Monday, July 14, 2014

Quilt Bees

If you were lucky enough to be at our July meeting, you were bombarded with lots of great information about Quilt Bees. Maybe it was a lot to take in, and you have questions now? Or maybe you were off vacationing in some wonderful place and you missed out on our meeting. Either way, I thought I'd give you all a recap of what was shared here, and offer another opportunity to sign up.

We learned at the meeting about 2 different kinds of bees which our members have an opportunity to join. First up, Janet shared lots of great stories about small group bees. Basically, these are groups of quilters who meet on a regular basis to sew together and become good friends in the process. When and where they meet is up to the members. Sometimes small groups meet in members homes. Sometimes they share a common project. More often, each member works on something different. Stories are shared, and often lifelong bonds are formed! Our guild would love to start several small groups like this for members who are interested. Sound like something you'd enjoy? Email me at ellynzins@gmail.com and I will add you to our list!

The second type of bee we learned about is a swap bee. Usually a swap bee is made up of 12 members, although it can easily be adapted for fewer. In a swap bee, each member is assigned a month of the year. When your month rolls around, you provide the other members of your bee with instructions as to what you'd like them to make for you. Typically it is a quilt block (or blocks). You might provide printed instructions that were free on the internet. Maybe it is a quilt block you designed yourself! Please remember to honor copyright restrictions. If you wish to use a block pattern that is for sale (in a book, pattern, or magazine) you MUST provide a paid copy for each bee member. This can get expensive! There are many many free block tutorials available on the internet which work perfectly for a swap bee. If you want specific fabric used in your blocks, you might consider providing those to your bee members as well.

Bee members then have a month to make your block. At the next month's guild meeting, they return your blocks to you and the next bee member provides her guidelines for the blocks she desires. This continues until all bee members have had an opportunity to be the "queen bee" for a month.

I found a couple of great articles on the internet about this kind of bee. These both refer to online bees, where mailing blocks is involved. We won't need to mail blocks in our bees! Everything else in these articles is the same as what we plan to do. I think you might enjoy reading them too....

Benefits of Quilting Bees by Lindsay Connor on the Craftsy blog
All about Quilting Bees by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!

Sound like fun? Again, if you are interested in one of these swap bees, or if you have questions, please email me at ellynzins@gmail.com. Our hope is to get both of these up and running at our next meeting, on August 5. I look forward to seeing you there!

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