To be or not to be?

That is the question.  Whether it is nobler…oh no, that is not where I was going.  This post is about bees…to bee or not to bee?  When I first discovered flickr and the online quilting world, I was fascinated.  All of these great pictures of wonderful quilts and blocks and people from all around the world! I lurked for a while before I jumped in. I made sure that it was something that I was ready for…both in terms of skill level and creativity.  And time.  I am as busy as the next person.  I have crunch times and then summer and surprise snow days – or even hurricane days.  Through bees I have made many online friends in far flung places.  I have received packages – gorgeous things…have you seen my sewing machine cover? – from the four corners of US as well as Australia, the UK and Thailand.  I dare say that the folks that I have played with are not all like me…age, race, social and political outlook.  And that is great!  Vive la difference!

Through the bees I have learned to do things that I probably would not have done otherwise.  Here are some of my favorites… from Piece Bee with You a paper pieced block about being sick – what do you want?  the remote!Remote

applique for a block about my hometown for Quilt Around the World IIMonument Neighborhood block

and wonky and improve blocks for Simply Solids.solids improvNow, here is the rub.  Have you ever been burned in a bee or a swap?  Made things for someone else and then they did not make something for you?  Receive something that is slapdash or shoddy when you put forth a really good effort for them?  Received white background when you distinctly asked for grey?  Or had a bee where someone just does not respond?  This is where I am now.  I am in a bee in which blocks literally go around the world. I started a block….here it isQAWII starter blockFrom me this block traveled to the mid-west, back to the east coast, jumped across the pond to the UK, then Switzerland, the big jump to New Zealand and Australia, another big jump to California and then up the west coast and across the US and back to me.  Twenty-five stops in all.  Well, my blocks left here June 2012 and they are almost home.  However, I am one of the lucky ones.  I understand that things happen and you do not get to sew for a while.  But after some time almost everything resolves itself, one way or the other, or you let the hive know what is happening or that you no longer participate and ask how they want you to proceed.  But what to do when a bee member sits on 20 or 30 blocks that others have made and refuses to communicate?  Is she holding them hostage?  We know that she is fine and nohing tragic has happened as we have spoken with her mother.  If I lived close enough I would run over there and sit on the front steps until I get all of those blocks back.  Anyone in NYC or Long Island want to run an errand for me?

So…any words of wisdom?  I will definitely meet all of the deadlines that I have already signed up for.  But after that?  Would you keep going, or bow out of the scene gracefully?  Opinions, comments…please!



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7 responses to “To be or not to be?

  1. I understand that people have stuff going on in their lives, I really do. I think we have been incredibly unlucky with this person in this bee and it is such a shame as she is wonderfully talented. I’m really disappointed that I won’t get a block from her, but happy that we realised what was happening before my blocks got stuck too. It hasn’t put me off though. I think I have definitely had more positive experiences than bad, although I’m sworn off swaps forever unless they are just for the UK and for someone that I know. I find them way too stressful and it seems like the bar has been raised in terms of what you are expected to make – weekender bags and the like! A cushion is generally my limit! Still, I have enjoyed the QATW2 Bee enormously and I have learnt so much from taking part and made some lovely friends. And I still have some faith that the missing blocks will just turn up someday 🙂

  2. It sounds as though you ought to at least take a break for a little while. I don’t have any experience with bees, I’ve never found one that I just couldn’t resist doing, but it sounds as though the stress is overshadowing the fun. I hope that you find out someday, what is going on with this one person and the blocks get “released”.

  3. Funnily enough PBWY burned me, I only ever got 6 blocks back – how did you do? I think you were one of the earlier ones so people hadn’t got distracted by that point! Now I only do bees with people I know (so that I can curse them roundly to their faces when they dole out impossible blocks, instead of muttering under my breath to no-one 😉 ) That would probably be my advice going forward, don’t go in with people you don’t really know – it’s a shame to have to say it, but it seems more and more people are overcommitting and won’t admit it, then just disappear off the face of the online ‘earth’ :/

  4. Pingback: Finally… | Tinking along

  5. Oh my gosh, you had to get a hold of her mom?! I hope you keep us updated — I want to know what happens in the end!

    Seriously, though, I guess asking her mom rescue the blocks is out of the question? She must live far away if she hasn’t already done it.

    Poor Katy. 😀 I didn’t get a full set of blocks, but I don’t mind since I did get to meet a bunch of nice people. (You included!)

  6. Anna is trying to get a bee started within the DCMQG on our Flickr discussion page, why not try that for 2014? I think it would be much better with people you know face to face.

  7. Pingback: heal… | Tinking along

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