Last year I participated in a wonderful online quilting class called Angled, run by Rachel Hauser of Stitched In Color (another post on that adventure coming soon). Near the end of the course Rachel invited me to fill a vacancy which had opened up in her quilting bee.
For those non-quilty people, a bee is where a bunch of people get together and make a collective quilt. Historically bees would often be held for special occasions, like weddings, where only the best quilters in the village would be asked to participate. For more utilitarian quilt bees, anyone could join, and it was a great way for new quilters to develop their skills, whilst helping keep everyone warm during the winter! Fast forward to the 21st century, and many quilters are now starting online bees and making quilts with a virtual bee of participants spread around the globe.
Rachel is the host of the Love Circle which is part of big quilting bee called do. Good Stitches. DGS formed on Flickr about four and a half years ago, and today there are 24 circles of 10 women each, all making ten quilts a year. That's 240 quilts a year! The amazing thing about do. Good Stitches is that all of the quilts are made for charity. The Love Circle makes quilts for Wrap Them In Love which sends quilts to needy children.
I was so delighted to be asked to join DGS. I love quilting and I love having a deadline to finish a project! I am super happy to be welcomed into a community of quilters and share our passion in such a wonderful way, by making quilts which will bring a little joy and color into the lives of some children who need an extra warm hug.
The DGS circles each have five designated quilters. The quilters take turns leading the quilts - choosing a block design and color palette. Everyone in the circle makes blocks and sends them to the lead quilter, who assembles everything, quilts it up and sends it off to Wrap Them In Love.
In January, Ara Jane is leading our quilt, and she chose a super fun block called "Inside Addition" which is a block that is being used for an Instagram quiltalong by another member of our circle, Jessica.
I seriously love this block... I have been coveting cross or plus blocks for a while, so it was so great to have an excuse to make some right now!
When someone else gives you a color palette, you quickly discover what your fabric buying habits are like. As in how few reds and taupes I have in my stash.
Luckily I was able to gather enough bits of fabric to meet Ara Jane's request. I love the way that this block works with the values in either configuration - dark plusses, light plusses - they mix and match so well alongside each other.
The other women in the circle have made some beautiful blocks and I cannot wait to see them all assembled down the road.
I'm already looking forward to February's blocks.