Friday, December 16, 2022

Bee Sewcial Round-Up 2022

The improv bee, Bee Sewcial, is finishing up its 8th(!) year of improvisational creating, and I thought it would be fun to see my year's blocks all together.

Kenny asked for circles and chevrons in the style of Kenneth NolandFor the inset circle block, I used the tutorial by my bee-mate Stephanie/@spontaneousthreads as a guide. Ken was fine with doing the final circle trimming, which was a plus. The Chevron was really fun and grew quickly! As shown, it measures 12" wide and 24" long.

February: Windows Aglow for M-R/@quiltmatters
Imagine going on a winter evening walk...that's what M-R asked us to depict in our blocks - those lights glowing from windows we pass. Using scraps was a must, as well as a particular scale, which was maybe the trickiest part of all. I loved working with all those reds!

For my prompt this year, I asked for long, oblong 'horizon' blocks with layered colors inspired by the work of Grant Haffner. An abstract use of color was encouraged, but not required. I struggled to make my own block, but finally, it came to pass,  measuring 10" x 36", and with a hint of similarity to the lake-view photos I've posted over the years.

And after weeks of mulling, I was able to finish "Horizon Views," my 8th quilt with Bee Sewcial. Big relief to have this one complete before the year's end.

Leanne asked for 'close up' views in fantasy seed colors, with blocks left untrimmed. My first block represents a poppy seed pod; the second, a thistle.

July: X Blocks for Stephanie/@spontaneousthreads
Stephanie's request was for cool-colored improv-pieced Xs on a warm pieced background; again, left untrimmed. This prompt was a little tricky to execute, but definitely some improvisational fun.

August: Jellyfish for Karen/@capitolaquilter
Can't tell you how many times I tuned in to the Monterey Bay Acquarium Jellyfish Cam after Karen shared her jellyfish prompt! Karen encouraged us to "focus on one or multiple parts rather than the whole," which was interesting to execute. For the jellyfish "tentacles" on the right, I used the Insert Strips on the Fly tutorial found on Hillary/@entropyalwayswins' blog.

October: Improv Letter Study for Felicity/@felicityquilts
Felicity wanted a different letter for each block, and different values of one color for each block. This was very fun! Can you tell my first block letter was 'L' and the second, 'A'?

November: It's Fall Y'All for Marci/@marci_girl
Marci asked for a unique and full fall palette of abstract blocks based off of tangible things or feelings or emotions. My first block was inspired by the leaves on the trees that have different colors on different parts of the tree. The second block was my interpretation of the fall skies during the week I was making these blocks. The weather had been brisk, but we enjoyed some blue skies, tinged with pink later in the day. Imagine looking up through bare tree branches and maybe you'll 'see' what I'd been seeing. We had the option of trimming our blocks, so I trimmed the first and left the second untrimmed.

So that was another fun year of improv with intent! I'm always in awe of the prompts my bee mates set forth, and am looking forward to more in 2023. See the #beesewcial hashtag if you'd like to see more, or follow the new Bee Sewcial Instagram page or website


  1. I am definitely following Bee Sewcial on Instagram, and I hope to see how these blocks get put together in their quilts. The prompts and finishes are inspiring. :)

  2. I enjoy seeing what Bee Sewcial is creating through the year. Thanks for sharing the recap of your blocks!

  3. Your quilt "Horizon Views" is exciting to look at!

    Love those improv blocks in the rest of your year-end review!

  4. Great variety and amazing piecing skills!

  5. Very glad about your new IG page, always so interesting to see how the blocks you make turn into quilts. xo

  6. Oh gosh! Every single block you made is a beautiful mini quilt unto itself! Just gorgeous! What I think, as I'm looking at each block, it all the fabric bits you've cut into and created to make that block. I'd love to see your bitty pieces and how you store and use them. Is your sewing room a total wreck as you make these blocks? :-) I also think about all the trips you've made to the post office to mail these blocks. Silly, I know, but that requires time and no small amount of pocket change to do each month. Hope you don't have far to drive! But it's definitely fun to see what you've made this year. I admire your dedication to the projects and the groups.