Traveling Quilts


I recently joined a traveling quilts “bee” on flickr.  The way this works, is each member (there are six of us, so this will last six months) makes the beginning of a quilt.   It could be a block, like I did, a slab of piecing, or whatever we decide to send.  Then each month we mail it to the next person, and they add to it until it reaches the last person.  The last person is responsible for quilting and finishing it and then sending it back to the original owner.

This block is what I decided to start with.  I actually did not piece this block, but I added the gray border.  I had this laying around from the We Bee Learning bee I was in.  The blocks didn’t exactly turn out like I thought they would (not my bee members’ fault—more my own because I didn’t think through what I chose), so I made a quilt with the blocks, and I will probably donate it to the auction at my son’s school this spring.  However, I just loved the prints and colors (although in the poor lighting, the photo above is not a true representation) in this block, so I kept it with the intention of turning it into a pillow at some point.

I joined this group at the last minute because they had a dropout, so rather than trying to piece something up quickly in a day or two, I decided to use this block.  I hope I love the quilt that comes back to me as much as I love the block.  It’s a bit risky because I don’t know what the others will add to my quilt and whether or not I’ll like it, but it’s also quite exciting, and I can’t wait for the surprise in the middle of the summer.

I also liked that this will only last until June.  I promised myself I wouldn’t commit to another long bee this year, so at least this is six months instead of twelve.  However, I need to keep reminding myself of my promise because I’ve got the sewing bug right now and find myself stalking the thread that announces all the new bees…must not join, must not join.  Still, I’m hoping to do some different things this year like join a couple of swaps where we make an actual project for a partner or also join fabric swaps, which are lots of fun but take very little work (just some cutting of fabric usually).  Those are both shorter-term commitments that span only a few months.  Although I don’t plan for another pregnancy or anything else that would derail my sewing time, you never know what life will throw you, and I don’t like having to back out of things I’ve committed to.

I’ll be updating with pictures of the quilts I’m sent and what I add to them along the way.  I think we’re supposed to post sneak peeks on flickr, so we have an idea of what things look like but still get a surprise in the end.  Can’t wait to see how this all turns out!


  1. I love this block! So fun and colorful!

  2. Love the colors in that block!

  3. I love this block…. great fabric choices.

  4. I have had very good luck on traveling quilts and enjoyed the process. Each one is a new design challenge, and I work on designs that are quite different from my usual approach. Have fun!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I hope I have good luck with this one. It’s definitely a new experience for me, but I think the process will be fun regardless of the result. I’m trying to branch out from my usual sewing/quilting habits this year, so this is a good start on that goal. It’s also nice that it’s only six months long, so there’s less time to wait to see the finished product!

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