There are two facets of quilting that have been on my 'to do' list for the last two years (no I won't call them New Years Resolutions - after year two my failure rate was toooo high) and finally I am dealing with one of them.
1. Machine Quilting - watch, learn, practice & more practice - hasn't happened, still scared...
2. Learn to Machine Piece - do a quilt with no stitchery, that has some difficulty factor....ahhhh!
I have said before, I am a stitchery queen, I only do patchwork to hold my stitcheies together. This is true but illogical as I come from a clothes sewing background so I knew if I really tried I might be able to be a piecer.
When I'm a big girl (no comments necessary - maybe I should say 'when I grow up' ) I want to be able to piece like our friend Sharon of Lilabelle Lane . Many of you are wonderful piecers I know & sorry I haven't acknowledged everybody but Sharon uses fabrics I swoon over so her projects always speak to me. Usually they say 'If you weren't so scared to cut up all that fabric stash and took a lot of care with your machine sewing, you could do this too!' Quilts can be so cruel!
So earlier this year on Facebook and Samelia's Mums Blog I saw the info to sign up for the Modern Blocks Quilt-a-long being hosted on the blog And Sew We Craft. The book that was being used I had recently looked at from the library so ordered it again to have a closer look. Some of the blocks looked a little scary, lots of pieces. The worst possible was the flying geese block. I've heard making those birdies is like herding cats so didn't want to get that one. 99 blocks in the book, what's the chance anyone will pick that one. So after careful consideration, I signed up.
There are 12 bloggers hosting the QAL and each month one picks the block and posts about making it. I like that, it gives me something extra to follow & seeing what fabrics they choose to use.
I decided to use my Secret Garden by Micheal Miller fabric. It's the stack in the bottom left in my header. I brought it for a similar QAL 2 years ago but it took about 8 weeks to be delivered and this was a block a week so by then I was so far behind I didn't join in. It is also a lot of big prints so I didn't know quite how to use them. Now I am jumping in with them & I have added in another grey and some bright red.
Finally the list of blocks came out - Month 1 - Follow The Leader - the flying geese block - ahhhhhh! I contemplated & then I cogitated and finally I cut some fabric. I then procrastinated until finally I started some sewing. Eventually I had 16 little single geese that looked quite good. Little did I know, its the putting them together, flying in formation that is the tricky bit. Needless to say, me & my quickunpick are better friends because of it but I am pretty happy with my first ever grown up block. I almost pulled it apart again but decided life's too short to worry about a millimetre here & there, it's even more accurate if you express it in inches!
I choose to start with my plain fabrics, something else new for me - geese, piecing, modern choices, no prints, no stitchery - I feel like I climbed Everest without the use of oxygen!
On the And Sew We Craft blog you can see examples of everyone's block. Note I am the last to upload my block.... but it's there proudly displayed. The pic is a little dark as I took it at night, impatient to acknowledge 'I've done it!'
The June block was much more to my level of expectation and gave me a reason to use a big print. The Spool block was fun, colourful and fast to make.
On the And Sew We Craft Blog block 2 post there are 12 Spool Blocks displayed already, including mine.
I'm glad we started with the doosey of a block, I'm feeling slightly more confident now. The July block is called Megan's Star and will be posted by Anorina of Samelia's Mum. Two blocks in & I can't wait!
Maybe machine quilting will get some love in the second part of the year......
Happy (machine) stitching!