Friday, January 29, 2010

Tea Time Block of the Month (BOM)

This block of the month has been a pain in the butt.

I participated in an on-line BOM from a company I had previously ordered fabric from several times. My experience in dealing with this company had been a happy one with my orders arriving quickly and even with candy attached! How fun and how could it get better? So, I decided to try a BOM they offered.

The company promised that the fabric would be mailed the 20th of each month. Along with the BOMs the company promised, "Throughout the program you will also receive bonus patterns for additional projects, as well as much-loved Tea Time recipes." Sounded great.

The first couple installments arrived safe and sound and on time. I wasn't thrilled with the fabric, but that was a risk I took and overall the quilt is OK. The instructions were always excellent - clear and easy to follow. However, delivery went down hill. I understand that over the holidays, mailing on the 20th wasn't always possible, but 2-3 weeks late is ridiculous. Some months I inquired as to the delay 2-3 times with no response (I was worried they had been lost in the mail). The 4th (out of 6) installments included a little note stating there had been a death in one of the owners immediate family and that was taking up much of her time and she apologised for the delays. Included with the BOM was a cute card with a package of instant hot cocoa and a peppermint stick (this is right before Christmas).

Well - OK. Obviously, this is a small operation and I certainly understand a death in the family. But, why not respond to email inquiries? All it would take is a couple of sentences and I am sure I wasn't the only one inquiring as to where the BOM was. During this time I did order fabric and it arrived promptly. I also made a wrong cut on Block 4 and asked for a little piece of additional fabric. That arrived promptly, too, but not the 5th BOM. When Block 5 did finally arrive I made another wrong cut and asked again for a little more of a specific fabric and she sent me the whole 5th BOM package again. By now it was January and I received this and the 6th and final installment a month late. Ha! They were probably sick of me.

During the first couple of months when things were going smoothly I signed up for 2 more BOMs with this company. I cancelled both due to this problem. One I would have really liked to have participated in as it would have taught me new techniques and would have been a darling quilt. I lost a little money as the initial fee to hold my spot was not refundable. I figured better that than a whole lot of frustration. I notice they are not offering any other BOMs on their website so maybe this was too much for them to handle.

As to the other projects and recipes promised? Never saw them.

This is a "live and learn" experience. Will I order fabric from them again? I don't know. Maybe. Will I try another BOM from an online company? I don't know. Maybe if it has been around for a while and I ask my quilting friends their experiences with the particular company. I did enjoy getting the fabric and pattern every month, working on the block and then setting it aside until the next month. I was eager for the mail to arrive towards the end of each month for the next installment! But now, even though I have only one more section to complete, I have put off finishing the quilt due to my disgust with how the whole situation was handled.

At least I did receive all six BOMs and I learned from making the quilt, i.e., new techniques and methods. And, when I needed additional fabric due to my errors, it was sent free of charge (I did offer to pay). Yet, I am frustrated with the whole thing. What do I think should have happened? I don't know.

Oh, well . . .

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Knowing When to Stop?

I decided to put borders on my egg quilt.

I kept adding them and adding them and adding them.

I just love all of the fabrics so very much! I wanted a bigger quilt. Well, it's big alright!

I'm cracking up! (pun intended).

I put the quilt on the bed both the "right" way
and sideways so see how it fit.
I snapped the picture when the quilt was on sidways.
Really - my borders are directional - and correct!
But I had to stop. I wanted to add one more border of the blue, but I will bind it off in it so it will show up. So, it is done. I have enough fabric left for pillow cases and a couple of throw pillows.

I just need to get backing fabric and sent it off to be quilted. Now, I could go for a plain fabric that is 108" wide and make life easier on myself and also a lot less expensive. That would be the practical and sensible thing to do and I am a practical and sensible woman (according to an old beau who loved to tell me so).
Ahhh, but the egg fabric also comes in a very pretty, soft blue . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Shortly after I started quilting I decided to have a small dragonfly quilted into every project. The dragonfly has a symbolic meaning to me. And, I think it is a fun thing to add. Although my first quilts do not have the dragonfly quilted in the pattern, I found quilt labels with dragonflies on them and will be adding them to these quilts.

I fell in love with the above Oriental-themed pattern while visiting a quilt store in Colorado last September and bought the pattern and material while I was there. The dragonflies are hand appliqued using the blanket stitch - the method I feel most comfortable with at this point - to the beautiful background fabric. I am thrilled with the way it turned out!

It was professionally quilted by Meandering Mary, who added a tiny dragonfly to the upper left corner, even though there are 3 dragonflies on it.

When I give quilts away to family and friends I tell them, "Look for the dragonfly!" It can be a challenge to find them, but I think it adds to the giving of the quilt. Recently I picked up 3 quilts from Meandering Mary - this one, a primitive wall hanging (which I will post when I finishing binding it) and a queen-sized Friendship Star quilt. Mary forgot exactly where the dragonfly is on the Friendship Star quilt. I tried finding it, but didn't have a whole lot of time to look. Maybe when I am hand stitching the binding on I will find it.

When I was at Ye Olde Schoolhouse quilt store last week to pick up these projects Jeannie brought back from Mary, I ran into my quilting instructor, Diane. She wanted to see what I have been doing so we looked at my projects and she and complimented me! I was so happy that my first quilting instructor admired what I have been doing. We talked about incorporating the little dragonfly into each quilt. She said, "Just think, Julie Ann, a hundred years from now someone will be talking about how this quilter from southeastern Wisconsin always had a dragonfly quilted into her quilts and now they are considered highly collectible!" That comment blew me away!

It is fun to have this little something extra in my quilts. It is like a little added blessing to the quilt.

Friday, January 08, 2010

To Add or Border or Not to Add a Border?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fabric. Aviary by Three Sisters for Moda. Love it.

So I made this pinwheel 4-patch quilt. Oh, it is soft and girly. And, I adore the egg material. I am using it as the backing, too. I call this the Easter Egg quilt! LOL

But, I think it needs a border. Maybe two. I'm lazy and am talking myself out of it. Then I look at it again and think it just doesn't look complete.

I have plenty of the pink and blue floral fabric to add a double border. I also have enough of a deeper pink from the same fabric line and this might "pop" the quilt. I plan on binding it with the blue floral.
What to do? What to do?

Shannon's Doll Quilt

Last Sunday little Shannon came over and we made a doll quilt out of the 1930 reproduction fabric she picked out. I had the squares pre-cut and she arranged them exactly the way she liked! She brought me each square to sew. I probably could have got it done in half the time, but she was very intent on helping!

We then went through my stash and she picked out the purple inner border and the pink outer border. No swaying this young lady's mind! She wanted pink and purple! We also decided to make the exact same quilt for her cousin, which I whipped up on Monday night.

We had a great time. She listened to what I told her and did what I asked her to do. She loved the stick pins with the large yellow tops! And, she was very careful not to prick herself or drop one on the floor in case the dogs walked on it. She stayed far away from the iron and sat on the other side of the table with her hands on her lap when I used the rotary cutter for the borders. She got to design and arrange her quilt, so I think she understood to listen when it came to being too close to the things that could really hurt her.

I think Curious George likes the quilt, too!

I decided to back it in the pick border fabric, which I was able to still find online so I am waiting for it to arrive. Then I will stitch in the ditch both little quilts.

Shannon and I decided the next doll quilt will be made with "princess" material with blues, greens and, of course, pink and purple! And, she wants triangles and diamond shapes incorporated in her next doll quilt - not just squares and rectangles. Pretty impressive for a little girl who just turned three!

It was a very fun afternoon.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


It is cold up here in Wisconsin. This morning it was 5 above.

My dear sister, Suzanne, is vacationing in St. Augustine, Florida and complained that it was only 48 degrees. Well, yes - that is cold for Florida BUT IT IS STILL 43 DEGREES WARMER THAN WISCONSIN!!!

My blog pal, Christine, joked that Indiana must have forgot to pay the heating bill is was so cold. Well, the budget crunch reached Wisconsin, too!

My poor doggie girls are not getting their walks. Too cold and too much salt on the sidewalks. People in my 'hood really go crazy with that salt and I can't bear to walk my girls on it and have them limping the whole time because it gets in their pads.

I know I'm whining. On the bright side, this will be my last Wisconsin winter. Ahhh - now that is a pleasant thought!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Jeannie's Quilt Blocks 9 & 10

Ruins of Jerico on left, Stockyard's Star for Nebraska on right.

Feature fabric for both is easist to see on outer edges of the Star for Nebraska.

These are getting easier. However, I'm making the 12 1/2" blocks. I can't imagine making the 6" blocks! I know one day I'll get confident enough to try smaller blocks, but the time isn't here yet!