Tuesday, June 24, 2014

To Bee or not to Bee, what was the question?

Before I did some research the only visions of a quilting bee floating in my head were of the ladies at church.  They still to this day spend a whole afternoon once a week in the basement of the church working on a quilt, it will take them all year to finish it. This bee is mostly chit chat and lunch.

About 6 months ago I decided I have made plenty of quilts for myself, I have a couple I want to do eventually but no real NEED.   So maybe I could make some for charity now, if you are like me every quilt you make is personal and you don't want to give them up.  The problem is I couldn't justify to myself the cost of making a beautiful quilt on my retirement income to give away.  I was aware others in my guild belong to virtual bees and some are specifically for charity, that's what I wanted.  I now belong to 4 virtual bees and I love it.  To keep on track I basically make each of the Bees blocks as soon as they are posted and get them in the mail.  I know I wont fall behind because other than a challenge piece I need to quilt I have nothing else waiting my attention.

A Virtual Bee is done completely via social media and/or email, you mail the blocks to the monthly host or queen.  Each month one member is "Queen" and everyone makes blocks for her.  When it's your turn to be Queen you pick the pattern you want, make a sample block and send every member the information, some use email, flickr and Instagram.  Everyone including the queen make 1 (or 2) quilt blocks and mail them to the queen.  Its a great way to do a block or design you wouldn't normally do, to push you out of your comfort zone.  I have also mixed colors I wouldn't normally because it was requested and they came out beautiful.

Only one of my Bees is set up as a charitable bee but I  have assigned a charity myself to the others for my quilts.  When it's my turn I will donate my quilt instead of keeping it. I know I will give one to my church's annual auction, Project Linus and Wrap Them In Love is for the Charity Bee.  I still have one more to decide on, do you know any worthy charity in need of a quilt?

If you are interested in joining a bee it's a great way to improve your skills making blocks you wouldn't normally pick for yourself and get to know some fantastic ladies.

Some of the blocks I have made over the last few months.

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