Block of the Month – Different and Fun!

When you think of Block of the Month, there are actually many different pictures that can form in your mind.  This is because the concept has a variety of different applications.

In this edition, I wanted to provide a bit of perspective and maybe encourage you to try a different variation of the Block of the Month.

 Traditional Monthly Block of the Month

The most traditional version of this concept involves committing to an in person or mail group that sends out instructions (and many times the fabric) each month.  The instructions include a single block that is later incorporated into a finished quilt.

Cute Christmas Block of the Month found on Pinterest

Cute Christmas Block of the Month found on Pinterest

Guild Block of the Month

Another take on this type of quilting can be seen in local quilt guilds.  In the Johnson County Quilt Guild that I belong to, we have a Block of the Month person who ensures that each month a new block is presented.  At the following meeting, each participant will bring their block and then a winner is chosen from those participants.  The winner takes the pot!

Of course, the number of participants = blocks you get, which can make a difference on how big a quilt you can make.  Luckily, I won on two separate occasions and was able to put together this cute quilt.

JCQG BOM 16 17

Guild Blocks of the Month are contributed by different quilters so some differences in color and size can occur.  This is a challenging, yet rewarding variation.

If you are from the Joshua, Burleson, Cleburne, Texas area and would like to know more about the Johnson County Quilt Guild – just give me a holler!

Manufacturer’s Block of the Month

Many manufacturer’s of quilting products will provide pre-packaged and free Blocks of the Month for savvy internet patrons.

  • Accuquilt has a free BOM for everyone that signs up for their monthly newsletter.  CLICK HERE  to check out their free program.Accuquilt Block of the Month
  • Craftsy also provides for a Block of the Month and since theirs are archived – you can start at any time!  Check out their FREE 2016 BOM.

 

To find other paid and free programs, simply do a quick search and you will find a ton of links to seek out.

Facebook Group Block of the Month

There are many groups on facebook that will, from time to time, provide for BOM’s.  These groups share free patterns over the course of a year and then those who participated share their creations.

Gotta Love Quilting! is a closed group. The focus is being able to share projects in progress without fear of the recipient catching a glimpse.  A couple years ago, they held a BOM that featured paper-pieced blocks.  It was a lot of fun and a great introduction to paper piecing.

A new group has also formed – Quilts and Everything Quilting, that has a similar format to Gotta Love Quilting!  I hear they are thinking of starting a BOM soon too.

Block of the Month Examples

So, just what do block of the month quilts look like?  A variety of finished examples can be found below.

Halloween Block of the Month

Halloween BOM from Keepsake Quilting

 

 

So, as you can see, there are many different types of Block of the Month.  If you are looking for a fun project, maybe it’s time to try something new!

Plano Quilt Guild Show – 2017

We really enjoyed ourselves at the Plano Quilt Show.

I know I have said it before, but one of the things I love about moving to Texas is the number and quality of quilting events.  A good example of this is the recent:

PLANO QUILT GUILD QUILT SHOW

The Plano Quilt Show, held at the Plano Event Center in (you guessed it), Plano Texas had so much to offer.  Held both Friday and Saturday, August 11-12, 2017, we visited the event on Saturday.

Helpful Vendors

Before we dove into the gorgeous quilts on display at the Plano Quilt Show, we spent a bit of time checking out the booths.

We said HI to a few vendors  

 

Beautiful Quilts on Display

After spending some time – and money with the vendors, it was time to take a look at the quilts.  It seems that every time I go to a quilt show, themes appear.  So, below are some of the quilts we saw and the theme they seem to fit into.

Going in Circles

 

Black and Red

 

 

Trees

 

There were also a few others that caught my eye:

You can view the entire winner’s list HERE.

So, did you go to the Plano show this past weekend?  If not, will you be attending the North Texas Quilt Festival at the Arlington Convention Center?  The leaflet below has more information, but it will be held August 24-15, 2017.  Say Hi if you see me!

Christmas Gift Quilt – 2017

Have you ever approached a holiday and wondered why you didn’t have a neat new quilt to show off?  I decided this year, I was going to make a Christmas quilt way before the holiday so I could finish it in time.

Use up those scraps!

When I have lots of scraps, I drag out my handy-dandy Accuquilt Go! and cut them down to consistent sizes.  I usually start with the 5″ square and move down from there.  This time around, I wanted to get a head start on Christmas by making a Christmas Gift Quilt.  I searched high and low, and just couldn’t find a block online that would accommodate my 5″ blocks.

So, instead of spending more time looking, I opened up my other handy-dandy helper, my EQ 7 program. (Now I know you will all be tempted to start sending me links to this block, but to be honest, I am glad I had to start from the drawing board!)

In order to create the quilt I wanted, I actually had to design the block from scratch.  I didn’t want my gifts to float around in air.  Instead I wanted them to look as if they were sitting on a shelf or windowsill.

**note: After posting a picture of one of my finished blocks, a good friend informed me that Missouri Star Quilt Co. has a video tutorial for a similar block.  Oh well, there is a good chance that it would not work with my 5″ Christmas square collection.  Yep, they even use 5″ charm packs!!!!  The proof is below 🙂

So, anyway – The finished design looks like this; however, I used stock fabrics to get the feel for the finished product, I did not scan all my fabrics.  This is how I usually work out a project because fussing too much can take so much fun out of it all!


As soon as I had a plan, I started making blocks and laying them out how I wanted them. In the end, there were three ribbon colors over a variety of box prints.  I decided to forego the cornerstones and did simple sashing instead.  I like the clean, windowed look it provides.  Finally, I used a large print for the final border and am so happy!

Again, I did not buy any fabric for this project, it all came out of my little stash 🙂

The last part of this project is to quilt and bind it.  I love this part!  The pattern I chose for quilting is this simple tree design by Willow Leaf Studio.

Treetop

I really love the simplicity of this quilting pattern for the Holidays!

As a finished product, this quilt turned out very nicely – I can’t wait to throw it over the couch this Christmas!

Have you started any Christmas projects yet?

I bet yours is bigger than mine!

I bet yours is bigger than mine – Your quilt stash, I mean.  Have you ever took a look at your stash and said….

“I really wish I could make something with this?”

Actually, this happens to me all the time.  This is mostly because I am not the average Hoard… er Quilter.  My quilt stash is TINY compared to many of the folks I know.

Some People’s Stash:

My Stash:

Yep, that’s about it and I didn’t even get it all folded pretty either.  I have some additional bolts, but less than 6 of them to add to this.  The other fabric I have is for garment sewing. So you can see, I am not like many folks that have rooms full of fabric – and totes hidden in closets and under beds too!

Because of this, I tend to create my projects in one of two ways:

  1. design a quilt and purchase a little more of each fabric than I need – the rest goes into stash
  2. quilt with what is on hand and that can get tricky indeed!

Don’t get me wrong, I DO still by fabric from time to time, but I refrain from buying just to buy. Mostly, I buy fabric in two ways:

  1. There is a project in mind, but I need one or two more elements not already in my stash
  2. There is a really great sale, so time to add in some new fabrics for future use

Also – and don’t hate me – I have no UFO’s.

Yep I said it, and I feel a bit ashamed, like I am missing out on membership to a club of super creative individuals that cannot hold back their ambitions.  Maybe my small stash size is because I have no UFO’s? Can someone help me to achieve UFO greatness?  Or am I OK the way I am?

What does your stash look like?

I would love to see the types of reserve fabric stores others have!

Spring Break – Renaissance Style

For many that know me, this post will not come as a surprise.  Each year from the beginning of April through May, my family and I spend a great deal of time at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Spring is time to break out the cloak and brave even the coolest mornings

Scarborough Renaissance Festival 2017 Week One Sunday by Bonnie Charles

Time to switch from quilting to sewing:

Each spring, I switch my focus from quilting to creating garb. Garb refers to the many period garments that serious folks wear at Renaissance Fairs. Over the years, I have sewn many of my own cloaks, dresses, jackets and associated elements. It seems that the spring is the best time for me to switch up my quilting for sewing.

Focus for Spring 2017 – The Cloak:

This year, I concentrated on an element of garb that we were sorely lacking – Cloaks.  In years past, at Scarborough, Sherwood Forest and even TRF (Texas Renaissance Festival), we have been plagued with soggy weather.  Staying warm and dry is important in the spring. The different weights and linings of cloaks helps keep us warm and dry. Below are a few cloaks that have been added to our closets.  Some of these cloaks are for sale or already sold:

SOLD
SOLD

We did a redesign of our website recently and actually added a section for clothing/costumes.  Feel free to check it out!  In the future, you will probably see a mixture of quilting and wearables. Let me know what you think.

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