Sunday, August 16, 2015

BOM Struggles aka Old Voices, New Impressions

I know that BOM' s (block of the month) quilts are very popular with many people.  I signed up for one early on in my quilting adventure and it's one of my favorite quilts to this day.  It was not without issues, though. Then I jumped into another one several years later because it was all 30's prints and I rode the crazy train about different shades of Kona Snow.  Ha, life struggles kicked in and made that a complete non issue in the roadmap of life and I did finish that top.  JT2 sits in a box, gathering dust.

 And yet, here I go again.  Old Voices, New Impressions. Not really a BOM, more of a sew along.  Make 4 blocks per month for the next 6 months, easy, right?  Except I chose to make this project using the fusible machine appliqued method. This seems to generate a bit of a mess for me and once again, I realized why I do not like BOM's.  I get everything out, and I just want to stay on task.  If I need to make 240 flying geese for the finished project, please tell me that in the first pattern. Make 12, then 18, then another  12, well, this doesn't work for me. I'm more of a  production mode kind of quilter 

Here is the status of my cutting table the last few weeks! Not fun when I have to square up a customer backing for quilting.

Plus making a scrappy project means working with scraps. I dig into my scrap basket on a regular basis and this is what my sewing room looks like at any given time. Cleaning and putting everything away to take it all back out in a few weeks and repeat this cycle just does not work for me.

The first blocks were fast, very little decision making required.  Select bright prints and colors and make the block. Then the hard part sets in, the last 6 or so blocks. This is when I put all the blocks up and arrange how I think they will go. 5 bird blocks so one for each corner and one for the center.    I started playing with the remaining backgrounds for balance. I can't have 2 striped shirting  prints side by side.  I'm sure you understand this!

Then I pinned up the patterns of the remaining blocks and the decisions became harder and narrower. 4 wreath type blocks can surround the center block. 2 baskets, one for each side. Trying to balance out colors and prints meant every piece of fabric had to be vetted. Did I use that in a neighboring block? Oh, that was the bird wing, I can't make it a flower center. I used that red for berries in that block, go back and pick another red. Do I make the stems brown or green? If I use green, do I pick one with yellow, or a muted green? And so it goes on and on............

Here are all the prepped blocks on the wall. I also had to balance out that brighter background with the one darker background block. I thought about replacing them, but I think they will add some interest when it's all together and quilted.

I started playing with some sashing ideas. I have a box full of these 1/2 sq tri's from a long ago swap.  Hmmm, something to ponder once all the blanket stitching has been done.  The bird in the corner is my one of my favorite blocks and it might end up back in the center.  It lived there for a while,  but I don't have to make those decisions for some time.

Here are a few close-up shots of the blocks. Again, not much has been stitched down, that will be my winter project. As usual, click pictures for larger shots. 

All the blocks have been put away. I store them on a pant hanger with a zip bag around them and that takes much less space than another box in my sewing room.

Ahhhhh, here is my basket of CW fabric with my basket of scraps. So organized and neat and tidy.

And I've reclaimed my cutting table. No more bits of fusible, light box has been tucked away, scraps and test fabrics and pieces that didn't make the cut are all cleaned up.

Thank you Lori, at Humble Quilts, for instigating this. Karen, sorry I didn't stick to the plan. I love these blocks, and I know it will be a great winter project for me. I've already picked the next quilt box to open up and get to work on. But this next one is a 2 color quilt, the blocks are made and I'm onto the setting strips. No decisions left, just the process of pinning, stitching, and pressing!

Keep on stitching,

Monday, August 3, 2015

Old Voices, New Impressions

I'm sure you've seen several posts with the title in the last week.  Karen and Nancy  have shown their blocks and I'm sure Lori, aka Humble Quilts will show hers off some time this month. Yup, I've jumped in and am going to do my best to stay up to date on this quilt along.  Now that Whatnot's is finished, I have a little extra time in my sewing room.  I like to take a break from the longarm several times during the day, and a little machine applique is the perfect task for me right now.

Four blocks per month, and we started in July.  OK, four blocks are looking good.  Please do not look at my blocks for reference.  I am doing fusible machine applique and I did not "flip for fusible".  ALL my blocks will be mirror image but there are no blocks that will make this look odd.

But since I had everything out, I thought I'd just keep marking the fusible web with more shapes from more blocks.  I've also tried to make mine a bit different than the pattern by not looking at the color pictures.  I'm striving for brightness from the appliqued  pieces against the creamy backgrounds.

Four became eight and now there are four more.  But don't get too excited about my progress.  These blocks are simply prepped.  Now comes the investment of time to get all the blanket stitching done around each shape.  I started with green, and got quite a bit done. 

This is the only block that is completely finished.  OK, I still need to stitch the stems with dark brown.  It's the closest one to finished. 

Here is the group of them together. I am LOVING this quilt. I have chosen 25 different shirting prints for backgrounds and tried to stay away from the whiter ones. Patterns were blown up 100% and I cut the backgrounds 12 1/2". They may get trimmed down and stitched edge to edge or there might be some sashing around the blocks. That decision will be made once all 25 blocks are together.

Old Voices, New Impressions by Jeana Kimball is the book that we are using.  I have several of her books, and they are great to have in your library.  c'mon, join along!  If you don't have this book, pick another appliqued project and have some fun!  My goal is to have 4 blocks completely stitched by the 15ht of each month. I think that's a reasonable goal.

Keep stitching,