i.e. white, grey, creme or black. Think quilt for a man. Think navy and boats. Think old motorcycles, steel and snowscapes.

I know. That is thread. Not fabric 😆 But those colours are my go to threads, which I use all the time, anyway. So this is the palate.

You can use any fabric no matter if solid, batiks, novelty or otherwise. But please don’t use any colours, not even coloured pattern. I am not looking for low volume. I am looking for neutrals.

Also I ask you to use the same fabric for all the background pieces. The cat can be uniform or scrappy what ever you like. But the background needs to be coherent to make the pattern work.

The pattern and cutting

Say hello to Fred the Cat. There are many versions of this pattern online. But I did not find one in my size. So here we go.

You need
1 or more fabric (s) for the cat
1 fabric for background

Of the fabric or fabrics for the cat you need / cut

1 body 4.5″ x 8.5″
1 head 4.5″ x 3″
2 ears 2″ x 2″

For the background B you need / cut
1 piece 4.5″ x 4.5″ for the wall
1 piece 4.5″ x 2″ for the ears
1 piece 2″ x 2″ for the tail
1 strip 2″ x 8.5″ for the top
1 strip 2″ x 10″ for the side

I did the ears and tail with stitch and flip. So draw a diagonal line on all 3 pieces 2″ x 2″. Or use this handy tool to make it quicker.

Attach the ear pieces 2″ x 2″ of the cat fabric to the 4.5″ x 2″ of background.

Cut the corners off. And press out. (Same technique is used for the tail.)

Pictua ears pressed

Join the ears to the 4.5″ x 3″ cat head piece.

Pictua head

Head ready? Now you have to make a choice. Do you want your cat looking left (reminiscing of the past and thinking of loved ones). Then attach the background tail fabric 2″ x 2″ to the top right to of the cat body piece 4.5″ x 8.5″.

Or do you want your cat to look to the right (looking into the future and dreaming of better days). Then attach to the top left.

Attach the head to the wall background piece 4.5″ x 4.5″. Once again mind the direction the cat is facing.

Please attach the background strip 2″ x 8.5″ to the top. Not to the bottom. It is the frame that makes the cat visible in quilt.

And thus follows another character defining decision. Are you opting for one of those elegant yet “I am not looking at you” beauties? Attach the background strip 2″ x 10″ to the front. Thus giving the cat space and separation.

Or do you rather make a fluffy furball which keeps coming back for cuddles? Then attach the background 2″ x 10″ strip to the rear. So it can snuggle with the others.

That’s it. Your done. Hopefully quickly, as it is late summer and life happens a lot outside. (For most of us.)

The challenge

You might despite life 1.0 have some time on your hand. Or are you looking for a challenge? I would love some of the cats to be scrappy patchwork. Just take all those tiny scraps and join them randomly to make new fabric. Then your cat might look something like this.

But as I said. Only if you feel like it and life 1.0 leaves you the time.

The story

Here is what the finished quilt might look like.

I am looking forward to seeing your cats. And I would love you to include a name and character for your cat when you post it.

So now I am taking home the trophy for longest post with most rambling on Stash Bee. And am off making more for the litter.

Enjoy the late summer! (Or season of your continent 🙂

Gabriele aka Molly Grue

Stars for Alanna – Stash-Bee Hive 3 January

Hello to all star-creators out there!

So, Stash Bee. First task: pink and purple star or purple and pink star. Here you can read about Alannas (@blanketfort.quilts) design process.

Awsome! I mean, who doesn’t love a good pink, right? Right. Purple on the other hand…

Here is my first fabric pull.

It’s pink. With pink and a little pink thrown in for good measure. But, and nobody was more surprised than me, it worked out all right. For the first time I understood the value (pun intended) of light and dark fabrics in the same colourframe. Such a great lesson in fabric choosing.

And, Alanna, for you I cut into my “never to be used” Mendocino fondling fabric. Didn’t hurt a bit.

Good and done. But a little voice in my head kept constantly telling me: You DO have purple. As I already mentioned here, I don’t exactly have a stash. But I do have designated fabric already put in boxes for certain projects/WIPs. And so after a lot of rummaging – the purple star.

Now lesson number two: fabric looks different depending on it’s neighbours. You know that. I knew that. But I never have experienced it before. The center fabric is on the pink side now. Though it really looked purple when I pulled the fabric. See here:

And last but not least a lesson in humility. Because this star, right, simple nine patch. Not even points to aline. Easy peasy. Yeah. Not when you sew after a long day at work and get cocky. Then you might get this.

Alltogether Alannas task has been like a really good ouverture: sampling a little bit of all there is to come and enjoyable fun all the way. Thank you, Alanna.

Now I am really curious what Lee (@zanytaylor) has chosen. I am ready. Bring it on, Lee!

Keep on aligning those stars!

Yours sincerely,

Molly Grue

Wanted – the unknown fabric

Hello to all Instagram users!

Just imagine you post an image of something you sew and are proud of. And then someone asks you after a specific fabric. You don’t know the manufacturer AND have just cleaned your sewing room.

So you run out. Retrieve the garbage. Rummage and sort. And all you find is this.

The selvage that isn’t there. (Dear Hollywood, yes, you can use this title.)

Instead I got into a conversation with someone really nice, though. 

So keep on posting your fabric. 

Yours sincerely, 

Molly Grue 

Foxy Baby Quilt

Hello to all fabric lovers!

To celebrate 25K followers on Instagram Windham Fabrics are throwing a party and giveaway. You take part by showing Windham-fabric in your life.
***update: Giveaway closed***

There where a couple of weeks I really, really wished I had the Mendocino bundle already in my life and not, as it were, stuck in customs. My daughter was due and I had planned to make her a mermaid-whale-quilt.

Time passed and I got afraid I wouldn’t make it. So I changed plans and made her a fox quilt. Using mostly #janetclare and #katieandbirdie. The design process* took surprisingly long.

But, first stroke of luck, just before sewing it up my Mendocino arrived. So I managed to sneak in a couple of mermaids. They are happily swimminging in the woods now 🙂

I was absolutely not sure that I would manage to finish the quilt as I wanted to custom quilt it. It’s not very big, but most of the designs I had never tried before. Our daughter however ran late and thus the quilt got finished in time. Just under the Wire. Teamwork that is!

Regarding that I haven’t sewn for eight months after her birth and the fact that this quilt is in use day and night that really was a piece of luck!

So here it is sans baby.

Keep on loving and using your fabric.
And post your pictures on Instagram to enter the Windham giveaway.

Yours sincerely,
Molly Grue

*fancy word for rearranging on my bedroom floor until me AND my husband like it

Yah! Stash Bee.

Stash Bee

Hello to all Stash-using sewists out there!

I am whooping! Why? I made it into StasBee. For the last three years I followed that blog. Always in awe of the variety of fabric in use. Amazed at the lovely ideas for block designs. And a little bit envious of those truly scrappy finished quilts. Fully aware that I would not be able yet to make such a colourful mixed-fabric quilt. Why might you ask. Because, guilty secret and confession: I don’t have a stash.

Now fellow Bee-members, please don’t despair. I will be able to make your blocks. And will make them as pretty and accurate as I can. I don’t have a stash. But I do have fabric.

I have backing fabric, selfmade precuts in various sizes, fabric already dedicated to certain projects and a little box of petting fabric*. That should be sufficient. Any colours I really, really after rummaging and looking and searching still don’t have, I am perfectly willing to buy.** Which I totally can without guilty conscience. Because, you see, I don’t have a stash 🙂

So keep on completing your stash.
Yours sincerely, Molly Grue


*fabric that you keep taking out and looking at but was never intended for using

**My husband is certain I won’t have to. In fact there might be a little bet ongoing.

Quick diaper changing unit


Hello to all diaper-changers!

Yes, I have a sewing machine. No, I can’t repare your (insert clothing of choice). Do any of you relate to this?

Alas, this husband of mine who loves me dearly and gives me sewing time every day pointed out that maybe in our own household one or two repair jobs might not be too much to ask., he’s right.

We inherited our diaper changing station from my sister including the wadding on which my own dear nephew already spent many hours and do you know it, the cover finally gave up. Found some pretty laminated fabric…

… bought batting and constructed a new one. Like from scratch. I know, there are only 7 seams in it. But boy am I proud. Why? Because I wrestled laminated fabric though my Scarlett*. And I made this without a pattern although my brain went bsssss halfway due to lack of sleep. And I glued the seamallowances down instead of a secureseam.

I also learned something. Test the glue before you use it. Ok, I knew this. But honestly, does anyone really do this? Well, you should. Here is why:


Nevermind. It will do its job. My daughter loves the deer. And for the next baby in this family I will sew a new one. Now I know how this goes.

So keep on changing those diapers**.

Yours sincerely,
Molly Grue

*I am not the only one who gave her sewing machine a name, right. Right?
**Until potty training that is.

Why I like WIPs 

Hello all WIP-collectors out there!

So I did it. I rummaged, counted and sorted. And made a list. Here you go.


So what’s your number? Mine is 49. Now some of you might cry out in despair. Some of you might shuffle to the back of the room, trying to hide. But some of you might just nod and smile.

You see,  I like things organized and labeled. Maybe it’s the engineer part of me. That wants things tidy and with numbered parts. My life however at the moment isn’t.

That’s fine. I have toddler. And love, love, love spending time with her. Just with working nearly fulltime and yes, spending family time, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for sewing and creating.

And that is where WIPs are your relief. I have heaps ready for chain piecing if I find the time. I have fabric ready to be cut if I can bring out the iron. I have mugrugs and darning if I need a quick finish. And I am happy to be part of Stash Bee. So I get to play with a fresh challenge every month.

I am probably not going to start a big project this year. But I don’t need to. I have plenty. Thanks to my WIP. And that is why I smile when I see my list. To me they are not unfinished objects, neglected or lost. To me they are heaps of chances to play.

So embrace your WIPs.

Yours sincerely,
Molly Grue