An All Day Block

Indian Summer quilt block

12 x 12

This is how I kept out of trouble today.

I’ve been exploring a variety of group quilting options, most recently a Bee. A Bee has 12 members, and each month one,the queen bee, chooses the block that the others make. This Indian Summer block was chosen for October. The queen bee sent enough fabric that we could choose colors, plus we could add. I added the darker orange and didn’t use two shades of yellow. It still has the paper backing, so it isn’t lying flat.

Do you like group projects?  What kind? Of the group approaches to quilting that I’ve tried, I like two and don’t like two.

I have tried mystery quilts three times.  Not for me.  I like to design and to modify designs.  Even with good instructions, it is hard to select fabrics for a project that is revealed only in small bits. I always wish at least one fabric had been placed differently.

I don’t think I’ll continue with the Bee beyond my initial commitment.  The good things are that it expands skills because someone else is doing the choosing. I’ve now done two paper pieced blocks, something I never choose on my own.  And I can imagine doing a block for someone and deciding to do a quilt from it for myself. But again, someone else is in control of the design. I had other projects that would have interested me more today.

Gathering around a quilting frame to hand quilt and visit is how I began quilting.  From observation of tops we quilted, from discussions of design, from looking at tops brought for show and tell, I gained knowledge about quilt design and technique. The only downsides are that it takes space and requires attendance at a specific time and place.

My favorite remains round robins.  They expand my horizons and I get design challenges.  And it is time to go work on the second round for my November robin.  After looking at the piece for a week, I now have a plan…

Check out design walls at Judy’s blog–some people did more than one block.

ETA link to free pattern on Craftsy



Filed under quilting

11 responses to “An All Day Block

  1. quilt32

    That’s a very interesting block. I was happy to find a free download on I’ll have to give this one a try.

  2. holy moly! that’s impressive!

  3. We are united in opinions on all these things – even in the reasons behind the opinions! I do LOVE quilting bees. I’ve always wanted a frame that would suspend from ceiling rafters and be pullied up and down. I know it takes space, but there’s nothing like the friendship and laughter over the frame. I even like the specific time and place, if it’s on a regular basis, particularly. I like have a schedule for some things. =)

    • I once lived in a house that was large enough for the narrow frame to be left up. A group met weekly. It had been started by the former owner of the house, and when we bought the house “went with it.” That lasted a couple years. Then we downsized.

  4. Absolutely love this block! I am interested in online Bees, but I haven’t found how to hook up with one yet. Any suggestions?

  5. Oh my goodness! what a fabulous block! Is the pattern copyrighted? Is there a paper piecing pattern for it? I’d love to get a copy. Great great job.

    On the group front- I’ve never joined a bee because I don’t usually make block style quilts, but i’ve always been intrigued by the round robin idea. So many wonderful quilts seem to come from them.

    My preferred group activity is either a small group (3-4 ppl) collaboration with people I know, or engaging in swaps. I like swaps because they have such a short specified time limit. When I feel like I have time, I can join one and enjoy the camaraderie without feeling like I have to make a long time commitment.

    • Swaps. They usually come up at a time I am too busy. But my guild had one that was very popular. People signed up, swapped charms. Each month an assigned color. Then at the end they had a workshop about projects to make from charms.

  6. I’ve been thinking that a round robbin sounds fun. Any suggestions on where to find one to join?

  7. I agree with many of your thoughts about bees–I’ve had some success with them, and yes, some failures. I hate it when I am diligent and make all the blocks and then those people become flakey and don’t return the favor. I’m in two now that I quite like, although one is giving me fits (a bit).

    Your round robin sounds intriguing, but I think I’d want more control than that, so it might drive me a bit batty. Have you seen the one that Elizabeth Hartman participates in? It’s been quite intriguing to watch those quilts take shape–they are similar to what you’re doing.

    • I had to think about the control issue–finally separated out control of product (not a problem to me in a group project–already sort of given up) Vs. control of process (this latter is what I like).

Conversation is good, so please join in. I'll reply here if it seems relevant to others, by email, or by visiting your blog.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s