I've professed my love for the 3x6 and 4x5 quilting bees before, and I've also been participating in a few other virtual quilting bees on flickr.
At first, I was pretty hesitant to join any. Too shy.
One day, though, I took the plunge and joined Quilting Under the Rainbow, organized by Shawn.
How it works:
12 members, 12 months. Each month, one member sends out fabric and instructions for a block or blocks they'd like to get back. All the other members (worker bees!) make the blocks, take pictures and post on flickr for the group to see, and send them back. Kind of like quilty penpals! You can find a lot of information about flickr's virtual bees here.
I've always loved sending and receiving mail! These kinds of bees really enhance my perception of the variety of quilting styles and tastes, and I've learned so much from them. I get to work with fabrics and designs that I wouldn't think of myself. Paper-piecing. Dresdens. Improv. You name it!
Quilting Under the Rainbow has a loose theme of bright, rainbow colors, either arranged in a color wheel or otherwise. Ultimately, though, it's totally up to the person whose month it is.
I'm sad that this bee is more than half over. Here's a roundup of what we've worked on so far.
Moni started us off with a lovely rainbow pinwheel. It was my first time paper-piecing! I'm a big fan of the traditional "fold along all the lines, be generous with fabric, hold up to the light, hope you get it right" method.
Susan assigned some deceivingly simple squares (with this tutorial) that tested my piecing accuracy! We all received different colors, so it was really fun to see everyone complete the blocks.
Sam sent out another paper-pieced challenge: a traditional pineapple block. I really love how precise traditional blocks can be when you paper-piece them (as opposed to my usual questionable seam allowances...)
October 2011: My month!
For Christine, we made a beautiful modern version of the Friendship Scrap Block, in all different colors. This block is a real test of half-square triangle skills.
Then we took a holiday break!
Shawn sent out some solid, white, and corner printed fabrics for evening star blocks. Then we each filled in the points of the star with coordinating fabrics from our stashes-- this will be a truly unique quilt!!
February and March aren't quite finished yet!