Gridsters

The History of Bees

Well, my bees, at least. I recently stepped down from leadership of the Gridsters Bee, but Melanie and Patti (listed alpha order) are the new leaders, and they let me tag along and help out so I won’t go through withdrawal. So as I was organizing, shifting, cleaning out my Google Drive, the list ended up like this:

I’ve participated in fifteen quilt bee groups in the last ten years, often simultaneously. My life has been richer for this and I’ve met so many wonderful quilters. (I’ve met a few cranky women, too.) I met one whose house burned down during the bee and we all donated money to help replace her stash. I’ve met someone who did professional roller skating. I’ve met women like me and not like me. I’ve met quite a few people in Australia, in Canada, and all over the United States. Many others are on Instagram — I love the connections we’ve made and the friendships that continue.

I’ve received some beautiful blocks, some blocks I had to reconstruct and some blocks I couldn’t do anything with at all, but were so interesting, I saved them. Sometimes people put my blocks in their quilts and sometimes they didn’t. I’ve made several Ayumi envelopes, multiple versions of Dresden blocks, and bazillions of HSTs.

Here are some of the logos of some of those bees.

Occasionally I see new bees forming online and I want to say — yes! jump in! make for each other! You’ll learn what blocks you want to make yourself, and you’ll learn which blocks you never want to make again.

At the end of my five years with The Gridster Bee, I put together a slide show of quilts from many of our members, and it was one of the final events of my 2021. I loved that even in spite of the pandiddle (stole that one from Carol — a beemate), at least a dozen of us were cutting and sewing and quilting. Add that to the letters you’ve written telling me about your projects, your intentions for making and I’d say we all made it through the last couple of years in reasonable shape. If you want to see a great array of quilts and blocks, click on our home on Instagram, and enjoy the eye candy.

And here is the launching of Gridster Bee 2022, with a lot of very talented women.

The first blocks were for Patti, who chose Ayumi’s Envelope Blocks (and here, too), but with a twist. We added larger borders on the sides, and chose fabrics that denote romance or love. I had fun choosing.

I’ve drafted up a lot of the Sew-A-Long quilt, and am now making the sample out of Sherri and Chelsi’s fabric, Sincerely Yours. Coming soon. The post-Christmas blahs grabbed me for a while, and of course, we had to eat up the chocolates people brought us. Then there was the going through the ornaments, followed by lifting the holiday boxes up into the garage rafters. Mopping the kitchen floor and cleaning the bathrooms await.

It’s nice to take the advice from my friend Allison who made this for me, since I was leader of Gridsters for a few years. It’s a treasure, with great advice.

Happy Quilting! Take it one stitch at a time.

13 thoughts on “The History of Bees

  1. I love the “in alphabetical order.” I say that when I list the languages we translate into. I can’t say which is more important ya know?

    I dream of having time to devote to quilting. I am taking a workshop this weekend — my first since yours in March 2020! I just hope I’m not too rusty.

    And someday when the baby … excuse me toddler! … is a little more grown, he won’t need me as much. I’ll probably cry into my blocks missing him as a little guy.

  2. Lots of bee-utiful memories in this post, Elizabeth. I can still remember how chuffed I felt when I was invited to join the Mid Century Modern bee. I try to imagine that first conversation that included my name as a ‘maybe member’. I certainly learnt a lot from my time sharing blocks, what ‘modern’ meant to others and loved getting to know the bee members too! Those quilts remain some of my favourites. BTW I hope I wasn’t one of the cranky ones!😆

  3. You’ve clearly spoiled me for all other bees – you’re the best leader ever!!!! I still cannot believe my luck at finding such a treasured friend by way of quilting and IG. Your organizational skills are wicked mad 🙂 Anxious to see all the beautiful work done by the new Gridster Bee members.

  4. I love reading your blog and occasionally making one of your small projects like starry nights mug rug. Is there a chance you could direct me to the bird mug rug pattern? Thanx. Kaye formerly from OC

    On Sun, Jan 9, 2022 at 11:51 PM OccasionalPiece–Quilt! wrote:

    > Elizabeth E. posted: ” Well, my bees, at least. I recently stepped down > from leadership of the Gridsters Bee, but Melanie and Patti (listed alpha > order) are the new leaders, and they let me tag along and help out so I > won’t go through withdrawal. So as I was organizing, ” >

  5. What fun it has been to 🐝 part of the Gridsters! As Betty said, so many treasured friends. I dream of visiting them all. If only we could wrap up the pandiddle.

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed being a member of your bees. The friendships have been wonderful and I’ve enjoyed the blocks and quilts that I’ve made. I also highly recommend getting involved in bees.

  7. I’m forever grateful for meeting you during my time in the Mid Century Modern bee. I think of you as one of my quilty besties. Thanks for your ongoing friendship.

  8. Always loved seeing the finished blocks and quilts. It’s a nice legacy for all of you, but time for a new leader. Enjoy being just one of the pack!

  9. It’s nice to reflect on your commitments to these bees, isn’t it? Doing so put everything in perspective. Mostly, it’s great that you can reflect on your commitment to participating. That’s a long stretch! While I was only in the Mid-Century Modern Bee, and it was great – like you said, you learn about your likes and dislikes – I don’t miss going to the post office. Silly, I know. But it’s a hassle, particularly around here. It sounds like you met some really interesting people! Cranky ones too, huh? Ha, ha. I sure hope I wasn’t one of them!

  10. Loved this post. De Toqueville would be proud–you are a joiner. So many friendships coming from quilting, and you contributing to so many people’s lives. Thank you for this glimpse. Love S. Susan S. Rugh susanrugh@gmail.com

    On Sun, Jan 9, 2022 at 9:51 PM OccasionalPiece–Quilt! wrote:

    > Elizabeth E. posted: ” Well, my bees, at least. I recently stepped down > from leadership of the Gridsters Bee, but Melanie and Patti (listed alpha > order) are the new leaders, and they let me tag along and help out so I > won’t go through withdrawal. So as I was organizing, ” >

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