Honey Bee by Rae Ritchie // Honey Beehive Apron Tutorial



Honey Bee by Rae Ritchie explores the endlessly fascinating, socially complicated honey bee. The fresh spring palette celebrates the busyness of beekeeping, bees and their favorite flowers.

Step into spring with this sweet ‘n flirty Honey Beehive Apron Tutorial by Danica Willig Designs! Scroll on for the instructions to make this project.


Danica and her family live in Houston, Texas (the most humid place in the US and home to the Fall International Quilt Market). She is the proud mama of two precious little boys Ephraim, 2, and Nathaniel, 3 months. She spends her days chasing and caring for her boys and slips away into her studio whenever she can, usually during nap time. Danica loves being creative and crafty though her specialty is sewing, clothing and pattern design. Danica recently launched her own line of mama and baby products. Check her out on Facebook & Instagram @danicawillig.


¾ yd   of Fabric A, “Honey Bee” STELLA-SRR669-Navy

⅔ yd   of Fabric B, “Scallop Dot” STELLA-SRR512-Corn

¼ yd   of Fabric C, “Butterflies” STELLA-SRR672-Navy

¼ yd   of Fabric D, “Bee Floral” STELLA-SRR673-Multi

¼ yd   of Fabric E, “Bee Hives” STELLA-SRR670-Sky

Notions: Coordinating Thread, Sewing Pins, Iron, Ruler, Scissors, Marking Chalk or Pen, and Safety Pin or Loop Turner


Cut two 12” tall x 17” wide rectangles out of Fabric A

Cut one 12” tall x 21” wide rectangle out of Fabric A

Cut three 4” x WoF (width of fabric) strips out of Fabric B, then cut one strip in half to make two 4″ x approx. 21″ strips

Cut two 2.5” tall x 21” wide rectangles out of Fabric B

Cut one 6” by WoF strip out of Fabric C

Cut one 6” by WoF strip out of Fabric D

Cut one 6” by WoF strip out of Fabric E

Take the two 12” x 17” rectangles out of Fabric A and round top corners as shown in the illustration below.




Assume all seams are sewn at ½” unless otherwise stated.

Step 1:

Take the 12”x21” rectangle and roll hem the bottom and side edges at ¼”. Do this by folding and pressing edge inward twice by ¼” then stitch in place.


Step 2:

Take the 6” strips out of Fabric C, D, & E and roll hem the bottom and side edges at ¼”.

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Step 3:

Take the 4” wide strips out of Fabric B and fold in half length-wise and stitch, creating 2 long and 2 short tubes.


Step 4:

Use a safety pin to turn all 4 tubes right-side out and press. (Similar to how you would feed a drawstring through a casing.)


Step 5:

Finish short ends of each strap by folding inward ½” and stitching along the edge.


Step 6:

Place the unfinished ends of the short straps 5 inches apart (each 2.5” from the center) and sandwich between 2 bodice pieces created in step 1.


Turn bodice right-side out and press.



Step 7:

Take the two 2.5” x 21” rectangles and sandwich the bodice piece between them, right-sides together. Pin in place. Take the unfinished ends of the long apron straps and center them between the side seams of the rectangles, right-sides together. Pin in place.


Stitch around the side and top seams of the rectangle. Make sure not to get the straps stuck in the top seam.


Flip right-side out and press. Now you have finished the bodice, straps, and waistband.

Step 8:

Take 3 ruffle strips finished in step 3 and gather the top edge. Do this by creating two basting stitches along the top edge at ¼” and ¾” making sure to leave long tails. Then pull evenly on both bobbin threads from each line of basting creating gathers.

Step 9:

Take the apron skirt finished in step 1 and draw a straight line across at 4” from the top edge and 8” from the top edge. This will show you were to place your ruffles.

Step 10:

Place ruffle from Fabric C on the line 8” from the top. Adjust gathers to lay evenly and stitch in place between the two basting stitches. Then pull out basting threads. Topstitch ¼” from the top edge of the ruffle to prevent edge from raveling.


Step 11:

Place ruffle from Fabric D on the line 4” from the top. Adjust gathers to lay evenly and stitch in place between the two basting stitches. Then pull out basting threads. Topstitch ¼” from the top edge of the ruffle to prevent edge from raveling.


Step 12:

Place ruffle from Fabric E on the top edge of apron skirt. Adjust gathers to lay evenly and pin in place.


Step 13:

Place one side of the waistband on top of the apron skirt with the top ruffle pinned in place and stitch from side seam to side seam of the waistband.


Flip right-side out and remove basting threads.

Step 14:

Press the raw edge of waist band in ½”, fold over, and pin in place. This creates a self-finished edge for the waistband.

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Hand stitch edge of apron waistband closed.

Step 15:

Create ½” pleat in the apron bodice next to the neck straps by folding the apron bodice in by a ½” and then back on itself on the outer edge of the neck straps. Pin and then topstitch pleat in place.


CONGRATS you have finished the Honey Beehive Apron!


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Be sure to post your finished project and use #beehiveapron and tag us @dearstellafab and @danicawillig!

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Introducing // Adventure Awaits by Wee Gallery

Wee Gallery Logo


Find adventure in the mountains and forests. Run wild with foxes, deer, and other critters in Wee Gallery’s newest collection, Adventure Awaits.

Ask for this collection at your local quilt shop or favorite online retailer! In stores January.


There’s so much to love about this illustrative collection. How sweet are the foxes?


Wee little details for all your mini needs—Hearts, Stars, and more!


We’re excited to see all the projects made with this collection. We have exciting projects of our own coming your way, so stay tuned!

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Intermix Basics // Sloth Lovie

We teamed up with Wendi Gratz to bring you a super fun project and it’s ready to share with you all today! *Warning: cuteness overload*



You may recognize these buddies from our Fall Quilt Market booth! They hung out with us at the show. And now, with a bit of simple stitching, they can be yours—this is a free pattern!

Half softie, half blankey, kids will love snuggling with these sloth lovies!



Can you stand the cuteness? Simple stitching and minimal stuffing pulls this project together in a flash.

Select three of your fav fabrics—we couldn’t just stop at one—and add a dash of hook-and-loop tape to help him hang. Sew up a sweet sloth (or several!) for someone you love! The Sloth Lovie pattern is designed by Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World.


Check out some of Wendi’s behind the scenes shots!


The yellow toes reminded some of our Instagram friends of baby corn and Bugles!

Intermix Basics pictured: Wee Gallery Hearts, Positive, Net, and Polka Dot.

Also pictured: Scallop Dot by Rae Ritchie.


How sweet are these faces?!


We hope you enjoy creating these Sloth Lovies as much as we enjoyed putting them together. They would make great holiday gifts for little ones in your life!


‘Till next time! 👋🏼

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Dreamscape by Rae Ritchie // Patchwork Pillows


We love this sweet nursery project by Ange of A Little Patchwork. She created two Patchwork Pillows with Rae Ritchie’s Dreamscape collection, one light version and one dark version. This pillow pattern can be found in Kerri Horsely‘s book Lovely Little Patchwork.

Photos courtesy of A Little Patchwork. Read Ange’s full blog post here!


Rae Ritchie’s Dreamscape walks you through a dreamland of sleepy elephants and galloping wild horses. Rounding it out with a wind-swept floral, this moody cool collection takes you on an imaginative journey of dreams.


Rae shares the inspiration behind Dreamscape:

// I love designing kid friendly patterns that can have an adult appeal. “Dreamscape,” the supplement to “Moon Garden,” is inspired by magical circus dreams. One of my favorite books in recent years is “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, for its beautiful atmospheric descriptions of nocturnal curiosities that test reality. Blued by the cover of night, the typical kids pinks and blues are reimagined into lavenders and purpled navies. I’m personally very excited to play with these fabrics, as this is a tight capsule with really great opportunity to mix and match. //


Ange shares some information in her blog post about the patchwork pillows:

// I used the pattern from Kerri Horsely’s book Lovely Little Patchwork. I have made this pattern before and knew it would work perfectly as I really wanted to showcase the elephant print (and the 5 inch square centre would be ideal).

I separated the bundle into the light and dark tones and was amazed at how different the two cushions looked. It was a real lesson in the impact colour and print placement can have on your project! //


We love seeing collections come to life in homemade projects like Ange’s. Share yours by using the hashtag #DearStella. We can’t wait to see what you make!

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Now Shipping // Tea Party by Rae Ritchie


Inspired by classic china patterns and antique decorative art, one of Rae Ritchie’s newest collection invites you to high tea complete with fancy pups, dancing porcelain pots and the sweetest treats. Tea Party has begun shipping to stores. Ask for it at your LQS or favorite online retailer!


Here’s a word from Rae about Tea Party:

// One of my favorite sections (among many) at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is the Decorative Arts section. Here, they house beautiful porcelain, furniture and of course, period rooms. This is a great source for motif and color inspiration; the colors often faded with time. I also live blocks from the Russian Museum of Art which once had a spectacular state china show, set in chronological order. Incredibly interesting, informative and beautiful! 

Tea has always been an important ritual throughout my day. It’s a time to reflect and slow down the thought process for a couple minutes out of the day; to recharge and refocus. Of course my tea breaks aren’t nearly as fancy, with sweet treats and fancy dogs, but I can always just draw them! \\


Below you’ll find projects that feature this sweet and dainty collection. Which is your favorite?


Tiny Dancer by Jaybird Quilts.


Pinafores and High Tea by Louanna Mary Quilt Design.


Chopsticks by Jaybird Quilts.

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