Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Newbee Quilters

To say that I got more of a response to my last post than I was expecting, well, that's an understatement. Thank you to everyone.... those that posted comments, those that emailed or PM'd me and everyone that spoke up in the forums over at Threadbias. It really made me feel like I had a good idea after all. :)

Based on everything I heard, I went ahead and started a bee group on Threadbias a few days ago. In just those few days, we already have 20+ members!!

This will be a bee that is geared at 'Newbees'. Either those new to sewing/quilting, or those new to bees and swaps. It'll be a great place to gain some knowledge...and some confidence. :)

I learned that a great many people are often looking for a bee, but are either too worried to actually join one (that 'complex' rears its' ugly head!) or they don't make the sign up list in time. Because of this, I've decided to leave it an open ended group....meaning anyone can join the group at any time. Anyone who joins will be placed on an on-going waiting list of sorts. When that list reaches 12 people, I will form a new hive for them.

We will be starting our first 2 hives come January (we're waiting to start til after the holidays by popular request). Everyone is very excited and looking forward to the coming year.

To get more info or if you'd like to join the Newbee Quilters, feel free to stop by! (For those that may not be particularly interested in a beginner's bee, another bee group has also been started and I'm sure that one will continue to grow as well.) It is sure to be fun, and a good way to get involved with other fabric lovers.

You would have to join the Threadbias site, but it's free and it truly is a fabulous, friendly community! I've already made many new 'friends' in the month I've been hanging out there. Sign up, you won't regret it!

If you have any questions, or would like more info, feel free leave me a comment or send me an email.

For those that would like a button for their blog, here you go! :)

Newbee Quilters {All Patched Up}

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

To bee or not to bee....

A recent forum posting I took part in has had me thinking lately, a lot. It was nothing out of the norm, just a post to discuss potential interest in starting a quilting bee. Would anyone be interested, could they commit to the year long bee, etc. Simple enough.

I said, 'Great Idea! Count me in!'. I've been looking for a bee or round robin to join recently but haven't had much luck. Among other reasons, my main issue has been that (with the exception of some family members) I don't really know anyone that sews, much less quilts. Flickr swaps and bees can be tough to get into if you're new and/or have no one to vouch for ya. Same with the few other places I know to look. So, the opportunity just hasn't been there.

I'd love to join a modern quilting club, but the only one that is close enough doesn't look like has been active in recent months. They had just started the guild in late 2011 and I can't find any info or activity since about February or March. Nothing, nada, zilch. So, yeah, not much luck there either.

So, I decided to come online. And it's been great so far! There's such a great community here. I'm finding other people who sew to connect with and who share my love of fabric and creating things with it. :)

But, I'm getting sidetracked....

TATB Bee Block January
Log Cabin block by Fresh Lemons: Faith via Flickr.

The potential bee....

A handful of others commented saying they would also be interested. Within just a few days, we already had 6...halfway there! Lookin good!

And then one particular post got to me. Not in a bad way mind you, not at all. It just me thinking. It started as a little prickle under my skin and has been slowly growing. And I haven't been able to stop this idea that's been building.

The member posted saying she thought the bee was a wonderful idea, that it would be fun. That she would love to join, but she was too new. She didn't feel that she could produce the quality needed. In essence, she had what I tend to label the 'I'm not good enough yet' complex. She was cheerful and honest about the whole thing. I immediately stated that I would have no problem joining a bee with her, I didn't care that she was new to quilting...and most if not all of the others said the same. She has been elected our bee angel should we go ahead with the group. :)

Although she is simply being honest, and forthcoming about her lack of experience, the thought made me feel a bit sad. This could just be because I tend to over-empathize with people (I fully admit I do heh), but I think it's more so because...uhm, I feel the same way and always have honestly.

Various wonky blocks
1. Wonky Cross Pillow, 2. scrappy wonky blocks in progress, 3. 3 x 6 Bee Block for melissa.leray, 4. April do. good stitches red, 5. week two block, 6. Wonky Square Rings Quilt

I've been sewing for years, and my family always tell me they love the things I make, etc etc etc. But, hey, they're family. They have to love me and suck up and tell me everything I make is awesome! *snicker* Ok, maybe not quite that far, but you get the point. I know I sew well, I could always improve, but I sew well. When it comes to joining something where I'll be sewing for someone else tho, especially someone else who also sews and/or someone I don't know...well, that's different and I fall victim to the "I'm not good enough" complex.

I've contemplated opening an etsy shop, selling my drawstring backpacks, or some quilts. I even opened a shop.

I've listed exactly 0 items.

What stops me? The "I'm not good enough" complex. I've looked at joining some bees online in the past....yup, same thing.

Until recently, that complex always stopped me from doing things I might have otherwise enjoyed. Then I started reading a little bit more, and ran across a few articles in blogland where others were posting about also feeling nervous and not good enough at times. These were women that, blew my mind! They're big, popular blogging quilters, known all around the blogosphere for petes sake!! They MUST know they're awesome!! Wait...some of 'em have the same worries as me?! Weird.

That knowledge changed things for me tho. It's caused me to finally seek out a bee/swap or two to join and take the plunge, nerves and all!

Anyway, this whole lengthy thought process left me with a idea. What if I started a bee...just for beginners!! It would be great practice...making a different block each month for a year. They would learn new techniques and different patterns, etc. And the evil quilt police would most certainly be banned from even peaking at our work! ;)

If it were all beginners, the quality of the sewing/technique/block wouldn't have to be a concern. More importantly, no one would have to fall prey to that icky complex or at the very least they'd have a good chance to overcome it. ;) They could really just get a feel for doing a bee, get the help, practice and encouragement each month. After the year was up, everyone would end up with a very memorable and special quilt!

I originally pictured just beginners in this bee. Then I remembered what I've been feeling myself. There must be others that feel the same and have held back for the same reasons I have. I decided it might be good to include at least a few of the more veteran quilters that haven't done a bee before (a different kind of beginner!) as long as they clearly understood many members are only just beginning & blocks are not going to be perfect. The seasoned quilters could add much to the bee...helping with tutorials and tips & tricks. They would also give the new quilters some blocks to inspect and see each month. And they would get the experience of being in their first bee. Benefits for both the veterans and newbies. :)

Simple block examples
1. Scrapbusters Bento Box block picnic tablecloth, 2. Boxed In blocks, 3. detail of log cabin block., 4. log cabin one, 5. shortcake quilt top, 6. 3x6 angel block, 7. 3x6 bee block - 2nd quarter 2011, 8. 3x6 Quilting Bee - Herringbone blocks, 9. Theres a square in there, 10. granny square blocks! :), 11. Granny Square side by side, 12. Leanne's Blocks, 13. Sew Modern Bee14. Not available15. Not available16. Not available

All blocks that are selected by each member would be required to be on the simple side. I could do tutorials any time it was necessary to make sure everyone knew how to go about making each block. The pics I've included throughout this post are some examples of the kinds of blocks I'm talking about. Log Cabins, strips, square in a squares, patchwork, etc. Nothing too complicated....nice and easy.

This certainly got lengthy didn't it?! Yeah, that tends to happen with me. *grin*

So, what do you think? Would this be a good idea or am I just crazy? Would anyone join me in something like this? Please chime in, I'm really looking for some opinions here....should I move forward with planning this or should I let it go.

P.S. For anyone that's involved in the first forum posting that I mentioned...I have plenty of time and am not in any other bees or swaps so would have no problem doing both bees...I wouldn't be backing out or anything. :)

10/27/12 Edited to add: With all the response I've received I've decided ...I'm not crazy!!! Whew!! Ha! *ahem*    I've started a group over on if you'd like to join us, please visit the group HERE. (For anyone not already on Threadbias, it's free to join and truly is a great community!! Come join us. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meet Mr. Owl

I've finished the pincushion for the swap I joined over on Threadbias. I had it finished some time ago, but was slacking on taking the pictures. Yep, I'm a slacker. ;)

When I was brainstorming, the first thought that crossed my mind when I signed up was that I wanted to do an owl pinnie. I've made another and they're a bit say the least....and just so darn cute! I had a couple other ideas and was willing to go in a totally different direction if my partner was against owls (*gasp*) or wanted something different. But after speaking with her, I found out she wasn't an owl hater (at least I don't think she is lol) and she loved all things fall. Owls are fall~ish...right?? So, on with the owl plan!

Mr. Owl
Mr. Owl

After sorting it all out, I made this little guy. Isn't he just adorable?! He's tiny and colorful and I just love how well he came together. He has since been sitting on my sewing desk and kept me and my own little owl pinnie company. He's such a hoot! ;)

As I sat sewing one evening, late into the night, he suddenly looked up at me with those big ole' eyes of his and pleaded...don't stab me please!! (It was late so I could be mistaken, but I swear I heard him sniffle) My heart went out to the little guy. My own owl pinnie tried to calm him, but it wasn't happening so I decided I had do something for him. And I did, I made him a nest! :)

Mr. Owl on his perch
Mr Owl on his perch. I made the bottom different just in case he gets in trouble and needs to blend in!

Heh. Okay. It turned out a little larger than I had originally planned....maybe it's more like a branch than a nest...erm, a log even. LOL

In my defense it was late so thinking out the measurements in my head may not have been wise. Oh well. Now the little guy has his very own log to sit on and his new owner can safely stick all those pesky pins in the 'log' and he will stay safe and stab free. I was going to attach him, but didn't. This way he'll be more know, in case he needs to stretch his wings or something. He's a very happy little owl more late night sniffling!

When I originally posted that I had joined the swap I said that I had another idea in my head that just wouldn't leave. When I thought about doing the owl, I got a picture in my head of a reverse appliqued owl with colorful strips as the peek-thru fabric. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to make a needle book. Needle books and pinnies just seem to go together.

Needlebook collage

Here's what I ended up with. Figured I would send it as an extra little goodie in my partner's box. :) So, this little needle book will keep little Mr. Owl company on his trip to my partner. Hope she likes them!!

Package for Okle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A UFO Group

So, now that I've been actively working on my WIP/UFO list, I've had to face the reality of how bad it's gotten. lol This has been made a little bit easier since I've joined a great group over on Threadbias...a group devoted solely to finishing up UFO's!! :D

At the beginning of each 'term' (which lasts 3 months), we list out our UFO's and put up photos and such that we want to finish up. At the end of that term, if you've finished any of them, everyone in the group will send you a FQ as a reward *Yay!* and you of course will send out a FQ to each of the others in your group that have a 'finish' as well. If you finish up two things, you'll get 2 FQ's from each person!! The extra encouragement and just being cheered on by these ladies is more than enough motivation, but the little reward is there to just brighten your day. :)

Pfft...more than enough of a kick in the pants for me to jump onboard and join this party!!

I think it's a fabulous idea and getting a lovely FQ in the mail for doing something I should already have done is just the motivation I need!!! I hope. Well...that and the fact that if I clear some of these off my list, I get to add fun new stuff to it!! *snicker* Yep, I'm hopeless!

Here's a mosaic of the projects I've added to my list this term.

UFOterm1 Collage