Friday, 27 July 2012

Pretending I'm in Brit Bee

Some of my favourite bloggers are also members of Brit Bee.  Before I read about the exploits of the Brit Bee-ers over the last year I'd thought of bee's in two ways: They either went wrong with people running off with your fabric and flaking on your blocks or they were for the super talented - Ringo Pie anyone? I thought they weren't for me in terms of skill required or the level of commitment (the latter I used as an excuse to justify the first.)  But the Brit Bee girls make each months bee blocks look like so much fun. Just the right amount of challenge, fear and a whole heap of encouraging friendship and laughs.  If I didn't like the members I know so much, I'd have plotted a Cluedo style knock off of a member to get myself a position in that Bee, just to be in on all the fun. I'm thinking Ms Klona Coal, in the sewing room with a pair of Pinking Shears - and cue evil laugh Mwahhhhhhhhhhh!  

So imagine my delight when I had an email from Fiona after seeing my low volume blocks asking me if I'd like to do a little block swap with her.  She was doing a very similar low volume project as me for her month in Brit Quilt and thought it would be fun if we made each other blocks.  She emailed me the Brit Bee instructions and sent me some of her precious low volume scraps. I in turn have sent her a package of low volume fabrics for my blocks.

Fiona's Low Volume Scraps.

 As it was cooler this afternoon I decided to have a go at the first block.  Now I have to say I've been a bit nervous of machine sewing since it became clear I needed a new machine. The fall back of the Brother I was given had previously only been used for free motion/creative stitching. I thought I could raise the feed dogs and snap on the general sewing foot and away I'd go. However, after trying to use it this afternoon for straight forward sewing in Fiona's first block, I nearly had a melt down at how unpleasant it is to use.  I won't bore you with details, but after I'd assembled the spool block and taken the unpicker to it about a zillion times I grabbed my old Janome - fiddled until I could get the feed dogs to re-engage and decided to use that. It may be no good for thicker layers or quilting, but I think I can use it for straight forward sewing at the moment. Hopefully between the machines I'll manage until I can get a new machine in about a month or so.

Anyway, this is the first block all finished. I did the high volume bit in the spool pattern from The Farmers Wife book.  I used scraps to make up the rest of the block. Mainly because some bits were too pretty to cut into - like the vintage sheet. So I just went with what the scraps dictated.


So this is how I got to pretend I'm part of Brit Bee. And hopefully Fi won't see this block and regret entrusting her precious scraps to me. I've got an idea for block two, but it's going to involve some hand sewing/EPP and a few of my own scraps to eek out what Fiona sent. 

It was seeing how the fun out ways the trauma of being in a bee that made me only too keen to say yes to joining the hipBees.  

Our first month is August and today I had my package of fabrics arrive from Miss August aka Reene of Nellie's Niceties.  So exciting. I hope to be able to show you what I come up with before too long!

In the mean time have a lovely weekend, whatever you may be doing!


  1. Hope you've cancelled the hitman...

  2. Oi, no defecting! You're a hipBee now and we won't let you go!

    Just kidding, J! I know what you mean re being nervous to join a Bee for the bad reasons as well as the overwhelmed by talent ones. Hopefully we are leaving all that aside as we plunge into hipBees for real this month!

    Your block for Fiona looks lovely - well done!

  3. Great block for Fiona! I'm so excited to see what you come up with for me :) I'll remember not to annoy you in case you put out another hit ;)

  4. Listen to your Mama - no defecting before the party starts!!!
    Nice blocks though! Di x

  5. I'm watching my back next time I see you ;o) You're obviously a much better block swapper than I am a bee-er as I totally forgot to take a 'before' shot. Oh well lol

  6. I had noticed your arrival - I am keeping the windows bolted xxx

  7. You're so funny J! I've sent off your blocks today btw. That will make you feel even more like a Brit bee-er! Hope your last nerve withstands the awful machine probs! Roll on payday! Jxo

  8. I have always closed my eyes and pretended I was in the Brit Bee! The problem is that I would have to make a very big move for that to happen. Just the past couple of months I joined my first bee for the very same reasons as you.

  9. Lovely block. You're doing great!

  10. Oh, lovely block and what a great idea. I got my fabric from Renee yesterday too, can;t wait to get started

  11. What a gorgeous block, I can't wait to see the second one! I'm also looking forward to seeing what you make for Reene - good luck with the dodgy sewing machine!


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