Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Oh, to Be In a Bee Hive! A Quilty One!

Wanta Fanta Block requested by the March Queen

For nearly a year, I listened to friends and bloggers drone on about their Bees and Bee Blocks. Some were part of local quilt bees where the whole group made one block in a selected palette, brought them in to a meeting, and they would draw lots for the blocks. 

Others, like my friend, Beth, from Cooking Up Quilts, were part of online virtual bees. Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts hosts Bee Hive Swarms on her site by organizing those quilters who sign up, and she also hosts the tutorials for 25 blocks ideal for any bee.

For those who are unfamiliar, let me give you a quick lay of the land. The Hive I'm in consists of 12 people with one of them acting as the overall organizer. Each person has the chance to be Queen one month, and choose a block from those posted on Blossom Heart's site. She or he may request certain colors or style of prints for various parts of the block, and each of the members of the hive do their best to please the reigning Queen. By the end of the month, all blocks are expected to be in the mail. 

Often the blocks are mailed with other goodies or such, but it's not a requirement. I have to honestly admit I'm lucky to have gotten the past two blocks out on time so there were no extras. I'm trying very hard to do better and prioritize.

The Quatrefoil Block done for last month's Queen.

My friend, Irene, asked me what drew me to do this. There were two reasons. One, I wanted to meet other quilters, and spend some time getting to know them. Not all Hive members are bloggers, and I wouldn't have met them otherwise. Two, I wanted to stretch myself with trying new blocks. Don't let the simplicity of some of these fool you! The top block, Wanta Fanta, has paper pieced X's, and you should have heard me groaning. But guess what? They came out beautifully, even though that's not my first love. The instructions were spot on, and I experienced success. I grew as a quilter today.

Bee Hive sign ups usually happen the last few months of the year so if you're interested be on the watch. You could also organize your own hive with local quilting friends, or with online friends. Nothing says you have to start in January. You could do a summer block swap with just a handful of friends and each wind up with a throw for fall. Just an idea I might be throwing around myself.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's run this to the mailbox.


lalaluu said...

These are very fun blocks! I sometimes exchange blocks with my local bee, and last year I was in Stash Bee. The great thing about the local bees is there is no shipping! :P I hope you enjoy your year in the Blossom Hearts Quilts Bee and keep posting your beautiful blocks for us to admire!

Christine Slaughter said...

These blocks are beautiful! Your hive-mates are lucky to have you!

Allison said...

I recently joined a bee this past summer, but ours it quite small. We are only six members with two months to work on two blocks. Somehow the extra time is just what I need to stay on top of things. Somehow this helps things feel managable. I usally start on the bee blocks as soon as I get the new instructions. That way, I can check it off my list immediately and don't have to worry about "life" getting in the way or causing me to miss my deadline.

All super fun and colorful blocks!

Jayne said...

I have the Wanta Fanta pattern but haven't made it yet! Seeing yours, I want to now! I've never joined a bee, but it has always intrigued me. Maybe one day I'll bite th bullet and do just that.

Anonymous said...


Stitchin At Home said...

Sign me up for the summer swap! Your blocks look wonderful.

Dresden Quilter said...

They are great blocks.

Afton Warrick said...

While I've had to dial it back with three young kids, I previously participated in several bees. It was easier to push myself to try something new each month with a pre-existing commitment. It was also nice to make a single block without the obligation to make enough for an entire quilt. Great overview of bees.

Unknown said...

Beautiful blocks!! I wish I could partifipate in your bee! So well sewn!

Kaja said...

I did my first online bee last year. I didn't enjoy the pressure to get stuff done by a particular time at all, but learnt some new stuff and met some nice people. Your blocks look great and, as you say, you are growing as a quilter.

dq said...

Your block is so pretty from fabric, to pattern, to piecing quality. Great work!