I love my quilting bees, as you can see here, here, and here. After getting comfortable with their structure and rules, I wanted more, so I decided to start my own! Neutral and Not was born out of my love of monochromatic quilts. I'm so drawn to quilts that use limited colors and high contrast to create geometric impact, so I thought this would be a fun framework for a bee.
(If you're interested, Rachel wrote a fantastic post about bee basics: what they are, how to find one, how to start one!)
The idea for this bee is that, each month, the queen bee can pick a one neutral tone, and one that is decidedly not. Red and white is such a classic, but what about red and bone? Gray and yellow? Aqua and sand? Coal and rose? Flame and stone? Before I got carried away, I also wanted bee members to be able to branch out to whatever colors/ideas they wanted, since I think getting what you want is an important part of a bee.
It can be a lot of work to lead a bee, wrangling 12 members all over the globe, tracking fabrics and blocks and missing members, but these lovely ladies have made it a breeze for me! We're at a halfway point right now, so I thought I'd share what we've worked on so far.
In November, Esther assigned us Dresdens - any kind! - sent out a deep brown and some grassy prints, and changed my life. I used this tutorial, modified to make the petals smaller. No more Dresden fear!
Stephanie asked for dark bird silhouettes on bright wonky tree branches. I really loved seeing all the other members' blocks coming in for this one, since they were all so creative and different!
Susan sent out some really lovely grays and aquas, requesting wonky log cabins. This was actually the first time I'd ever made one!
Who doesn't love working with all solids??! In March, Christina sent us some grays and a gorgeous array of purples, and requested star blocks. I used this pattern for this little beauty. Christina's star inspiration mosaic is a terrific resource for star patterns, too!
April 2012:Melisa took her inspiration from an improvised table runner made up of little strips. I think this will make such a stunning quilt!
Ella sent out grays and rosy tones to make these graphically bold wheel blocks. Quick to sew up, with stunning results.
Can't wait for the fun to continue! To see the rest of our talented members' work, check out our Flickr photo pool!