Hi friends, Back in December, when I was deep enough into Christmas-gift crafting to be looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, I joined a virtual quilting bee called " The Maple Leaf Bee." I'd seen several bloggers I admire participate in VQBs, and so when the chance to participate in an all-Canadian bee presented itself, I jumped at the chance! There are 13 women from across Canada participating in this bee; each of us has been assigned a month. When it's our month, we send out packages containing fabric and instructions for the type of block we want; the other 12 quilters each complete a block and send it back. The idea is that by the end of the year we'll each have received 12 blocks – enough to make a small quilt (or get started on a big one!). Things got underway in January, and I received my first envelope last week. The theme was wonky log cabin or improv log cabin; the colours were orange and aqua. The blocks are destined to become a quilt for Barb's little boy. Here's what I made: This is the first block I made, and it's a pretty standard (barely wonky, really) log cabin block. Barb included a fun fabric with lots of dogs, and I decided that fussy cutting was the best way to feature the capering canines. When I was finished with this, I still had lots of fabric left over, and lots of time left for playing around, so I made a second block. I guess this would be more of an improvisational block. I tried to stay with the traditional colour scheme (in this case, blue on the bottom/left, orange on the top/right). I made the centre block first, then the five smaller log cabins (dog cabins? dog houses?), sewing them on as though they were a strip of fabric (as with a traditional log cabin). Looking at it now, I'd probably replace the big blue border on the left and bottom with an all-around white sashing...but I was out of white, and wanted to square it up to 12.5", as with the first block. Part of the challenge of this is using what you've got, and overall I'm pleased with how things turned out. Besides, look at all those dogs! My fabrics for February's blocks arrived yesterday – here's a peak at the style of block we'll be making. (Guess I'd better get my ruler out!) My month is October, so I've got a bit of time to brainstorm about the blocks I want...but something tells me it'll be here before I know it, so I'd better get thinking. Have you participated in a virtual quilting bee? What about a quilt-along, or a swap? I'm interested to hear about your experiences.