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!


  1. You are so much more gracious that I about Flakers, Molly. Life does happen, but....communicate! Let people know what's up. Don't just disappear.

    But onto the positive: I love your attitude about your Bee experience. You stuck with it, you were honest about the experience and your willingness to do it again. Way to go!

  2. I love all your blocks! It's such a pity about the quilters who dropped out but it sounds like you've got a lot from the experience - a year long swap is a big thing to commit to, well done for getting to the end!

  3. I'm glad you ended up liking it....but I hear you on any sort of "obligation" sewing. I feel like I have enough obligations in my life - the last thing I want is one more thing on my to-do list! :)

  4. That sounds like such stress! Well done you for getting it finished though. Does this mean you've not started the Granny Squares Quilt Along?!

  5. I learned so much through my bee. And I ended up with a quilt that I love. But I'm with you - not sure I'll do another one.

    1. Last year I was in FIVE bees. I swore I wouldn't do another one but someone dropped out of a friend's bee and she asked and I felt bad and yes I got sucked right in. Thankfully it hasn't been too stressful so far. I'm also doing the Round the Bend Across the POnd and that is a little more stressful only because these girls rock. No matter what it is learning.

  6. I joined my first bee last year. Having seen so many other creations in the blobby world, it looked like fun. Whilst I enjoyed the packages and stretching my horizons I so didn't enjoy how my hobby now became a chore...and boy do I have enough of those already!

  7. Great recap, Molly! I love all of your blocks - my star, the best of course :) I definitely had mixed feelings about this bee (my first). I'm in a new 12 month bee where we alternate 6 months of blocks and 6 months of optional swaps. There's a lot more communication and leadership. But there are also... 36 of us, I think (in hives of 6). Thanks for the honest recap. It was an interesting experience.


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