Pixel Club Overview & History
The club was open and accepting to all, but the international membership was "overwhelmingly female, ranging in age from early teens upwards. Male members were welcomed, but the personal web scene was dominated by women in the 00s"(source). There were quite a few rules in place to ensure the club remained "more intimate and something extra unique to be a part of in the web world". Compared to other sites at the time that only required an email address, this relatively higher bar for entry made for an extremely creative, active, and interesting community, achieving the intended goal.
The labor and love that went into the site from everyone was evident everywhere, and there was a mighty team of staff bees that really kept the club in a tier of its own. The site layouts were made up of stunning pixel art with seemingly endless nooks and crannies stuffed with goodies and activities for you to explore once you were accepted into the club. Hover over the mini patches below to get a sense of the site pages and activities.
The q*bee was like a virtual pixel art summer camp with fun ways to participate happening all of the time. Some activity pages with member-created submissions are still accessible such as Sandcastles from 2008, Spring Flowers from 2008, and Valentines Lucky Dip 2008.
The Joy of Beeing a Bee
The quilting bee made the ever-expanding web feel homey by connecting lovely, creative folks all over the world in a positive and healthy way. I'll never forget the thrill of coming across inconspicuous pixel bees placed like easter eggs across personal websites and blogs at the time. It was the instantly recognizable entry point to the webmaster's quilt, and all you had to do was click. Through 40x40 pixel patches, every members' quilt told a visual story of who they were, who they interacted with, and their artistic style. If I could sum it up in four words, I'd choose discovery, delight, personalization, and curation. It was the pinnacle of the small web experience. I miss that version of the internet, and since this whole website is my small stand to help bring it back, please indulge me as I make my own "about me" quilt (albeit with a few more awards than I've actually earned in my time as a bee 😅):
Through the process of creating this shrine, I found some quilts that were preserved better than others. There were many club rules that standardized quilts, including the requirement to keep a trade log. That's how I found proof of my trades even though I didn't have my old personal website anymore. One of my earliest recorded trades I could find was with Lollie #32 in February 2007 as bee #10. The most recent trade I could find was with Mylene #258 on April 13, 2013 as bee #19 (I changed numbers when I rejoined later on). I'm so grateful that this information is still out there, enabling me to find my old patches and digital footprints that exclaim, "I was here! I was a part of this!" I've collected some of the better preserved quilts here, so click on these patches below to experience their creativity and uniqueness first-hand.
Free*bees for Former Bees
- MyQuilt Admin, a PHP/MySQL management script for your Quilting Bee quilt, created by Bubs #77
- Template quilt zip files
- Adoptable patches created by members
- Tiny pixels created by members
- Patch templates
- Organizer patches provided by the q*bee
- Lucky cats (maneki neko) patches provided by the q*bee
- Twilight Stars tenure patches provided by the q*bee
- One Click Cookie patches provided by the q*bee for members who put a link to their quilt from the landing page of their website
- 88x31 and 32x32 site buttons created by members