Modern Bee: How to Start a Quilting Bee

Modern Bee—13 Quilts to Make with Friends

Today I am reviewing a brand new book by Lindsay Conner called Modern Bee —13 Quilts to Make with Friends. Traditionally quilting bee’s were an opportunity for quilters to get together and socialize around a common project. As our socializing nowadays often revolves around social media, a popular trend among quilters has become a modern quilting bee swap. This is where a group of quilters – usually around 12 – form a group and work together over a period of time to create a quilt for each member of the group.

I’ve participated in a few quilting bees with a group of 11 other quilters, including one right now. (Not to be confused with the Virtual Quilting Bee which is open to anyone.) It has been such a great way to try and learn new blocks, techniques, and skills, not to mention build real-life friendships with other women who share the same love for this hobby.

I frequently have people ask how to start a quilting Bee group or become part of one. Modern Bee is an excellent resource! Lindsay has written a wonderful book documenting her experience with 11 other modern quilters and their year of creating quilts as part of a Modern Quilting Bee. Throughout the book Lindsay gives practical advice about how to start your own Bee and how to run it most efficiently.

Even if you’re not interested in starting a quilting Bee, the book also contains instructions for 13 different quilt patterns as well as thorough advice on quilting basics, such as choosing colors and fabrics, supplies, and construction.

As part of this introduction tour for Modern Bee, Lindsay has put together a fun gift bag filled with sewing goodies from Coats and Clark, FreeSpirit Fabrics, Olfa, Pellon and Timeless Treasures! To Enter, complete the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win.a Rafflecopter giveaway *Winner will be randomly selected after October 18, 2013 from all comments received. If the winner lives outside of the U.S., they’ll win a Modern Bee e-Book of instead of the gift bag.
This post contains affiliate links.


  1. says

    I've always wanted to be part of a bee, but I am slightly afraid I am too much of a control freak. I do love the social aspect of sewing though.

  2. says

    I've never been a part of a Bee but I think it would be fun. I'm working on a quilt for my cousin's new baby, a quilt for my sister, and a Modern Trees quilt-along quilt right now!

  3. says

    Wow, great prize! I have never been in a bee before but I would like to try one day! I'm sewing a crib quilt for a friend's new baby right now!

  4. says

    I've never been part of a quilting bee before, but it seems like such a cool thing to do. I've loved following along with some Virtual Quilting bees, and I love seeing all of the different colors and interpretations. Right now I'm working on making toys for my kitten that are both indestructible and nice to look at in my apartment!

  5. says

    I too would love to be a part of a quilting bee but I am unsure as where to start! Just think of all the information to share and learn from others that have the same passion for quilting!! Thanks for the give away!

  6. says

    Yes, I love bees! :) I'm making a quilt that has the raw edged cut with an accuquilt flowers out of Weekends by Erin McMorris. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. says

    I belong to quilting groups, but not bee type groups. Right now I have on my sewing table a partially made zippered pouch with hexagons on the front. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  8. says

    I have never been part of a quilting bee, too big a chicken, don't think I'm experienced enough….you get the picture. Thanks for the give away!

  9. says

    I am participating in a quilting bee with several friends! This is year two for this particular group. I've enjoyed playing with different blocks and different fabrics! Thanks for the opportunity to win. :-)

  10. says

    I'm so intrigued by quilting bees and would really love to do one… once I am able to get my points more consistently precise. I would want anything I send to a bee-mate to be perfect, and I'm not sure I could guarantee that!

  11. says

    I haven't tried a quilting bee yet, but I would like to one day. =) Right now I'm working on a Hawaiian Quilt. Thanks for the chance to win! =)

  12. says

    When I see peoples bee projects on blogs I&#39;ve always wondered how they work (I&#39;m new to the world of quilting!)<br />

  13. says

    I have participated in a quilting bee… &quot;Let&#39;s Bee Together&quot; and I LOVED it! I have this lovely log cabin patriotic quilt that I made from all the blocks and it was my sweet man&#39;s birthday present last year! I get to sleep under it too…so really…it&#39;s a WIN WIN!

  14. says

    I&#39;ve never done a bee and would love to participate in one, but fearful that with the two littles (a newborn and a toddler) I do not necessarily have the time.<br /><br />Right now I am working on several WIPs and am trying to get them out of the way in the craft room. So I am participating in the last quarter of the FAL… :) Maybe when I finally finish some projects I can look into joining

  15. says

    I have been curious about quilting bees, so this book seems perfect! Right now I am working on a QAL among many, many other things! :) Thanks for the chance at this awesome giveaway!

  16. says

    Hello, I do 2 bees in my livingarea.<br />I am busy with an oldfashion pattern for a bag with a modern twist, a top with blocks and the X-block ruler, BOM from Women of Courage and other little projects.<br />I do like the book very much!<br />Greetings Monica,<br />Holland

  17. says

    Never been in a quilting bee, a great idea. Perhaps I need to meet some more quilters. I&#39;m working on a toddler quilt for my friends baby and my long standing sampler quilt project.

  18. says

    No bee for me as of yet, but sounds like a great way to share and enjoy people w/similar interests! I&#39;m currently working on finishing a baby quilt for my new nephew, Max.

  19. says

    I have not been in a Quilting Bee, but it is definitely something I would love to try. I think I have my confidence built up to a place where I feel I could do this!

  20. says

    I haven&#39;t participated in any quilting bee yet, but I&#39;m seriously considering to join one. I need to stretch my &quot;out of comfort&quot; zones.

  21. says

    I have never been part of a bee, but I think it would be a great bonding experience. I am currently working on finishing my daughters co-ordinating quilts for their beds. Then it&#39;s on to a quilt for my sister, one for my sister-in-law, one for my maid of honor, and some clothes for my girls in there as well.

  22. says

    I haven&#39;t done a bee before, I have done some swaps where we all mad x number of blocks and sent them all to one person who then sent one of each to each of us…I did two, both Christmas ones, and had lots of fun doing it. I would like to try a round robin bee someday!

  23. says

    I haven&#39;t done any bee sewing yet, but finding a bee once I&#39;m a little more confident in my skills is on my to do list for the future.

  24. says

    I&#39;ve never been in a bee yet; I think I&#39;m still a little intimidated to have others counting on me, but it looks like the new book would be an amazing resource to get started.

  25. says

    I have been part of an on-line quilting bee – and my favorite quilt, made from the blocks generated by my turn in the bee, rests on my guest bed to welcome family and friends!

  26. says

    I&#39;m currently in an on-line bee and am eagerly awaiting my turn as queen. It&#39;s been fun sewing different blocks and trying out color combos I wouldn&#39;t choose for myself.

  27. says

    I would love love love to belong to a quilting bee! I&#39;ve got all kinds of projects going on, smocked blessing gow, Quilty barn along, binding my paper doll quilt, making some Halloween pennants, working on designing a tee shirt quilt :)

  28. says

    I am new at quilting so I haven&#39;t had a chance to belong to a quilting bee, sounds like a lot of fun!<br />I love the Cordelia&#39;s Garden quilt!!

  29. says

    I belong to three bee&#39;s plus my county guild and state guild. right now I&#39;m making a baby quilt for a great-grand child. I, too, love the Cordelia garden quilt.

  30. says

    My quilting group did work together this summer and made a baby quilt for one of our member&#39;s daughter. Come to think of it we also made a quilt to be auctioned off for cancer research. I have so many projects going and running out of time, hehe. This book looks awesome and I&#39;m crossing my fingers!<br /><br />Thank you for a super giveaway and a chance to win.<br /><br />usairdoll(at)

  31. says

    I have only ever participated in your virtual quilting bee. It would be so wonderful to learn more about other &quot;smaller&quot; bees and hopefully get some friends in on it too!! Thanks for the chance!

  32. says

    I used to swap, which is as close to a bee as I&#39;ve gotten. I&#39;m currently handstitching a hexie quilt for stress relief! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  33. says

    I haven&#39;t been part of a bee before, but I bet my quilting group would love it! I am currently working on my first purse (it&#39;s only taken me three years so far…) and a pink and grey ladder quilt that I just love! I finally go the quilting done on it, just need to finish the binding. I will shoot you a picture when it&#39;s done. Thank you for the chance to win!

  34. says

    I love how you each have highlighted different parts of the book, and your experiences with bee(s)! I am in my first mini bee on Flickr and I&#39;m really enjoying both the social and creative aspects of it!

  35. says

    I love my quilting bees! I love being challenged with blocks out of my comfort zone even though sometimes it takes a lot of time to get them right :)

  36. says

    I think quilting bees are a great way to meet others – one day soon I will start one up here in Australia. Thank you for the opportunity to win this lovely package.

  37. says

    I love a book that is multi-purpose – quilting patterns, bee info, and quilting how-to&#39;s. Thanks for the useful package giveaway.

  38. says

    No quilting bees here (Holland) and I shouldn&#39;t know where to find one of the people to start one :( to bad, a weekly get together, wheter about quilting, crocheting or knitting would be so much fun!

  39. says

    I love participating in quilting bees. I am involved with 2 over on Threadbias website. I enjoy making the block the Queen chooses. Sometimes ir&#39;s a challenge and sometimes not. I have been Queen in one them already. Oh boy, it was so much fun having all those blocks come way. Happy mail!

  40. says

    Just joined a quilt bee (not virtual) and we just had our first meeting. Great way to socialize and meet with other people with the same obsession as myself…LOL!!

  41. says

    I&#39;ve never participated in a quilting bee, but it looks like fun. I have read this book cover to cover and it is a very good source of information.

  42. says

    I am part of a small quilt group and we have been doing projects that one person organizes, brings all the fabric cut out and then everyone makes the same block. Right now I am working on a Wizard costume for my grandson (Halloween is soon here). Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  43. says

    Ive participated in one bee… it was not the best because the members were not fully engaged. I&#39;m going to try again in Jan. hopefully it will be a better experience because it sounds like so much fun!

  44. says

    Bee swaps sound like so much fun! We are just forming a Modern Quilt Guild (tonight is our first meeting!) and I think a swap is something we should try this year! I would love to win- thanks for the chance!

  45. says

    What a great idea for a book! I&#39;m like the Lone Quilter, because I don&#39;t really know anyone else who quilts &quot;in real life,&quot; only those I&#39;ve connected with on the Internet. There&#39;s a group of quilters at my church, but they are all MUCH older than me and they just sew tons of squares of whatever fabric is donated into quilts that they donate to charity — a worthy

  46. says

    This is a really interesting post and I will be interested to read the book! As a quilter with no friends or family close who quilt, I very often feel quite alone in my trials and triumphs.

  47. says

    Although I have not participated in a Quilting Bee before I have participated in quilt alongs. I&#39;m not sure if they&#39;re the same or not, but they sure are fun!

  48. says

    Great Idea – I have never been in a &quot;Quilting Bee&quot; before – however I am doing the Tula Pink Quilt-a-long online. It would be interesting to find out more :-)

  49. says

    I was invited to be part of a bee, but turned it down because one woman in the group was a super-perfectionist and I knew my work would never live up to her standards. I would love to find a group with who were more forgiving!

  50. says

    I belong to a community quilting group that meets once a week but we haven&#39;t collaborated on a quilt since I&#39;ve been in the group. I did sew some blocks for some charity quilts for women&#39;s shelters in Grand Rapids, Michigan but I&#39;ll probably never see the finished product. I think it would be fun to &#39;Bee&#39;!

  51. says

    I am dying to try a quilting bee! I&#39;m on the waiting list for one, and in the process of trying to find more to join! I&#39;ve been slow to jump on the bandwagon, but I&#39;m fully ready to commit now. This book looks awesome!

  52. says

    I have not been able to join a sewing or quilting bee yet. I just retired, but live out in the country. I did survey my friends and family to see who sews and who wants to sew. May get into a block sway or pin cushion swap or something fun.<br />crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  53. says

    This looks really interesting. I read about quilting bees all the time in Amish and historical fiction. It is nice to know this is still being done!

  54. says

    Thanks for the chance to win! I&#39;ve done several online bees and right now I&#39;m doing a bee within my mqg… it&#39;s nice because I know the people my blocks go to plus I get to see in person all the blocks everyone receives!

  55. says

    Yes, I&#39;ve been the part of a quilting bee through two different churches at different times in my life, once when I was a teen and once later on at a different church as an adult.<br />lfhpueblo (at) msn (dot) com

  56. says

    I don&#39;t or haven&#39;t ever been in an actual quilting bee. I remember as a kid going to one, but we moved to South Texas from Alabama and they didn&#39;t have them where we lived in Texas. I LOVE sewing and embroidering. I do a lot of crafts and make handbags using my own patterns. I do piece quilts, but haven&#39;t been at it long, so I am still considered a beginner even though I do

  57. says

    I have never been part of a quilting bee… would love to! I am just starting my first t-shirt quilt with my &#39;newly &amp; first off to college&#39; kiddos t shirts. Think it will be a fun way to help deal with missing him as much as I do. =0)

  58. says

    what a great book and great bundle! I have been a member of the do.Good Stitches quilting bee for year. It combines the excitement of a quilting bee with a charity focus and it&#39;s very dear to me. Thanks for the chance to win!

  59. says

    I have never been a part of a quilting bee but would love to have the experience. I work full time and do my quilting at night or a few free weekends. I have just finished 12 charity quilts for Mayo Clinic&#39;s kids&#39; chemo unit.

  60. says

    I need tips for organising bees for sewers of very mixed abilities – from prize-winning quilters to beginners who are alarmed by matching seams and start to sweat at the mention of points.

  61. says

    I&#39;m new to quilting and I&#39;m addicted. This book looks like a great read! Right now I&#39;m working on my first BIG quilt for my niece…only baby quilts before this. Thank you for all the wonderful information that took the fear out of quilting for me!

  62. says

    My small quilt group works on quilts together. My favorite was a medallion quilt where we each added a &quot;round&quot; in an order chosen at random. We had a bag of civil war print fabrics from a member, added more of our own and made a great quilt.

  63. says

    I have never been part of a bee, but I think it would be so much fun! Right now, I&#39;m working on my daughter&#39;s Halloween costume – she wants to be a pink unicorn. Yikes!

  64. says

    What a fun book and a great prize! I am currently working on Halloween costumes, but once those are finished I&#39;m itching to start a new quilt topper. I&#39;ve never been in a quilting bee since my life is PACKED with 3 kids and another on the way, but someday I would love to be in one!

  65. says

    I quilted long ago with my two quilting friends in another town. It was the cheapest therapy and the most fun! (Even after all the fabric and supplies!). I wish I could spend the time these days; perhaps someday I will again. Thanks!

  66. says

    the people I know doing bees seem to be having a great time, I&#39;ve never done one. I&#39;m working on a block of the month and a disappearing 9 patch.

  67. says

    I&#39;ve been a part of and run several quilting bees… in the beginning of my quilting journey this was an excellent way for me to push myself and branch out in the many different skill sets of quilting

  68. says

    I have not been a part of a bee before and I am very interested. I&#39;m not quite sure if there are any in my area.<br />cecinbritt (at) yahoo (dot) com

  69. says

    What a neat book and all the quilts are beautiful! I have not been part of a Bee as of yet, it&#39;s on my bucket list, lol. Thank you for a chance to win.<br /><br />missmoozie(at)gmail(dot)com

  70. says

    This book looks amazing, all the quilts are gorgeous! I have not yet been part of a bee but would love to give it a try one day. I&#39;m working on several BOM projects as well as deciding what Christmas gifts I want to make.<br /><br />Thank you for a super giveaway and a chance to win.<br /><br />usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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