Block of the Month Challenge

Saturday I was on a mission.  I wanted to finished the Block of the Month challenge blocks.  This was my block two month ago and still not finished.  I’m never going to get this block of the month done at this pace.

I’ve been start and stop the entire time on this particular month.  I hate these directions.  I like my easy angle ruler and tried and tried to figure out what size to cut them only to have cut them the wrong size.

Then one day last week over nap time I pulled it out and cut the triangles the right size.  I sat down to the machine to sew and after sewing a couple I ran out of thread….So I filled the bobbins.

I ran all of the triangles through the machine only to learn that I filled the bobbins, BUT I didn’t put one of the filled bobbins in the machine!!  AHHHH!!  So I had to resew them all.  That was insult to injury.

So I got them resewn then started assembling blocks.  I found I was 1 1/2 blocks short.  UGH.  More sewing.

By now Kelli had showed up.  We were both disgruntled about the project.  I had to piece a couple triangle fabrics together to have a big enough piece to cut the triangle from.  Then she had to cut more little triangle pieces.  She set the triangles at the machine and I didn’t see them and accidentally pushed them on the floor so I had a mess of triangles all over the floor.   I ended up sewing them together the wrong way.  Had to seam rip them.  Oh…what a mess.  This quilt is cursed.

After I was almost done sewing those last two together, Kelli got on the floor to pick up a couple of the small triangles and found…you guessed it.  The large triangle we were short of earlier.  Oh my.  I can’t make this up.

Finally the blocks were finished.  Well that experience made neither of us wanting to sew so…we ran away.  We went bumming.

Then it came time for me write this blog post.  I realized I didn’t have a picture of the blocks to add as proof that I did finish the blocks.  So I went upstairs to get the blocks and take a picture.  I rummaged through the big bad I have that holds all the Block of the Month stuff.  UGH.  The blocks weren’t there.  How can this be?

I looked and looked not seeing them and finally found them.  Yes.  In plain sight on the ironing board. See?


Look how happy I am to be DONE with this month’s (actually last month’s) set of blocks.

I swear.  This is why I hate this quilt.  Every time I go to sew on it, something like this happens.  I will NEVER (and my told me never to say never) buy a Block of the Month again.  NEVER!  If I do all of you write and tell me, “You said you’d never buy one again”….  I’ll deserve the messages.

Well I am bound and determined that this IS going to get done.  (Kelli still wants to quit-I’m bribing her to stick with it)  So…I went and pulled the next block I’m doing.  Looks like I’ll be making 8 of these blocks.  Yippie (not).

I am already pretty sure that this quilt will be going for a raffle.  I hate the thing so much right now that I don’t think I want to keep it!!  Sorry…I’m having a bad attitude.  It happens….but really how many things can go wrong?

I’ll be back next month and hopefully I won’t have such a story of woe.

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26 thoughts on “Block of the Month Challenge

  1. Donna T

    I too have always wanted to do a block of the month! So glad I didn’t and I won’t either! Thanks for taking one for the team and sharing your experience!

  2. Diann Smith

    I understand. I signed myself up for the 365 quilt. And I KNEW me that if I printed off directions daily I’d just have a huge stack of directions. So I promised myself I’d MAKE the block daily (I’m retired and mostly a freebird). Sounded wonderful and easy. I about had a nervous breakdown about three months in. Then one day a block with 12pp. of instructions. I received it on my phone as I was in the library getting a book for my grandson. Didn’t realize this was a corner and she was giving us several days to get that finished. Got so upset I left the library with the book and didn’t check it out. End of story…. I did stay with it and I DID make a block every day for the 365 days of the year AND I am NOT RIGHT in the head now exactly but I love love that quilt and thank the designer/maker and NO I am not signing up for anything ever again that requires commitment. I need to figure out how to print off patterns…well maybe not that either. And my daughter went back to the library that night to legally check out the book. WHOOH!

  3. Ana Sweet

    Well, I have had that lost block, piece, pattern experience way too many times. Found the last lost blocks on the design wall at eye level right in front of me. Forgot I put them there. After I had sewn another three blocks together for the piece I needed.

    So understand.

    That quilt is “difficult”. I was very glad when it was over. I am doing the Moda Blockhead block of the week and really enjoying it. Pick our own colors and post when we do the block if we want.

  4. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    That quilt will be stunning when finished, if ever. I prefer the easy angle method myself but I have learned that when they ask for 3 7/8 to make 2 hst, I cut the 2 blocks out at 4″ Then I cut them in half diagonally and sew each independently without marking. I find that even rounding up my HST come out almost right. I didn’t even square up the last bunch. Just sewed them together. And with pieces that small, you will need that extra bit. Congrats for keeping up with it. I signed up for two in the last couple of years that won’t get done. No more.

  5. Pat Major

    I have done block a month quilts before and had the same experience. Never, ever will I do one again!! Hang in there, someone will love it.

  6. jean

    Oh, JO!! I feel your pain. Those are the kinds of sewing days that make you understand why some people don’t like to sew. I’m with you……..rarely do I buy kits and blocks of month anymore……..like you, prefer digging into my own stash for things.

  7. Chris

    You had me giggling through your pain.
    It is good to know we have all suffered through a project like yours.

  8. Carolyn in Texas

    The last block of the month I agreed to was a nightmare and add the fact that I hated the fabrics. I promised ….never again.

  9. Judy

    I used to do the block of the month at our local quilt store. I finished one. I have several from there that the blocks are made but not sewn into a quilt. I have one from Joann’s in the same stage. I dug out one set of Joann’s blocks and found fabric and sewed it together. Really old, so the fabric that was meant to be in it to complete it is long gone. It turned out pretty well, I got it quilted and gave it away. My quilting friend said that we hate the pressure and we should just quit doing them, so we did. I don’t even like sampler quilts so I wonder why I stressed myself all those times.

  10. Helen

    I made that quilt and found the directions very difficult. I will confess it didn’t make the final half square triangle border, I wanted it finished!

  11. The Eclectic Abuela

    Maybe you have a reader who would like to finish this–one woman’s/man’s despised object can be a joy for another. I’ve got a project I’m thinking of passing on to someone else who would enjoy it.

  12. Sandra B

    Jo, I had a quilt project a number of years ago that gave me a lot of trouble in the “making” part of the process, but I didn’t give up, and it turned out to be one of my favorites, in the end…so hang in there! When all is said and done, you will look back and laugh (hopefully!) at all the obstacles that presented themselves during the making of this quilt!!
    As to losing pieces/parts of blocks, it has happened to me many times….just last night, as a matter of fact (!!)…. But they almost always turn up, eventually… My HST that disappeared last night had slipped under the chair I was sitting in….the cat found it about a half hour after I realized it was missing!!
    Have a great weekend, and don’t give up on the BOM !!

  13. Kim

    The colors in this quilt are lovely and I cant wait to see it all done, glad you are still working on it even if its been a pain in the *&%! Some days of sewing feel like you have two left feet but you made progress, Yea!!

  14. Joanne

    Whenever I try something new, like using my own method (a specialty ruler) instead of the instructions to cut fabric, I cut it out of paper first and sew it together to see if my calculations are correct. This is especially helpful with a BOM that has limited fabric, and/or instructions that don’t make sense.

    I also do this when calculating and cutting edge triangles for on-point block settings.

    Some instructions are a lot easier to understand than others.

  15. Robby H.

    The blocks and fabric are lovely, but as they say in business, “Sometimes you have to cut your losses.” Even if the loss is joy for sewing. I’d be seriously considering packing it all up as a ‘quilt kit with bonus pre-made blocks’. Good luck.

  16. Christine

    This is why I’ve never participated in a block of the month. I’ve seen too many friends get frustrated and give up. But how about if you send each of the block of the months to different readers that volunteer to sew them for you. Each volunteer would get one month. When they are finished they would be sent back to you to assemble the top.

  17. Susan from Kentucky

    You had me laughing through this post, too. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during that time. Keep chugging on, you’re doing a great job! I think it’s going to be beautiful!

  18. mpv61

    If I felt like it was going to be a charity quilt anyway and it wasn’t bringing me pleasure to do it, I’d find someone to pass it on to. We should enjoy our sewing, not dread it!

    One of the blogs I follow (I can’t remember whose at this point, and I can’t search my email because once I read the blog post, I delete the email) does an orphan block giveaway linky each year. Imagine the joy of getting something off your plate and finding someone who would love it! If it was a lot of money, you could sell it, in your booth or through the blog. But if you decide to stick with it, I hope subsequent months go better!

    I spent three days this week going through my enormous stash (from purchases, grandmothers, mother, etc.) and getting rid of stuff that I’m just never going to use, including things like leftover curtains from the 1960s and such. I collected many bags and boxes to go OUT! Today some went directly to charity and some was picked through by people and then the leftovers went to charity. My sewing room still has a ton of stuff in it (next up, looking through ribbons and doodads to figure out which of those I’ll never use), but it is SO MUCH BETTER. It’s like my sewing room lost a bunch of weight! ;)

  19. ShirlR

    Oh, those blocks you made are so lovely, I think it will be a beautiful quilt. S0 sorry for all your bad luck with making them; some days are like that, aren’t they? Years ago JoAnn’s sold a set of kits for a quilt and I loved the colors, black, white. beige and brown, and I liked the pattern too. I was a rank beginner and got hung up in cutting the triangles in a basket block too small; it’s in a box somewhere……..ha! (Really, I should get it out and see if I can salvage it; I have the whole thing, even the bordering, backing and binding,)

  20. Judith Fairchild

    I’ve had quilts like that got one at my machine now. Sorry but it happens that way sometimes.

  21. Nell

    So, my typical kit/BOM experience has been that I get all gung ho and then fizzle out. . .I cut the whole thing out, except the HSTs, when you started this challenge. I haven’t sewn a stitch. . .maybe it will be my next retreat project.
    I kept hearing “Mama said there’d be days like this” while reading your post. I have the misplaced blocks/pieces/parts and finding them right on top repeatedly.

  22. Susan Shaw

    I feel your pain. However, I am glad to hear you blog about your trials and tribulations. Many times I think that most bloggers are perfect. Nothing ever goes wrong and they just skip through their projects with no need of a seam ripper even let alone a migraine headache now and then. My worst disaster was my first and still unfinished quilt. It was all done by hand – cutting templates, marking the templates onto fabric with pencil, cutting the fabric with scissors, piecing the fabric by hand, quilting each block by hand, then putting the blocks together with the sashing into rows, etc. At that point, I had no idea of backing my quilt in anything but muslin so all my whip stitching the blocks together on the back look awful. Anyhow, I was rather pleased with the progress I was making on the front of the king quilt. At the time I was married to the father of my children. During the process of taking the classes, we had to move to move out of our house twice so that foundation work could be done and I still made it to class and kept up with the blocks. I was working full time and had two children, plus my husband worked shift work. For one of my blocks above and beyond what most were doing since I was making a king quilt, I appliqued interlocking hearts. At that point, I had not heard of making the block larger and then cutting it down to size. This was in the 1980’s. I was finishing the applique on the hearts block and from across my rather large living room, my husband said, “That is not centered on the background.” I assured him that it was. He asked for my sewing seam gauge to prove to me that it was not. He measured and said that it was off 1/16″. He said he was always proud that he could tell that a picture was not straight on the wall or something was not centered. Of course, my heart was crushed and as usual, I said nothing. I put the quilt away. When my mother took up frame quilting again, I sent it to her and she had no idea how to lap quilt it, so she sent it back. It’s some where in my attic with all the fabric to finish it. Finally, many years later he walked out on me and the two children. We’ve been divorced 20 years. We literally did not speak for 15 years and rarely speak now. I asked him if he remembers that quilt. Before I could say anything, he said he was surprised that I could get that block centered that well with the tools I had. All these years I have carried the heartache of his comments due to the lack of communication that was a signature of our marriage. When I told him how his comment had broken my heart, he had no comment at all. It took a long time for me to quilt again and now with modern tools, it is a lot easier and also without a critic in the house, too. I have several BOM that aren’t even started. I think that’s probably true of lots of people. Again, thanks for sharing your woes.

  23. Jo Post author

    Susan…Thanks for sharing your story. It’s amazing how small things make such a big difference in our lives. I am so glad that you were able to move past the equipment of old and came into the life of rotary cutters and tools to do everything. 1/16th of an inch!! That’s the story of my life.

  24. Kathy Nealon

    Oh my gosh this made me giggle so much. I’ve done several BOM’s through my local quilt store (now closed ). 2 are ready for quilting and 1 is unfinished. The last one was a little frustrating but I’m inspired now to pick it up and get it done!

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