Sunday 4 July 2021

Giant Bees Swarm in Fabric & Stitch


This week, as part of the Butterflies & Bees & Happy 100th Birthday Yarnstorm, I have been making giant bees!  In fact I have been stitching them. They are part of the Happy 100th Birthday display for the tennis court fence which goes up on 13 July 2021 (weather permitting) in Rowntree Park, York as part of park's 100th birthday celebrations.  (The Butterflies & Bees Yarnstorm goes up at the end of August 2021 so you still have until 31st July 2021 to keep making butterflies and bees for that! See here for patterns or use your own.)

Fabrics used for the bees

I made my bees using a variety of yellow, black & shiny white, mixed fibre fabrics, heavy weight vilene (both sew in and iron on), bondaweb and some ribbon tape.  Ideally I would have used iron on vilene for all the bees but the largest bee used vilene that I only had in the sew in variety as it was over 90cm wide.  With this vilene, I used bondaweb (a paper backed fusible fabric glue) to bond the yellow fabric to the vilene which made it like the iron on sort.  I used bondaweb to stick the black stripes and eyes onto all the bees and used bondaweb for the largest bees wings with the sew in vilene and iron on vilene for the smaller bees.  Here's Maxi Bee all bonded together and laid out ready to stitch...

Maxi Bee ready to stitch

Once Maxi Bee had been stitched together I added some ribbon tape loops along some of the seams so that the bee could be attached to the fence on installation. (Hope it works - I haven't tested it - fingers crossed!)

Back of Maxi Bee showing ribbon tape loops

Then I made Midi Bee and Mini Bee.  In the picture below you can see a 2 metre ruler to give you an idea of scale.  Here are the approximate sizes:

Maxi Bee - 134cm x 90cm
Midi Bee - 104cm x 68cm
Mini Bee -  70cm x 46cm

Giant Bee Swarm - Mini Bee, Midi Bee & Maxi Bee

Not long now till you'll see them in the park.  Find out all about the project here.


  1. I have finished about 15 butterflies, one dragonfly and 3 snails (just to add a bit of variety!) but missed the cafe today as I was at work. Can I drop them at your house at some point next week (I am away for the next 4 days) Thanks. Every thing looking very jolly and bright.

    1. That sounds great. Please email me at to arrange