Ugly + Ugly = Beautiful

There are times I question my sanity.

This is more serious than a simple “What was I thinking!?” It is more like – Really? I signed up to do that? What state of weakness was I in when I agreed to it?

The issue this time: I signed up for a 9 month Block of the Month (BOM) program to make a pattern I don’t particularly like, using (some) ugly fabrics, which I am hand piecing.

First, I don’t usually buy kits. I want my quilts to be different and have their own personality, not simply be a duplication of someone else’s ideas.  The difference this time? The pattern has 18 blocks, and we were told to make any 2 blocks each month. We will be sent 9 pieces of fabric each month for 9 months, but were advised to wait at least 2 months (October) so that we would have a good selection to start with. This guarantees that each quilt will be different.

I also don’t usually sign up for BOM programs. BOM programs are just way too slow for my liking. However, after a very busy and productive year, I decided it might be time to slow down a bit. Hand piecing should certainly do that! Besides, with winter right around the corner, taking a little basket of hand stitching to my guild days as compared to all the normal sewing paraphernalia sounded very inviting.

The pattern is called The Circle Game by Jen Kingwell. With sincere apologies to Jen, it is not a pattern I particularly like or would normally purchase based on the picture of her quilt. It was a chance meeting with a quilt store owner and a FaceBook post that captured my interest. It was dubbed as a challenging pattern, done entirely with templates, and she made the recommendation that at least some of the blocks be hand pieced. Having done none of the above, how could I resist the challenge?

If I made an apology to Jen for not liking her pattern, I must also  apologize to Kaffe Fassett and his multitude of followers. I find his fabrics to be some of the ugliest ever (lots of fish, flowers, circles) and have never been able to purchase any for that reason. But something magical happens when you cut it into small pieces. Take a look at this – a picture of my first 4 (the easiest) blocks. Circle Game 1

Now, if you have been following my Ruler Quilting series, you may be wondering about this interruption. It is not something I would normally do, but a trip to the hospital and some post-surgery recovery at home means I have not been sitting at my sewing machine for several weeks. I will get to back to Ruler Quilting as soon as possible.

In the meantime, in spite of everything I said above, I am loving this project. The fabrics arrived in the mail at a perfect time and the hand stitching was a perfect recovery type activity. As for slow? Maybe not so much. I am on block #6 now, and bought more Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink fabric today. I can’t possibly drag this out for another 7 months waiting for all my packages to arrive.

It is not too late if you are interested in joining me in The Circle Game. Contact Diane from Di-Versity Quilting in Pritchard BC at (250)577-3494. Diane would be more than happy to talk to you, and is wonderful at answering questions.

Happy stitching! I would love to know how many people out there are hand piecing. It really is quite therapeutic.

About Judy's Quilting Studio

Creator of all things quilted
This entry was posted in 2017, challenges, hand piecing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Ugly + Ugly = Beautiful

  1. Laurel says:

    Apology accepted, Judy. I can’t believe you don’t enjoy Kaffe Fasset. Saying that, the first time I saw a Fasset book, I too disliked the patterns and colour combinations. I thought it was all simply WAY too much. Then a year or so later, I couldn’t get enough.

    I LOVE your blocks!

  2. Sheila says:

    Judy , your blocks are gorgeous, so happy and you know what I am not a huge fan of Kaffe either but these blocks sure make them pretty . I have never hand pieced a quilt block but it since etching I know i would enjoy as I love handwork . Hope you recover quickly from your surgery .

  3. Jacqui Van Meppelen-Scheppink says:

    Oh help!! I just found your blog today via a friend, mainly because of the ruler work! We just took a class on rulers a month ago and have been reading up on more ideas and inspiration. So, I signed up to follow your blog and what is the first post I read? This one!! LOL Now I am very tempted to start a new project which is my BIG downfall. I am the queen of UFO’s. Unlike you, I fell in love with Kaffe colours back in the 1980’s, but when his fabric came out, I could never decide which fabrics to buy. Then I bought a bunch of half yards at a large clearance sale and found the key to Kaffe fabrics…you need LOTS of them. And, yes, cutting them into pieces is what makes them so enjoyable :-). I also LOVE hand piecing as inspired by Linda Franz about 14 years ago. I have hand pieced a set of blocks, but they have to be put together into a top yet. Looking forward to seeing what this project will look like when finished!! Hope you recover quickly, but hand piecing is perfect for that! Jacqui

    • Welcome! I had to laugh at your comments. It is so much fun to start new projects. This one – the circle game, is lots of fun. I bought 6 more FQ of Kaffe Fassett fabrics today. Will follow your suggestion on having lots! Let’s see where that takes us…

  4. Renate says:

    Hi Judy, Just finally found you after talking with Dianne at Di-Versity. I too am hand piecing the Circle Game and using all of those (what I would call WILD) fabrics of Kaffe Fassett. I have posted the first few blocks on my blog and am now working up to block 11. I discovered that I actually enjoy the hand piecing and have decided to complete the entire quilt by hand. Chalk that up to my bucket list. A broken ankle was the impetus for tackling this project.

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