Reasons for blocks of the month

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I finished three applique blocks for the Stars and Sprigs quilt, design by Kim MacLean.

I give the blocks a little bath in the sink after applique, to rinse out any glue or markings.  Then lay them on a towel, and they are ready to iron in a couple of hours.

Some sewing I’ve done this week brought to mind why I do paid blocks of the month.  One very big reason is they they give me variety in fabrics, and “teach” me about colour and fabric choices.  With quilts I make myself, I need to know exactly what fabric I’m putting where, and I’m pretty cautious in my combinations.  I often like to start with a designer’s fabric grouping.  Definitely I still need to learn colour confidence, even years after quilting!

All of these sprig blocks have colours and fabric design that I myself would hesitate to put together…but it works!  well!  The bit of purple on that one block is an example of this.  And look at this star block, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to put all these together, but isn’t it wonderful?    In the 30s chain block pictured, I don’t think I’d be inclined to put that yellow with the green, but it looks great and I could see dots of the exact same yellow within the green, so it does work.  Also, I don’t think I have near the variety of fabrics that I’m getting for these blocks, and I’d go nuts just doing one block at a time from my stash or scrap bin, with no thought of “matching” it to its neighbour although I do know that scrap quilts with lots of everything do look fantastic when all put together.

 The other reason why I do paid block of the month is for motivation!   By paying for and getting a package every month, I know that that pattern I love so much will get made, and any investment in fabric and time will result in a quilt I’m going to enjoy!  So often in the past several years I have purchased fabric for a quilt, or put something together from my stash, that never got made…I just lost interest, changed by mind, jumped to another project!

I’m at home all the time, I don’t belong to a guild, or sew with other quilters.  So my fabric choices are my own, with two men in the house they’re opinion is valued but not always helpful, lol.  My stash is my stash and I don’t trade with others.  All my shopping is online, which can be both a benefit and a problem!  I enjoy a lot of vareity, I enjoy flitting from this to that.  The blocks of the month kind of keep me in line 🙂

I also enjoy the free blocks of the month that many designers offer.  If I can feel comfortable with what fabric choices will work, I have a chance to learn something new, get motivated by the schedule, and benefit from seeing other’s work on that quilt.  So, did you know that Pearl P. Peirara will be offering a mystery applique b.o.m. starting in February (enter the Forums section from the menu on the main page); and Jinny Beyer has a pieced and optional applique basket quilt b.o.m. starting soon (sign up for her newsletter for details); and Val Laird will be announcing her new b.o.m. this weekend, I think.  Just three of many on offer all over the ‘net!

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