Hello and welcome to the first month of the new Today’s Quilter BOM Quilt Along!!
I am so delighted with the reception to this new Block of the Month and to all the quilters who’ve already shown enthusiasm for joining in!
In case you feel you’ve missed something take a look at my launch post here.
Hopefully most of you have already got hold of issue 29 of Today’s Quilter, either through your subscription or buy popping out to the newsagents or supermarket.
There’s another gorgeous Lynne Goldsworthy quilt on the front cover this month!
I absolutely adore this cushion by one of our guest hosts, Kerry Green, and that vintage fabric would work so well in the BOM. Kerry will be taking our first guest post slot in 2 months time!
And breaking news! We have added another fabulous guest host to our list – the amazing Carolyn Forster! Yay!
Let’s chat about the Block of the Month in the magazine.
Every month I have picked a subject from our homes to depict in patchwork, the first month being teapots. Mostly there will be patterns for two blocks every month and you need to make both blocks (not either or!), but the blocks will probably be different sizes. And importantly some months you will need to make more than one of the blocks!
For the first month you need to make one of each of the teapots shown. But some months one or other of the blocks will be smaller or much simpler and you will be asked to make 2 or even 4 of them (don’t worry it will be equivalent to one full block in amount of work needed, you just won’t be sewing them together!). This crucial information will be under ‘Notes’ in the magazine. Plus of course I will remind you here.
The last BOM I designed for the magazine was a classic 25 x 12in blocks with sashing, and though I am delighted with that outcome I wanted to try something a little different this time around.
With the blocks being different sizes and all having the same background the items will be distributed and almost ‘floating’ around the quilt, a bit like a very random medallion (you’re going to have to trust me here, it all looks great in my head!). I have a plan don’t worry! But even though I have it all drawn up I always need to leave room to change things around as I go, especially if things are not working properly or I have had a better idea. I am about halfway through making the blocks and hope to have them all finished in January.
Which brings me to fabric amounts. I have had lots of requests for this and so I’d like to share the amounts here. These are calculated estimates based on my plan, with some added amounts to give me (and you!) room for manoeuvre.
I have picked the Harvest Collection from Tilda alongside coordinating solids, plus Tilda Doll Fabric in Grey Sand for the background (I will use the same background throughout). I have to say that the doll fabric, though a lovely shade and really soft, isn’t the easiest to work with – it frays and stretches more than craft cotton. But Tilda are kindly supplying all the fabric for the BOM and they don’t have many solid fabrics. The Doll Fabric is also quite expensive so I would recommend you find a nice neutral shade (or any colour you like!) in a good quality craft cotton.
One of the reason I picked Tilda was because all the Tilda fabric works so well together. It isn’t the easiest to get hold of and I hoped that even if you couldn’t get the Harvest collection any of the other Tilda fabrics would work perfectly for the same effect.
Would you like to win a bundle of 20 FQ’s from the Harvest collection?
Well Today’s Quilter are having a giveaway! Check out their post here – you have till 7th December to enter!
But there is no reason you have to stick with Tilda. One of my students, Carol, has chosen this bundle of Joel Dewberry Florabelle, which will work equally well and give a fabulous retro feel to the blocks. Carol is using Kona Ivory as her background – great choices Carol!
Alongside the patterned fabric I am using a selection of coordinating solids, I have picked mine from Kona but any solids would work and I am sure a lot of you have some in your stash, plus you can add more as the months go along if you don’t want to buy everything at once.
Which brings me to amounts:
Background fabric (based on a usual 112cm width of bolt) – 5 metres
Pattern fabric – 15 Fat Quarters (of a yard or metre)
Solid fabric – 6 Fat Quarters (ditto)
The Tilda Harvest collection can be bought in a 20 FQ bundle (which I am using), this will give you more variety and you will have fabric left. Or you can buy 5 FQ bundles in which case just buy 3 of these. Likewise you might be better with 12 fat eighths of solid fabric to give you variety.
We are constantly trying to get more stock of the Harvest FQ bundles and are now buying yardage and making some up ourselves, so keep an eye on our shop/website. Or try one of our other guest hosts Sarah Edgar Pretty Fabric and Trims. Plus the Sewing Space has stock in their shop in Hythe, Kent.
Every month I am also going to give you some tips for tackling the blocks…
MONTH 1 BLOCK TIPS
The two teapot blocks this month are not the easiest to start with, but I wanted to ‘sell’ the whole thing with a superstar block and something you don’t see a lot of. The trickiest bit in the block above is the curved piecing of the handle. Just use plenty of pins, as instructed in the pattern. If you are really struggling you could try hand piecing this part, or if you really hate curved piecing you could even applique the handle.
There is a little FPP but it is just for the spout and so shouldn’t give you any trouble even if you are new to FPP (check out an online guide to FPP if you are).
The second block also has an FPP spout but the handle is just straightforward piecing. However there are more curves! And these are a little tighter so take your time and use those pins. Or try hand piecing, one of our other guest hosts, Lucy Brennan, has a great hand piecing tutorial on her blog.
If you haven’t machine pieced curves before then practice on some scrap fabric before using the block fabric. And one more tip, if you are still having trouble getting the two curve pieces to fit together try starting from the centre of the curve. Fold over both pieces to find a centre point and start there (locking or reversing your stitch), when you have sewn to the end, flip over and sew the other way. I find this really helpful for tricky curves!
One last thing to mention, as well as the patterns every month there is also some added extras to this feature in the magazine. First off you get a short ‘article’, or as I like to call it ‘chat’, where I talk about the items featured and share some of my inspiration through photos of teapots (or whatever) that I own or love. The photos are then dotted about through the pages.
Plus we also have a ‘Vintage Shop of the Month’ section. I ‘visit’ Vintage Shops around the country and also a related ‘Find’ from said shop! Yes this is going to be a lot of work for me…
The first month features the charming Pepper Pot in Wellington, Somerset. I visited this on a recent trip to teach with the South West MQG. But a lot of the other months may mention Scottish shops…
So do you know any great local vintage shops? If so please share their details with me! Thanks 🙂
Also please feel free to email me with any queries about the BOM. Make sure you add an email address to comments if you are a no-reply commenter (this means no email address is attached to the account you are commenting from) so I can reply easily. Otherwise look out for replies below.
I am so looking forward to seeing your versions of my blocks! If you are sharing them on social media please make sure to use the hashtag #TQVintageHomeQAL and tag me in your comments too @mybearpaw so I don’t miss them!