Over the last three days, I’ve made four bee blocks and 101 blocks for a swap. I’ve definitely over-extended myself with the bees and swaps this year. Over the past couple of months, they were really starting to wear on me. The idea of a quilting bee is fun, but the reality is that they are a lot of work and often tedious.
Why? Well, a lot of the time it’s because you just don’t like the fabric you’re working with. But the worst ones are the complicated blocks where the person didn’t even send you enough fabric. It happens. A lot. And sometimes, when it’s your turn to receive blocks for the month, you get some back that don’t use the fabric you sent out or worse yet, aren’t even the right size. There’s been a lot of that going around lately.
But I have to say, that when all the stars align, quilting bees are really fun. I opened my package from Ryan of I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts this week and his fabric made my day. He picked a great selection of aqua and orange fabrics that look great together.
It got me in a better mood to face my July bee blocks. The two I have to work on this week are pretty awesome (awesomesauce as my husband would say). One of them is packaged so tidily and precisely that I almost hate to tear it open.
If you’re thinking about joining a bee…I’d recommend joining one that is either by invitation only or that includes many other quilters you are already familiar with. It makes it more enjoyable if all the members have a similar aesthetic. And remember that for every bad experience, there are at least ten good ones. In one of my bees, my friend Lucia of LuluBloom made two extra blocks for me when she saw that I hadn’t received all of the blocks during my month. How nice is that?!
I couldn’t agree with you more regarding bees and the like. I have linked this post in my blog post today so that people read about bees and joining and all that stuff. Thanks so much for such a great post.
I’m literally laughing out loud, because after two less than positive comments about my block from members of one of my bees, I’m swearing I will never do this again! I chose my block so carefully so that it wouldn’t be too difficult and allow for at least a little creativity on the part of the sewer. Others have asked for more difficult blocks, not sent enough fabric, disappeared and not responded to questions during their month, etc., so I really tried to make it be fun and a snap. Aargh! Feeling a little frustrated, so thanks for your positive post.