Thursday, January 1, 2015

Join a Quilting Bee in 2015!

One of my favorite things that I did in 2014 was take part in my very first quilt bee! I saw on Instagram that someone was getting groups (or hives) together for a bee using a book my friend Lindsay wrote! (see book here). I had never done a bee before and thought it would be fun to try.

A bee, for those of you who havent done one before, is made up of 12 people, and it takes a 1 year commitment. This is because each person in the bee gets assigned a month that is "theirs." When it is your month, you chose the block and the color scheme, and the 11 other people in your bee make the block that you have chosen. I have seen bees where people mail out fabric to the other group members, but I really enjoyed seeing what other people had in their stash, and having the chance to receive fabrics that I had never bought or even seen before! The 11 other members are to send their completed block to you by the end of your month, and then, ideally, they have 12 (or sometimes 24, if the block is smaller) blocks with which to make their own quilt! Then the next month begins and you get a new block assignment from someone else!

Some of the blocks I have made in my bee this year
There was a lot that I loved about the bee (and I've written about it in more detail here). It was really fun and interesting to me to see what color combinations people requested, and it is fun to work in a palate that you dont normally work in. It's a good way to stretch your design sensibility, I think. I also liked that a lot of this bee took place on Instagram, a really fun way to connect and see peoples progress. Sewing is such a visual hobby, and has a history of companionship, back when quilt bees were worked on all together in person, and I like that Instagram can help create a modern version of this. For all the bad things that people say about technology making us more isolated and removed from human interaction, I think it also has the ability to bring you close to people that you wouldnt get to meet or interact with otherwise.

Good, old-fashioned fun! (image from here)

And that brings me to the bees I'd like to get started this year! What better time than now to start something new!

1. The Tennessee Local Bee (#tnlocalhoneybee)-- I'd love to start a bee of people living in or around Nashville (or just TN in general if there arent enough people interested in town). I would love to incorporate some of the in-person aspects of the quilting bee, such as coming together to help baste large quilts (and being able to take advantage of the large table in the store to make this so much easier!), to possibly having group quilting days, hanging out drinking tea, and having the option of choosing any fabric at the store to use and have it available at a discount. This can be open to all levels of skill, so dont be shy if you have never done a bee.

2. The Newbie Bee (#newbiebee2015)-- For first timers! A great place to start, and I will post throughout the year and be available to answer any questions that may arise. This will be for beginner-intermediate skill levels, and you will also receive discounts at the online Etsy portion of The Fabric Studio throughout the year.

3. Paper-Piecing/ Advanced Block Bee (#challengeacceptedbee2015)-- Is 2015 the year you'd like to push yourself to try more difficult blocks, and maybe learn a few new techniques? Maybe you've seen some of From Blank Pages' amazing paper-pieced quilts but thought there was no way you could ever make 12 of the same thing (I know I have). I think (and hope!) this bee will create some really spectacular quilts that just might not be possible on your own. Keep in mind for this bee people may be choosing paper piecing patterns that you would need to purchase (usually these are less than $10, though there are also tons of free ones available) but just think of it as a way to expand your pattern library and help independent pattern designers. Discounts from The Fabric Studio will also apply.

So, if any of these sound tempting and fun to you, please do join! You can leave a comment with your email and which bee you'd like to join, and I'll be emailing you with info in the next week. Looking forward to a fun and quilt-y 2015!!

Some of my favorite #moderninstabee2014 quilts
(from instagrm users @alexandra1008, @heatherisgr8, @tennjenny, and @tifray)


  1. I'd love to join the #challengeacceptedbee2015! I've been in a do.Good stitches group that I love for the last couple years but we tend to pick simpler blocks (which is appreciated by all). But I think it would be fun to have something more challenging to work on this year, especially since I'm stepping down from my guild duties so will have more time!

  2. I'd love to join the #newbiebee2015! I sew and quilt a lot in my studio practice, but have never worked with a bee before. I live 90 minutes from Nashville but come to the city a lot, and am involved in the art scene quite a bit. Please be in touch with me at Best, Jessica Wohl

  3. I would love to join the #challengeacceptedbee2015. My email is

  4. I would love to join the #newbiebee2015. Email is

  5. Is there still room in the newbie group? My email is

  6. I want to join the newbie group. Caseyfreeman1979 at yahoo dot com

  7. If like to boing the challenge bee please!

    1. That is, if like to JOIN the challenge bee!

  8. I'm in for the challenge bee

  9. If I can I would like to join the newbiebee. I am from Oregon ( hope that's ok) but I am having a really hard time finding a bee to join!

  10. Is it too late to join the Advance/Paper Piecing Bee? Thanks. Debbie Davis

  11. Is it too late to join the Advance/Paper Piecing Bee? Thanks. Debbie Davis