GIVEAWAY: “Busy Bee Quilt, Le Picnic”

Thank you for dropping by my Raising Jane Journal to participate in my giveaways! We’ve chosen a winner for this giveaway already (click here for details), but don’t be afraid to leave a comment anyway. I love reading them. And stay tuned for more great MaryJanesFarm giveaways.

In the Apr/May issue of MaryJanesFarm, on newsstands March 6, you’ll see how Megan converted an old wicker bassinet into living-room picnic-gear storage that now holds a picnic quilt, a couple of pillows, and board games for the perfect indoor picnic.


In the photo above, you’ll see my MaryJane’s Home “”Busy Bee” quilt and pillow with my favorite patchwork shape, the hexagon. Why a hexagon? The hexagon, a shape that speaks the zen of the busy beehive or the wired manors of chickens (the oldest domesticated animal on Earth), symbolizes the unity and structure of the farmgirl life—a framework for the proper order of things, a pattern for life. In unwritten feminine language, it is a standard for farmgirls, or for that matter, the ordinary honeybee or the hen, rank and file workers that move the work along. It says that all things are to be done decently and in order, and that small things add up.

For a chance to win one of our “Busy Bee” twin quilts and matching 16″-square pillows, tell me all about your favorite picnic experience in the comments below. I’ll toss your name into a hat and draw a lucky winner sometime mid-May.

Stay tuned for more magazine-related giveaways. If you’re not yet a subscriber to my magazine, MaryJanesFarm, subscribe here for $19.95/year.

Leave a comment 393 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    My favorite picnics are when me and my little girls make up sandwiches and fruit salad and throw an old quilt out in the lawn on a sunshiney day. We make lemonade and have cookies and lots of giggles and fun.

  2. Dusty Cannon says:

    Picnics are one of my favorite things! I’ll just name one: on our 4th date, my husband and I went to a World Harvest market for lemonade and digestive biscuits, found a park and enjoyed talking for hours. What a man!

  3. april says:

    I was maybe 3 years old… my family and I were out in the woods, enjoying nature, and picnicking, we were preparing to head out… I had to potty, so mom took out behind the truck to tinkle… I was squatting and going about my business when dad started creeping the truck forward very slowly… I immediately started crying and running after the truck with my pants down, I thought he was going to leave us!! And, yes, I remember that clear as day that young!! LOL!!!

  4. DENA JARDIN says:

    A picnic next to the Sacramento River in the early 1960’s. . . My mother had six older brothers and two younger sisters which resulted in my having twenty-seven first cousins. That meant there was always a huge group for family picnics. My precious Uncle Stan had brought a very large watermelon to share, and no one thought to bring a knife to cute the watermelon up. There was a group of us ravenous hot cousins waiting anxiously for a slice of that juicy, sweet watermelon. The solution to no knife. . . breaking the watermelon up into pieces by smashing it over the fin of a Chevy bumper! They weren’t the prettiest slices I have ever seen, but the memory has lasted many years.

  5. Marjorie Klein says:

    What a cute quilt and pillow. Would be great in my bedroom.

  6. Clair says:

    My mother would pack a huge picnic lunch and corral all 4 kids into the car. We would head to Portage Park to meet up with my aunt and my 5 cousins. We would spend the day running around the park, playing on the swings and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was just plain summertime, childhood magic.

  7. Ann Sawyer says:

    Winter picnics are the best: start a fire early, bury aluminum foil wrapped potatoes in the coals, hot dogs roasted on sticks, containers of crunchy cut up veggies with dips, and of course s’mores and hot chocolate, (with a generous dose of kahlua for the adults)

  8. Jodel Guerrero says:

    I live in a very busy city Fresno California and as a caretaker for mom in law I have to reach back into my memories of my hubby taking me on a drive to the mountains to a quiet creek and we enjoyed a whole day away in the outdoors snacking on foods and hiking. A glorious memory that brought me joy again as I remembered it

  9. Candace says:

    My family loved a picnic. We have had picnics during summer beside lakes, creeks and ponds. During the winter blanket forts also were great picnic areas. Always on homemade quilts mom had made.

  10. Karon McGaha says:

    My favorite picnic memory is when I was a Brownie in the Girl Scouts of America.
    We went to a park called Peach Creek in Texas. Our sleeping quarters were actual covered wagons, and we were thrilled little girls. We had campfires, and sang, and cooked our food in aluminum foil in the fire. That was more than 40 years ago, and the joy and beauty of the outdoors that weekend has stayed with me for life. I am most grateful to the ladies who were our troop leaders, who gave us memories, that literally have lasted a lifetime.

  11. Paula Leyva says:

    Just eating outside with the 5 Grandchildren, sharing stories & playing with bubbles & chalk. Taking a break and looking for the Lucky four leaf clovers!
    Watching butterflies and the birds, watering the flowers & garden then all getting sprayed, too!
    Rolling down the back yard hill, getting dirty, and finding rocks!

  12. MS Barb says:

    I lived in Boulder, CO 1976-1978, & we met a couple from church at a lake, somewhere near the Continental Divide–beautiful day & later visited Grand Lake & Grandby–bought a small turquoise Indian vase at a shop, and still have it today! 🙂 Took my 1st quilting class while living in Boulder! 🙂 Thanks for an opportunity to win! 🙂

  13. Vicki Craig says:

    My favorite picnic experience was when I was a little girl, probably 7 years old. We had a huge family reunion in Litchfield IL and there was a beautiful were allowed to swim, play, scream and get dirty. We all thought it was just the nearest thing to get to eat on blankets on the ground. We have never had a reunion it since and I am 57 years old. Sweet memories.

  14. Karen Varney says:

    My favorite memory of picnics were held in North Carolina where my grandma lived. All the cousins would meet at Mills River (which was really a creek) and we would walk on the rocks in ice cold water from the mountains.

  15. Jean Dean says:

    I love picnics. When I was young my family would go for a drive after church on Sunday and stop at a grocery store and buy lunch meat, bread, chips and cookies and stop at a park somewhere and have a picnic. Usually on the way home we would stop for ice cream. Those spur of the moment picnics provided so many good memories.

  16. Betsy Barlow says:

    In July 2015 me and my 4 sisters met up in
    Grand junction Co. where my Parents lived. My Dad has just passed away and we all flew in from each of our corners of the earth.
    It was kind of a last minute thing and there was a lot of stressful things going on all at once a lot of emotions were involved.
    My Aunt Shirley and Uncle John spontaneously said girls let’s go on a picnic?!! So We got a bunch of goodies and food together and headed out. On the way we saw a fruit stand. We stopped and bought some melons. They were Ice cold from sitting in the back of the truck full of ice. We didn’t go far just to a quite place and set up the picnic.
    We all sat there in a circle around the table and told stories of Dad and the most wonderful memories we had with him and each other. We cried and we sang and just that little bit of peace and good food with the wonder of nature surrounding us just helped me so much I think it help us all but I to this day feel like that was the most wonderful picnic ever in my life. My sisters do a conference call every year on that day and we just talk about that little memory picnic we had together with our favorite Aunt and Uncle and the most wonderful Mom in the world and the sweet memory of my Dad.

  17. Cindy Cope says:

    My favorite picnic memory was when my youngest daughter was around 5. We had stopped at the bagel shop for bagels and cream cheese on the way home from kindergarten. We came home, got a blanket, sun hats, and tea cups and had a picnic in the backyard on a beautiful spring day.

  18. Kathy Fletcher says:

    I remember as a 11 -12 year old we lived on a small farm in Berea, Kentucky. I would ride my horse “Tugfire” up into the mountains behind our house. I always had a small picnic and a book to read. I would ride for a while, stop and have lunch and read a bit and look for treasures, moss and salamanders and all kinds of critters. I loved it there, I wish i owned it to this day, as a 57 yr old. It always brings me fond memories, oh to be able to go back to those days……

  19. Marilyn says:

    Growing up every July my family would go to the Gingerbread Castle in Northern New Jersey for a day’s outing. We would have a picnic on the grounds. After lunch we would tour the castle. There was also a train ride for the children. We would buy some souvenirs to take home. The best part was buying some gingerbread to take home. It was trimmed with pink icing and delicious. Unfortunately, the castle is no longer there. I have great memories from that castle.

  20. Connie says:

    One of my favorite, and I have to say one of them, because picnics with my children were just as important, is when I was a little girl, living in the country when and where there we not the plethora of fast food restaurants, was picnicking along the road in the car or by the river with my parents. We were not rich by any stretch of the imagination, and ‘eating out’ at that time meant eating a bologna sandwich parked along the rural countryside roads or going down to the river and sitting on a log in the sunshine. I didn’t know it then, but those were some of the grandest times in my life. As I grew older and moved out on my own, and my mother grew older as well, I always longed for that simple time and time spent with her. Every spring as soon as it would warm up at all, I would call her and say “mom, lets go have a bologna sandwich”. We’d load up and go somewhere and sit in the car, or most times walk to the river and have a sandwich in the sun. As I had children, I made sure I shared that experience with them. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have a bologna sandwich with mom again. I miss her very much.

  21. Lee Ann Cork says:

    My sister lived along the Niobrara River in northeast Nebraska and we had a picnic in a cow pasture on a bluff overlooking the river. The weather was perfect and the scenery was outstanding. Was very memorable.

  22. Laura Gabrielson says:

    The best picnic I ever had was up in the wilderness after riding for hours and a couple days we made it to the Throughfare riding over the mountains horseback with two pack miles from the Cody Wyoming side to the Jackson side. Never have seen a more beautiful site!

  23. Pamela Hamilton says:

    My favorite remembrance of a picnic was when my in-laws and my husband and I took our three week old baby to picnic along a river in Colorado where we live. It was after our child was baptized and meant a lot to us.

  24. Mitchell FEE says:

    I can’t ever remember going on a picnic?
    I guess that would be nice, even alone.
    It’s very beautiful.

  25. Barbara Burch says:

    My favorite picnic memories are of hot summer days in Seattle when my dad would get home from work and mom would have the picnic box all ready to go. We’d jump in the car and head to Seward Park to have a nice swim and dinner by the water. Our best friends would join us. Such a great end to a summer day!

  26. Lea says:

    My favorite picnics were always family reunions around the Fourth of July. I remember grilling out and fresh made ice cream. In the evening my father and uncle would light fireworks.

  27. Joyce buerkle says:

    I grew up in Queens , a boro of New York City. During the summers mom would pack a suitcase and cooler of food. We went with other families and bbqed and ate all day long. Went swimming in the bay and fished. I always had to walk over to see the boats moored nearby. We came home in the dark. These were the days of no AC at home at our apartment. It was a tremendous treat.

  28. Cher Sealy says:

    When my youngest daughter was about 5, we went to visit my mom in Clearwater, Florida. We set off for a picnic on the beach, but the skies were grey and it soon began raining hard. So our picnic ended up being on the floor in my mom’s den. The food was still just as yummy, and it’s always remained a fun memory to the three of us.

  29. Libby says:

    Just the other day, my grand daughter invited me to a picnic in her back yard. She
    wrote out the time and place and the menu and ask me to bring certain items. By the time I got there, she had her table all set up and a place for everything I had to bring (strawberries and grapes and brownies) Everyone had a place to sit (including the dogs, hers and mine). She was so excited that we spent that time together…….and so was I.

  30. Brenda White says:

    My grandmother was from the south. She had many traditions and one of those concerned Memorial Weekend. She had 10 children which 6 of them lived into adulthood and families. We would all gather together, kids, grandkids, aunts and uncles oh and of course grandma and have a big picnic in a park close to the cemetery. After laughter, fun and lots of good food we would go to the cemetery and clean the family headstones and put flowers in the urns. It might sound strange but those were some of the best picnics I’ve ever had!

  31. Mary Perez says:

    when we were younger, and my husband and I were dating, he would send me sweet things to my office.
    Flowers, teddy bears for Valentine’s Day, but one off my favorite gifts was a picnic basket, filled with all the picnic essentials: champagne, plates, wine glasses, knives, forks and spoons. All this tied up with lavender and baby blue balloons and ribbons!
    It was so fun to go on all our picnic adventures with that beautiful basket!

  32. Jennifer Olson says:

    My favorite picnic was when my husband and I had just bought our first house and we impromptu stopped for sandwiches at subway and took them to the park by our new house

  33. Tina Marie Richardson says:

    My favorite picnic experience was when I picnicked on the top of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming . I was on horseback with a small group . We had packed a lunch and rode to the top of the mountain where we stopped to eat our packed lunch . It was so peaceful and quiet . The weather was beautiful , the sun was shining. I still remember that all I could hear were the sound of the honeybees buzzing as they went from flower to flower. That was over 20 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday

  34. Sarah M says:

    My mom loved picnics and because of her, I do too! The first promise of spring, even if it was a warmer than normal day in February would have her packing an impromptu picnic to find a spot outdoors. We might soon realize that warm day in February wasn’t as warm as we thought once we were out for a while but those are the best memories. My favorite picnic tip is to take my lidded basket and write on the inside of the lid where we are picnicing and have each person sign by the date. I have many now departed loved ones’ signatures in my memory picnic basket.

  35. Melinda Lee says:

    My grandmother was a great cook and baker. She made everything from scratch and I loved watching her in the kitchen. Picnics were a special occasion. Her car didn’t have air conditioning and the trip to the local Metro Park was an adventure. I remember the country roads she took and the farms along the way. As she drove with the windows down I enjoyed the fresh air blowing on my face. There was a pig farm that I had to hold my breath until after we past it and a dairy farm that I enjoyed watching the cows as we drove by. Once at the park we had our homemade lunch and afterward we would take a walk on the hiking paths. By that time my grandmother was tired and I was still a bundle of energy so I went off to the playground. I enjoyed the swings, slide, merry-go-round, and animal rockers. It was a great day of fun and delicious food.

  36. Indoor picnics . . . ah, the memories as a child with my Nana and our pancake picnics in her apartment. Then there were the sandy picnics by the seashore with fried chicken, potato salad and whoopie pies for dessert! I have the biggest smile on my face. Thank you for jogging my memory!!

  37. Judy Kennedy says:

    My parents would take us to the local park which was at Gibson Ranch in Elverta, California. There were lots of farm animals around and we always chose a cool spot next to the pond. We had a family friend who collected flags from around the world and he would hand clothesline around the trees and hang several flags, some related to a holiday such at the Stars and Stripes next to the Union Jack for Fourth of July. My dad was a classical guitarist so often played sometimes followed by other talented friend or family members. My mom gardened and made amazing home meals accompanied with wine for the adults and lemonade for the little ones. We would stay and play horseshoes, talk and party until the mosquitoes chased us home where the visiting continued in our house until the wee hours.

  38. paulajean says:

    My favorite picnic memory is with my children, husband and mother on Cannon Beach, Oregon coast. After waking in our small travel trailer, my husband ran out and made coffee on the beach for my mother! She was very happy and surprised. We all sat in the sand, spread a blanket (or a quilt!) and ate a fun breakfast on a sunny,breezy beach.

  39. Rosana Beyer says:

    Beautiful quilt, and I love the idea of the bassinet for the picnic basket…..more room for stuff!!!!

  40. Carla J says:

    My parents were able to purchase a used Criss-Craft wood hull boat with small motor from one on my mother’s cousins. From my grandmother’s neighbor my dad bought a toboggan made from scrap wood water skis. Oh, the fun that was had at the nearby lakes, or out camping when we took the boat. Best picnics were with my Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and Grandma at the lake and taking turns riding the toboggan behind the boat. Since only two could fit at a time Uncle Jack gave impromptu swimming lessons to the others.

  41. Mary F. Conn says:

    Would love to win.

  42. Tami Lewis says:

    My fan picnic experience was one of my 1St dates with my now husband. I was a single mom and it was Mother’s Day. He bought me perfume because he was afraid nobody would remember me!

  43. Darlene says:

    My favorite picnic was with close to 200 wonderful people. We had a church picnic with all the amazing foods and children running about playing all sorts of games together while many adults caught up on news with each other in a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere!

  44. Marcy Poletick says:

    While in college my boy friend and I packed an evening picnic. We forgot to pack a lantern though. It was pretty creepy when the raccoons began circling us and snarling. We lit matches to find out what was making the noise. We packed up and quickly left.

  45. Josie Davis says:

    For a friends birthday I packed a lunch and china and crystal and met her at a park. There were candles and a table cloth and we shared a elegant, formal picnic in the [ark on a beautiful fall day.

  46. Diane Nelson says:

    One memory that I cherish is the picnics that we had in the hay fields. When my dad and brothers were harvesting hay, my job was to make the lunch time picnic for them. I loved to bake different treats to along with a hearty sandwich.

  47. Mary says:

    My favorite picnic experience was when my husband and I were on a motorcycle trip just wondering the the back roads in Colorado. We stopped by a swift running stream with no one around for miles. Our picnic consisted of some cheese and crackers and a couple of oranges!

  48. Natalie Chapman says:

    My favorite picnic was with a couple of friends in October of 2007. We had homemade guacamole, corn chips, and chicken and cheese fajitas with all the fixings (lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream in containers). Though we used good quality plastic plates we had real flatware (gotta have that!). As evening rolled in we lit candles we had brought in anticipation of a long magical day. We sat under an open pavilion next to a creek and a fig tree we discovered. Needless to say, we had figs for dessert!

    We also brought art supplies to include sketch paper, brushes, colored pencils, paints and pastels. One friend was finishing a Robert Duvall sketch. Myself and another friend were making art from rubbings and stamps from leaves we picked. We placed leaves down with paper over them and rubbed the texture with colored pencils. After experimenting with that we decided to paint the leaves and press them down against the paper for stamps. We used all colors for interesting designs. Some of the artwork got flecks of paint by using a stiff brush and flicking paint with our fingers onto the rubbings and stamped leaf images. The food, the sound of the creek, the laughter and the chatty creativity was a source of magic that I revisit in my mind when I want to recapture that day. It was the best picnic ever!

  49. Dianna Baker says:

    My Mother sisters would get together with theirs family’s ..we would go to bush park on Sunday afternoon. Everyone had a blanket where we would sit & eat. Only the grown up was able to sit at the table. Those were good memories. Now out of the five sisters there’s only one left. And she now lives out of state with a daughter

  50. Violett says:

    We set out for a picnic in the mountains, well it snowed before we got to our spot. We picniced anyway…… inside the car, enjoying by the beauty of the falling snow and each other!!! It was romantic and special. ☺💝👌

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