Modern quilting bees. How (splendid detail in color here) and why (because you make more community than quilt).
One advantage of group quiltmaking is that one person doesn't carry the entire load. The desire to create and the willingness to work with others are all that is needed.
Some of these quilts took hundreds of hours to complete, many of those hours spent in the convivial company of old and new friends. The subjects that we covered in conversation while quilting allowed us to get to know each other, and sometimes ourselves, better.
Every year we have a party in the spring. We gather the quilts together and hang them up for all to see. It is our time to remember, to reminisce, and to celebrate where we come from and who we are. These quilts are a record of our lives as a community.
In general, we think it is a good rule to allow participants no less than two weeks for completing and returning an easy pieced block, and not more than six weeks for a difficult block involving fine embroidery. When you give participants more time than that, blocks seem to get forgotten, lost, or eaten by the dog.
We often hang the quilt rather than gift wrap it. This provides for a
wonderful shock effect. Furthermore, people are able to enjoy and admire the quilt all through the party.