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Bee-wildered…..what would you do?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I have a little problem I’d like to put before you.

I don’t want to blow it out of proportion, because at the end of the day, it’s just not that big of a deal, but I’d really like to know what you would do in my situation :-)

I’m in several bees – and most of them chug along pretty happily. Occasionally life gets in the way and for one reason or another things get delayed. People mail and let you know what’s going on and eventually all the blocks turn up and Bob’s your uncle.

But it doesn’t always work like that and that’s right where I am now.

I’m in a bee – I won’t tell you which one because the last thing I want to do is embarrass anyone…let’s just leave it that I’m in a bee. My month was September and we have 2 months to complete the blocks, so by the end of October my blocks should have arrived. I sent my fabric and instructions out in August and to date I have received three lots of blocks back (out of 11). The flickr page photos show that nobody else has made any blocks and some have already moved on to the month after mine.

Last week I wrote to the Queen Bee, but haven’t heard back from her. I also posted an update post on Flicr, just to ask people how things are standing. I have had replies from 4 and rather worryingly it seemed like some of them had forgotten my project.

That leaves 4 not made, but at least communicating and another 4 with no response at all.

What would you do? I mean it’s kind of embarrassing to keep hassling people, but it would be nice to see this work out. Would you just leave it and see what comes out in the wash? What is the correct etiquette in this situation? I feel like I’ve done a nice, non-pushy reminder and I don’t want to p people off, if you know what I mean.

I’m sure I’m not along in experiencing this – so do let me know what you think!

Have a lovely Sunday,

Helen

10 Responses to “Bee-wildered…..what would you do?”

  1. Thorn Says:

    I’m one who’s dropped the ball and feel very bad about it, though I started your project earlier this weekend and haven’t been on flickr in a week. I was intimidated because I didn’t think I had enough scraps to make it scrappy and had a horrible time buying a batch from etsy only to have the seller lose them and promise a replacement and then cancel the order after I’d waited six weeks. I’ve had one more scrap pack come and am waiting for another, but I feel like a loser because yours was thenfirst month I was part of the bee and I should have been able to just keep up but didn’t. It sounds like you’ve been doing all the right things to remind people, but there might be people like me who’ve missed the flickr reminder.

  2. Mary Says:

    I’d already posted an update of where I was in the main thread, so hopefully you saw that. For what it’s worth, I was the month before you and I’m still waiting on 3 people. I know it can be frustrating, especially if you are managing to get your blocks back to people on time. I’d be inclined to give it a little more time and see if people manage to catch up.

  3. Tanya Says:

    oooo this is a bit of a tricky situation isn’t it?? I’m also in a bee that has been stumbling a bit, but a new mama took over and seems to have rounded us all up, and contacted people to check who has made what and who still owes people blocks. perhaps you could keep asking the queen bee/mama to liaise with people, as you m ay not be the only person who has not received all their blocks back.

  4. diane stanley Says:

    In the beginning, I was in a few bees where I didn’t “know” the people. I had some bad luck too, especially disappointing when it’s the kind of bee where you send out the fabric. I have learned my lesson and now choose bees where I feel like I know the character of the members a little better.
    Also, I have learned that life gets in the way for some and there is nothing I can do about it. Some people have real life issues and that is way more important than my bee block.
    So hopefully, things will trickle in for you and you might be out a block or two.

  5. Flying Blind Says:

    Shout, rant and rave, I would – ha ha ha!!!
    Actually the Mama should be the one to chase to avoid any uncomfortableness all round.
    I think it’s a shame people don’t keep up, when I was running late on Di’s block for ST even though it isn’t that sort of Bee and didn’t matter so much, I felt awful, and did make sure everyone knew what was going on.
    As far as I am concerned, unless all your worldly possessions, computer and electricity have washed away, just a quick flickr mail is not too much to ask, going into personal details isn’t necessary, but a courtesy ‘I have your fabric, I am running late, can you wait or do you want your fabric back?’ is ample I’d say.
    Hopefully the missing few are secret blog readers and now have the message x

  6. Jen Says:

    A couple of years ago wen bees were all the rage I was a member of a lot of (maybe 6?) bees, all of them with people I didn’t know. This exact thing happened to me in about half of them — in those bees there were members who never sent me back any blocks and also never sent me back my fabric. In one case the cause was a bee leader who disappeared (and thus we had no one to keep things running smoothly — I got less than half of my blocks back in that case.) I was incredibly annoyed, especially at the people for whom I had already made blocks, but I just let it go. I hate confrontation and I figured that I was learning things the hard way. Since then I’ve only signed up for bees where I know everyone and am confident that no one will flake. Also, I always try to have my month near the beginning — the later it gets the flakier people get.

    I think a lot of newbies sign up for bees and have no idea of what kind of commitment it is (though, honestly, I really can’t understand or believe that in an entire month someone can’t scrape together an hour or two to sew a block.) I hate to say it but I think if you have flakey members in this bee then you probably are just not going to get blocks from them. If you sent out fabric I would write them and ask them to send it back to you. Otherwise, I would just write it off and expect no more blocks. It sucks but I think that this is kind of common in bees and people don’t really talk about it.

  7. Paige Says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard of “bees” before (i’m not an active quilter)–they sound like FUN!

    I suggest sending an email to the scofflaws asking for either an ETA or return of the fabric (by a specific deadline). This is rather direct (and as little as a year ago I would have not suggested this at all; i hate conflict), but I’ve learned it’s so much easier to politely, yet directly state my expectations, without any emotion, but with understanding that ‘yep, life does get in the way, no offense taken, but let’s work together to resolve this fairly.’

    hope that helps.

  8. Gertie Pye Says:

    This is one of those situations where being British is a disadvantage – I think we all hate confrontation! But you are very polite Helen so I am confident that you could word a chaser note very mildly. In fact, being British, you could probably word it so that it sounds like you are the one apologising!

    Posting a reminder on Flickr sounds like a sensible thing to do. I think we all understand that life gets in the way sometimes and blocks are going to be late. But if someone has dropped out altogether the Bee needs to know. Maybe you could post a photo of the blocks you have already had in onto Flickr to jog people’s memory?

    Can you contact your Bee organiser outside of Flickr? Although I love Flickr, it doesn’t tell my regular email that I have new messages so if I have not been on for a while, I don’t know that there is a message waiting there for me.

    I hope you get it all sorted soon. Bee Happy! x

  9. MelD Says:

    I agree with everyone else: it’s worth going to the trouble of asking for your fabrics back if the people are not going to be able to do keep up with the blocks for whatever reason and then giving them up as a bad job.
    Sadly, it would seem that it’s too much hassle to take part in bees with people you don’t know well and I think I would be put off from continuing. What a shame that people are so unreliable.
    I hope your pleasure in quilting and bees isn’t utterly spoilt by these experiences!

  10. Diane Neale Says:

    It’s difficult to get a 100% solution, but If the bee momma will not help, I would chalk it up to experience and back out now. I certainly wouldn’t be making anything for those bee member who haven’t come up with the goods!

    It never fails to amaze me how people can’t just drop you a line to explain the situation. It costs nothing and would make you a lot happier. Surely it’s just common politeness!