New Year-New Challenge: Block of the Month Challenge

In the upcoming year I have two new things planned.  Today I’m telling you about the first.  It’s a Block of the Month Challenge.

I have a block of the month quilt that I want to get finished.  I’ve had it for several years….SEVERAL.  Remember back when there was the 1st Civil War block of month quilt.  Well I (as my kids would say) “Drank the Kool-Aide” and bought into the idea that I would actually putz around and make a block each month.  Kelli did too.  (Now I realize that is SO-SO-SO not me! Now I know that!!) Kelli was first starting to sew and was excited about the challenge.  Well the place that we got the kits from told us that the fabric suggestions where extremely generous and if we added just a little bit to the fabric or changed out a fabric or two, we could actually get two quilts out of the fabric.  We were both thinking TWO quilts at one cost.  YES!!  The whole block each month thing lasted a couple months.  I hated the directions.  REALLY hated the directions.   Kelli entirely gave up on her’s.  She gave me the kits for each month and said she never wants to see it again.  So now I sit with this…..

A big tote of unfinished pieces.  UGH.

It’s taking up closet space.  I spent a lot of money on these and now I have not one, not two but FOUR of these quilts started.  Oh my.  I know many of you would suggest to just make the two and throw the scraps into my scrap bin.  The truth of it all is, making four of the same block is about as easy as making one for me.  I might as well make all four.  Besides, if I get started on these, I think I can get Kelli to join in somehow.  If nothing else I know she’ll sew the blocks together once I get them all made.  Somehow, I’ll sucker into it….after all, I’m her mom and know how to coax her into things.

I know that there are SEVERAL of you out there who have a block of the month project that is languishing in your closet.  Want to join me in tackling it in the new year.  2018 can be the year it actually gets finished.  I’m hoping that we can make this a first Saturday of the month get together.  How about we do this?  Saturday January 6th we all meet back here and show our project.  That’s all you need to for January…find your project!!  That’s do-able.  I know many of you will be working on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt so I don’t want to interfere with that.

From there we will meet all the rest of the first Saturday’s each month until the end of the year showing off our progress.  You can make the “Block of the Month Challenge” into what you want it to be.  Each month do what works for you-finish as many blocks as you can…get a block cut out..whatever works for you and your personal goals and schedule is just fine.  Any progress will be celebrated!!  If you started a new block of the month and want to share that it’s perfectly fine too.  I’m hoping come December we’ll all have something to show…and a little more space in our sewing storage area.

If you’re like me, you likely have a couple months of the project done.  I’m looking at this mess….


Apparently I cut some of the blocks out and put them in pie tins.  What block it is….who knows.  Oh my, It’s likely going to take me an hour just to get it all sorted out and figure out which blocks I have done, which are cut and which aren’t started.  I remember loving the finished quilt.  I’m hoping that momentum gets me through.

I am making this commitment to the project.  If I don’t have the tops all sewn by December 31st of 2018.  I am gifting this mess to someone else.  2018 is the year this is leaving my house…either finished or in pieces…either way, it’s a goner.

So are you in?  Do you want to join the challenge?  Come on, I need someone else who will go through the misery with me!!



46 thoughts on “New Year-New Challenge: Block of the Month Challenge”

  1. Can you put the blocks you and Kelli finished into a quilt, or two. And use the fabric to make different blocks in a pattern and manner that you would enjoy more? I have two BOM’s that I will try to find and dig out to work on. One is a Christmas quilt.

  2. Many times I thought about doing a block of the month quilt but never did; they always seemed to expensive. Glad I always talked myself out of it! Can’t wait to see your finishes!

  3. I think that is the Civil War quilt that I did. Someone gave me the pattern and I used my own fabric. Did not like the instructions. Must use a very scant 1/4 inch. I had to make the first block twice to get the measurements right. BUT, I did finish. Did not do two of the blocks but did more of the ones i liked. I think it is in my to be quilted pile. I might pick out another block of the month to do with you all.

  4. I don’t do BOM’s but I definitely have a quilt that I need to finish piecing blocks for. Maybe this will give me the momentum to get it finished. Thanks for the incentive.

  5. Shortly after I joined my guild, I wanted a BOM feature, so I started one. Whoever wanted to would make the block that month and their names were put in a hat. Whoever’s name was picked would get the blocks. Instant UFO! This year we switched to star sampler where we keep our blocks; some of us are using up fabric we bought decades ago! Next year, we’re doing row quilts.

  6. I purchased a BOM in 2004 and it sat and sat. I finally finished it in 2017 and love it because I found the perfect fabric to go with the blocks. Maybe I can pull another UFO and be inspired by you to get it done. I have plenty to choose from.

  7. I know just the BOM that is just sitting upstairs! I have a few of the blocks made (IF i remember right). I think each month I was to make 3 different blocks – it’s been so long, I don’t remember!!! I better go NOW and find that tub – it will take me over a month to find it! LOL In other words: I’m In!!! See you back here on January 6th, with my UFO BOM!
    HUGS… and stitches

  8. Carolyn in Texas

    Thanks for the inspiration! I have three BOMs and will choose the one I started Oh So Long Ago. “Started” means one block complete.

  9. Yep this will motivate me(I hope) to get one of two BOMS that are languishing done. I am going to choose the oldest, just need to get it out and sorted.

  10. For 2017 made up my own block of the month goal and make it a twin sized bed quilt for my local shelter. Each month I made some Granny squares blocks. I am now sewing the blocks together and It will soon be a quilt top. I’ve enjoyed doing it, so yes, I’ll join you in a block of the month quilt along for another shelter quilt. I just need to figure out what pattern. Also, WOW your quilt on the cover of A,P and Q magazine is amazing! Congrats on getting the cover.

  11. I hated the instructions on that quilt, but some of the pieces were impossible to work out another way to do them.

    There were some blocks with set-in seams. I did the first as it was in the directions and I didn’t have much success so the second I ignored the instructions and made a block that was similar but much easier. It was the only way that quilt was going to get done. I even left off the final border.

    The quilt was too big for my longarm and so I had someone at my LQS quilt it for me. I was very unhappy with the quilting because where it was trimmed it started coming undone.

    My quilt is finished but I don’t dare wash it in case the quilting comes out, and because of that I can’t ever use it. I was very disappointed.

    Maybe I’m still grumpy from waking up, I think I’ll put the kettle on and have another cup of tea. I hope you have a much better experience than me.

  12. I think this is a great idea. The Ufo challenge has helped with the Bonnie quilts. I am like you, I don’t like block of the months, I am a production sewer and I bought several block of the months before I realized I don’t like that method. This will really help .

  13. Jo, I’m in! There are only two on the list, but one is real doozy! One of the BOMs I bought while in Iowa when our daughter graduated from Cornell (Mt. Vernon) in 2010! We received all of the fabric at once except for the borders then every month received the instructions. You really need a design wall for it to keep the fabrics straight. The second is from a shop in Mexico, Missouri and is Edyta Sitar’s Stars Upon Stars quilt. That one is going to take a while as the stars are made from 1” strips of fabric sewn together and cut at a 45 degree angle. Slow going on those blocks, but it is going to be gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration and BOM party.

  14. I’m in, lets get it done together. I bought some Civil War based blocks (every month 2 blocks) from a local shop. She made the patterns and provided the fabrics if you wanted. I bought dutifully bought the full package deal and now I have them stored in my sewing space. I will dig them out and join in. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. I’m in!! I have a Thimbleberries BOM that I started many years ago….if I remember, most of the blocks are done. I need to pull it out, and see exactly what is left to do…and then go from there. Thanks, Jo!! Maybe 2018 will be the year to finally finish it !!

  16. Oh boy do I have BOMs!!!!
    I have groups of blocks that I won through my guild monthly programs. . . . and I have some “Saturday Sampler” projects (a program where you pay a certain amount at the beginning of the program and then, as long as you attend every month with the previous month’s block done you get the current month’s block for free) that are in various stages of completion.

    But I think my biggest “disaster” is the pile of kits I have. . . . .I can’t believe how many kits are in my stash!

    However, I accept your challenge. . . . and look forward to getting stuff done.

  17. What a great idea! You are so right about having BOM not done! I’m getting on your band wagon and joining you! Thanks for giving all of us that push to get started again.

  18. I am all in. I know the block of the month I want to finish, and I’m getting a queen and a baby quilt out of the kit for a queen I bought. Thank you for hosting this, I’m definitely encouraged!

  19. Count me in with another Civil War–but different from yours. Oh so long this one has been sitting! Thanks for the motivation to move it from unfinished (and untouched) to a work in real progress! It will take me all of December to figure out where I am and what needs to be done.

  20. Just what I need. I signed up for a BOM for the first time this year and failed to keep up with it. Only got the first month done before other things took precedence. Since it was signed up online with my credit card, the blocks kept coming and coming and coming. This would give me chance to hit restart on this . Count me in.

  21. Count me in! I thought I only had one UFO BOM, but reading through the comments I realized I actually have two more! I like the pace you’re setting and I pretty sure I can do that!

  22. 2017 was my first BOM. It’s in a box. I’m in! Let’s finish in 2018! Thank you for the inspiration! See you Saturday, 2018! -Jean

  23. I have two to do, Women of Courage and Memories of Provence, so I’m in. I finally finished and gifted Vintage Memories and said it should have been a “block of the year” as it was 7 years from it was bought till it ended up as a quilt.

  24. WELL I wonder where my mind is – when I looked at that first photo – the medium brown looked like Graham crackers, and the dark brown looked like chocolate – and I thought you were making S’MORES !!!!

    lol, Kathleen

  25. What a great idea! I have 1 BOM started that I put aside because the alternating blocks didn’t come out the right size. I’ve been meaning to pull them apart and remake them (courthouse blocks). This should keep me motivated.

  26. This is a great idea! I am in! I, too, have purchased a couple of BOM and realized this is not my preferred method of sewing. I think this is just the incentive I need. Looking forward to it! Thanks Jo.

  27. Count me in too! I still need to make Bonnie’s Mystery Quilt from last year’s, day after Thanksgiving Quilt. I had it started but realized that I had made a mistake and needed to do some (a lot) of seam ripping. Then family drama and the death of my Granddaughter took president over all sewing. So it’s finally time to heal and get back to real sewing. BTW that quilt was the 1st B.H. Quilt I had joined so I really need to finish it . Thank you for the inspiration. I just need to finish the 3 quilts I’m currently fighting with. With me luck as I certainly do need it. Good luck everyone on your projects.

  28. Lynne Nicholson UK

    I’m thinking of making several quilts this year at least one will be a a sampler with 12 blocks (12″ blocks in a three by four arrangement.
    I’ve put off sewing quilts so long as my eyesight got really bad over the last decade. I was finally diagnosed with a sightloss condition 14 months ago and know there is a possibility of totally losing my sight so want to get on and enjoy the colours and patterns while I can.

    1. I think I might cut out a few quilts. I’ve heard of people who sew even though blind. If I had a couple cut out, if I did lose my sight, I could give it a try!! Losing sight would be tough. So sorry you have to deal with this.

  29. I don’t have any BOM, but I do have two years of Row by Row that I would like to complete. So maybe I can finish at least one row every month. I have several rows all ready completed. Things are not going so well medically for my parents and in-laws right now. So I am trying not to have any sewing projects that have a deadline. I will just sew when I can and enjoy the process.

  30. Oh Jo….that almost hurt to read this post. I, too, fell for those Civil War BOM. BUT I also went on to buy the Civil War Journals and the Civil War Chronicles! Yep, I have three of them. Two of them are partially done but will take me awhile to figure out where I am. But count me in….in some form. It may just be sorting through the pretty fabric to put into my stash…lol

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