I’ve been busy quilting today. Last month I started Pat Sloans latest quilt-along, a Block of the Month (BOM) called My Secret Garden. I really enjoyed taking part last year (Vacation Time Quilt) and felt I learnt a lot and improved a lot. This year there are nine 16 1/2″ blocks, that’s a pretty big block! I’ve got a purple, green and gold palette of fabrics, about a third were from my stash, others I bought specially.
These bigger, more complex blocks take me longer to work out which fabric combinations to use, I find it helpful to wait a couple of weeks (it’s released on the 1st of each month) and get a few ideas off the facebook page. This time it took ages to choose the centre square, in fact I ended up making all the other sections first, laying it out on the table and ‘auditioning’ other fabrics. I chose a simple gold fabric in the end, which also draws it together with last months block.
It was reasonable simple to put together, my episodes with the stitch ripper were usually because I’d not read the instructions properly! I was very grateful for having a die cutter to trim all the half square triangles, it’s one thing I find it particularly useful for! I’m fairly pleased with it as most of my points have worked out ok!
In the next couple of months I am hopefully getting a bigger sewing room and I am finding myself getting more and more impatient with my current room…I know I should be grateful for having a room at all, and I am, I do love my little sewing room, but I’m outgrowing it! At the moment I have one table for everything, so I can either have my sewing machine out, or the overlocker, or a cutting mat or a die cutter, so I am constantly lifting machines on and off the table. I can’t wait to be able to have both machines set up, or a separate cutting table, I’m getting quite excited planning it!
I’ve been a bit rash and started another BOM, it with Pat Sloan again but this time in collaboration with lots of other quilt designers. It’s called ‘The Splendid Sampler‘. I hesitated for a while as it will actually make it three BOM’s on the go this year as I’m waiting on tenterhooks for Lynette Andersons BOM to drop through my letterbox any day.
This BOM is to make 100 blocks over a year, so that’s two a week!!! That’s why I hesitated!! However the blocks are only 6 1/2″ so they will hopefully be a lot simpler. What persuaded me is that it sounds like there will be lots of different techniques including applique, in fact the first block has a heart appliqued in the centre, as the Lynette Anderson BOM will have quite a lot of applique I thought a bit of practice wouldn’t go amiss.
I decided to choose a soft pretty palette of colours this time, soft pinks and greens, these are mainly from Samuel Taylors in Leeds, I know I will need a lot more fabric but I bought about nine fat quarters to get me started. I fell for the pink hares and then built a palette round it.
I ‘fussy-cut’ the heart and the little corners, to get the pattern where I wanted it. This is my first attempt at applique and I’m pretty chuffed with it! On facebook there was a mix of people doing the applique on the machine, or a raw edge with blanket stitch round or the traditional needle-turn method. I decided to stitch it the traditional way by hand, turning it under as I went.
Next block is out tomorrow, I need to make sure I keep up!