Two House Blocks for a Bee Quilt

I am a member of a quilting bee known as “The Sewatorium Sisters” in Cambridge, MA, a subset of the Rising Star Quilters Guild. We meet as we can and we do fun little projects together. During the pandemic, we zoomed most weeks, keeping us sane and in touch. This is one productive bee…and this year we are back in business.

In 2019, we made this quilt with all different kinds of birds. Generally, we make one of these each year to sell at our show; the proceeds defray batting costs for the guilds charity quilts. This year we are creating house blocks -the only requirement is a red door.

Now, why a red door? It sometimes is easier to make diverse blocks work, if the there is a unifying motif in each block. However, there is apparently some significance to red doors including. you find out there are a number of theories that explain red doors: welcoming the stranger, protecting the occupants, providing luck, or showing the good fortune of a mortgage paid off. Log cabin quilts often start with a red center to symbolize the heart of the home (at least one theory says). Whatever the reason red doors will abound in this quilt.

The designed the first block, which is loosely based on a house we owned in Somerville MA for 20 years. I loved that house and while we didn’t have a red door, we do in the version I made.

I drew this block in Electric Quilt 8* and found the process all pretty easy. It required some refining, but in the end, it was easy to piece section by section. Although I started with the roof, you construct the block floor by floor then add the side/top/bottom pieces.

My stash was the inspiration for the second block! I was looking at patterns, trying to decide what I wanted to do, and I decided to do a more traditional house block. I loved adding a hex sign to the peak of the roof, maybe as homage to Pennsylvania, where I grew up. The fabric used for the clapboards is eggs, but I loved that it mimicked siding, so it was repurposed. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a house in these colors? Surely, the siding contractor would not be happy with this many colors in the shingles.

As it is the beginning of a new month, it is time to declare a goal.

Cambridge Quilt Shop Row By Row 2020

I have this kit that I have had sitting around, it will be finished before the end of the month because it is my goal…4 blocks and a little table runner is my plan. Thanks again, to Patty who does a great job cleaning out our UFOs by sponsoring OMG – One Monthly Goal.

The Destination QAL begins on Tuesday so get ready for some great blocks from the Partners by Design, information found here. You won’t regret joining this hop….there are 12 blocks presented weekly on Tuesdays. After 4 blocks, we rest one week, then we continue on. And, the only requirement to win prizes is to finish and post the blocks! Consider this your boarding pass – see you at the main gate on Tuesday at 8 am!

Coming Up on the Blog:
Destination QAL – 7/6, 7/13, 7/20 and 7/27
Tips and Tutorials on the 22 – 7/22

Link Up:
One Monthly Goal

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. July 3, 2021 / 2:17 PM

    Cute house blocks! I didn’t know that about red doors, so that’s interesting. Happy 4th!

  2. July 3, 2021 / 4:08 PM

    Love house blocks! I didn’t know about the symbolism of red doors, either! I might have to paint mine red…they’ve been purple for a very long time now. 🙂

  3. July 3, 2021 / 9:32 PM

    Fun blocks, Kathleen! The first one definitely does resemble your home, and the second block is just plain fun! I had to chuckle about the different siding comment. Yes, it would be a siding contractor’s nightmare but it sure is cute. I’ve always heard the red door means the mortgage is paid off. Time to celebrate the extra money with red paint – kind of like paint the town red?!! That last part is pure speculation! ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. Brenda @ Songbird Designs
    July 4, 2021 / 9:38 AM

    Your house blocks are very cute, Kathleen! You did a great job designing the block based on your house!

  5. July 4, 2021 / 4:23 PM

    Pretty houses, Kathleen! I didn’t know there was any significance to red doors, I’ll take note now around the neighbourhood! I’m really ooking forward to seeing the new Partners in Design quilt blocks.

  6. thedarlingdogwood
    July 5, 2021 / 8:14 AM

    Love these houses! My house has a red door, though it was red when I bought the house. I love the idea of the red door as the unifying element in a quilt of lots of houses. I completely forgot about the next QAL, so excited it starts tomorrow! Not sure I’ll be able to sew along but I always love seeing what everyone does.

  7. July 5, 2021 / 8:25 AM

    I enjoyed the information on red! Love your house in Somerset and your block. The fabric on that second block really does resemble siding, and I love your design – the hex sign is perfect.

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Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
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Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
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Siteground Web Hosting
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Hex N More Ruler
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Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
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Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
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Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
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3M Command Strip Clothespins
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