Maybe it is because I like to get real mail in the letterbox or maybe because it forces me to try things that I wouldn't ordinarily have a go at I keep joining bees and swaps. I expect it is a little of both.
I do this even right after I have decided that enough is enough and I'll never have any time to bring to life the ideas I have in my head if I keep making things for other and putting them in envelopes.
That said, I love them, I enjoy making the blocks and I am always really excited to see the finished product and I can ususally make them at night after work which makes a great weekday stand alone project.
I think I'll probably keep ignoring my own little rules for myself but that is OK.
The most recent bee I joined was one hosed by the online Etsy fabric store Sew Fresh Fabrics. As they explained in this post on their blog they end up with a lot of scraps and thought a bee was a great way to use them with the final quilt being donated to charity, in this case Project Linus.
I thought I had missed out on the first round but apparently due to some counting errors they ended up one short in the boy group for this round and I was happy to jump in. Yesterday I got an envelope in the mail (yay!) with some Kaffe Fasset, Lizzy House and other great fabrics and from nowhere came the idea to make a aeroplane block.
I have never, ever, had the slightest inclination to make such a block before but as soon as it popped into my head I couldn't think of any other style I wanted to make. So, by the power of google I went looking for some tutorials and used this one from Badskirt as my main inspiration but generally made it up as I went along within the confines of the fabric strips I had.
I love how the tail and wings stand out from the body and nose and how the busy-ness of the background print hides the seams. And the lighter fabric on the border gives the eye a place to rest (and makes the block to the requested size!). Genrally for an hour or so at the sewing machine a few hours after the envelope arrived I'm pretty happy.
Check out the Flickr group for some of the other great blocks appearing for the boy and the girl quilt made by the other circle.