Friday, October 10, 2008


One of the newest projects that I am so excited about is the SewConnected quilting group. As I am sure many of you are, I've long been a fan of Mama Urchin's Virtual Quilting Bee. In fact, stumbling upon that group was, in many ways, my entree into flickr, swapping, and online quilting communities. Besides all that, the work of that group is simply beautiful and inspiring.

Since then, a few more virtual quilting bees popped up (like this one, this one, and this one, all of which I love to browse and follow!) and I kept thinking about how much I'd love to participate in such a group. So instead of waiting around to be invited to one, I decided to start my own!

I browsed the comments of a few other blogs to see if there way anyone who, like me, was trying to get in to some of these swaps and maybe missed out. Doing so led me to some familiar names as well as a few new-to-me blogs. I also sent notes to a few of my other favorite online quilters to see if they'd be interested. The response was overwhelming! The group kind of came together organically and we quickly maxed out at 15 people. With 15, the group will be going strong until January 2010!!

Once one of our members came up with our name and another created our awesome logo, we were a go!

The first month is Rita's month, and here is a picture of her fantastic fabric choices:

Rita also sent each of us a small embroidered patch that we could either use in our block for her or keep for ourselves! She's so great. Rita told me she embroidered all of these bunnies over the course of 3 evening. Such talent!

Here's the block I made with Rita's fabrics. One of the things I like best about this swap is that it's one where we can add in some of our own fabrics if they work with the colors and design. I think it will make for some really beautiful, scrappy quilts. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, even though Rita's stack looks decidedly yellow and orange, my block brings out more of the coordinating blues and greens.

Once I started pulling some fabrics to use in Rita's block, I couldn't stop. And when I had a bout of insomnia on Saturday night, I used all of those fabrics that didn't make it in to my block to whip up some quick 9-patches. (I have to admit that I shamelessly stole this idea from Erin of the VQB and, because I love it so much, I'll probably re-use it for my month!) I thought it would be great for Rita to have a bunch of these in a couple of different sizes to scatter throughout her quilt. I can't wait to see how it all comes together.


  1. What a great post about our SewConnected group! I can't thank you enough for inviting me to join this awesome group, orgainizing us together so well and for all those amazing blocks you made! You rock!

  2. hi john - i just found your blog. it's so nice to see a guy out here in bloggy craftyland - your quilts are beautiful! good luck with the bee. i'm in another one that just started and i'm so looking forward to it!
    happy weekend!

  3. Your block is awesome. It's really wonderful - and those nine patches! Amazing. I wish I could be so inspired when I have insomnia.

  4. i think this might mean that you are the "king bee". great blocks, john.

  5. Those bunny squares are adorable! I can't believe that she embroidered them in 3 nights. Unbelievable. Your block is wonderful. I love it.

  6. You've done beautifully here John! I love the blue/green block with the bunny. Rita sure is lucky, look at all the extras!!

  7. I love all the blocks you made for Rita! They are superb.

  8. The block you did is adorable. It looks a bit traditional, a bit avant garde! I love the idea of the 9-patches to mix in.

  9. Looks like a great group! I'll enjoy seeing what you guys all create.

  10. I love what you did for Rita's block! I'm fighting the urge to go back and re-work my block...maybe I need a bout of insomnia!

  11. I wish that I had time to join you in your swap! Love the logo and the talented group that you put together. Have fun!

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