Monday, September 28, 2009

Northern Lights .......

Last Thursday morning I got up with no sewing plan for the day, or until October 1st for that matter. That's very unusual for me, I'm a "one project at a timer" but usually have my next project out, pattern reviewed and To Do list all ready to go before I finish what I'm currently working on. I finished my September Schnibbles on Wednesday, leaving just a week to either start something new or do nothing until the next Schnibbles is announced.

I have to admit I was surprised by how much time I spent on my September Schnibbles. It wasn't that the pattern was hard to follow or piece, I was just very indecisive on my fabric choices, then the size, then the borders. The whole project threw me off my normal routine. I hope that changes with my second Schnibbles project.

Anyway, I was catching up on some things around the house that I let slide while I was obsessing over my Schnibbles, trying to decide what to start on next. I didn't really want to get into something complex then stop to start the next Schnibbles. But I also didn't want to look back on my last 12 months of sewing only to have 12 finished Schnibbles projects to show for my time and effort.

What to do , what to do....the quilting fairies must have been looking out for me because after spending the morning getting caught up around the house, I went to get the mail, and there, in my mailbox, that very day that I was looking for something to do, was the first block of a block of a month that I signed up for in July, but was not starting until September!! WOO HOO!!

Here it is, "Northern Lights". This is my first block of the month, so I was a little unsure what to expect or how it would work.

This pattern is a real change of pace for me....all those neutrals! I'm a color girl. But there was just something about the simplicity of the tones of the fabric that really appealed to me.

I got everything out of the envelope and read the directions. The third sentence in the introduction from the quilt shop worried me right off the bat, "Great care and time has been used to choose fabrics that closely match those shown in the pattern." "Closely match", what does that mean, I don't want a close match, I thought I was signing up for this quilt, not a close facsmile. hmmmm.
I like all the fabric except for 2 pieces. That's not so bad, I'm always changing up fabric that I get in a kit. The fabric on the left is too gray and the fabric on the right has a shimmer to it that does not appeal to me at all or go with the look of this quilt. Oh well, these pieces are super small, I should be able to swap those pieces out with something from my stash. Then I notice that these 2 pieces are what the pattern calls, "theme fabric". Although there is no explanation for what that means, I take it to mean that I will be seeing these two fabrics every month in every kit. I called the quilt shop to find out how much of these 2 fabrics are required to finish the whole quilt. They were not sure. I'm still waiting to hear. I swapped out their fabric with fabric from my stash, I hope I have enough for the whole project.

This is a Marti Michell pattern. You use her templates to piece the blocks. I've used her templates before and like them. The cutting is tedious but the piecing is so precise it is worth the time.

See the little flat edges on each corner of this template, that's what makes the piecing so easy.

Here's all the assembled parts.

And here is the the first block, it is called Wheeler Star. The blocks are 16 1/2 inches, pretty big for me. I'm really happy with it. When I first started working with the fabric there was little difference in the fabric tones to my color obsessed eyes, but when I was finished I could really see the difference. It was just something I needed to adjust to.

All done! I think I'm going to keep that first block up on my design wall, so I can look at it while I wait for the next block. It was all very easy, I finished the block on Thursday, the same day it came in the what, the October Schnibble announcement is days away.....


  1. That's a wonderful pattern. I really like the secondary pattern behind the blocks. Perhaps they chose a shimmery fabric because of the name of the quilt? Alot of quilt shops up here are real big on using anything shimmery or shiny for things depicting the Northern Lights. It looks like you'll be busy on this one for a while. What will you do now until the next Schnibbles?

  2. It's completely normal for a quilter to have several projects going at once. Some will be in the planning stage, some in the piecing stage, others in the quilting stage, and one ready for binding. That being said, I think with your Schnibbles and block of the month projects, you're on your way to being normal. I am looking forward to seeing what your next Schnibbles project is going to be.

  3. I am a one-at-a-time quilter too. I love your new BOM project and would join too if it weren't so bloody expensive! It'll be a nice fill-in while you're waiting for your next Schnibbles - I can't wait to see what the October project is!

  4. Funny how Northern Lights are actually very colourful...oh well. I had the "close to" thing happen in a BOM and was SOOOO disappointed in the replacements. Nothing looked right, it was as if they just grabbed whatever wasn't selling. But in the end once things are all quilted up I'm hoping it won't be as noticible. They say an ugly fabric or two can make a quilt really pop.
    I can't wait for the next Schnibble to be revealed.

  5. I love your BOM project. I like the neutrals too. I would love to make a neutral quilt. I also love Marti Michell templates. I am a one project girl too!

  6. What a beautiful pattern. AND, I love your block, it is so beautifully pieced and I really do love the subtle, soothing color selection. I hope you enjoy working on the next one more. I'm a one project at a time quilter too with the exception of BOM's. I have one regular project going and I am whittleing my BOM's down from 5 to 1...(I was new to quilting and a little over zealous with the BOM's) that is why is didn't do the year of Shcnibbles. By December I'll be down to just one really enjoyable BOM, and my personal projects. I haven't yet tried the Marti Mitchell templates but everyone says they are wonderful. Guess I'm gonna have to check them out. I will anxiously await the preview of your next Schnibbles. Enjoy your down time, catch up on the house, read a good book and get ready for your next project. Ummmm, any chance we can get a peek at the project under the Schnibbles block, it looks beautiful!!!

  7. Your Northern Lights block is so pretty!! I also love Marti Michell's templates. They were used for a BOM I did a while back. As you said, the cutting is tedious but worth it in the end. Have you tried her templates for jelly rolls? I have seen them advertised but do not have them. Wondered what they were like.

  8. Are you going to post about the rest of the blocks? I've been drawn to this quilt too, which is not typical for me. I love color, but this looks beautiful.


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