Brit Bee Retreat 2017


By Judith on February 27, 2017
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It has been my absolute joy and privilege to be part of an amazingly talented, caring and funny group of quilters called ‘Brit Bee’.

 

We formed in 2011 from the ‘Brit Quilt’ Flickr Group, and despite 3 member changes, we haven’t stopped sewing for each other since!

 

Our very first ‘meet up’ at Fat Quarterly Retreat, London, 2012. (I’m on top of a table, just in case you thought I was freakishly tall!) 

 

Although we are spread across the UK, we try to meet up at least once a year (more if we can!).  I have missed out on the last 2 retreats, and so was determined to make it to Bedfordshire for our 2017 retreat.

 

 

This year, 9 Brit Bee-ers and Cindy (a special friend of Brit Bee) spent the last weekend eating, chatting, sewing, eating, more sewing, considerably more eating, minimal sleeping and lots more sewing!

 

Brit Bee Retreat Feb17

 

We may not see each other more than once or twice a year, but we fit so easily together again, like a well worn pair of much loved slippers!

 

 

It was such an easy atmosphere, we could wake up, grab a cuppa, and head straight to the sewing machines in our pjs, bleary eyes and dishevelled hair!

 

 

We also inspired and ‘nutured’ each other’s creativity, getting caught up on bee blocks, consulting on quilt design, helping out with tricky paper piecing.  All the while getting caught up on life, our hopes, dreams, struggles and triumphs.

 

Fiona’s R4 blocks so far
Susan’s R4 blocks so far
Trudi’s R4 blocks so far

 

As always, the weekend goes too quickly, but the inspiration and refreshment from our time together lasts much longer.

 

I got lots of sewing done too, and will blog about these projects separately.

 

In the meantime, I will leave you with a picture of the Brit Bee R4 blocks I have received so far.

 

Brit Bee R4 blocks so far!

 

Happy sewing!

 

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Bee Blocks & Secret Santa!


By Judith on January 22, 2017
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After a wee break in December, we were back making bee blocks in January for Siblings Together (Bee 2).

 

STB2 Blocks for Sue

 

Sue was queen bee for January, and set this Tic Tac Toe block, with black on white backgrounds and colourful prints for the rest. (here is the tutorial if you fancy having a go at this easy block)

 

I was queen bee in September, and set the Canvas block.  Last week I managed to get them all sewn together into a sizeable flimsy!

 

Siblings Together Bee 2 (Canvas blocks) Quilt top Jan17

 

I’m taking a 2nd stint as Queen bee, so its my turn again in February!  Watch this space!

 

In September 2015, Brit Bee started our 4th round. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you will know we never stick to the annual schedule! But we are a forgiving and patient lot, forged by longevity and great friendships!

 

By some miracle I have managed to keep up with the schedule (ish!) and earlier this month I made the last block!  Woohoo!

 

Brit Bee R4 block for Katy Jan17

 

This one is for Katy, in her chosen solids, and the block was designed by Hadley.

 

As the first one finished, I’ll try hard not to capitalise on bragging rights at our Brit Bee retreat next month!

 

One of our traditions in Brit Bee is to exchange Secret Santa gifts at Christmas.  In previous years we’ve done things like, cushions, decorations, pin-cushions.

 

This year we went for zippy pouches – you can see what I made for Katy here.

 

And what did I get?

 

My Brit Bee Secret Santa gift!

 

Only this gorgeous package of cuteness from Ange!

 

My Brit Bee Secret Santa gift!

 

Isn’t it adorable!  And I have a feeling it will come in handy for travelling to our retreat!

 

Happy sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

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Denim Pouches


By Judith on December 30, 2016
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Some much needed time off in December meant ‘play time’!

And for me, playtime usually involves denim!!

 

 

I love the many different tones that exist in this durable form.

 

 

I started my ‘playtime’ with a little denim EPP (English Paper Piecing) in front of the open fire on chilly December evenings.

 

Pretty soon I had 2 EPP panels made, and before I knew it I had 2 sizeable pouches made!  I even employed The Beast for those particularly thicker features!

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

I was loosely basing these pouches on my denim washbag. I love how Aurifil wool thread holds its own on the thicker textiles.

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

I had 2 people in mind as the recipients for these pouches.

 

Brit Bee Secret Santa Denim Pouch

 

This one went to Katy, who I was making for in our Brit Bee Secret Santa.

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

And this one went to a good friend on her birthday – can you guess what her name is?

 

Denim Zippy Pouch Gift

 

And I might just have a 3rd EPP Denim project on the go!

 

My name is Judith and I’m addicted to denim!

 

Happy sewing!

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Blocks-a-plenty!


By Judith on November 18, 2016
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Hi everyone, I hope you are having a great November so far!

Outside of my normal teaching, sewing and pattern writing hours, I’ve been keeping up with my bee block commitments.

In Siblings Together this month, we have been making ‘boy’ blocks for Doti:

 

STB2 blocks for Dorfymid
Also for Siblings Together, I made 4 more canvas blocks.  It was my month in September, where I set the Canvas block. I was only 4 blcoks short and now that I have 30 blocks, I can get the quilt completed.
Canvas blocks for STB2
For Brit Bee this month, I had to make a block for Jo, which was designed by Angie!  These are the colours Jo has chosen for her quilt – I hope she likes it!
Brit Bee R4 block for Jo
So that’s my block round-up for November.
And I hope to have some really exciting news to announce here soon! Watch this space!
Happy sewing!
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Beauty and The Beast!


By Judith on April 27, 2016
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A few weeks back I was offered an industrial Singer Sewing machine!

The Beast

 


She was originally a factory girl, retired long ago!

I call her ‘The Beast’!

She weighs an absolute tonne (it took 3 men to carry her upstairs!) and sounds like a jumbo jet taking off (I hope the neighbours don’t mind)!

The Beast

But boy can she sew, through super thick layers like denim!  And she’s fast too, so I’d better keep my fingers well out of the way!

And the latest Brit Bee block I’ve been working on, was a complete Beast to make (!) but turns out is a Beauty for who I was making it for.

Brit Bee R4 Block for Fiona
30″ x 15″

 


This block was designed by our Brit Bee Mama Laura Jane (who has just recently become a mama herself!!) and took a lot of patience, unpicking and even more patience! It is by far the most involved block we have made in Brit Bee so far and my attempt is perfectly imperfect!

Brit Bee R4 Block for Fiona
Love these wee doggies!

I was making for Fiona, in her choice of colours, and I’ve had the thumbs up from Fi (phew!).

So it looks like my ‘beasts’ have inner beauty after all!!

Jude xo

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Marvellous March!


By Judith on March 1, 2016
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Despite the rather damp and dull day today, it’s so lovely to officially start spring!

February may have been a shorter month, but it was a busy one for me!

Feb'16 Roundup

Mostly sneak peeks here again I’m afraid, and one or two of these not made (but published) in February.  But I will tell you about them all in time.

And here are my bee blocks for February:

Reverse Churn Dash blocks for Bee Blessed
Bee Blessed

L-R: Brit Bee R4 block for Ceri; Hedgehog blocks for Anne/Siblings Together Bee 2

So that’s my round-up for February!

And before I go, a wee shout out for donations of fat quarters for my bloggy friend Sheila, who is raising funds for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow, and a special little girl called Beth.  You can read more about Beth’s story and Sheila’s fund raiser here.

Jude xo

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