They buzz around the garden all summer long. Big and little, bumbles and honey bees. Above is a large bumble having a feast on my catmint. I took a short walk with the dog today and was scoping out the action around my coneflowers. Two different types of bees, a swallowtail butterfly and two smaller butterflies, one with a double set of wings. As I love the flowers, so do I love the critters.
Above is a detail from a quilt I did in 2009 called "Lions, Tigers, and Bees." The bee was an integral part of the composition. There were bee buttons scattered around the border too.
Several years ago I felt a strong desire to create a bee themed quilt. I found a honeycomb fabric that spurned me on and I bought over 2 yards of it.
This past weekend was a family outing. My four female first cousins on my Dad's side of the family and I got together at my house for a girl's weekend. We really haven't done much together since we were young and the two cousins on each end of the age spectrum haven't really gotten together at all. It was such a fun time for all of us. In the process of reacquainting ourselves we found out that cousin Judi was a beekeeper. She had to give up her bees in the last year as her husband, Bob, started to become severely allergic to the stings due to his medication. The last sting landed him in the hospital. Very sadly the bees had to be relocated. But she still has jars of the honey, which we all got and little pots of hand cream made from the wax. A solid reminder of her joy tending her bees.
I've been slathering her honey on my toast each morning since she gave me the honey and all this honey has brought me to thinking about bees and quilts. The two pictures above and the one below are the start of a mini quilt. It's only 12" x 12". My inspiration from Judi's bees has led to a little exploration. While taking me a bit from the Mermaids I need to continue, it's a welcome diversion and a little something to practice the quality of my stitches on after the many weeks of working, cleaning house and gardening which have derailed my momentum in the studio.
Before I'm done it will have a lot more bees buzzing around. Shouldn't take too long to pop out. Just have to love that honeycomb fabric! Got to go find some wing fabric and have some more toast with honey.