Sunday, 22 June 2014

Quilty Magic

About a year ago, Maria kindly organised a sewing bee and invited me to join. We each created a row of patchwork, 40 inches wide, and posted it on to the next person... Those initial strips have now been all around the country, and even to Jersey! This weekend the six ladies of the Strip Bee finally met up in person for the first time, ready to hand over our finished quilt tops...

We were so lucky in all being hosted by Jennifer, who turned her home into a five star hotel for the occasion. We spent Friday evening getting to know one another and relaxing over Pims and a lovely dinner :-) Some of the girls had asked how I do my zips in bags, so I put one together and they made their own:

On Saturday, the final member arrived by train, and the quilt reveal could begin! We drew lots, and Sarah won the right to go first...

I'm sure Sarah brought the glorious sunshine with her, all the way from Jersey, and we can't wait to take her up on her invitation to visit her there! One happy person later, and it was Amy's turn:

Amy is so talented, with a really unique style. She began this quilt with the middle-ish row, with a solid line and a square in the centre. I think we all felt suitably challenged to come up with something for this quilt, and were all relieved when we'd managed and enjoyed the process! Julie was next:

Julie invented a new block for her strip, the third one down. She has a wealth of experience, and writes brilliant tutorials on her blog. I hope she enjoys the variety in this quilt, all brought together by a common colour theme.

As if the sunshine wasn't bright enough, out came Jen's riot of colour! She began this with the third strip down, inviting us to go as wild as her own choice of yellow and pink. The end result suits her cheerful personality down to the ground :-)

Maria started her quilt with the cute row of houses, and I went next adding in the trees. This has gone on to become a really fabulous piece, with everyone excelling themselves! It is a small, but perfectly formed, quilt top, and a suitable piece to thank Maria for her superb organisation of the Bee.

Lastly, it was my turn, and I couldn't have been more delighted! I made the row of stars a year ago, and hadn't seen it since... Jen added the gorgeous row below, using lovely shades of grey and purple, my favourite colours! Amy did the fabulous crosses, using some of my favourite fabrics! Maria knew I loved her houses, and kindly gave me a whole row of them :-) At the top, Julie did those incredible hearts, and Sarah picked out some cute fabrics to showcase!

After all that excitement, we were ready to settle down and read through our notebooks. 

Each person had included a book with their quilt, and everyone wrote in it as they went along...

And if ever we were short of something to read, our perfect hostess has a magazine pile to rival most quilt shops, and kindly sent me home with a few to read on the train!

Hugely generous, Jen also invited us to pick through her scrap drawers. I cut up a selection of 2.5 inch squares, and whipped up a cushion cover as a birthday present for a little girl:


Other people's scraps are certainly more interesting than your own! Too soon, it was time to head home. I'm so grateful to all the girls for a fabulous weekend, and a whole year of fun.

One quick word of apology - I discovered today a number of comments had been left on my blog in the last few months which had never reached me! For some reason, they hadn't emailed through, and were stuck in the system. I'm so sorry if you were one of those people, and I never replied :-( Although I have managed to publish them all today, in retrospect, the technology won't let me respond individually...


  1. It was so wonderful to meet you and spend a hugely enjoyable weekend with you all.
    Jen is certainly a wonderful hostess.
    It's a shame you missed drinking champagne in the hot tub by starlight!
    Thanks so much for teaching me how to insert the zipper.
    Here's to next time!

    1. Thanks Maria, you helped so much :) Here's to the next time ... in Wales! X

  2. Great post, Fran! Really was my pleasure to host the weekend but am too tired to do my post tonight ... wonder why, LOL?! Strip Bee Ladies rock! X

  3. Fran que bonitos, que bonitos todos, tan diferentes y tan originales, no sabría por cual decidirme, cada uno tiene detalles que enamoran. Me voy a pasar por cada uno de los blogs de tus compañeras de costura para ver que hacen.
    Tu top es precioso. Lo habéis pasado estupendamente, se os ve felices y contentas.
    Un abrazo.

  4. It was so wonderful meeting everyone! and the quilt reveal was very very special indeed. I still can't get over how amazing they all look!

  5. What a wonderful weekend and a lot of gorgeous quilts!

  6. Looks like you had a fantastic time and the quilts are brilliant!

  7. Lovely to meet you at the weekend Fran, I had a great time! Just realised I must have accidentally unfollowed your blog at some point (quite a common occurance for me)...I thought I hadn't seen any posts from you for a while!! So impressed with all the quilts, can't wait to see how you quilt your top!

  8. What a great idea!! I enjoyed reading your post, it seems like you had a wonderful time, it must have been quite exciting for you guys. The quilts are beautiful and I just like to see them all together hanging on the line. Very nice!

  9. Wow, this sounds like a great weekend. Love the group photo with all the quilts together. Is the book a kind of diary of your weekend or of the process of the making of the quilts?

  10. What a fabulous event, the whole idea is lovely and it must have been quite exciting to get the big 'reveal' of each quilt top. It's very interesting to see how different the quilts are, clearly showing a little glimpse of each persons individuality in their colour choices but also in the blocks they have made for others. Bethx