Tuesday, January 06, 2015

one block a day

There is a quilt that I've been wanting to make for about 8 or 9 months now, but there is always so much going on that it's never gotten to the top of the list. I'm sure you can relate! Well, January is time for fresh starts and new projects (right?) so I thought it would be the perfect time to start this quilt. The idea is to break it down into manageable sections by making just one block a day and by the end of the month, or in 30 days, I will have enough blocks for a lap quilt. I'm making maverick stars, as shown in this tutorial.
I did great on day one and day two...and then I missed a few days. It doesn't take long to fall off the wagon, does it? (It's kind of scary, really!)
I made a few catch up blocks last night and today's block is done. Just like that, I'm back on track!
(Don't be mistaken. I'm not being super strict with myself...just trying to stay focused. It's a constant struggle!)
This block is a study in contrast fail. You don't have to step back very far to see the contrast between the star points and the background just isn't there. I've been quilting a long time and I still get to re-learn this lesson occasionally. A little time with the seam ripper never hurt anyone. :)
I'm using American Made Brand solids for this project. This is my first time working with them and so far so good! The idea is to make a quilt for Quilts of Valor using solids made in America....kind of a full circle thing. I'm glad to be jumping in to this project (finally), and I'm curious to see how well I can keep up on it for the rest of the month. I'll keep you posted!
 
Have you ever tried the block a day thing? How was your success rate? I'd be curious to hear how it went for you. I'm really hoping I can stick with it...and if I can I'd like to try it at least a few more times during the year. It's amazing how much sewing a little a day can add up!

37 comments:

Terri Ann said...

If I were to do a block-a-day it would turn into a 7-blocks-on-a-Saturday type thing. I don't always have time allocated every day to sew and am afraid putting that kind of pressure on myself wouldn't benefit the final outcome. I like to get into the zone with a quilt or project, but that's just me. Those colors are beautiful. the AMB solids have been on my list to try using along with the Oakshott cottons.

Alison said...

I love this idea! I got a day by day calendar with quilt patterns and blocks and I could definitely do this!

Melissa said...

I've done my share of "quota sewing" when a project starts to become a little tiresome. Small chunks a day totally make it manageable and I can allow myself to move onto something fun too. I'm a little strict with myself and need to make up for the days that I miss - that way it's done faster.

Glinda ♥ said...

Great blocks ... love the one per day concept. I tried to re -engage with my Farmer's Wife WIP last year saying I'd add one block a week and ... failed ... miserably!
Maybe one a month this year then LOL :)

Susan C. said...

My whole life so far is one block at a time thing.....as I am sure all busy women's are...including yourself. Timetables are great and suit some but also just going with it and fitting it in with all the good things around you is good too. I jump from one thing to another primarily when a large project drags on and I am getting a little bored, so then a change is great but keep the big project out in sight and when you have recharged get back into it! Works for me.

Terri said...

Cool idea - I love it! I also love making that maverick star block - so easy peasy and fun to see how the star points turn out. Makes this seem like something I could keep up with. If not, it's easy enough to make a few blocks if you get behind.

Päivi Eerola said...

I started a block a day too in the beginning of the year and it has made me sw other projects too. I have blogged about this approach and my principles for the block of the day at
http://www.peonyandparakeet.com/create-often/

Kathy said...

I like your QOV idea. Looking forward to seeing your finished top.

Quilting Grannie said...

I am making your Trees pattern for my grandson who got married in September. I have added a row of blocks on the side and on the bottom to make, hopefully a queen sized quilt. I bought about 5 solids and 5 pa104tterned fabrics, I have one with solid tree and one with patterned tree. I cut out two blocks at a time, one solid and one patterned. My plan was to make 2 blocks in two days. Oh the best laid plans of mice and men. I have 10 blocks almost finished, just lack that side strip on two blocks. I have two more cut out. I just can't plan on getting one block done in a day. Too many other things come up.

Elin Torvik Grov said...

Thank you for this idea. I think it could be doable if the fabric is cut in advance. I will try this Maveric star block, too.

knitnkwilt said...

About contrast fails: why is it that they don't show up until after we have sewn? I would think I could see it when holding fabrics side by side! I rip as little as possible, but would be ripping that one too.

Never tried the block a day approach. I've tried to spend 15 min a day cutting scraps into usable sizes, and haven't lasted long. I do find that if I have things cut and ready to go, I am more likely to use small bits of time sewing.

knitnkwilt said...

I forgot to mention: I recently bought a bunch of American Made Brand fabrics and enjoyed working with them. We have a couple shops in town that carry all the colors.

Rene' said...

I love the block a day idea. Thought of doing this with my Dear Jane blocks but they take so long I'd never get anything else done ;-))!!! I like your idea of using the American Brand Solids to make a Quilt of Valor quilt.

Maggie said...

I haven't tried it as I know I wouldn't be able to keep to it! X

Tubaville said...

Last year I tackled Tula Pink's 100 block City Sampler quilt doing 1-3 blocks per day from January until April (I think). I really enjoyed it since all the blocks were different and it was for a local quilt contest/show. A good Minnesota winter project.

Melanie said...

I've never tried a block a day and probably would fold under the pressure. I'm thinking of using this concept as a block a week to finish either my Farmer's Wife Quilt or Tula Pink Sampler quilt this year. Both of these have been started, but I never came close to finishing. Your blocks are beautiful by the way!

Gram999 said...

I started a quilt like yours for a BAD project. It was fine for awhile, but it turned out to be leader and ender project. I just finished it - 6 mos. later. Instead of wonky, my pattern had flippy star points. I love it that the points aren't right at the edge. Very easy to square it up. You have a fabulous blog. Lots of projects I would like to make.

Corrie H. @ Mountain Stitches said...

It's going to look really nice. The solids make it look crisp and clean. Good luck sticking to it!
~Corrie

katyquilts said...

Love your blocks and I am a big support of QOVF. I am doing a block a day right now too with 4 inch paper pieced log cabin blocks from scraps. I don't particularly enjoy making these but figured I could do one a day from the first day of winter until the fist day of spring. So far so good!

karen @ badlandsquilts said...

A couple of summers I did the 60 blocks of summer on flickr (there is a group) and that worked well for me. Summer is always busy with activities so it was a way to ensure I got some sewing time in.

Jean said...

I started a tiny house a day block a couple of years ago. I made 4. After they sat forever, I finished them into a Four block, tall, skinny little quilt that is pinned on the wall in my sewing room. Makes me smile.

Hollie @ Just a Mom who Sews said...

Aww, I like that star block. But your right, it doesn't fit with the rest of the blocks with the low contrast. I love the idea of making a Valor quilt with America made fabrics.

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

I think you of all quilters can do a block a day or at least catch up when you need to like you did before, especially if it was more of a "guideline" than a rule. As a mere mortal there's no way I could commit to that. If I didn't have a four year old at home and another baby on the way I could give it a try, but I'm not at that stage of mommyhood yet. Sometimes my machine sits untouched for days! I think maybe your youngest is in second grade or third grade (I have a third grader too so I just noticed your daughter is about the same age as mine) so if all your kiddos are in school now it could be doable. You breezed through those 101 scrap projects, I know you can do a block a day!!!!

Christine Feldstein said...

Great idea and I love the fabrics and the stars!

Nicky said...

I rather like the low contrast block as a variation from the others - epecially if there were a few more ...!

SewPsyched! said...

If I do it as a leaders and enders project, I can do a block a day, or a row, if it's easier to construct that way. but If I sit down to do other things and think that I will do a block at the end... Never!! isn't it funny how we are? XX!

margaret said...

a block a day is a good idea and as you say at the end of the month you will have a quilt. Struggling at the moment can`t be bothered to stitch

Tinliz said...

I think your contrast fail block adds interest to the quilt. Of course a quilt made entirely of these blocks would be dull. But when placed with higher contrast blocks, it gives the eye a place to rest.

Marla said...

I agree with the comments above about the low contrast block. Don't use your seam ripper, just make a couple more that have lower contrast to add interest to the quilt.

Lisa C said...

I sort of do the "one block a day" idea in a different manner. I work full-time and sing in our church choir so sewing is for relaxation and happens whenever it can. Over the long holiday weekend I completely cleaned up my sewing area (no kids at home) and in the process cut out three quilts (various sizes), 3 sew together bags, and fabric for 100 lanyards (for a low income school). Now for the next little while, I'll sew on whatever I can -- if it's a "no brain" night, then it will be lanyards. If I have little more brain cells, it will be on one of the easier quilts. etc. I'm just trying to "keep moving forward" - whatever that is for as long as it is. Works for me so far!

Daytona Damsel said...

This is pretty cool block and I like the idea of Made in America and Quilts of Valor. I haven't ever tried a block a day may have to try it.

Chris the Quilter said...

So far, so good for me....

I'm machine piecing a Farmers Wife Sampler block a day

I'm also making 3 inch Lemoyne Stars, a block a day by hand from the scraps

genevievegraves said...

A block a day is totally doable if the blocks are relatively simple (these stars seem like a good candidate). Simple means that when you fall off the wagon (and you will---we all do!), you can get caught up again. Hello midnight sewing!

manicmumdays.com said...

1 Block a day!! What a fantastic idea - I am totally pinching it! Thanks :D
{Might equate to one block every second day knowing me haha

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

I've never tried because I already know I wouldn't do it ;) It's a nice idea though and good for you for doing so well so far! They look great and I love the red and white print in the first block, what it is?

Sara A. said...

I used AMB Solids to make a dress for my daughter's Halloween costume. I love them! Their colors have so much dimension and the substrate drapes nicer than Kona but not as nice as Michael Miller.

susan718 said...

I love the idea of a block a day. I love your stars! I am making a hand pieced wall hanging with different black and white fabrics as background to bright inset circles, and the background values make it very difficult to figure out placement. I find that if I take a picture and change the settings to black and white that the value and contrast are much more obvious. What my eye perceives as being dark/light when different b&w prints are placed next to each other is not what the camera sees.