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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful beehive,
Modern Bee is a fresh and fun collection of blocks for bee quilts by Lindsay Conner and eleven bloggers.
Confident beginner blocks
In the Bee Keeping chapter, there are numerous pieces of advice on how to host and participate in a bee, anything from choosing fabrics to using the postal systems to having awkward discussions with the other members to telling the others whether they should "clean up" the block before shipping or not. I've never sewn with others, but after reading this chapter I feel confident I could both organise and participate without embarrassing myself.
- There are four blocks per level, named after the calendar months, and a bonus quilt, String Circles, after the December block.
- Beginner Blocks: January to April, squares and rectangles.
- Confident Beginner Blocks: May to August, triangles.
- Intermediate Blocks: September to December, block-in-block designs, tiny piecing, and curves.
- Each block is designed by a different blogger.
- Since there are twelve blocks, the idea is to have twelve bee participants and finally twelve quilts.
- The directions: Materials, Cutting instructions, Block assembly, Quilt construction.
- Everything is meticulously written. Often you see "4'' square", but here it's "square 4'' x 4'' " to really make it clear; perfect for beginner quilters!
- Scattered throughout the book are various tips and tricks how to make a quilt. Make sure to catch them all before starting on your first quilt!
- Notice that not all quilts consist of 12 blocks. Ziggy Stardust is made from 25 blocks, which means all participants make two blocks each and the host(ess) (or whoever) makes the remaining block. Baseball Curves consists of 36 blocks, which is an even three blocks per member. Make sure to agree on all these deviations from 12 before beginning and also who might make the lonely riders - which one can read in the excellent Bee Keeping chapter.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
- There are many practical pointers in the Bee Keeping and it's clear they stem from experience. I might have thought of some of them, but to have someone spell out what to avoid and how to deal with tricky situations that arise in online situations is worth more than the price of this book; fabrics are expensive.
- It's useful to have the blocks clearly arranged after skill level, so that disappointments are less likely to occur (too easy or hard for the individual participants).
- The Finishing chapter is thorough. A few more photos could have been helpful, though.
- If it's a weakness, I'm not sure, but surely it's expected that the look isn't cohesive when there are twelve designers. Since the primary purpose of the book is to make bee quilts that would end up in different homes, perhaps it doesn't matter. Regardless, there are some that I'm very fond of and others I'd be pleased to make one block of only. Any of these quilts are light years nicer than some charity quilts one can see online, so scrappy and non-matching that there really is no beauty to them, and if the aim is to create to donate I warmly recommend this collection of blocks.
- While the title is Modern Bee, it's possible to make the quilts by oneself as a skill builder.
- If you're new to the quilting blogosphere, make sure to check out the blogs of all designers, presented at the end of the book. All of them are very popular.
So far I've seen the book in digital format only, both pdf and epub. Based on the pdf I would only buy Modern Bee in paper format, because the epub (which I imagine looks like the Kindle version) loses too much of the visual aspects in my opinion.
I love the layout, contemporary and airy. Modern Bee is on my wish list now!
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtual sewing bee,
Bought to take part in a virtual sewing bee. I'm new to quilting and some of the blocks take me out of my comfort zone, but the instructions are excellent and easy to follow. Happy to recommend - just take your time and follow the instructions.
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to start,
I purchased this book in order to start an online quilting bee which I'm really excited about. This book has everything you need to start one, with the addition of 13 beautiful quilt patterns. The quilts are modern, bright and fun, so much so that I'm having difficulty choosing which quilt I'd like to do as part of the bee. The instructions are easy to follow and detailed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic way to meet new friends!,
Having recently started quilting and trying to find like minded people in the United Kingdom this book is fantastic as I have just joined my first quilting bee! We have all picked a month each to decide which block the other members are making. Some of the blocks are looking rather intricate, but the instructions are clear and with some careful measuring and sewing it should all be possible.
The blocks are all fresh and modern, which is rare to find so many of in one book.
Great work by Lindsey Connor and fellow bloggers!
5.0 out of 5 stars loving it,
part of the modern bee in the uk, yay! only just started, can't wait till my month. lov it, thanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for quilting bees!,
A fantastic book to work through as part of a quilting bee. Each blocks instructions are easy to follow. A book full of inspirational blocks and quilt designs.
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Modern Bee-13 Quilts to Make with Friends by Lindsay Conner