Happy December, time to pick another UFO project for the One Monthly Goal Challenge over at Elm Street Quilts.
I confess, I was going to bow out this month. After all, there’s the holidays, pandemic or no, to observe. And I’m doing Bonnie Hunter’s Grassy Creek Mystery, which is no small thing. But a word, this one word, has clinched it for me: Challenge.
This word taps into a weakness of character I possess, which is to respond viscerally to challenges. If someone throws one down, I’m going to pick it up and take it across the finish line. It doesn’t matter if there’s a prize, recognition, or special whatever at the end, it’s the challenge that affronts me and causes me to want to overcome.
(Note to self: Research fitness challenges online. Maybe this character flaw will help me get motivated in the personal health department.)
Now might be a good time to tell you that I was indeed a prizewinner for the month of October. I’m enjoying a six month’s subscription to Make Modern Magazine. Thank you, Elm Street Quilts!
I don’t think I even intended to participate every single month for this entire year, but now that I’ve reached the final lap, stopping now would feel like quitting.
In January I had plenty of old UFOs that needed this outside motivation to push them along to the finish line. It was with relish that I chose each month’s project, excited by the prospect that they’d be up and out of the dark, into the light. (Except for last month’s finish. It went right back into a dark wardrobe.) Eleven months and eleven finishes later, I find myself at a loss as to what to pick next. I’m down to just one quilt top, my Farmer’s Wife Sampler. I need to keep that one waiting longer, because there’s no way I want to rush it through to its end. To my pleasant surprise, I’ve found it to be true that quilting skills actually improve with lots of practice. But mine are not where I want them to be for this one.
The other projects I’ve got going are the Bible Sampler quilt, a stack of neutral Courthouse Steps, cut sets of Castle Wall blocks, Lori Holt Farmhouse Vintage blocks, and the plaid economy blocks. But I consider them all WIPs rather than UFOs. I want to keep all those going, like plates spinning, because I like the juggler method.
So I guess I’ll choose the project that is my newest, Blossom Time, because I can’t seem to stop working on it. I watched Bonnie Hunter make it on her blog, and the seed was planted in September:
I started piecing these tulip blocks. No plan, no goal, just having fun with a cheerful jelly roll and some muslin.
Pretty soon I used up the flower fabric, so I moved on from block play to layout play:
Because I didn’t plan ahead, I experienced opportunity costs along the way regarding layout choices. But that’s the fun of it, figuring it out as you go along. What could possibly go wrong? I could no longer spare the bed for layout, so I improvised a design wall which covered the closet. I believe this is why I continued on with diligence, I kept needing things that were in that closet.
While finishing up Frolic for November’s challenge, I settled on this design. I design visually, not mathematically. With a sashing in between, the borders should fit just fine, right?
Wrong. I want to turn the corners like this, but I’m an inch too short on the border pieces.
No worries, I’ll figure it out. So the goal is to finish this top. I’m thinking about doing the final border like Bonnie’s, or not. We shall see. But now that I have my closet back, I think I’ll give myself a break from Blossom Time and pick up clue one of Grassy Creek. I’ve completely switched out the colors on this mystery.
What could possibly go wrong? I figure if I’m in for a penny, I might as well be in for a pound.