Friday, June 29, 2018

Blocks of the Month

I don't have much of a history with Block of the Month programs.  Out of my 220 some finishes 5 were block of the month programs.  My last BOM was the 2015 Fat Quarter Shop's Snapshot quilt, a fundraiser for St Jude Children's Hospital.  The blocks were super cute and fun to make, I stayed on track and made each block each month, and the FQS sent so much fabric for each block that I made another project just using the leftover scraps.  It was a great experience. My worst experience was my 2012 Northern Lights BOM.  I signed up for the program based on the quilt shop website picture.  The shop did specify that the fabric in their program wouldn't be an exact replica of the fabric used in the pictured quilt, but would be very close.  In actuality it was not, I basically paid $25 a month for a pattern because I threw their fabric away and substituted my own.   I did love the pattern and still have that quilt.

There are pros and cons to BOM programs but a lot of it just comes down to personal preference.  After a history of just a few block of the month quilts over the last 14 years I have somehow managed to sign up for 3 this year.  I've spent the majority of this month getting caught up on them.

First up is the Red and Cream project by Fig Tree Quilts.

This is a repeat of a program they offered last year.  I loved the look of the finished quilts I saw online  and was thrilled to be able to sign up for it this year.  The blocks finish at 10".  This is the first 6 months worth of blocks. I tend to let the monthly packets stack up then do them in a batch.  I'm all caught up for now, 6 more months yet to come.  I swapped around a few of the fabrics and replaced one of the patterns and could not be happier with the look.

When I was signing up for the red and cream quilt another project also caught my eye, Fig Tree's Autumn Splendor Mystery BOM.  

As a rule I don't like surprises, this is my first mystery BOM.  Every year I piece a quilt for a raffle for my hometown library.  Fig Tree quilts are so pretty and seem to have a huge appeal, I thought this BOM would make a nice raffle quilt.   I've really enjoyed piecing the blocks and love all the different sizes.  I prepped the fabric for 6 months worth of blocks all at once, so my fabric combos aren't exactly as called for in the patterns, but I'm liking the looks of things.  I'm very eager to see what's ahead and how these blocks are going to be arranged.  This may be a hard quilt to give up.

And finally, while I was in Oklahoma City for my Jen Kingwell classes at the Oklahoma City Quiltworks shop, they were just offering a Kaffe Fassett mystery BOM that caught my eye.  I love Kaffe Fassett fabric but am continually stumped on how to use it.  I've made one Kaffe Fassett quilt that I love, but I used a family of fabric, which is a little bit like cheating. I thought this would be a great opportunity to piece another Kaffe Fassett quilt without any of the fabric stress.

I've received the first three months, it's all very organized and the fabric looks yummy, but the mystery part is still worrying me a little, I plan to wait until I get at least 6 months worth of blocks before I start working on it.

Are you a BOM fan?  When you calculate the entire cost they are sometimes on the pricey side, but I've finished quilts that I love that I never would have made had it not been for signing up for the programs.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I'm back

15 days, 10 flights, 8 different cities, 5 hotels and I survived, but just barely, jet lag is real and thriving at my house. 

The Great Wall of China

Every year my daughter and I vacation together, some of my favorite days of the year.  This year we toured China and Hong Kong.  I flew to Los Angeles where I met up with my daughter so we could fly together to Hong Kong.  We normally plan and book our own vacations but given today's political climate, throw in some language barriers and the sheer volume of sites we wanted to visit, we thought perhaps a tour company would be worth a try for our China trip.  I cannot say enough great things about Adventures by Disney, the company we chose to  lead us on what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.  Everything was first class and every detail taken care of, and I'm all about the details.  We were part of a wonderful group comprised of 25 other travelers and 2 guides along with local guides added for each city we visited.  We cried at our farewell dinner when having to say goodbye to our fellow travelers who had become friends.  There wasn't a rotten apple in the bunch, just the opposite, all fun, caring, polite and generous people and a nice variety of ages, young to old.  But not too young, we went with the Adults Only Tour, lol.  If you are considering a trip look into Adventures by Disney, I totally recommend the China tour but several couples in our group were on their  7th or 8th trip through AbD and said every destination had been amazing.

So while I've not stepped in my sewing room for weeks I do have some quilty updates to share, two quilts back from the quilter.

Bits and Pieces - Lifetime Quilt Number 209

The right amount of quilting and variety of designs that match the look and feel of this quilt top perfectly.

For the back I went with the extra wide diagonal print by Carolyn Friedlander.

Let's Go - Lifetime Quilt 212

Another great job, perfect style matched with perfect execution.

The back also has a travel theme.

This quilt is for my daughter but will hang on my quilt ladder until she decides what she wants to do with it.

And Bits and Pieces has such a Sumer feel I immediately threw it over the banister to enjoy this month along with my other summer quilts.

Both these quilts were quilted by Connie Lancaster at Quilts Plus in Indianapolis.  With the number of quilt tops I piece it's a full time job staying on quilting lists, finding new long arm quilters and sending the tops out for quilting.  Connie has been quilting my tops for nearly as long as I've been quilting and I'm always so pleased with the finished product.  Thanks Connie for once again bringing my flat quilt tops to life.

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