Thursday, 2 October 2014

Bees, Swaps, Round Robins

I've just completed my first cycle in an online sewing Bee.  I was invited to join Threadbias Ausbee by Jo of Riddle and Whimsy and I'm glad I did.

Here is a round up of all the blocks I made in my first Bee:

April: Star Crossed block.  Tutorial found here.  

These blocks were a good exercise in using a scant 1/4" seam allowances.

May:  Bento Box blocks - info found here.  

We were asked for red, purple and blue fabric combinations in this quilt.  This was an unusual colour mix for me and I learned a lot about using tone to help them all play nicely.

June: Star Blocks ... I wrangled with purple here.

July: Was my turn to be Queen Bee.  I chose this butterfly block.

Didn't all of my Bee mates do a fantastic job?

I'm going to use these blocks to make a quilt for my daughter and I let her open the packages when they arrived in the post ... you should have heard her squeal with delight upon opening each package!  Bliss!

August: Mini Bow Tie blocks.  Info found here

These blocks were heaps of fun to make!

September: Improv Blocks found here

Yes ... well ... that was an interesting experience!

I had always stayed away from Bees sighting the usual fears ... skill level, time-poor, sewing to a schedule ... yarda, yarda, yarda ... silly really, as it's been a great way to try different blocks, colour combos and quilting genres.

So that was Ausbees ... thank you ladies ... it's been great sewing with you!

I'm going to try some swaps next.  I like the idea of receiving a finished item in the post, something I can hang or use straight away.  So I've signed up for the Little Quilts Swap via Instagram.  There are 200 (or so) of us sewing a mini quilt from the Little Quilts Book for a secret squirrel swap partner.

This is what I'm planning for my partner ...

Dreamin' Vintage by Art Gallery Fabrics

I might want to keep it for myself!  But, I'm almost certain that's not what a swap is about :)

And you know that I'm enjoying my Possum Magic Round Robin ... I'm working on Wendy's centre next ...

Next on the design mattress ... 

... yes, you noticed all that purple too? ... I may have to call a truce with purple for the sake of Possum Magic!

I'm interested to hear which form of online community sewing you enjoy most?  Bees, Swaps or Round Robins?

Serena x


  1. I love what you have chosen for the Little Quilts swap and that is my favorite quilt (that I have seen) from the book. Purple seems to be quite popular lately but we are heading into fall here and it is a fall-ish color. I do not sew much with purple but I have been loving the purple unicorn fabric from Far, Far Away. I like being in a bee that runs 10 months of the year and occasionally participating in a swap. I like to have a challenge and be pushed out of my comfort sewing zone; keeps me out of sewing ruts and I get to learn and improve. I have yet to participate in a round robin but I think it would be fun! It will be fun watching your swap progress. You made a lot of beautiful blocks ( and some cute tiny blocks!) this past year!

  2. Making a variety of bee blocks certainly helps improve the sewing skills, that's for sure! I think you will have enough fabric there to make two mini quilts- make them at the same time and you won't be disappointed about sending one off!

  3. I love all your bee blocks! I'm approaching the end of my first year in a bee and I've really enjoyed it!

  4. I love that star crossed block from April! Your quilt has just booked in at the OWB casa and OMG it's gorgeous. I've been scheming already...lovin all my groups , PM, LQS and Stash Bee....come join the next round!

  5. Last year for me was all swaps, this year all Bee's and I think a bit of both is nice! I love purple but have a really hard time finding fat quarters in the shades of it that I like!

  6. I would love to be in a round robin but I think the postage would just be too expensive for me (plus the trip to the post office which takes about 2 hours in horrible traffic!) Instead I have been enjoying swaps - I like stalking the other person and trying to work out what they would like!

  7. The butterfly blocks for your daughter are darling, and how fun that you let her open the post! :) I guess after watching (but never participating), I think that I would lean toward trying a bee first, personally. I think the round robins are awesome, but they look like a lot of work!!

  8. I haven't done any, but I enjoy seeing what others do. I absolutely love the butterflies for your daughter.

  9. You've got me thinking about possibly joining a bee next year. Don't feel that you need to use purple on my Possum Magic quilt. I only used blue and green in the centre. It was Sharon who introduced the purple ( not that I mind of course!). Just do whatever you think looks right.

  10. Wow - the bee blocks are fabulous. I love all the butterflies. I'm in my first bee this year and loving it. I've also signed up for the swap and I'm loving (although, same problem - not sure I can part with it) making something for someone else. Can't wait to see what else you sign up for :)

  11. Busy girl! Love the Bento box and Butterflies. It must be a B day!

  12. No matter what else has been going on I have kept up with my Bee Blocks, and I have two to mail just today. Kind of nice to create according to someone else's instructions and colors, and then see what they do with the blocks.

  13. So many awesome blocks!! I particularly love the butterflies!! They are going to make such a beautiful quilt.

  14. Maybe you can make two mini quilts – one to swap and a duplicate to keep!
    I can imagine your girls opening butterfly parcels with glee.
    I love a block-based bee as it is a quick way to try something new without a long commitment, but I think I prefer the mental stretch of the round robins. It is early days yet, and perhaps I will change my tune as the quilt tops get bigger and trickier!



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