Bee Adventurous 2016

Catch-up: Bee Adventurous Round 3

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This is a while back now, but to catch up, here’s my work on Round 3 of the Bee Adventurous journey me and my wonderful beemates have been on together. (Clare’s work in the center; Rebecca’s on the next section around that, with the circle corners; mine around the outside, the strippy diamonds or whatever they should be called.)

This quilt belongs to Clare, who I was lucky enough to meet in person at this year’s Festival of Quilts. Ohmahgosh, is she the most adorable person?!?!? I just wanted to squish her to bits (in a good way)! I was so happy to meet her, it was a definite highlight of this year’s already wonderful show.

Anyway, it was some time ago, but this quilt was a definite challenge for me. And I couldn’t figure out why for ages. It seemed like a perfectly me thing to do, but then I realized two things:

– For whatever reason, I’ve definitely shifted to a more low-volume / minimalist feel with my fabric choices and designs. I know that’s definitely not what Clare wanted in her quilt.

– Even though I love when other people use solids in their work, I was just not accustomed to it! For ages, I couldn’t figure out how to fit them in and make them work with the prints I wanted to include. They just looked all … blank and stuff. I’m clearly used to playing with prints.

But it all worked out pretty great in the end – though I didn’t think so at the time. I only reluctantly sent it along to the next beemate, still partially feeling like I’d made a mess of it and should rip it out and start again. Now I love it very much.

And it really got me out of my comfort zone. I’m including more solids in my sewing, naturally now and not forced – for me, this was the whole point of the bee: stretching my stitchy legs and trying new things. Sounds like such a silly thing, needing practice to include solids? They just didn’t look right to me at first, but now I’m really enjoying them.

You can see the continuing work on this and all the quilts in this bee by checking out the tag #beeadventurousquilts on Instagram!

Bee Adventurous – Round 2

Bee Adventurous Round 1

Remember when I told you about Bee Adventurous, the new round robin-style quilting bee I’m in? Well, the work I showed you then was Round 1, when we all made our own pieces to pass on.

Round 2 was just a touch trickier. Who knew adding something to someone’s beautiful handmade work was going to be so damn difficult??! Ok, so maybe I should’ve seen that coming.

Bee Adventurous Round 1

I knew that my contribution to Rebecca’s (@greenandbell on IG, a friend whose work I admire more than I can say) quilt was going to include low volume flying geese – I could see that almost immediately. Her segment was made of intricate, colorful squares, and my gut said it wanted angles and couldn’t have anything too colorful next to her section or it would drown it out. I sewed a bunch of low volume, low contrast flying geese and was crazy about them. And then got stuck.

I originally placed a couple of stars between the geese and it was pretty, but it had no cohesion with Rebecca’s piece. I also went back to the original assignment, as it were, and looked at Rebecca’s Pinterest inspiration board for her project. I decided the stars were stepping too far away from her style. Working your style into someone else’s isn’t easy – it’s a balance, taking care not to simply mimic their style, instead finding a way to blend the two seamlessly.

Bee Adventurous Round 1

It took me a few days of sweat and tears, but I decided to replace the stars with five circles, English Paper Pieced in quarters, in color blocks. The color and shot cottons I used would tie into Rebecca’s work without competing with it. I had also previously felt that in order to be truly representative of me, there really should be some hand-stitching involved in my contribution, so landing on an EPP solution put out a couple of fires with one cup of water. As soon as I imagined the circles in place, I knew it was the right choice and I got stitching.

Bee Adventurous Round 1

I’m really happy with what I made for Rebecca, and I hope she is too! It’s a little bit me, a little bit her. And it made me step outside the box and see my sewing a little differently which, for me, was the whole point of this bee!

Bee Adventurous Round 1

(Rebecca’s work up top, mine below it. This photo was kindly provided by the bee member now in possession of this project, Ruth (@birchandbirdsong on IG), because my turn with it was plagued by dark and rainy days. Other than this photo, pardon the unpolished WIP-nature of the shots in this post. This is what it really looks like as I work. :) )

Next up, Clare’s project, which you can see the start of on her blog. It’s been added to by Rebecca since then, and I’m totally unsure about this one. We’re already a month into this round and I only really have an inkling of an idea of how to proceed! So yeah, wish me luck, eh?

Bee Adventurous 2016

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So, sometime last summer, or maybe even last spring (insert redface here), I was email-chatting to a friend, and then another friend, about possibly starting a little online quilting bee. The idea was to form a group that would focus on design challenges rather than contributing a block based on an existing pattern.

These friends were, for some crazy reason, willing to join me for this insanity, and the idea for Bee Adventurous 2016 was born. A few others were gathered to form a wee group of six members, and we decided on a round-robin / traveling bee for our format. It works like this: each of us make a piece of patchwork in whatever style we like, and send it on the next person with some loose instruction (perhaps you want a medallion quilt, or a row-by-row design, and you hate / love certain colors). Each project will travel through the group, one by one, and be added to in some way along each stop.

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For me, the whole idea is to stretch my design legs, to see past instructions for a simple block and look at the project as a whole. This is a fun challenge for me, to be given something that I did not design, and build on it in a cohesive way – that is still in my own style. Exciting!

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My project has been sent off to the next member for the first addition – as you can see, I’m going for a non-liner sampler style. I honestly have no idea if this sort of sampler quilt has a name, but you know what I mean. You just stick somethin’ on one side that looks like it might go there. I’ll call it an improv sampler, because it doesn’t have to have any clear layout plan. I have given as few guidelines as I could manage for my quilt, only encouraging the others to use my project as an excuse to try something new or play with a block they’ve always wanted to try. Whatever their quilty little brains can imagine. I can’t wait to see what they do!

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I’ve received my first project to work on as well – I’ll wait to show you that until I have a bit of a plan, but in the meantime, you can follow our group’s progress on Instagram by checking out the tag #beeadventurousquilts.