Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quilting Bee 2.0

In the days of old, women gathered together for quilting bees, helping each other to share a common experience through work and community. While there are many quilters that still gather in person for bees today, many of us, who otherwise would be kindred spirits, are separated by great distances.

Necessity is the mother of invention, hence the establishment and thriving of virtual quilting bees. Quilters from all over the country (or world for that matter) can connect with each other to work on the same quilt. It's just lovely.

Here's the deal: 12 (or so) people decide to form a group, and each person is assigned one month out of the year. When it's your month, you buy the fabric for your quilt, divide it by 12 and send it out to the other 11 members. You let them know how you want your quilt to look and what you have in mind for the finished product, and then they send the completed block(s) back to you so that you can put the quilt top together. In the end, you have an original quilt with blocks made by each person in the group. You also get to work on new techniques and with new fabrics every month to send back to your fellow quilters. Ingenious!

This year, I was invited to be a part of two virtual quilting bees, one called Block Party with these lovely ladies, and the other called A Notion or Two. Here's some catch up on my blocks so far with the fabric I've been sent.

January - made for Alissa


January - made for Amy


February - made for Amy


February - made for Ashley

Don't you love that linen in Ashley's blocks above? I've got to start thinking about the fabric I want to get for my months coming up in the summer. Can't we all just quit our jobs and sew all the live long day?!

17 comments:

Noodles said...

Ooooh. Those look AWESOME. I'm totally jealous of your quilting bee fun...
And yes, if only we could sew all day AND pay the bills. :-)

Amylouwho said...

You are amazing!! I LOVE all of these - mine especially! I remember picking out those fabrics especially for you. I love it!

Sarah Pead said...

Oh I wish! If it were up to me, I'd spend hours upon hours sewing and quilting away in my studio. Your blocks look beautiful!

Amy said...

Wouldn't that be nice...

I can tell you though that once I quit my job and opened a knitting store (romantic notion of turning a 'hobby' into a day-job) and it lost all it's charm. There wasn't any joy in it anymore - just work.

Mal* said...

I love this entry. The images are amazing, but even more so is your connection to the past and the rich heritage that drives us. I think for many years women have been discouraged from connecting with those things and it's wonderful to see some of them coming back in a new form. THANK YOU for sharing!

Melissa said...

I really, REALLY love those green fabrics for February. Are birds becoming your signature? :)

Sarah said...

Well, the birds were requested by those who's month it was. Ya know? They both happened to ask everyone to applique a bird onto their block. I am loving bird fabrics lately though!

Baba said...

Your blocks are gorgeous! Not sure I could make anything that beautiful.

Jessica said...

Those squares are great---I am so impressed!

Amy and Andrew said...

Looks great! What a fun and creative way to connect with others!

Meredith said...

So cute. I especially like the geometric design of the first January blocks. What a great idea!

Sara said...

Those blocks are great! I just joined a virtual quilting bee and am looking forward to it. I hope I get blocks like that!

And yes, let's all quit our jobs and sew!

Dave B. said...

I do love that linen...

TheBackPorchQuilters said...

you block turned out so Awesome!!!! I cant wait until it is my month to get blocks

VeggieAmanda said...

They are all so pretty! You did an amazing job!

online quilting community said...

You are amazing!! I LOVE all of these - mine especially

Mooser said...

I would love to join a quilting bee! How do you "get in" to these fantastic communities?

I'm a brand-new to the quilting/crafting blogging world, and I have never been so inspired! A bee sounds like a fantastic way to continue sewing with a busy schedule!