Life is a series of learning experiences. Each year I deliberately try something new in as many areas of my life as I can feasibly manage.
When I grocery shop I buy new foods unfamiliar to me and learn how to incorporate them into home cooking. My garden grows each season by adding new plant species, combining edibles with flowers, or by rearranging my overall garden designs. In my artistic ventures I especially like tackling the unfamiliar because it adds to what I'll be able to do in the future.
Socially I have a tendency to be reclusive, not necessarily by choice but because I'm quite comfortable being by myself and have multiple interests that keep me occupied. It's not healthy to be a full time loner so I schedule social events and interaction to refrain from becoming socially inept.
Since I'd never participated in a Block of the Month Program, I joined one at Seams Like Home Quilt Shoppe in January 2009. http://www.akseamslikehome.com/index.php
If you are local and interested, the new colorways for 2010 have been chosen and sign up is available.
I chose two of the four color ways for the blocks shown above. My favorite is the Elegant version because the rich gold, black and specialty fabrics would suit my living room decor and stretch my experience working with specialty fabric. There are some beautiful silks in this offering. I will leave this wall hanging in the shape you see it to give it the importance and impact of an art piece. I didn't get a straight on shot of the Elegant top but you can click on the photos for close up details.
Batiks are a sure winner in my book regardless of the colors but in this case the turquoise and chocolate reminds me of drinking mint mocha on the beach. I'm not completely satisfied with the final outcome on this one and may do some trapunto or applique in the white blocks, perhaps add a different batik fabric in half square triangles around the edge to make the quilt rectangular since I didn't have enough of the white even though I bought the last of the bolt. No more time to devote to this top, but I'll get back to it probably later this year.
You can see I opt not to sew the sashing grid separating the pieced blocks. I completely framed the pieced blocks (not chopping the corners off as seen on the pattern), and rather than adding corner pieces I cut one larger block to alternate between the pieced blocks on the diagonal setting. Sampler blocks are not really what I gravitate toward and neither is following a pattern, so I prefer changing things around to make them my own. The turquoise one will either be sold or given as a gift. I'm happiest knowing I completed this new challenge without missing a single meeting all year and having my blocks done on time. The BOM rules reinforced self-discipline and although I proved to myself I could pass with flying colors, I prefer not committing myself in the future to something like this. I learned more about myself than the quilting aspect which makes this past years exercise valuable in ways I didn't expect. Education comes through all life's experiences, consequently I've already signed on to participate in some new programs in 2010. You'll see them in future blogs.