myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

A Month in the Country BOM

As we are just over half way through I thought it would be nice to have a catch-up with my Block of the Month for Today’s Quilter magazine. 

Every month I design two blocks inspired by my surroundings at Shangri la Farm, the seven acre smallholding where I live. The blocks are accompanied by a diary-style article and illustrated by my husband’s wildlife photos. I wrote initially about the BOM here with a bit more here.

We are up to month seven in the magazine but I am currently making month eleven at home. Initially I had hoped to do a monthly post on the blog but alas, I could never quite get my act together! But here are all 14 blocks so far on my design wall. They will not necessarily end up in this order and there’ll be some sashing involved but you can get a fair idea now of the finished quilt I think.

Let’s zoom in on some of those blocks, working backwards from the current issue which features my favourite bird…

…the blackbird! Above is Mr Blackbird encircled by Rowan leaves, and below is Mrs Blackbird with accompanying birch leaves.

These are both needle-turn applique so will be slowing down participants a little this month! It’s been wonderful to see versions of the blocks cropping up on social media, the BOM seems to be going down really well with lots of the readers – phew!

Last month the blocks featured our Shangri la Farm wildlife with my take on the Bearpaw block (appropriate!) but using native British animals. This one is ‘fox and stoat paw’.

And below is ‘badger and hare paw’. I just love the way the magazine has been styling the blocks! Unfortunately I don’t always manage to get hold of the published photo of both blocks, hence the use here of my slightly rubbish snaps like the one above. However now my own photo styling has improved so much I don’t really have an excuse for rubbish photos!

Back in February I focused on spring flowers with the blocks that I think are my favourites (so far!).

This tulip block worked like a dream, even though I was tight up to a deadline. Some days everything just works out! And some days nothing does, but the best thing is that you usually remember the former and forget the latter.

And during the design process for this block I had one of my (even if I say so myself) genius ideas! I realised that if I turned the tulips upside down they would become snowdrops!
Would you like to see a few sneak peeks from the months to come?!

Next month we have mini birdhouses!

The following month we are doing tiny FPP to make wildflowers…

…and then we are making patchwork feathers! And there are still three more month’s, with blocks planned but not yet made, to keep you guessing a little longer.

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed this project, it really has my creative juices flowing every month. Also I love sharing this part of my life with so many quilters all over the world. It makes me feel closer to all of you ?


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