Saturday, January 28, 2012

I CAN be Precise! Quilt Block of the Month: January

A little while ago I made a mini quilted table runner for Christmas. Even though I'm proud of it, it was basically a major fail. I didn't bother with pressing, or even measuring everything by the end. I don't really know what I was thinking. However, it taught me a very valuable lesson about precision. Maybe I can fudge some stuff when it comes to knitting, crochet, painting, or cooking, but if I was ever going to dive into quilting I was going to have to have the precision of a surgeon.

So basically I figured my commencement as a quilt maker would never happen. Or at least not at this juncture in my life. Who has time to be precise with a demanding toddler all over you, and another little one on the way? Not me.

But the quilt gods have been guiding me toward quilting ever so gradually over the past few years. A few things happened since I made the mini quilt that truly inspired me jump right in. First, I noticed that a quilting blogger I follow was going to start a quilt block of the month series for 2012. The quilt block for January was eye-catching, I loved the colors she chose, and her tutorial looked beautiful. Then a little later I saw another blogger I follow decided to participate in this quilt-a-long. He (yes, it's a he) made his own quilt block following the tutorial; I also loved his color choices. I was impressed with his block because he's new to quilting too, and I figured if he could do it, I probably could too. (Also, he's a dude! If a man can do it, I can do it too; I am woman, etc...and all that banter).

Then the final straw? I was out to tea (we're really not that gentrified but we did have a lovely little tea outing a few weeks ago) with the girls and P. brought up how she wanted to do a quilt block a month this year and was looking for patterns. I emailed her the link to the blog and didn't think much about it for a few days. But the seed had already been planted and it started growing, and growing....

I literally feel like I woke up one morning and was all, "That's it! I'm doing the Quilt Block a Month-along. Let me order my fabric." I notified P. who also decided to participate and then we asked K. to join us and she obliged.

I can't explain enough how great this project is for me:
  1.  I committed myself to measuring everything precisely--no eyeballing on this one.
  2.  having an entire month to complete 1 square is perfect for my lifestyle. A whole quilt would be overwhelming for me to contemplate, but one little quilt block is easy to accomplish and focus on.
  3.  Following a step by step tutorial takes all the guesswork and uncertainty away from me, a newbie.
  4.  It's exciting to anticipate what the next blocks will look like--she has not revealed them in advance. So the compulsive in me can't jump ahead. It forces me to practice patience and pace myself. This is such an important lesson for me--I'm always in a race.
I'll have to say a thank you to those quilt gods for directing me to this place. I'm really enjoying working with fabric and learning something new. It's so fun to have the girls on the same journey too (there's already been a handful of emails going back and forth about fabric lines, pressed seams, and selvage). And finally, the thought of having  a full quilt in a year's time is really amazing to me b/c it always seemed so out of my reach.


  1. that looks awesome! Great colors! My fabric has arrived... now I have to put aside my reluctance and actually do something!!

  2. Thanks! I love the It's a Hoot fabric you ordered. Can't wait to see your finished block!


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