I've had to make some decisions lately about my priorities...don't we all? And looking at my schedule of projects that need to be completed (or started!) I've realized that I'm a little over extended. I had to make the tough decision about what to let go. The most logical thing seemed to be to look at my bees. They are the longest time commitments; they are monthly; and I have a lot of them that I am in. Note to self: 7 bees is too many!
I run 2 of them, so they didn't seem like good ones to back out of. I've been in a couple of bees where the leader backed out and pretty much the bees fell to pot. I wouldn't do that to the people in the groups!
Two of them, I've already had my month in, and it is one of the tackiest things (in my opinion) to pull out of a bee that you've had others do work for you but you haven't done work for them. This can be touchy because obviously there are any number of COMPLETELY valid reasons why this may need to happen, but it should be avoided if at all possible. I've also been in bees where people just drop out, take your work with them, and don't even say goodbye or give an explanation. I really do always try to assume the best, but it's still not great conduct on that person's part.
One bee hasn't begun yet and I think that I will have a lighter load by the time that it does...so I'm hanging onto that one for now.
But there were two other bees that I've really enjoyed being part of for the last few or several months that seemed to be the most reasonable to give up. In both bees I had the last or second to last month. In both bees I believe that there were more than 12 members, so technically I don't think that they would even have to go through the trouble of replacing me. And in both bees, I've felt that I learned a lot, met some nice people and gotten a taste of what the bee was about.
So what are these bees that I've had to drop out of? Well, the first one was the Japanese Bee. It's been very fun to see all those fun japanese fabrics and get to work with them. But honestly I've kind of gotten the japanese fabric bug out of my system. I feel like I've seen a lot of them and now I really know what I like. I know that there are some great months coming up, but I was overwhelmed by the commitment and didn't have a clear idea of what my own quilt should be. Plus, I was slightly concerned about the expense of buying enough Japanese fabric for the bee. All of these things have relatively simple solutions, but all being said and done, this was a good choice for me to let go.
The second bee I let go of is the Bee Liberated bee based off of the style of Gwen Marston. I've had great fun getting to be a liberated quilter and even purchased Gwen's book for this bee. She shows you how to be liberated...which is something that my straight line, right angled brain needed. But again, I feel like I've really learned a lot and can peacefully let go of this bee knowing that I worked hard for everyone and am only losing out myself on my own month.
So this brings me to an interesting point that seems worth bringing up. How do you gracefully pull out of a bee?
Well, it's important to contact the leader of the bee and let him/her know first. It's not nice to take them by surprise and let them deal with the aftermath.
Also it's very important that you either finish up the blocks you've been sent or return fabric promptly back its owner so that if they can send it off to the next person if needed. Or offer to send the fabric off to the new member yourself to save on time and postage for the owner of the fabric. Ideally, you would pull out before the newest fabric is sent off but after you have completed your commitment for the month.
Give the leader plenty of time to replace your month. ie. don't pull out abruptly when your month is the next one up. It can work out, yes, but it's still not polite. So try to avoid that. LOL.
I personally think that it is important to say goodbye to the whole group. It means more to me when someone explains themselves why they need to leave rather than leaving it to the leader to explain. Plus it helps to maintain those relationships and express your feelings personally to the group. You don't need to over share, but a simple goodbye goes a long way!
And for pete's sake don't burn any bridges! No need to say that you don't like what people's designs are, or you haven't liked the fabrics, or the members frustrate you. Save that for your diary. It doesn't do any good to go out in flames!
It's a reality of life that life itself can get in the way. Commitments change. Opportunities arise and sometimes tough decisions need to be made. But treat people the way that you would want to be treated and it should all go well.
take a lesson from me and try not to overcommit. Because sometimes I think that I should be committed to a mental hospital for all that I've taken on and want to take on!
I'm a little preachy today and no pictures, but that's where life is. Take me or leave me ;)