I often get asked about online bees. And I get told stories about them as well. I am currently in three quilting bees. When I first joined a bee I didn't really know what it was, or what would be expected from me. In a rare moment of bravery I just put my name down before I stopped and thought about it. Before I thought I wasn't good enough, didn't know enough, wasn't nice enough. For my bravery I was rewarded because that bee was Brit Bee.
Brit Bee is amazing. I not only learned a whole lot about quilting but I got eleven of the best online friends you could imagine. Supportive, funny, sarcastic friends - who are all now real life friends as well. I also learned that I was lucky, very, very lucky. Because I have heard the horror stories about people who are in bees where they send out their fabric and never get it back. Or receive blocks so poorly done that they have to resew them, or abandon them. On the other hand, you could get asked to make blocks like this.
When you join a bee you are doing so on a matter of trust. You are trusting that the other people in your group will honour their commitment, or else inform the mama and pass the mantle to someone else to takeover from them. If you can summon the trust then you just might meet amazing people like I did. You could make new friends, try sewing techniques you might never do otherwise, fall in love with fabrics that you would never have looked at twice before. Do I think it is worth the risk? Yes, I most certainly do.
Which brings us to my blocks for Miss July in Brit Bee Round 2 - Fiona. This whole matter of trust got taken a step further this month. Because Fiona trusted us with some of her most precious fabric. Fiona delved into fabrics that weren't just some of her favourites but that had memories woven into them. Her granny's natural linen table cloth. Her great great aunt's handmade lace. An old handkerchief here and vintage sheets there.
Fiona combined these precious fabrics with other low volume fabrics from her stash. Low volume indicates quiet fabrics. Then she contrasted it with pieces of high volume Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy. And she asked for a small six(ish) inch high volume traditional block surrounded by the low volume fabrics.
I absolutely loved this challenge! The different textures and weights of the low volume fabrics contrasted so nicely with the FMF. The making of these blocks was a joy from beginning to end. I just hope Fiona likes the finished results as much as I do.
My first block I used a pattern from the Farmer's Wife book. At least I think I did, because I couldn't find the book so I used one of the blocks I had made already as a guide. Only I realised that I had messed up the block and two of the HSTs shaped to look like flying geese were facing one way and two the other. I flipped a mental coin and went with this layout.
My second block was more work, but for some reason I found it endless fun. It just could be that my mojo has returned properly now because there are 82 pieces in this finished 12" block but at no point did I get frustrated. Very out of character! I supplemented Fiona's FMF with some DS of my own to give enough variety in the postage stamps. They are finished at 1" each.
From this long and rambling post you may get the idea that I am encouraging you to join a bee, form a bee, be in a bee - and you would be correct.
lovely. I'm glad you had a good experience. the only problem I've ever had in a bee was one month when the envelope arrived without the block -- the only sign of it were the threads on the flap glue. so someone has a block meant for my quilt. I guess they needed it more than me.ReplyDelete
I loved your post today. Its our first month in the Fat Quarterly Kinky Bee and I am so glad that I plucked up the courage to sign up.ReplyDelete
Loving your two blocks. They have turned out so well. You must be very proud of them.
A bit late but I keep meaning to say well done on winning the Kona solids comp. fab colour bundle xxxx
Beautiful blocks! The fabrics are just stunning.ReplyDelete
Just a quick question - how did you find out about these bees?
What fabulous blocks! Fiona is going to be THRILLED!ReplyDelete
Yes, folks. Get into a bee as quickly as you can. You gamble a bit, but in the end it will absolutely pay off :)
I am so excited I did eventually join a bee. I already think the other members are great and we can learn a lot from each other. I am also 'pretending' I'm in Brit Bee this month too because Fiona and I are making blocks for each other and I still have her precious fabric pack to look forward to playing with :-)ReplyDelete
I love the blocks, I am sure Fiona will too. All the blocks in your bee are wonderful too.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you hit the jackpot with Brit Bee. I have heard nothing but good things about this bee and the people in it. Nice blocks.ReplyDelete
Very well written. And yes, you were very, very lucky.ReplyDelete
Great post :o)ReplyDelete
And damn you woman. Your teeny postage stamps inside not so teeny postage stamps is EXACTLY what i was going to do. EXACTLY. We are clearly the same person.
Having never been in a bee I am looking forward to my first time.ReplyDelete
I was tempted to join the Kinky bee but I think one at a time is best for a bee virgin.
I hope I am as lucky as you seem to have been.
Great post Susan - I think Fiona's precious fabrics are safe with you guys. I also think it is going to be a very special quilt.I have yet to dip a toe into a bee....one day.ReplyDelete
This is such a great post. I've been thinking about joining a bee, hopefully I'll get as lucky as you! :)ReplyDelete
What a beautiful block - i can see why you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
I'm glad I joined Stitch Tease and met all you lovely ladies too!
Oh you are a very lovely clever fabulous lady! I absolutely love them both and am so glad you enjoyed making them.ReplyDelete
Great post about the Bees too :)
What lovely blocks! Our bee starts properly next month and I can not wait, they are such a lovely group of ladiesReplyDelete
What a great post! I love all the bee blocks you've made and the blocks you've made for Fiona are stunning!!!ReplyDelete
Great blocks :) Bees are such fun! I'm looking forward to the HipBees getting underway next month :)ReplyDelete
Those blocks are great, and what precious fabric to have to use in them.ReplyDelete
I've finally taken the bee plunge and ended up in two! The fqr kinky bee and the EPP bee. I put it off for years though, glad I've finally done it.
I love the blocks in the middle of the top row of the mosaic - it's giving me some ideas for my first bee month in November.... and those beautiful materials that Fiona sent you all are just gorgeous. :-)ReplyDelete
Really really lovely missus, sure is gonna be a fab quilt innit :-) Been plannin my blocks today.....ReplyDelete
Fiona's fabrics were in safe hands when she sent them to you Susan! Your blocks are stunning!ReplyDelete
Yay you! I'm 1 7/8ths of my way through mine. Apparently I can't measure. Or count. Or something...ReplyDelete
Love this post Susan. Thanks for the encouragement and wisdom re Bees, I'm looking forward very much to hipBees first block making next month. I dithered over joining Brit Bee last year and it filled while I was "what ifffing". Your first year together has been amazing and so are these blocks. Fiona is going to have an amazing memory quilt.ReplyDelete
Oooh those are a stunning pair!ReplyDelete
Fabulous blocks you clever lady!ReplyDelete
Lovely blocks, isn;t it wonderful that you are in such a greg bee. Fiona is going to love her blocks.ReplyDelete
They are so lucky to have you too Susan! Great blocks! Love Fiona's idea and I was so encouraged by your bee experience I am now in five! Eek!ReplyDelete
Your blocks look amazing! I ave finally pulled up my big girl pants and managed to at least cut into some of Fiona's fabric. I'm such a wimp. And I often find myself basking in the warm glow of the Brit Bee when I read posts complaining about awful bees with disappearing fabric or awful blocks.ReplyDelete
what an encouraging post!! so glad I am a member of the Hipbees! xxReplyDelete
I adore those blocks!! So beautiful! (lesson now learned about high/low volume - you make it look so good!)ReplyDelete
If I hadn't already joined my first bee a couple of months ago this would have convinced me!
Love those blocks!ReplyDelete
Susan those blocks are stunning - you are right to be so pleased with them. I love the effext of the postage stamps when done in low volume fabrics in the border around a brighter centre.ReplyDelete
thanks for this post i think i would like to be in a bee ...............just got to find one !!!ReplyDelete
lovely blocks :))
I love this post!!! I just joined a charity bee in may and I am really enjoying the process so far. I love that I can make blocks and stretch my skills and then see someone else make it beautiful. This is my first month to be a lead quilter and I am getting very different blocks, which normally would worry me, but it is utterly thrilling. I want to join at least one more!!!ReplyDelete