* This is clearly a spoof on The Julie/Julia Project. All the quilts below, however, are the real deal.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

How It All Began

At the beginning of the year 2010, I decided I wanted to accomplish something important with my time. I do a lot of sewing in the quilt room but I wasn't really advancing in technique.

The quilt group to which I belong has had a member with highly-evolved technical skills and I asked her and another member, equally gifted (especially in the organization department) if we could come up with a quilt design that would improve my piecing ability and kick me up a notch or two. I really didn't think I was the only one in the club that wanted to do more than same ol' same ol' and I was right.

Several of us signed up to do this one quilt design as a Block of the Month. We call it the Leslie BOMb, or rather, I do.

These two intrepid ladies whipped out their EQ5s and printed out all the cutting instructions. They handed out the first month at the January 2010 meeting. Those of us who were interested took the first month and tallied home to decide on fabrics.

For me, here is where things got sticky.

We moved house 6 months prior to this and although we are well installed, the sewing room is a mess and I say this with all modesty. In truth, I should say it is a disaster.

I have fabrics in stacks, in boxes in stacks, in bags in stacks (falling over) in stacked drawers, under the quilting machine, in the guestroom closet, under that bed... it would not surprise my to find some on the freezer at this point.

It's out of control. But I soldier on and pulled out a bag of (left-over!) Christmas fabric and thought, "well I could use this up on the BOM" (it hadn't become a BOMb as yet). But I also had quite a lot of "brights" as well so I decide to make one of each, just to see which grabbed me.

The first block was very simple, half-square triangles and not much of a "challenge" and the first two came together quickly.

So I glanced around and thought, "Hey! I can make an oriental one as well!"

This thought lead to a Blue/Gold, and a Red/White/Blue and since I had SO MUCH bright fabric, a second one in that color scheme. Well, why not? the pattern was a cinch.

I thought this would be a great way to use up all this fabric floating around and help me get more organized.

It hasn't worked out that way, I blush to disclose. Matters have worsened in the sewing room. Yes, I am using up fabric and NO I have not purchased any additional fabric (well, ok, not for THESE quilts anyway) but as the blocks became more, shall we say, complicated, the mess has only increased. What once was a disaster zone has now become a hazard-zone. I'm talkin' yellow tape, haz-mat suit worthy.

But I have made remarkable progress. On my other blog, I have posted up-dates on some of the blocks but here I shall start at the beginning and work forward to the present and attempt to go into further detail on the blocks themselves.

Anyone wishing to join the madness is welcome to jump right in. I will try to embed the instructions at some point unless I find myself at odds with powers that be.

So that is the background. I am now in the first week of July and have completed all the blocks for the Christmas and the R/W/B. I have one more block on the Oriental to go and that one will be tucked into bed.

I will still have to assemble the quilts in a finished top and quilt them if I am to meet the actual "Challenge" and with 6 months to go, I think I stand a fighting chance.

At the end of the day, I am doing this for any number of reasons and I list a few below:

1. I want to be a better sewer.
2. I want to use up all this spare fabric!
3. I hate wasting things (except, obviously, time!)
4. I like the idea of "series" and this is truly one (more on that theme later).
5. I give most quilts away and will likely do the same with some of these. It feels good.
6. It's fun to 'revisit' fabrics that have been languishing in boxes and bags.
7. This is particularly challenging because I have taken on 6 large quilts in one short year. On top of all the others I make, not instead of. This is the biggest challenge. I may not best the challenge. But I will take stock in January.

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