Bee Crazy Group
from Lake Jackson

Barbara Blankenship © 2005

   
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There is nothing quite as rewarding as finding a group of friends who share your love of Crazy Quilting. My local group began with Jan Campbell in the year 2000. After taking a class in Dallas, she wanted to share her knowledge and love of the art with our local community. She made arrangements to teach in our local quilt shop, with a beginning class of twelve participants. Her classes have spanned a three-year period, with an average of eight in each class. I enrolled in her third class (March 13, 2001) and the rest is history…an addict was born!

Jan began by inviting former class members to come back to the shop on Thursdays of each week to spend time stitching and to ask any questions we might have. Our original class project was a needle case. We all brought our projects back and beamed at the wonderful compliments Jan bestowed on all of us. Thus our group was born and we named ourselves "Bee Crazy."

Scissortail Quilts, our local quilt shop, provides a great place for us to meet on a weekly basis. Our membership consists of ten active members. Jan continues to teach in our area as well as the Houston area. She stitches so many wonderful items like this toaster cover. Shown in this picture is one of the quilts Jan has completed. She has almost completed a Julie Craig block of the month kit. She remains our mentor and a great artist.

Lynnis Burt is known to some as "big foot." She considers her designs as large and flamboyant but everything she does is wonderful. Many of you have seen her wonderful flowers pictured here. She is a designer in the Way to Women's Wellness ArtBra exhibit created by Victoria Adams Brown. Her vest is a wonderful example of the type work she does. She is also our television celebrity. She graciously agreed to feature some of our work on the local station. Never at a loss for words, she did a fantastic job!

Julie Yonge is another great artist and also one of the ArtBra designers. She did the fabulous peacock bra entitled "Fowl Play." She designs her own greeting cards that are as beautiful and detailed as her crazy quilting. Julie does small and intricate designs that are envied by all of us. Pictured here are several of her designs.

Mary Huntington is a master in all forms of handwork. Her quilt, "America the Beautiful," was featured at this year's Houston International Quilt Festival. As well as traditional quilting, she does fabulous appliqué and crazy quilting. She is currently making a quilt incorporating several techniques. Pictured here are two scenes on her Texas quilt she is currently working on.

Claudette Dirznowski is another of our talented ladies. She does fabulous crochet, tatting, and all type of embellishing. She recently completed a spectacular crazy quilted backpack. The picture does not do justice to the elaborate work done on this piece. Among our group she is known for her beautiful Brazilian embroidery and intricate crochet items.

Sandra Burket is a traditional quilter at heart. With a little coercion we have convinced her to dabble in our crazy quilting. She is currently working on one of Julie Craig's block of the month kits. Pictured here are an eyeglass holder she has made and one of her earlier blocks.

Joann Jansen is another of our talented members who crazy quilts, embroiders and beads. Pictured here are a number of beaded cabochons. Her work is beautiful and she is so prolific.

A number of our group has attended the CQ Convention in Omaha, NE. In 2001 Jan and Lynnis went and then in 2002 five of us attended. We attended several Dallas retreats and really regret they are no longer being held. Occasionally we have thoughts of hosting one in our area. Perhaps one year we will follow through.

On two occasions we have held our own private retreats. We first have to find a husband willing to leave home for the weekend. We each design a project, prepare kits for the group, and teach. Some wonderful and original items have come from these retreats. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a great group of designers and artists. They are all my dearest friends and CQ sisters.

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