Block of the Month

When I was cleaning the sewing room and found my stash of UFO projects, I found this.  UGH.


Come on, please tell me I’m not the only who loved a block of the month, brought the first month home home and then decided YUCK.  I hate blocks of the month.  Well…this is me.  Here I am.  When this first came out I was SO excited.  I saw the quilt.  I loved the quilt.  I love that it’s Civil War reproductions…I loved it all except sewing it.  YUCK, YUCK.

The premise of blocks of the month is so easy.  One day a month, make one block they say.  It will be fun they say.  You’ll hardly realize the time you have in it and in a year, you’ll have a quilt they say.   This kit gives you so much extra fabric they say.  You could almost make two quilts with the amount of fabric they say.  Some people are actually subbing in extra fabric and making two at a time they say.  Do it they say and hook, line and sinker, I’m in.  But…that’s where I sit.  Sinking.

This has been in my closet for years.  I’ve told myself again and again that I’m actually going to finish it.  I haven’t.

I have months 1-3 done…and yes, I did start two quilts of it.  Bright idea…huh.  I can’t even get myself to do one let alone two.

I am just going to straight up admit it.  I don’t like blocks of the month.  I hate putting all the work into figuring out how to make one block…then once I figure it out and I’m done.  I don’t feel like I learned any organization technique to make the next blocks go smoother because there are no next blocks like this one.  I don’t feel like I can assembly sew because there are just a couple blocks.  I can’t sit and do relaxing sewing because I’m popping up and down to iron…up and down to look at the directions.  I just don’t like it.

So what am I to do?  I could pull all the fabric out and just use the fabric for other projects but then I don’t end up with the quilt and I do really like the quilt.  Here’s one of the worst things…Kelli bought the same block of the month and she also started two quilts.  I think she only has the first two months done though.  She’s already asked me to sew hers if I ever get inclined to do mine.

I look at people who do block of the month projects that are monthly and I just wonder how?  How do they discipline themselves to stop sewing a project they love to do a block of the month.  Once I have my groove going, I just hate to break it.

So blog readers…how about some advice?  I was thinking maybe I needed to have a UFO party in 2016.  I could focus on this quilt and all I’d have to do is a block each month.  I don’t know though…I couldn’t do that when I originally started this.  Maybe you all can keep me accountable.

Honestly…send some advice my way…tell me I’m not the only one…help me devise a plan to finish this.  I paid lots of money for the program and love the quilt plus I want the space it’s taking up in the quilting room to be mine.

53 thoughts on “Block of the Month”

  1. You can force yourself to finish it, it is wonderful. I love Civil War. Sell it, donate it. Have a giveaway. Do you have a Quild Raffle/Garage Sale? It would sell in a minute on Sew It’s for Sale or Quilters Classified Facebook page because there are a lot of Civil War people like me.

  2. Well it seems to me that with your two quilt blocks of the month and Kelli’s two blocks of the month. That you have 4 blocks to do each month. You could cut and chain piece all 4 blocks at the same time. You would be in somewhat of a grove and feel good that you are making progress on 4 quilts instead of just one. I would also suggest doing the blocks every 2 weeks instead of once a month. That way you would see more progress faster. Or you could have a cutting day and cut all the pieces for the block of the months. Then use them as Leaders and Enders. Then assembling the units at the end of the month. I have done this before and it went well for me.

  3. Oh Jo, I know what you mean. I’m also collecting BOMs and than I have so little time to sew. But my BOMs are so pretty decorations in my sewing room (lol). Sometime I will sew all my BOM just before I am cleaning my house daily.

    Gabriele from Germany

  4. Offer it for trade – let people say in Comment section what they are willing to trade for it… and then pick what you see that you’d rather have… something that would make you happy, and then swap – or, if you don’t see anything you like, don’t… might be fun to see what people would offer in a swap !!!

  5. i am all for what Crystal said…. with the blocks for quilt number 3 & 4 you can have your grove and still create 4 seperate quilts in one sitting……

  6. A conundrum! You hate the idea of Block of the Month and the fact that you only make one or two of each block design so you can’t get a sewing system going. But you like the Civil War theme of the kit ( and you have the fabric). And it cost you good money, yet the project stays wasting away unloved in a cupboard. A couple of suggestions: Pool the project with your daughter and,as has been suggested in other comments, split the blocks between you both, have a big sewing session and create all 4 quilt tops. Or ( and this is what I would do!) – cut your losses, sell the quilt kit as it is, finished blocks and all, on eBay or in a garage sale or a swap. As you are not keen on the idea of the quilt other than its theme you probably won’t enjoy making it or like the quilt tops when they are finished.

  7. I have a love/hate relationship with BOM (and quilt alongs) I have two BOM that my Mother purchased for me. She has been gone since 2004! I didn’t really start quilting till 2012, so why I have BOM is beyond me! And to top it off the one is blue and yellow and half the blocks are appliquè. 1) I HATE blue!! PERIOD!! 2) not a huge fan of appliquè! 3) cant work on these without thinking of my Mom and of course then I get all teary!!
    I guess ill stick to BHQAL and hope one day the WIP fairy comes and takes care of these!! ;0)

  8. I am working on this quilt as well. I bought it as a kit; not a BOM, so I know exactly how much $ I have invested in this project. I am currently working on month 7. (8 blocks for month 7). I am determined to get it done but I am in no hurry. As hard as it is to plod along on this HUGE project, I know it will be worth it in the end. My issue is, when I purchased it I was really into civil war repro fabric. Now, not so much. Still, I will finish, even if it takes me another year. I believe you will finish this project eventually (not sure about 4 of them though…haha) Good luck!

  9. Well Jo, if you hate it that much, get rid of it. As mentioned there many ways to do it, whether gift it, eBay it, yard sale, raffle, etc. I have several and lots of quilty stuff I will no longer use, and plan on one day listing it on eBay. Good luck. Maybe you can draw from some comments and stick it with the one you draw, haha.

  10. I made this pattern but I choose my own fabric from stash. So it is semi Civil War. They “tricked” me a little by making the blocks harder and harder to do. The ones with all the triangles around the edge, well at this point I was sick of triangles so I substituted a solid border. Then the one that had the Y seams, I just made more of the block I liked. Got it done and quilted and felt a major accomplishmet. Gave the pattern away because I will never make it again. Make it yours. Put in a couple of your fabrics or make a different block. It was worth doing . Jo, send me your address. I found two 18 inch doll patterns that were duplicates and would like to send them to you.

  11. Jo, as long as you and Kelli know that each block fabric makes two blocks, why don’t you do all four blocks of each month that you choose and maybe Kelli could pick out the blocks she would like to assemble and she could do all four blocks of those fabrics. That way you could assembly-sew like you are fond of. You would be finishing all four quilts at the same time. You could each keep one and have the other two for special wedding gifts or donations etc.

  12. Baby steps…. Treat one set of blocks/ quilt as a priority to get totally finished in 2016.
    Then reevaluate for next year

  13. My guild does BOM a little differently. I find a pattern (usually traditional but unusual) and write up a pattern for it. It then gets e-mailed to the membership. Those who want to do it make the block and bring it to the next guild meeting. A winner gets drawn from those who made the blocks. Except that a lot of people don’t put their names in the basket because they don’t want another UFO! As for this BOM kit, if you really don’t want to make it, give to Ila! ;)

  14. Jo,
    If you really look at the pattern closely, each round has multiple blocks that are the same. One of the inside borders has eight the same. Break it down into the multiples. Do one round of pattern at a time. This project should be a piece of cake for you with your sewing skills. It seems overwhelming as a whole, but if you start in the middle and work out, it is like you have a finished quilt each time you complete the round. You can do this, it is not a speed contest, stop thinking of it as a BOM and think of how beautiful this quilt will be when you finish. Set a goal to finish two, one for each of you then give the rest away. Happy sewing!

  15. You’ve got enough kits/fabric to either production-ish sew 4 quilts or pull the fabric and make whatever you darn well please from it. Maybe it’s just a few of those blocks. Maybe it’s something from Bonnie Hunter, or your own design. When I get stuck on projects of any type, it’s usually a sign I need to break loose and do it my way. Even if I don’t love the end project, I had fun (or at least more fun) doing it.

  16. Give your kit to Kellie and have her cut them both out. That way you can have a chain piecing session once a month and get them done. Maybe you can set a date with her and she can do your pressing. You know it is more fun to sew with Kellie there. :)

  17. I would make tablerunner said or placemats out of the blocks that are done. If you and Kelli pool your blocks, you may get a throw quilt! Then you can add to your scrap bins.

  18. You are not alone Jo, I too am drawn to the lure of the BOM! Ironically, while I’ve finished most of the ones I’ve had (at least up to the flimsie stage), I’ve never done them month by month when I received them! Usually, I wind up wanting to get the quilt done and do a marathon over a couple of weeks or months to finish them all up at one time. I did the other BOM that’s like yours — CW Chronicles — and have to agree with Dottie, I think the reason it got done at all was being able to work on like blocks in a group. What also helped is that when I was working on it, Sinta Borland over at the Pink Pincushion blog was doing her weekly “BOM Rehab” link ups so I had an incentive to make sure I tried to get something done each week. The top is done (and it’s a big one!) now if I can only motivate myself to quilt it!!

  19. Hmmm, sounds like a Retreat with Kelli time! Take your kits to a weekend retreat at a Residence Inn type of hotel. Pack all your favorite snacks and music and just whip out both of them! And just forget the second quilt for each of you. Throw that fabríc back in the stash and the extra 2 or 3 blocks already made can just go on the back. You already have money dedicated to the project. Throw in a little more and just have fun!! Like maybe you two could divvy up the blocks. You make 2 of the number 5 block and she makes 2 of the number 6 block. It would cut the time in half! Definitely get the hotel room with a little kitchenette, etc. then you can just spread out like home. But give yourself a couple of full days sewing! It wouldn’t be worth dragging all your stuff for one day. Anyway, just thought I’d put a different idea out there. Major sewing session, non-interrupted by normal daily routines or other people, in a new and fun environment, and have fun! Calories don’t count because you’ll be sewing and laughing them off as you divide the work and get quilts done that you both really like :)

  20. I don’t usually really like doing BOMs, either, but sometimes I let myself get sucked in! one nice thing is that I’ll end up with a quilt that is different from what I normally wouild make; that’s nice. why don’t you and Kelly work together? if you’re making 4 quilts (!!!) you could each do a few blocks- 4 blocks of something, and you could get in the groove and get organized! just a thought….I like your idea of UFOs for 2016- judy of patchwork times did that a few years ago, and I was able to get a bunch of stuff done- I work well under pressure, and the mr. linky is great for that! I just started my first DWR (THAT”S how we end up with so many UFOs! starting projects all the time!!!) and i’ts going well. I liked your cheddar and blue one- I’m thinking of doing another like that for hubby. I enjoy your blog. I’m going to do the rug along, too, wth my daughter anna (9)- and I think we’ll enjoy it!

  21. Here’s a thought…give it away! I’ve found joy in doing that…especially projects like this that I don’t really want to do. Someone will be blessed!

  22. It took me awhile to figure out I didn’t like BOM or sampler quilts either. I am a production sewer. I do better with what others would think are boring repetition. But, my Bom blocks are better pieced, so I think of them as a mini lesson in accuracy and patience, and, I am always surprised with how fast that one accomplishment gets done compared to 480 half square triangles or 300 + 4 patches

  23. Jo I have that kit too! If you do it as a sew along next year I just might get mine made. If I was you I would only make one each for you and Kelly and add the rest of the fabric to your stash. Since there are multiples of most of the blocks you could chain sew them for both quilts and get a rhythm going. I made another quilt in that series but waited until the entire BOM had arrived then sewed it because monthly just didn’t work for me. I still love this quilt and want to make it someday. It sounds you still like it too so I would stick with it and get it made.

  24. Not only do I have my own but, my mother has gifted me her incomplete BOM,s! I agree it is stressful just thinking about them. So much money! When you figure out a plan let us know so I will be right there with you trying to get through this.

  25. I got roped into this same BOM. I hated it!!! Loved the fabric and the picture of the quilt but hated the instructions and the blocks were not fun. I gave it to a girl who does nothing but charity quilts. She finished it raffled it off a pretty good amount for the charity. The person that ended up with the quilt loved it, the charity made some money and I got rid of the guilt of the kit just sitting there. To me that was a win-win. Some block of the months I have enjoyed doing but that was not one of them. I think I had 4 months done when I asked myself ” Why are you torturing yourself when you are NOT enjoying this?” That was my wakeup moment.

  26. Oh you are definitely not alone–I don’t do BOM’s because I KNOW that I will NEVER finish them up–and inevitably there will be one I don’t like. At my advanced age,(hahaha) I don’t want to spend time doing anything except what I really like. I am basically having FUN!! So don’t feel guilty–do what you like–life is short…..hugs, Julierose

  27. I bet you and Kelli could have an unfinished party…just for this BOM alone. I know I could join you! I think I have 6 months worth finished. ha

  28. Well, I actually like BOMs and I do one every year starting in January. I find one that looks fun and start it and I always stay pretty much caught up. When my mom was alive, she also liked doing them and would buy them at Joann’s and get one for her and one for me. We did several together. The last one we started, is still in pieces in a box. I just haven’t had the heart to finish it. Maybe after the first of the year that will be my project. I enjoy doing one block a month and waiting for the next one but I only do online BOMs so it is different than paying big bucks for a kit like you did.

  29. Ditto to everything you said Jo! I have one sitting in a box (ironically most of the blocks are done, but I still can’t force myself to finish it). No suggestions from me.

  30. I set goals for myself each month, and I find having the “to do” list really helps me complete onerous tasks. I like to do the boring/difficult/unwanted tasks first, and then enjoy the others.

  31. I too have a BOM that is undone. Unfortunately, it is mostly applique – which I enjoy doing in small projects, but not necessarily a whole quilt. Also, I purchased it so long ago that I am not even sure that I have the overall directions to put all the blocks together. This was purchased in Massachusetts, and I now live in Wisconsin. The quilt store where I purchased it has gone out of business – so no hope of getting help there. I’m thinking I will get to it when I retire – only 6 years and 2 months from now. :>)

  32. I also did this quilt as a BOM. It is beautiful finished. I was working at the time and one block of month suited me (some month had as many as 4 blocks though). If I recall right, I don’t believe I ended up with enough extra fabric to make a whole other quilt though. I really don’t see how a BOM is too much different than how you sew now Jo. You seem to have lots of quilts started at the same time and work on them when time allows. How is this quilt different. I have a small sewing room so no room for totes full of projects at different stages. I start a quilt and work on just that one until it is finished. That’s what works for me. I hope you decide to make this civil war quilt. You will be so glad you did when you see the finished results. Its no different than how you’re doing the pineapple quilt, one block at a time!!! Enjoy reading your blog everyday.

  33. I guess I’m the opposite of you, because I love sampler type quilts. I rarely make a block in one sitting, though–for the same reason as you–too many starts and stops. Instead, I usually work on 2 quilts at once–and throw all the like components of the single block in at the end of a chain of something else. It takes longer to get the block done, but it’s kind of like leaders/enders in that I do it while I’m making progress on my main project. I’m sure you’ll figure out a method that works for you–you make so many beautiful quilts! You’re an inspiration to me!

  34. I have finished this BOM. It was difficult to piece but I love it. I cut out a block and used it as my leaders & enders and then moved onto the next block. I like doing BOM until I get behind a month and then it is very hard to catch up. Good luck!

  35. Someone said, “have a cutting day and cut all the pieces for the block of the months. Then use them as Leaders and Enders.” I love this idea… love it so much, I think I’m going to drag out one of my own BOMs and use the idea! Good luck. It is a beautiful quilt.

  36. I would add the fabric to my stash, make a table runner with the finished blocks, and move on to a quilt I was excited about! Life is too short.

  37. I love sampler quilts and BOM’s and have made many. I don’t like to make only one block a month though so I wait until I have the whole kit and then work on it. If you have all the month’s of kits, I would gladly make the top for you and you could do the quilting. If you have enough fabric for two quilts, it doesn’t mean you have to make two as the leftover fabric could easily be used for something else.

  38. I’m in agreement with all the suggestions: give it away if you really can’t bring yourself to work on it; get together with Kelly and treat the multiple quilts as chain piecing; my favorite, though, is to treat it as Leader Enders for other things you’re working on.

  39. hi jo, hi kelli,
    first i’d like to ask if you are going to autograph your new book?

    ok, on to the block of the month dilemma. I see many blog ladies talking about joining you in you ufo challenge before bonnie’s new mystery, and their progress, so why not do a “block of the month” challenge either once or twice a month for everyone out there that has found themselves in the same boat. I would certainly join you!!!!! we could all encourage each other and motivate each other.

  40. To each his own, right? I love the BOM blocks because I am quickly bored doing the same block over and over. I love the variety of making blocks. Usually each month will build on the skills learned the previous months so I feel like I am learning new techniques. I really like doing that! I guess us add people might be BOM’ers for sure. Thanks for sharing your feelings. Love your blog and your book reviews. You always introduce me to some good reading! Thanks for all your great inspiration! Helen

  41. Totally agree with you jo! I have a civil war one too that’s hand pieced and BOM and then there’s a Christmas Baltimore album ….I like your idea of challenging us in 2016 and maybe that would help us get rid of these booms once and for all!!!

  42. I’m sure there are lots of wonderful quilts that are calling your name. Don’t waste another second on one that you don’t love. Sell it or donate it. Either way you will have cleared the way for all the goodness out there that you could love and enjoy making.

  43. I love BOM’s as I become bored about halfway thru a quilt that has the same pattern repeating over and over again. When I hit that point I end up having to force myself to finish it unless I have something to distract myself with. I always have two or three regular tops going and at least two BOM’s on the wall. Without the BOM’s I would more than likely never finish a normal quilt quilt.

    If you can’t bring yourself to finish it or Kelli’s then find someone who does charity quilts and give it to them or see if there is anyone around who gets bored and would be willing to put it together just to have something different to do and then return it as a flimsy to you. You would keep another quilter sane and have your finished top.

  44. I bought this one also. I have been trying to finish it for 2 years now. I am down to month 12 and I bought the backing for it too back then. Last block of the month I bought will never buy another can not stay motivated. My goal is to finish it after Bonnie Hunters mystery that is coming up.

  45. How about a BOM – UFO so each person chooses a BOM from the closet and works on it throughout the year? I have a few which I haven’t even started. Plus I signed up for another one and could just scream “Why?

  46. Hi Jo, I thought on your dilemma overnight. This is what I would do. Concentrate on one quilt. Dont worry about the other for now. I would set aside a period of time say once a fortnight. Cut out tne pieces the night before and have them in a tray ready. Sew a block ofsomething you are working on- something bright and easy just o give a quick happy high. Go straight on to the block. One done. A third of the way. Reward yourself- cup of coffee, pat on the back, anything. Tackle the other 8 months in the same way.
    The second quilt- I would either make a completely different quilt incorporating the 3 completed ones, or make a 4th- the one you liked making the most so you have a central block, and make new ones around those.
    2. Encourage Kelli to do her own as you have had enough by now.

  47. Oh I have this BOM also…plus a couple more from that series! What was I thinking? And the money! Crazy…Could have taken a cruise!! lol….
    But anyway….I would certainly join in if you decide to start a BOM finish-up. I think these Civil War quilts are just beautiful when finished and worth the effort.

  48. I agree with everything you said about BOMs. I have one from MANY years ago that I was thinking about pulling out an finishing, maybe next year. :-)

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