Friday, March 2, 2012
The Bee experience. The good, the bad, the recap ....
I just completed the last block for the eleven member Twitter Bee and have laid my rotary cutter down with a thud of relief, but also with a feeling of accomplishment. I started out full of great intentions of whipping off a fabulous and perfect block (maybe even two!) as soon as my fabric arrived. By the end I was stressed and late and racked with guilt over the lateness and doubts about the quality. It's impossible to sew with a joyful heart with those envelopes staring at you from the sidelines ...
I did enjoy opening my mailbox each month and finding the fat packet and getting a little glimpse into the life of the sender. Although I admit sending back the completed block and wondering where it would end up was definitely better. Stretching myself to make different blocks was a huge plus. It's nice to try something new without having to commit to a full blown project.
The best part is that I received thirteen beautiful and creative blocks of my own from eight fantastic quilters. Two I never heard from although I made them blocks. I have no hard feelings though because I have no way of knowing what the circumstances were with them. I just hope they're OK and am grateful that I've had a good year and my clan is all safe and healthy. Soon I'll have a quilt that is a lasting reminder of this great group of women.
Would I do a yearlong bee again? Not at this point in my life. I didn't realize how little sewing time I actually have each week until I started one extra thing. Also spaces were reconfigured at my house over the year and I lost my dedicated sewing and fabric storage space. Suddenly trying out complementary fabrics became an ordeal of pulling out bins, pawing through unorganized stacks and then trying to neatly fit everything back where it came from. I had no way of anticipating this when I committed but a year can bring some pretty big changes. I love being involved with the quilting world so an occasional swap, shorter bees and quilt-a-longs are still a sure yes.
All-in-all it was GREAT experience. And I can confidently proclaim that now having completed it totally, cleaned up my last scrap pile and mailed off my final block. Whew!