Last year, for the first time in ages, I didn’t finish a full size quilt. Life got too busy, the studio got too messy, and my creativity was more interested in playing with smaller projects, trying out new techniques and patterns. And so my one quilt under construction spills out of a box on the back of my desk, a little cascade of blue, orange and yellow pennants tumbling down to remind me to pick them up again some time.
And I will, I promise I will. But for this year I also really fancied doing some sort of quilt along, both for the fun of the community and for the added impetus to finish a big project. Enter stage left the Sugar Block Club.
Run by Stitchery Dickory Dock, the Sugar Block Club is a year long, free, Block of the Month club based on giving a modern twist to traditional blocks. It’s perfect. My quilting aesthetic is down the modern end of the spectrum, and one block a month is very achievable. That’s one evening cutting out and marking up and one evening sewing. In fact, it’s so achievable, that I’ve decided to do two.
Because the problem with block of the month quits is that, even with sashing, I don’t find they make terribly big quilts. And as both adults in this house top 6 foot and the children will almost certainly follow, we like quilts big enough to really curl up in. If you’re snuggled up on the sofa you want to have your feet tucked in and still be able to pull it up under your chin don’t you. My most used quilts are the ones that feel the most luxuriously huge!
And so I have a plan; two blocks each month will give me 24 in total at the end of December, which can either make one big quilt for the year, or, if I think it would look sweeter that way, two matching but not matching quilts for the girls to spread over their beds.
As for the fabric, I spend a very happy evening emptying out my bags of scraps onto the lounge floor and sorting them into colour piles. I’ve got some more bits and bobs to add from my fat quarter stash but the plan is very much that all the blocks will come entirely from the stash. According to my scraps I make mostly blue and quilts and I’m not breaking too far out of that mould; I’m pulling blues, yellows and greens to make a very Spring feeling sort of quilt and the white background will be a mixture of all the white scraps in my stash. It’s mostly Kona (Snow maybe?) but there’s a fair amount of “whatever the quilt shop had” white as well as some pretty white on white prints that were leftover from some of my earliest quilting attempts.
And so we come to these first two lovely blocks, based on a Churn Dash block, which is something I’ve never made before either.
I love the flying geese almost as much as the method of construction (which is completely ingenious and I need to use again next time I need flying geese) and it makes for a very pretty block.
I’m very proud of this particular corner which is all terribly nice and matching – some of the others show a little too well that my sewing machine and I need to become better acquainted again.
Looking at the the two of them together I wonder whether I ought to unpick the blue and yellow block to add in some green at the corners, it’s really pretty by itself but looks less balanced next to the other one, but as these are only two out of 24 and I really don’t like unpicking that much, and I don’t actually have that much of the right sort of green in my stack of fabric (I need to do a little more stash diving to see what I can come up with in the fat quarters) I’m going to leave it for now and then if I want to make a different block in December, well that’s scarcely going to be a hardship is it.
So there we have it, the start of my first quilting resolution for 2016, and I can’t wait for next month a new block to play with.