May 28, 2012

Star of Africa - on beewings around the world

In Finland there is an enourmously popular board game called Star of Africa (Afrikan tähti). Over 3 million games are sold (with a population of 5 million) since 1951. In this game you travel around Africa from place to place hoping to find the Star of Africa, a hugh diamond. There is a lot of adventure on the road, diamonds, money, bandits...



So what? What has a stupid board game to do with quilting you are probably asking yourself.

My idea is to make a similar journey around the world, staying for a while at each place and getting some souvenirs to enjoy back home again (not blood diamonds!). At the board game you are chasing diamonds, but what I have in mind is to get to know new places and make new friends around the world. Does it sound good? For me the best thing ever!


Lets begin a bee! 12 - 16 people can sign up and once a month everyone makes one block from her/his own country. No limits as to imagination or size of the block.

Sidetracking: I tried to make a block like the boardgame. This was my first one.


Does anything strike you? Well, I got this far. Then I wanted to place the cities and found the geography a tiny bit confusing...Madagaskar does jump around a lot, or is it Africa turning around?

Next one; still unfinished because I couldn't find a black and white spreckled ribbon. The general idea should be clear, though.


Oh no; the idea for the bee is not to make small maps of Africa. You should think about your own country for a bit. What comes first into mind? What do people think of when they talk about your country?
Next step is to consider how to make a block out of your ideas. You can do a normal pieced block, stitchery, application... Whatever is good for you.


Let me tell you that I had to think a bit before I came up with the ideas for my own country (Finland), but soon they were just rolling in. I had to consult google with some of my ideas but after that everything was rather simple. Some of the ideas are still ripening like good cheese :-)

I've made a couple of samples to show you which way my imagination goes. This is the first harvest:


Moomin is great, as well as the rest of his family. Yes, he is a fellow countryman as well as Santa Clause. Santa is waiting for his turn.


 And then there are these small suckers. No fellow countrymen, but they kind of invite themselves everywhere you go.


These fellows live a bit up north from were I used to live. (This block isn't wonky, I blame it on the pic.)


This one is for a town near where I live. Do you recognize the skyline? Yes, it's Cologne in Germany. A cool place to be. Where else do they have icecream on the roof?


By the way; Mr. Gnome is travelling with this one to a new destination. Maybe to your place?

I was also thinking of making "usual" pieced quilt blocks of sailboats, houses, teacups, crowns, Christmas trees, but I haven't got that far yet. As soon as I have anything to show I will do so.

This bee is a bit different from the other ones. You get to use your imagination and have a lot of freedom with what you are doing. I'm calculating between a 12 or 16 months duration. It depends on how many sign up.

The idea is:
  • To use your imagination to make a block which tells: "Yes, this is where I come from, this is part of me."
  • No one will tell you what kind of block to do; it is all up to you
  • To make a unique sampler quilt with all the different blocks you have received from all over the world integrated into the general scheme of your quilt. There are so many possiblities to make something really good out of this!
Every month we are going to have a new Queen bee (Queen mom?). She/he gets to choose the general colours of the blocks and the background. Size is a thing we should discuss separately.

There is no need to come up with 12-16 different blocks. Actually one is enough; you could make the same one 12-16 times depending on how many bees we have in the hive. I'm going for a lot of different ones, but that's me. 

A month ago the Scrappy? Sew bee it! bee started. It's my first one and as you see, I'm not looking back again. Where would I be without these glorious ladies from the group? Don't deny yourself this experience, it's so much fun! I promise you will get a lot richer and afterwards you will know where exciting places like Waratah or Kamloops are. And perhaps you will get one of the blocks from above...

I sure want to snuggle up in a quilt made with the help of a lot of friends. How about you?

I've started a Flickr group and placed a button in the sidebar. If you want to join us on this trip please leave a comment or sign up with Flickr. Nicky, Sana, Tanya, Janine, Patty, Cindy, Amie, Benta, Tina, Fiona, Sally, Leanne, Kim, Veena, Irene, Kate, Jen and I are looking forward to meeting you!
That means we have ten different countries already; UK, Germany, Thailand, Canada, USA, India, Latvia, Australia, Guatemala, South Africa and Finland. (12 if you count Scotland) You don't want to leave your place out, do you?

We are kicking off on June 15th.

This bee is now full. Thank you for your interest; there will be another time. Until then, all the best!

New note on August 12th. It looks like one place is free. Anyone interested?

Hugs, May 

42 comments:

  1. May - The Star of Africa - bee around the world is such a great idea!! Please count me in :) I have had such a wonderful experience with "Scrappy? Sew Bee It", I would not want to miss a chance to join in this one. :)

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    1. Yes, it is fun! I wouldn't want to miss it myself...Welcome!

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  2. That board game sounds great! I love this idea for a bee. Can I join from the uk as well or would you like to try for all different countries?

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    1. Yippii! Yes, of course you can join! It's not like there is only one single idea in the UK is there? Aniway Nicky is starting for Scotland:-) I'll send an invite.

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  3. Ok Janine - I will content myself with Scotland! I have Nessie, Highland cows, Shetland ponies, bottles of whisky, kilts, tartan....lots to keep me going! This is exciting May!

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    1. and thistles, don't forget the thistles...:-)

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  4. I haven't ever joined a Bee, but this sounds like so much fun. Would you like a Canuck(Canadian) in your bee?

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  5. Love all the embroidery. The mosquitos are awesome and the skyline rocks anyways ;-) I also loved to watch Die Mumins (that's how we wrote that name).

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    1. Mumin is the right name :-)

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    2. Ich dachte, wir hätten es nur eingedeutscht ;-)

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  6. I love your blog makeover! All these bees are fabulous. It really is the cutest blog on the block!

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  7. I want to play! Is there room for a Texan?!

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    1. Of course there is room for you! Welcome in the group. 6 fabolous ladies are just waiting for you...

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  8. I would love to be included! How about another American?? : )

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    1. The more the merrier! This is terrific news. Welcome! I'll get back to you soon with all the info you might need.

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  9. I haven't joined a bee before, but this looks fun, would *another* uk member be too many? I was thinking I could offer a maybe different lock as I do machine embroidery, so could use that for the UK-ness of my blocks!

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    1. I love you guys! So no, the quota for UK bumble bees is not full (and never will be) :-) Welcome in the group; I'll get back to you with the info.

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  10. May, I think the new blog style looks fabulous. And why not change it more soften, like we do with clothes? :-) I read your blog usually in my rss reader on my phone, but I thought I have to look at it myself after that notice in the flickr group.
    :-) Christiane

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    1. Thank you Christiane! I'm of the same opinion as you and I actually change it according to the theme. I think this is the fifth outfit this year.

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  11. Janine at Rainbow Hare passed on the info about your Bee, I am a Scot currently living in Latvia, do you still have room for another member? I have never been in a bee before so you will have to forgive me if I take a while to get the hang of it :)

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    1. Sure, welcome in our happy group! Sorry I'm rude, but I didn't find your name on your blog:-) I'll get back to you very soon. ok?

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  13. Hi there - Nicky sent me an email about this bee so I've just applied to join over at flickr if there's still room - I'm in Australia so that might add another country to the bee - mmm let me think - well of course there are kangaroos, koalas, gum trees, sydney harbour - bridge and opera house, ayers rock (uluru)- just a few to be going on with :)

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    1. Hi Leanne
      we have already been waiting for you to show up :-) Welcome in the group! Actually you are the second Aussie, Sal joined us a couple of days ago. I should update my post...

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  14. Need another American? Or is the good ole US over-represented?

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    1. Of course we need another American! The more the merrier! Welcome to the Star of Africa around the world tour! We love to have you.

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  15. Is there another spot left for India?....or am I too late?

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    1. This is so unbelievable cool Veena! Of course there is a place, not only in my heart, but also in the bee for you.

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  16. ok..I am In....so glad to be:-)...what is the next step...sorry abt the ignorance;-(

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    1. Hi Veela, no need to fret, you are doing just fine :-)
      The next step is to check your email account. I've sent you an invite to our Flickr group. There we can sort everything out.

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  17. Hi May, I've never joined a quilting bee, so, if you want a guatemalan fellow in your group, I'm ready to start! My country is called "The land of eternal spring" (as other central and south american countries are too), so you can expect some fresh, bright, vibrant colors in my blocks. And maybe some hand-woven folkloric cotton fabrics too...
    Irene.

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    1. Hi Irene and welcome on our group. Yes, we would love to have you aboard on this exciting and creative trip of ours!
      Could you please change your blog a tiny bit; you are now a no-reply blogger and there is no way for me to contact you. I can only hope you read this :-)

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    2. Thanks, I'm new in blogger, I'll change my status as you need. Glad to meet you all!

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  18. Hi I am Kate. I have lived in London for the last 10 years but grew up in South Africa and still have family there. I have a good collection of African fabric and wondered if you still have space for 1more. I have been sewing for 12 years but am new to quilting bees.
    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Kate and welcome to the group! As it happens one place was vacated and we would be happy to have you join us!
      Please send me an email; you are a non-reply blogger, so I can send you all the information you need and invite you to the Flickr group.

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    2. Hi. Many thanks for the invite. I am new to all this blogging so have no idea that I am a no reply - will change that.
      My email address is katewhitaker5@gmail.com.
      Thanks

      Kate

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    3. Hi Kate and welcome to the group! We are so happy you noticed my comment here; I was frankly a bit worried already that you would miss it:-)

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  19. Is there another spot for an idahoan. I 'm new to quilting and bees and manage to just miss out on everything thanks

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    1. Hi C
      thanks for asking, not at the moment in this one. I could put you up on the reserve list though.
      There will be other ones later as well and I'm starting a game in two weeks called the Lazy Bums. Perhaps that might interest you.

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  20. May, where is the Flicker button?

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  21. May, is the new spot still open? I think it would be SUPER cool to be a part of such an interesting bee - if you don't mind another person from the US.

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