Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Being Sewcial

Towards the end of last year, I said farewell to 3 bees that I'd happily sewn with for the past 2 years - Always Bee Learning, Mid-Century Modern, and That Stash Bee. I made lots of good friends in those bees, friends I definitely want to keep in touch with, and we've made some beautiful quilts together - all really good stuff, right? But the bee blocks were stacking up in the ole stash, and honestly, I guess I just needed a change of pace, feeling that sticking with my one charity bee, FAITH Circle of do.Good Stitches, would be enough bee action for a while.

And then I got an invite to a new bee starting up. Bee Sewcial was different. It was all about using solid fabric. It was all about improv. It was all about derived inspiration. And it sounded challenging in a new way that quite honestly, I just couldn't resist.

So it started in January with Stephanie/Spontaneous Threads at the helm. With photos from a Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Garden as inspiration, and an extensive list of Kona cottons as a suggested palate, we were given free reign. As in, anything goes - follow where the inspiration leads, creating our best improv interpretation on the theme.

I admit I was frozen for a bit, but one night I just jumped in, with my stack of solids on my cutting table, and my rotary cutter gripped tight. I had flipped through Lucie Summers' book Quilt Improv a few days before so I guess I had the reverse applique "porthole" on my mind, though how it came to be fractured in the block below is all due to the mystery of improv.
As I began my second block, all I knew was I wanted lots of dark blue (Kona Nightfall), and there was a vague notion about slicing through the pieced strips at some point.
The requirement for this bee is 2 approximately 12" blocks (or the equivalent in 1 large block or several smaller blocks). And 1 terrific-to-me feature is that we've been told not to trim the blocks up. So they'll be heading out just as you see them, fresh from a good press. 

So I'm in! This should be a stimulating experiment in stepping outside one's comfort zone. If you feel like checking in on us, just look for #BeeSewcial on Instagram. We just might be going where no bee has gone before . . .

21 comments:

  1. I know many people who have reduced their bee commitments including myself. This looks like a fab bee and I can't wait to see what you get up to - I love me a bit of improv :-)

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  2. Looks fantastic and I am thrilled waiting for more. πŸ˜€
    Greetings from Germany, Rike

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  3. Oh wow!! I've not been in a bee for a few years and would LOVE to try something like this. SO cool and your blocks are amazeballs. Especially that fractured porthole!

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  4. beautiful blocks! I can't wait to watch this evolve

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  5. This is amazing! Love the colours as well.

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  6. These blocks are fantastic! Both of them have so much movement. I love the appearance of porthole in the first one. It will be fun to see all the blocks that come from this bee!

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  7. These blocks are great! I can't even wrap my head around how you made fabric do that. Beautiful!

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  8. Looks so exciting and interesting, Debbie! Great colours! x Teje

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  9. These curvy improv blocks look amazing Debbie!

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  10. I follow Stephanie and was quite intrigued by her post about this. Not to mention how wonderful the Chihuly exhibit here was. I'll be anxious to see what she does with all her "blocks" Yours is quite nice. Sounds like this will be a very good bee to expand, push and grow new quilting skills.

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  11. Deb? Is that you? This is certainly a departure from the other bees. Looks like you are having fun!

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  12. It looks fabulous.....I just love seeing his work in Seattle last year.....so inspiring!!!

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  13. This is incredibly exciting to me. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Looking so great, Debbie! My solids order is on its way to me and I have a few ideas percolating. All of the blocks so far have been so inspiring!

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  15. It's magic what you did with that fabric. Both blocks unique and stunning. I received my first blocks from Hillary (entropyalwayswins) today. It's fun to see them in their native state, untrimmed and just bursting to become something fabulous. Let's hope I can channel some of your magic and make that happen. Thanks for creating with Bee Sewcial- we certainly are going to go somewhere awesome and I'm glad we're all along for the ride.

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  16. I love your blocks, and I am sure this is going to be a fun bee.

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  17. I'll look forward to seeing more bold quilt blocks in the future :o) These two are great for getting your feet wet :o)

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  18. I love your blocks! This new bee should be very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your improve work.

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  19. I've loved watching these pop up on IG, such fun improv!

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  20. Your blocks are really super.

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