Monday, November 30, 2020

BOMS Away: Progress As the Year Draws To A Close

At the start of the year I had set an admittedly ambitious goal to work on four different BOMs with the plan of action being to deal with a different project in each week of the month.  Well the pandemic, the later quarantine orders and the resultant slew of online quarantine quilt alongs and new quarantine inspired projects quickly threw this "Squirrel Moment" quilter off course!   With the year now quickly coming to a close, I wanted to try to make good on at least some of my BOM goals.  I spent a lot of my quilting time in October and November focusing on bringing the BOMs up to date.  Here's how that went:

First up is my scrappy version of this year's AQS 2020 BOM "Twilight Flurries".  

This was my first chance to try making one of the annual American Quilter Society (AQS) Christmas Countdown BOMs.  I had liked their teal, dark blue and white color scheme and decided to expand it to a scrappy selection of blues across that color spectrum.  Adding an equally scrappy mix of whites to the scheme, I was hoping the resultant quilt could be used for holiday and winter decorating.  

This was an ambitious BOM to have started since it is comprised of twenty-five blocks, something I didn't really examine closely when I chose to do it.  Because I fell behind on the blocks in the early months of the pandemic, it's been a challenge to try to catch back up over the course of the summer and fall.  This is particularly true since I needed to have all the blocks done by the end of November or early December to even have a shot at finishing the quilt for Christmas display.

The good news is that I did mange to finish up all the blocks.  Here are all the ones I got done in the last two months:

I admit I've struggled with getting good contrast in the designs of these blocks because I also didn't factor in the small size (7" finished) of these intricately pieced blocks when I made both my purchasing and piecing fabric choices.  Another issue is that having gone scrappy, I'm concerned about whether my blocks will work in the original quilt layout -OR- if I would be able to come up with a different layout that will accommodate the scrappiness of the fabrics in my blocks -OR- if I could find a background print to pull all the blocks together.  So I am already prepared for the possibility that I might not be able to solve that riddle in time for this to be a holiday display quilt after all!  

However, that is not as much of problem as you would think:  the good news is that I compiled such a healthy project stash for this at the start that it has generated an unexpected wealth of projects for using up the Blue and White fabric leftovers.  So I may wind up decorating with the other quilts I'm working on from the leftovers and the BOM project may wind up not getting completely finished until next year!

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Next up are the last few blocks for the Joann Countryside Cottage BOM

The blocks for this BOM have been the easiest to make up because they are all from pre-cut kits.  Also helpful is that it is a traditional mostly-one-block-a-month BOM.  As a result, I was able to finish up just about all of the last blocks over the past few months:   

All that's left is the last one. It's an applique block that I am doing by hand applique.  

Pieces prepped and ready to stitch!

I had originally hoped to have this project be one of a group of Fall projects I wanted to tackle.  The coloring of this quilt fits right in that theme!  However, with everything else I was working on, it soon got too late to work on the rest of those projects this year.   I am still hoping to get this last block done and then finish the top next month.  At that point I'll decide whether try to get it quilted and finished this year or just put the top with the other Fall projects and work on them all in time for next Fall.  

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The "self-styled" BOM in the bunch was the one I call "Modern Bohemia".  Based on the "Bohemia" design by the Homestead Hearth ladies, I had hoped to have some fun with what I saw as "Mod" style fabric prints.  I thought this was also going to be an easy one to finish up early since it is made up of simple Churn Dash blocks, all of which I die cut the parts for.  I had done a few blocks before the pandemic hit and once I had finished up a few quarantine quilt along projects, I thought I could bring these blocks to a top by the end of June!  NOT!!!  At that point I was here:

However, I did finally get back in gear on them in October to the point that I was down to the last rows of blocks and some filler.  Of course that also takes into to account that at this point, I've decided to make this quilt smaller than originally planned.  I believe I have finished all that I am going to do so now I am here:

I have to review the block/color placements and then will sew all the blocks together and call this one a finished top!  I expect this one will have the best chance of getting quilted and finished up before the year ends. 

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Right off the bat, the BOM I was most excited about working on this year was my "Scrappy Christmas Figs".

This is another BOM that I'm working up in my own choice of fabrics and was a chance to stash a bunch of older Fig Tree Quilts fabric lines.  So the challenge here was to choose fabric combinations I think will work in the blocks and which will fit my vision of what I want the finished quilt to look like. Turns out that takes way more time than I expected it would!  It is also another BOM with two blocks a month for ten of the months (the last two are for making sashing cornerstone blocks and finishing) which can be be hard to accomplish in just one week.  

Once again, that was something I didn't take adequate notice of when I chose to do it so when I got behind on the blocks at the start of the quarantine period, it was that much harder to try to catch up and still meet a deadline of finishing the blocks by November or December.  As result of that and more "Squirrel Moment" projects I decided to start in the interim, this one has gone on the back burner so will not get worked on for the rest of this year.  So say hello to the first project on the 2021 project list!  

No wait, it's the second project:  the first is my Quiltville "Tobacco Road" mystery which I had been focused on sewing the center together when the pandemic and quarantine orders hit and still need to add borders to.  

Looks like 2021 will be as busy as 2020!! 

Linking Up to "BOMs Away" with with Lynette at What A Hoot Quilts and Kate at Katie Mae Quilts 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The New Quiltville Mystery Officially Started Yesterday!!

 Ahhh, another opportunity for 2020 to get back to normal again -- the start of the annual Quiltville mystery season!  This year we will all be taking a stroll down to "The Grassy Creek" with Bonnie Hunter!

As Bonnie noted in her post for Part 1, the one good thing about this pandemic is that it doesn't upend the ability for everyone to "get together" and join in on the mystery season.  Last year I mused about the many ways that you can participate in the mystery even if you don't think you want to make the actual mystery project!

At this point I have so many past mysteries still in progress, I hadn't planned to actively participate this round.  To date, I've still got:

However, that won't stop me from following along weekly!!  I especially look forward to the progress link ups where you can see what others are doing or how they have changed the color palette of the project.  

I will say though, I just reviewed the color picks again and I can see myself caving on this one in the near future!  Just not until I get at least one of the previous ones done though!!  So join in on all the fun between now and January.  It will be another great way to close out this year!