Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just a Few WannaBees

Today was our WannaBees get together, but we had a small group.  Ben showed off his latest creation.  The pictures do NOT do it justice.  I wish you could see in person the many layers of handpainted scales on this dragon.  Mind boggling. 

Jodi and Ben had both taken the Sundance workshop with Frieda Anderson.  I wish I had taken a picture of their work - the bright sunflowers are so cheerful after our 5th day of rain in a row!  Using a wavy blade on the rotary cutter adds so much movement to this quilt.  I can't wait to see them all quilted and embellished.

Lene had a new baby to show off!  For those of you using a reader, click on my blog so you can vote in the new poll.  How many sewing machines do you have?  I have never had more than one at a time (unless you count Gracie's, which I don't.)  I am curious about having different machines for different tasks.

Jodi was working on her blooming nine patch pattern.  This is a quilt I've always wanted to make, but never had the occasion.  I even have the book already, although I think I might have loaned it to Mom. 

I spied this "cheat sheet" with Jodi's work, and thought it was a great way to keep track of so many different fabrics that have a specific spot. 

I spent the lovely hours whipping down the binding on the first of the twin boy quilts. 

I had to fight my machine every step of the way, but more about that in my next update.  All I can say for now is that this one is done, DONE done, with a label. 
What did you sew today?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blogoversary FAIL

Today is my blog's third birthday. Wahoo!
I marked this date on my calendar a few months ago so I would be sure to post a week's worth of fabulously celebratory blog entries.

I hope you realize how much trouble I've gone to. 
  • I have nothing of any interest to give away.  Maybe I'm just tired of looking around my own sewing space, but right now it doesn't even look good enough to be free.  
  • I tried to update my header, managed to squeeze in a poor quality picture, and now can't figure out how to change it back.
  • We crammed so many lacrosse games into this past rainy weekend that I didn't set up any interesting or funny posts, so you are stuck with this lame excuse.

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood from three solid days of rain and thunder and lightning.  I'll be back to give it another shot tomorrow.


Friday, March 25, 2011

SewCalGal's Golden Quilter Awards 2011

Have you voted?

SewCalGal is hosting the Golden Quilter Awards for 2011.  And the nominees are:

1) Best Designer
Bari J. Ackerman    
Liz Angus at Sunflower Fields Pattern Co  (research pending)
Curtis Boehringer

Sherri K. Falls, This & That
Sarah Fielke
Joanna Figuora, Fig Tree Quilts
Jill Finley, Jilly Studio  Quilting
Harriet Hargrave
Julie Herman, of Jaybird Quilts
Lacy J. Hill,of Golden Thyme Design
Aneela Hoey of Comfortstitching and Sherbet Pips  (research pending)
Lori Holt, of Bee in my Bonnet
Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River
Sandra Leichner
Toby Lischko (Gateway Quilts Stuff)
Patrick Lose
Kim McLean 
Melody Miller (Ruby Star Rising)
Nina Lise Moen
Verna Mosquera (The Vintage Spool)
Amanda Murphy
Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie Quilts
Angie Padilla (Angie's Bits & Pieces)
Jennifer Paganelli
Camille Roskelley (Thimble Blossoms)
Heather Ross
Erin Russek
Pat Sloan
Jessica J. E. Smith, mystery quilt designer of Quilt & Needle
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hills Designs
Sarah Vedeler
Elaine Waldschmitt, of The Quilted Closet
Linda Winters of B. Bumble & Company
Toni Whitney

2) Best Teacher/Instructor
Alex Anderson
Karen Kay Buckley
Margaret Bucklew, Chisled in Cloth
Mary Buvia, Shiisa Quilts
Kay Capps Cross
Karen Cunagin, Millefleur Fibre Arts
Carol Doak
Jenny Doan, of The Missouri Star Quilt Company & also teaches at Sympoz
Kaye England
Harriet Hargrave
Linda Hungeford, Stitchin Mission
Linda Hahn, Two Country Quilters
Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville
Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River
Kay Mackenzie
Wendy Mathson
Sue Nickels
Sue Patten
Dawn Ramirez, the Pajama Quilter
Sharon Schamber
Pat Speth (Nickel quilt books)
Elly Sienkiewicz, Applique with Elly
Pat Sloan
Mary Ellen Von Holt  of Little Quilts, Marietta, GA     
Sarah Vedeler
Pat Wys of Silver Thimble Club
3) Best Author
Karla Alexander, Saginaw Street Quilt Company
Bari J
Kim Brackett, Magnolia Bay Quilts
Eleanor Burns, of Quilt In A Day
Kim Diehl
Sarah Fielke
Linda Franz
Linda J. Hahn
Harriet Hargrave
Elizabeth Hartman
Judy Laquidara, Patchwork Times
Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville
Lynn Jensen (Thimbleberries)
Liz Kettle
Sandra Leichner
Patrick Lose
Cheryl Lynch
Kay Mackenzie
Gwen Marston
Deborah Moebes
Tonya Ricucci (UnRuly Quilter
Pat Sloan
Kathleen Tracey (A Sentimental Quilter)

4) Best Quilt Store (Physical)
A Quilted Heart in Vacaville, Ca
Cozy Quilt Shop, El Cajon, CA
Fabric-Etc, in Bellingham, WA
Fabric Expressions,  Littleton CO
Fabric Shack, Waynesville, Ohio
Glacier Quilts of Kalispell, Montana
Going Batty, Reno, NV
Harriet's Treadle Art, in Wheat Ridge, CO
Luella's Quilt Basket, Redondo Beach, CA
The Quilt Barn in Puyallup, WA
The Quilt Crossing, in Boise, Idaho
Little Quilts, Marietta, GA
Mary Jo's in Gastonia NC
Mill House Quilts, Waunakee, Wisconsin
Monica's Quilt and Beads Shop in Palm Desert, CA
Quilters Paradise, Escondido, CA
Quilting Possibilities & Sewing Center, in New Jersey
Quilts on Plum Lane, in Dade City, Florida
Quiltz, Phoenix, Arizona
Red Hen, Marietta, GA
Rosies Calico Cupboard, San Diego, CA 
Satin Moon, Victoria, BC
Serendipity Quilt Shop,  in Dagsboro, DE
Sew from the Heart, Scottsdale, AZ
Sew to Speak, Columbus, OH
Suzanne's Quilt Shop of Moultrie, Georgia
The Quilted Kitty, Lincoln, Nebraska
Tiny Stitches in Marietta, GA
Ye Olde Schoolhouse Quilts in Cedarburg, WI
Waterwheel House Quilt Shop, Londonderry Vermont

5) Best Quilt Store (online)
Abby Mays
Burgundy Buttons
Canton Village Quilt Works
Cotton Charm Quilts
Cozy Quilt Shop
Crazy Quilt Girl Fabric Shop
Delta Patchwork
Fabric Buffet
Fashionable Fabrics
Fat Quarter Shop
Green Fairy Quilts
Hawthorne Threads
I Have a Notion
Missouri Star Quilt Company
Old Country Store Fabrics
Pink Chalk Fabrics
Prairie Moon Quilts
Quilt Home
Quilt In A Day
Quilt Taffy
Sew Fresh Fabrics
Sew, Mama, Sew! in Canada
Sew Fun Quilts
Sew Unique Creations
Shabby Fabrics
Stitch in the Ditch in Canada
The Quilted Kitty
Venezie Designs

6) Best Long Arm Quilter
Natalia Bonner, Piece N Quilt
Thearica Burroughs, Pigtales & Quilts
 Mary Flynn of Quilt Hollow
Deb Geyer of Deb Geyer Quilter
Sarah Hahn, Two Country Quilters
Jessica Jones (Jessica's Quilting Studio
Kathy Kessler (Kathy's Machine Quilting)
Jackie Kunkle  (Canton Village Quiltworks)
Millie Kriel  (Millie's Quilting)
Judi Madsen - Green Fairy Quilts
Lisa Marie - That Crazy Quilty Girl
Sue Patten
Tammy Spencer - Quilt'n Things for You.

7) Most Innovative product (physical item)
AccuQuilt Go! Fabric Cutter
AccuQuilt Go!  Baby
Angler II, by Pam Bono Designs
Bias Stripper (ruler) by Quilt in a Day
Creatopia by Xyron
Cutting Corners Ruler set, by Sharyn Craig
Fusi-Boo Batting, by Fairfield Processing
HQ Sweet Sixteen
Lapel Stick
Rule Steady from Keep Quilting
Slice Fabrique by Making Memories
Set in Triangle ruler, by Quilt in a Day

8) Most Innovated product (software item)
Bernina Cutwork tool & software
Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7)
Inklingo, by Linda Franz
Kaleidoscope Kreator
Quilt Album Software
Pro-Q Designer

9) Most influential person in the world of quilting to-date, aka "Lifetime Achievement"
Alex Anderson
Eleanor Burns, Quilt in a Day
Fons & Porter team,  Marianne Fons and Liz Porter
Diane Gaudynski
Harriet Hargrave
Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville
Lynette Jensen, Thimbleberries
Patrick Lose
Gwen Marston (Liberated Quilting)
Nancy J. Martin
Dean Neumann, main programmer for Electric Quilt software.
Sharon Pederson
Pat Sloan
Kate Spain
Ricky Tims

10) Best Quilt Retreat
Bed, Breakfast, Quilts (BBQ weekends in Vermont)
North Bow Lodge (Alberta, Canada)
Saw Mill Creek Cottages  (Alberta, Canada)
Teton Patchworks Quilt Retreat, Eastern Idaho
That Dam Christmas Party, Patrick Lose- Hoover Dam/Boulder City, NV
Two Wacky Woman (Southern California)
Cindy Casciato's Quiltescape Retreat (Southern Idaho)
Quilters Connection Magazine Retreat, organized by Heather Macarther, in Canada

***Please DO NOT leave your vote in the comments here.  It will not count.  To vote (and also to be entered in the giveaway of over 30 prizes from her awesome sponsors) click on the link and vote over there.

This is a great way to support your favorite local shop, the author you love, or the longarm quilter who helped create your masterpiece.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Georgia Sewing and Quilting

Ready? Set? GO!

Today is the official start of the Greater Atlanta Shop Hop!  I hope to see some of you along the way.  Please send me updates and pics if you want to share - or tweet me!

Our final shop of our review is Georgia Sewing and Quilting in Buford, GA.  This is a shop I've been close to numerous times, but never managed to go inside because we were always on the way to or from a football game.

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a birdhouse.  So sweet!  Don't you think that one of the best things about quilting is how quilts "feather our nests" in a way?  They make everything soft and cozy for our families to flourish. 

At Georgia Sewing and Quilting, you can also test drive a HandiQuilter.  They can help you determine which model is right for your needs and let you try it out without having to wait for the next show or expo. 

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Stitch'n Quilt

There's only one day left before the Greater Atlanta Shop Hop! Are you ready?

Today we're checking out a fairly new shop, and another one I haven't made it to yet, Stitch'n Quilt in Mableton, Georgia.

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a firehouse.  Your local quilt shop is the place to go when you have a quilting emergency and need real, helpful advice from someone who actually quilts!  I can't wait to see the hot deals they've got waiting.  (I wonder if there will be any cute firemen to help me carry my stash to the car?  Hey!  A girl can dream, can't she?)

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Patchwork Cottage

It's Hop minus 2 days and we're covering more uncharted territory today on the Shop Hop Review as we hop on over the Patchwork Cottage.

Although I've somehow missed this shop, I was touched to see that the charity they support is one I'm familiar with:  the Zoe Rose Foundation.  This foundation offers support and information for parents of micro-preemies (babies born before 32 weeks of pregnancy), and was started by a friend of a friend after the birth of her triplet daughters at 25 weeks.  Among the many services they provide is the "Wrap Them in Roses" isolette quilt project, which provides quilts to cover a baby's isolette and offers a keepsake from that unique time in the baby's life.  Patchwork Cottage has a special place in my heart for this generosity!

This bunch obviously loves children, and what more fun theme for kids than a Haunted House?  You can see that Pam Kosiba is in the spirit and just waiting to offer up lots of quilting treats!

I wonder what tricks they have up their sleeves for this week.

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - A Scarlet Thread

We're breaking new ground on the Shop Hop Review today with a shop I haven't visited (yet).  A Scarlet Thread is in McDonough, GA, another shop close to my friend, Pam.  It just goes to show how long it's been since we've Shop Hopped together that I first heard of this store from my HUSBAND!  It turns out that he has a client in the same shopping center.  Pam is really falling down on the job when I have to hear about a new shop in that way.  I keep saying that I'm going to ride along with him next time he has to call on them, but something keeps interfering (laundry, kids, work...) with my plans.

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a greenhouse.   It reminds me of the rich soil where my creativity is nurtured - classes, fabric, and other quilters - that can be found in a good shop.

Here's hoping that I'll finally get to visit this shop in person during the hop!

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Little Quilts

Let's go to Little Quilts for our next Shop Hop Review!

The WannaBees went there the same day we went to the Red Hen.  That was where I finally found that Clover pen that works so well for marking dark fabrics. 

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a beehive.  What a fun choice!  I'll bet there are lots of bee groups who will buzz by to get their passports stamped. 

It's also a good metaphor for this particular shop.  They stay busy as can bee writing patterns and books, designing fabric, hosting all sorts of classes and online groups, and keeping up with all the fabric and notions you want.    

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Red Hen Fabrics

We're half way through the Shop Hop Review!

Today we're hopping on over to Red Hen Fabrics.  Remember when we went there with the WannaBees last February?    This is the fantastic shop that has longarm quilting machines that you can rent by the hour if you'd like to quilt your own quilt that is too big for a DSM. 

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a gingerbread house.   I'll bet you'll find lots of sweet deals on fabric, patterns, and notions during the shop!

If you had to pick a house for the theme, which one would you choose?

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Friday, March 18, 2011

In Progress - Frayed Nerves

This. This is what my nerves feel like right now.

I am trying to get the twin quilts done before they go off to college, and I am having another FMQ issue.  Why?  Why does this keep happening?  Every time I go to free motion a project I feel like I am starting from scratch and just learning all over again.

I have tried switching needles.  I had success on Gracie's quilt with a machine embroidery needle, but not this time.  A topstitch needle has increased the length of time I can quilt before the thread frays and snaps again, but doesn't solve the whole problem.  I'm using the thread that I finally had good luck with on that quilt (Gutermann machine embroidery rayon), and have bought a different kind to try out (Gutermann all sewing poly).  We'll see.  

I also tried this nifty trick that I saw on a message board.  I was sure it was the thing.  You open up your tension all the way, and slide a crisp dollar bill or piece of firm paper between the tension discs.  It should remove any bit of thread or lint that got stuck in there the last time the thread got all in a wad. 

I can't say that this did any good, nor did any bits come out when I tried it.  But I still think it's a good idea.

Little by little, inch by inch, I'm getting it done.  I just hate that it's taking so long.  I hate all the little stops and starts that I know the boys and their mama will never notice...but I notice.  And I hate that something I love - free motion quilting - has turned into such a struggle and a chore. 

This is one of the blocks I'm happiest with.  I tried to do a swirly, spiral meandering pattern to echo the turning of the propellers.  I'm still contemplating that border.  It's not that wide, and I'm thinking of not quilting it at all just so I can be done.  But it's crying out for something cute there. 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Patrick's

One more stop on the Shop Hop Review...and apt for March 17...Patrick's.  This is another great shop we've visited together!

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes, they chose a lighthouse.  So many of my favorite quilts have a nautical theme.  Quilting for me is a light in the darkness during stressful times, so I appreciate the metaphor as well.

Remember those free quilt blocks I told you about?  You could put them all together with this fantastic fabric by Timeless Treasures (you can pre-order now).

Isn't it cute?  I can think of so many projects that this would be a fun addition to!

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Quilts & Fixin's

All aboard the Shop Hop Express!  Today we're going to Jonesboro to a wonderful shop called Quilts & Fixin's. 

Although I have been to this shop numerous times, they were all P.B. (pre blog) and I can't find any pictures.  This is the shop closest to my BQF, Pam.  I got her hooked on quilting years ago, and we used to go on weekend retreats and meet up on the Shop Hop.  But Pam went to the dark side.  Pam left me.  Pam got a J-O-B.

Don't get me wrong.  Pam loves her job.  But the job seriously cuts into our quilting time.

As payback, I'm going to show you one of my favorite pictures of Pam.  One she's probably forgotten I have.  This is Pam doing the "Walk Like an Egyptian" dance across the finish line at the March of Dimes WalkAmerica in Centennial Olympic Park.

Sorry...I got a little sidetracked there.  Anyway, it's a great shop and very convenient off I-75 south of Atlanta, so if you can't make the Shop Hop but maybe you're driving south over Spring Break, you can probably convince your hubby to swing by.   For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a farmhouse.  So come by and sit a spell, meet up with an old friend and talk quilts.  Say hi to Pam if you see her!

Oh!  One more thing.  I mentioned the charms for the bracelet, but at each shop along the hop you will also get a free quilt block pattern.  Tomorrow I'll show you another surprise that will make you really look forward to picking up each pattern!

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great American Cover-Up 2011: "Quilts Full Circle"

Yesterday I went to the Bulloch Hall Quilt Show with a few of the WannaBees.   It's a busy time of year, so it was just Lynn, Ben, and me.  Plus Jackie's sister, Ginger, was in town and joined us.  Always so good to see her!

There were so many great quilts - you really should go visit them all yourself.  The lighting, while very natural and beautiful in person, creates some challenging shadows and color illusions in photography.  The pictures do not do them justice, and I apologize in advance.

This was one of my favorites.  It was made by a past president of our guild, Meg Latimer, who also belongs to Bulloch Hall.  It was longarm quilted by a former guild member of ours, Lynda Johnson, who does gorgeous work.  I love the colors, movement, and sparkle. 

I love seeing quilts made by people I know, and seeing a WannaBees quilt is even better.  Ben was the only one of us who made an appearance this year. 
His quilt "Show Me the Way to Go Home" also hung in our guild's show in September.  Can you find the path from the pub to the house (bottom right) without ending up in jail? 
We all had a moment when we got to this quilt.  It is "Jackie's African Coins," which Jackie started 2 years ago on retreat.  Ben finished it after she died and entered it in the show.    You can read his blog post about finishing her quilts and see better pictures there.  

Instead of a raffle quilt, this year the Bulloch Hall Guild did a challenge and raffled off the entries.  Each participant got 12 circles of red polka dot fabric.  The challenge was to use all twelve on a small quilt (perimeter no more than 80").  How cute are these?  Can you spot the "bunny"?

There were a couple of quilts that really knocked my socks off, and this was one of them.  The sentence, "I have never quilted before," appears in the description.  Can you imagine what her second quilt looked like?  Wow! 

This Dear Jane in the front hall was another stunner.  Every time I see one of these beauties I get a twinge to make one for myself.  Luckily I have always come to my senses.  This one was made by Diane Knott.

This folded fabric lovely is one that must be seen in person.  It is by JoAnn Meisel, and is called "Flowers for Linda" in memory of her sister-in-law.  I was just listening to an old podcast by Sandy of Quilting for the Rest of Us about the Save Our Stories project.  In the interview, they touched on the idea of quilting as a response to grief or some other event in our lives.  Somehow I can just imagine the quiet, repetitive folding of these flowers being a soothing task after a loss. 

Another quilt that brought back bittersweet memories was this kaleidoscope by another past president of our guild, Diane Berdis, called "Peacocks in My Garden."  Diane made this with our friend, Ann McLean, just before Ann passed away.  Ann is the one who taught the kaleidoscope class to Mom and me around that same time.  Ann was also a guild president - twice, in fact! - and I still miss her at every meeting. 
"Kyoto Houses" by Jan Antranikian
There were so many more I wish I could show you!  There's something about visiting a quilt show that is inspiring, relaxing, educational, peaceful, and joyous. 
"Shiloh Rick Rack" by Ellen Lott
Find a show near you and visit it soon.  It does your soul good.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Sweet Home Quilt Co.

It's our third stop on the Shop Hop Review. Today we're going back to Sweet Home Quilt Co. Remember when we visited there on my way home from the Bear's school trip?

For the Quilter's Tour of Homes theme, they chose a schoolhouse.   I love this choice, because I think quilting teaches us so much about math, art, and life. What have you learned from quilting?

I also want to point out that this is a blogger friendly shop.  They give an extra 5% to bloggers who link to their website.  Let's encourage that trend!

The giveaways on the hop are always fun.  With each $10 purchase, you get that shop's charm for free.  If you somehow manage to leave a shop without finding $10 of quilty goodness that you just have to have, you can also buy the charms for $3 each.

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Greater Atlanta Shop Hop 2011 - Tiny Stitches

Tiny Stitches is our next shop on the Shop Hop Review.

Remember I told you that this year's theme is "A Quilter's Tour of Homes". Each shop picked a different kind of house for decorating and giveaways.

The fabulous prizes are the real incentive to hit every single shop on the hop! The Grand Prize is $100 at each shop - a total of $1100 in quilty goodness! You can also win a sewing machine or a basket of fat quarters and notions worth over $200.

Even if you can't make it all the way around, you can still win.  There will be an additional drawing for each shop worth about $100.

You've been with Mom and me to Tiny Stitches just a little over a month ago.  If I had to pick one quilt shop, this would be "my" store.  It's probably the closest one to my house, and my go-to shop when I need a specific thing in a hurry.  I know how it's laid out, know I can get good help and advice, and my car could go there on auto pilot.  Okay, my husband really doesn't need to know that last part. 

Tiny Stitches chose a castle as their theme.  I can only imagine the royalty who will greet us as we enter the shop!

You can follow the owner Maetha's blog and twitter feed so you don't miss a single minute of the fairytale!

For all the news about the Shop Hop, follow their blog.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Day with the WannaBees - How to Host a Bee Group

I had the honor of hosting the WannaBees on Thursday.

Some comments have been left by quilters who would like to participate in a bee group. My opinion? Start your own! 

The WannaBees were started by a group who all went on retreat together and wanted to get together more often to work on projects.  They graciously invited me to join them even though I don't go on the retreat weekends.

Here's what I've learned so far:
  • Keep it manageable.  6-8 people is probably a good number.  Too many more and it's hard to host in a home.  If you have less than that, you're going to end up with meetings with just one or two quilters when the flu is going around or people are busy.
  • Look for like-minded quilters.  That's not to say that you have to find 8 people who all love applique (although that might be a great start), but that you have a group who all get along and have similar expectations.  Don't invite someone new to the bee without running it past your cohorts; give them a chance to meet the new prospect and give an honest opinion.  
  • Communicate.  Set up a google calendar or email list, private facebook group, or some way to share information.  This is not only helpful for arranging meetings, but also for letting others know if there is an emergency change or cancellation (i.e., "I have a sick child and can't host today"), and to suggest get togethers outside your normal routine (i.e., "let's go to the quilt show on Wednesday").
Although each home we meet in is a bit different, here are some basic suggestions for hosting the group. 
  • Make sure you have space and light for what you plan to do.  If you have a small sitting area, let the others know so that they aren't disappointed by hauling their machine and yards of fabric to cut.
  • Make sure you have enough outlets and extension cords for everyone who wants to bring a machine.  Again, it's good to communicate so everyone knows how many machines can be accommodated.
  • If you can, set up an ironing surface and iron.  No one wants to have to bring home a hot iron, so anything you can provide saves them from hauling in their whole sewing room.
  • Ditto on a cutting surface, rotary cutter, and some basic rulers.
Those are the basics.  If you want to be the hostess with the mostest, you can also:

  • Offer drinks, snacks, or even a light lunch.  If you feed people they will stick around longer and make all that work worth it.
  • Consider the little things that you like to have around when you are working.  I put out a pencil and pad of paper, along with a calculator, for anyone who might need to make notes.  
  • I also have the computer open to my web browser because we often share little discoveries or ask for opinions.
What do you do at the meetings?
  • It doesn't have to be exceedingly structured with such a small group, but we generally show off what we're working on or what we're having trouble with and ask for input.  (Don't you love how Lynn is always a willing model?  And also how she fixed that wonky block by putting a tee-niny border around it?)
  • Discuss any group plans.  Some bees do block swaps or group quilts.  I'm sure you remember what we did!  
Are you in a bee?  What makes your group special?

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