Once upon a time, I was all about Blocks of the Month. I really loved the convenience of having the pattern and fabric mailed to me once per month by my local quilt shop. I thought – how easy is this? All I have to do is stitch together one block per month!
So, I signed up at Addies’ Quilt Shop in Cochrane, Alberta for the All About Bears block of the month. The pattern was designed by a lady named Dorothy Baker in 1999. Yes, 1999 – 17 years ago! Here is a photo of the designer and her finished quilt….
Things went pretty smoothly for awhile. I was keeping up – making one block per month. Then, slowly but surely, I started to slip – I was getting a new block in the mail when I hadn’t yet finished the one I was working on! I got a little bit sweaty and anxious but I feverishingly continued stitching. I dutifully appliqued the bears to the creamy background fabric and secured each piece by hand stitching a blanket stitch using embroidery cotton floss. Once the block was finished, I lovingly placed it in a see-through tupperware container. Well, somewhere in the mix of the 18 month of blocks, I got distracted, starting working on something else and quit! I quit for 17 years. The tupperware container was moved around my sewing space about a dozen times. Each move necessitated a “block review” so to speak, but I was not inspired to finish the project.
Then one day, I met a talented and very accomplished Calgary art quilter named Margaret Jones Jessop. I was privileged to interview Margaret in her brand new home several times. Margaret’s home had to be completely reconstructed; she lost everything in Calgary’s massive flood of 2013 including her many UFO’s. She said to me, “Why did I spend all that time and energy working on those projects if I was not going to finish them? Now they’re all gone forever.” Margaret’s words struck a chord in my heart.
When I got home, I pulled out the completed blocks from my tupperware container and tried to figure out a way to use them all in a quilt.
Even though I had not finished all the blocks for the pattern, I decided then and there to finish the quilt and put it to good use. Maybe a charity quilt? From Fabric.com I ordered some creamy tan flannel 108″ backing fabric (going via Ebates.ca first, of course!) and pulled out some brown and pink and teal fabrics that were in my stash. Sashing and borders were added.
A quilt sandwich has been made.
The bears need eyes and the quilt needs basting. After that is done, I will tackle some free motion quilting on it with my wonderful new Christmas present!
My quilt will not look like the designers’, but it will be done and I’ll be satisfied with it.
I happen to have three blocks left – patterns and fabric.
Does anyone want them? Leave me a comment on my blog about your UFO’s and three random comments will win these blocks. I will mail them to you. Perhaps you can make a sweet little quilted bear pillow for someone you love.