One of my new year's resolutions has not been to declare a stash down, or a finish-up-the-wips-athon. I'm not banning myself from buying any new yarn or fabric but instead I want to rediscover the beautiful things that I already have in my stash, or, if I don't think they're beautiful any more, sell them, trade them, or give them away.
I have some lovely fabrics in my fabric stash, and I also have two half finished quilts. So my first resolution of the year is to finish the two quilts before I let my over-active imagination, and some very beautiful quilting books and blogs, run away with me.
First at the machine is the ever so nearly finished block of the month quilt. When last this quilt came out of the bag I'd started the October and November blocks but not finished either of them, and the combination of Kitty, Mummy-brain and some snow prevented me from getting to December's class.
The aim for January then is to make one block per week, and have the last week and a bit to quilt, sash and bind it.
October's block is the Lattice Window, and once I'd got the hang of the technique it came together pretty quickly:
But it was November's block that had the magic. It's a Celtic Knot, made by tacking iron on bias binding to the traced outline on the backing fabric,
and then applying a medium iron to melt and smooth it all out.
You can see the difference from this progress shot.
And then the final result.
I then tacked down the binding on each edge with some thinner than thin hand quilting thread, and pulled out the tacking.
A final pass with the iron has unfortunately rather scorched the gilt off my bias binding which is a tad annoying but not so much that I want to make the block again.
Truth be told I'm not sure that this block is going to make it into the final quilt; sampler quilts are never going to be the most cohesive quilts at the best of times, even using the same fabrics throughout, and I don't think that the gold sits particularly well with the other blocks. Silver might have been better and was my first choice of binding but there wasn't any available when I took the class, so gold it is.
I rather suspect that my conclusion on the whole 'block-a-month' experience is that I love the techniques I learned and I loved the company, but sampler quilts are not for me, I like my quilts to flow together and to have a more strongly geometric aesthetic than I'm ever going to get in a sampler quilt.
If I leave out the Celtic Knot block then once I've finished the last block (Drunkard's Path) I'll be a block short so I'll have to see what fabric I've got left and choose one of the other blocks to repeat.
I suspect if I've got enough fabric I'll choose the Roman Road (second row, right hand side) but reverse the colours to make it predominantly dark, but I'm open to suggestions so please chip in.