I have not posted in quite some time – for me. When I started this blog my goal was to post everyday. That was a big commitment and I did not realize how huge. I did accomplish that, almost. Some days I posted early in the morning from the day before and in the evening that day, so 2 one day and none the day before. Now that I have posted nearly 60 times I am ready to modify that goal – at least for this month.
At work I have 2 busy months: March and October. March is the Othello Sandhill Crane Festival – the largest tourist event and a crazy busy time for me. October is the annual auction at work, when you are in charge it takes your time. I need to modify my blogging goals for those two months and then be a little more realistic the other months with the commitments that I have: family, work, volunteering, church and more.
I have given myself permission to post 2 or 3 times a week for the month of March. That will still require a HUGE commitment for me, but I still am dedicated to this blog, and my creative self.
After a crazy week of volunteer meetings, traveling to Olympia to speak with my state legislators, work commitments, trying to quilt in the middle of it all and spending time with my family I needed a project that was low-key and not stressful.
I follow a blog by a paper piecing designer: Quilt Art Designs. Her name is Janeen and she lives in South Africa. I have been following her blog for some time and download her BOM each month for almost a year, but never actually made anything. I decided it was time to try the January BOM for this year. Her theme this year is birds and the January block is Vireos in a nest. I just had no idea how intense it would be!
Here is the fabric selection I made:
Most of her patterns have 2 color ways. I chose the do the correct bird coloring for this one. The block measures at 16″ square.
I started by cutting up all the pattern pieces and alphabetized them into piles.
When I cut them and discovered that the pieces are labeled A to Z and then AA to AG it should have been my first indicator that this was NOT A SIMPLE project! It is labeled as an intermediate project and the 16″ size made me think that is would not be too complex for me. It was not too complex but I was not ready to commit the time that it needed.
Each of the pattern pieces have anywhere from 2 (only a few) to 14 pieces. Most had in the 4-8 pieces range. When there are 33 sections that each have that many pieces to them – I needed to dedicate a week or more, not the weekend I was planning. Next time I will know to be ready for the dedication and commitment – the designs are AMAZING! Why did it take me so long to try one?
Here is the link to her complete Craftsy shop: Quilt Art Designs. With the BOM designs during the month they are featured they are free, then following months have a price tag. New designs are added all the time and she currently has just under 500 designs to choose from! There are many that are tempting and taunting me to buy them! I need to work a few more before I make that commitment. Check out the landscape series and Noah’s ark – my tempting ones!
I started working section A, B and C – working each. Then I would add another section or 2 when the last one was complete. Once I could join a section I would and just started working like a turtle, slow and steady. Eventually I was at this point on the first day and was ready to sleep!
After a much-needed sleep I started in again the next day and just wanted to keep going as far as I could. Another piece added and the top half was complete!
I started working a few more sections at a time – usually 4-6 and was making progress. I would add the finished section to the overall pattern to help me keep everything straight. Those on the bottom were the ones I was working on simultaneously.
It is best to make sure to trim each piece precisely. I would join each piece as I could and see the progress at each step. My cat, Tiger, sometimes was my assistant – at least with photo taking. 🙂
I started running out of steam. I need to see accomplishment, even if just a little bit along the way. Some of the sections that so many pieces that they bogged me down. I may start with sections that have more than 12 pieces to them when I am fresh and ready next time. Then it may seem faster? Section P was really a problem for me. It had so many pieces and I kept making mistakes – UGH!
I finally made it to here – that took a few more days.
I had to keep giving me a pep talk that I wanted to be a turtle and not a rabbit – slow and steady wins the race! I wanted to make it perfect but at some point finished was more important for me. Just get it done – close to prefect (don’t look to close!)
I finally was here and was making good progress!
This last little slice took a few more days.
I ran out of one of the fabrics and transferred another one that was close – see the thistle stems on the far right? I found the fabric requirements to be a little short but it worked just fine.
After using startch on the block but not squaring it up (it is a little wonky), I was finally finished! It took over a week.
Here are a few close up photos (just don’t look to close):I LOVE that tail! It really makes the bird!So cute together, really intimate.
The nest is adorable!
It took a LONG time to remove all the paper from the back – here is the pile:
And all of the scraps I cut off during the trimming process:
I LOVE the finished product! You would think that I would not want to face another paper pieced project yet I printed out the next Dreamcatcher BOM (see past posts here and here) at work yesterday. What am I thinking?