Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bee Sewcial Round-Up 2023

Hard to believe but Bee Sewcial's 9th year together is winding down. We have no prompt scheduled for December, but we will get together over Zoom to celebrate the season and unwrap the gifts we've made and mailed. Meanwhile, I thought it would be fun to do a little round-up of this year's prompts and the blocks I've made.

January: Vision for Stephanie @spontaneousthreads
Inspired by the work of Hilma af Klint, my block for Stephanie measured 17.5" by 20.5". The elements were all set in, and I'll confess I found this prompt very challenging.

February: It's Winter, Witches! for Marci @marci_girl
Marci chose another seasonally-inspired prompt for her month in "It's Winter, Witches!." (Last year was It's Fall Y'All.) Living in Louisiana, she doesn't get the traditional winter weather, but here in the PNW, we definitely do. I could have gone in a lot of directions, but what came to mind were the icicles that develop on the eaves of our roof during winter, as well as the drip drip drip that happens as they begin to melt. I didn't really mean to make such a big block, but there ya go. It was 20.5" x 20.5", plenty big for Marci to trim down later if need be.

For my month, I challenged my beemates to spend the month being inspired by the work of Josef Albers, making blocks in a style I dubbed 'Albersesque.' I asked that the key focus be on simple shapes and color, with three 9.5" square blocks from each member. Each of their three blocks were to follow the same inspiration piece. I made my first block quite similar to my chosen inspiration, hoping to illustrate clearly my intent with the prompt, then the other two were a little more improvisational.

Happily, I was able to complete my Albersesque quilt, with blocks, layout, quilt back, and quilting all inspired by works of Josef Albers. 

May: Black and White Stripes for M-R @quiltmatters
With the prompt of black and white stripes. I started by experimenting with varying widths, 1/4", 1/2", & 3/4". The first block size was 13.5" x 14". The second, with it's irregular shape, 10.5" tall by 13" wide. And finally a smaller pair (6" x 9" and 5" x 9.5"), which I'd originally planned to sew together, but decided to send separately so M-R could choose how to use them.

July: Fireworks for Leanne @shecanquilt
Right away, I had a loose idea of where I wanted to take this prompt. But somewhere along the way, the scale got waaayyyy off. Things got big fast. After talking with Leanne about it, we both decided I should leave my 'block' as is - at least 13" x 36", larger that our normal equivalent of two 12.5" blocks. Leanne liked having the option to trim it, cut it up, or whatever, when she goes to piece her quilt top.

August: Tiles for Kari @quiltsforthemaking
Kari's prompt was inspired by all the ceramic tiles she saw while traveling in Spain and Portugal. Her suggested dominant colors were cream, terra cotta, navy, and cobalt blue with accent colors as we saw fit. (I did not.) My first go at a block was a mix of ruler-cut and freehand improv, and measured approximately 15" square. On the second block, though composed of pretty simple shapes, the improv was evident in elements not matching up, etc. I think that was my favorite part. It measured about 12" square.

October: Coffee for Felicity @felicityquilts
"Rich browns in all shades, including very dark all the way to cream. Think roasted beans, a freshly pulled espresso shot, an iced coffee with swirls of cream, latte art." Oh yeah. Felicity's coffee prompt was one I could easily embrace. Folks so seldom lean to the browns, but I love them, so creating these two blocks were a joy. First up were improv coffee beans (14.5" x 17.5"), followed by a row of coffee drinks at the local coffee shop (7" x 11").

November: Echo for Karen @capitolaquilter
Karen offered two palettes for our blocks this month, and I chose Combo Two: orange-red and blue-green for both of my blocks. I was surprised how challenged I was by this prompt. I had ideas, but executing them within the space confines proved kind of difficult, as was concentrating on the components themselves while also the majority vs. accent color focus Karen requested. My X block measured 8" x 24", and the diamond one, 10.5" x 17".

So that's a wrap! I'm looking forward to another year of improv with my Bee Sewcial mates in 2024. 


  1. Well, this was fun and inspirational!

  2. Enjoy your December zoom and wrap up. I love getting to see the blocks you make and receive and the quilts that get made! :)

  3. I am always impressed by the monthly themes everyone picks and your blocks. Thanks for the round up. A beautiful and inspiring walk down memory lane ;)

  4. They're all just great! Though, if I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be (surprisingly) the black and white one. The first picture is one that I can imagine as a large quilt. Hmm. Interesting that a two-color quilt can have such impact. It's very special that your group has continued for so many years, and I so fun that you have a Zoom meet-up. No doubt you'll receive a wonderful gift. Enjoy!

  5. I love all your blocks and it's such a joy to play with your friends! Annie la tulipe