I bet you forgot about the BQL

This time last year I started posting about a twelve-month challenge that I had participated in WAY back in the early 2000’s.

My intention had been to post one block each month thru the end of the year, but…..

So now, over a year later we will take up this tale!!!

The parameters of the challenge were this…..

Each month we were presented with a certain style of quilt and were challenged to make our own version. Oh did I forget to mention that these quilts were only 12-inches in size!!

It was a perfect challenge as it didn’t take forever to make but still gave me a chance to try new things.

So, the June offering was using twisted pleats……

Back in this time period, this particular style of quilting was very popular and I was excited to be “forced” to give it a try!!

I don’t remember much about how it was made, but I BELIEVE that we sewed the two sides of the pleat together first and then pieced them into the backing fabric.

Because of the size of the quilt, it was hard to get much “twist” to it, but I really do like this quilt and it is happily displayed during the summer months!!

Have you ever tried a pleated quilt?? If so, I would love to see photos!!!

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Thank you…….


Yesterday I fooled you and said that it was finished, but really, I needed to redo the binding so that the bottom-right corner looked better.

Don’t EVER do this unless you absolutely can’t stand it the way it is.

One of the hardest things that I have ever done was to rip that binding off…..

I knew that I was going to need to add a bit more binding so that I would have room to finish it off when it met up on the other side.

The problem was that I didn’t have much fabric left and this was the longest strip that I could make!!

Then….when I sat down to re-attach it…..THIS HAPPENED…..

Remember also, that this was the day that I was packing for our 3-week trip to Africa so there were LOTS of things on my To-Do list. I didn’t have time for this particular problem!!

Once I had worked around both corners, I folded and check the errant corner before I connected the binding…..

That is definitely an improvement.

When I rounded the corner to attach the two bindings together, I ended up with three connects really close together. I don’t particularly like it, but I can’t change it now.

SO….. after an evening of handwork, I can call this quilt officially finished!!!

Now I am taking photos (including a ruler to show that it is exactly 20-inches)…..

…..and filling out the registration form. And of course….paying my $30.

I hope that this quilt is accepted into the Cherrywood Challenge but regardless, I have had a BLAST working on it.

I guess that means that I can take down the “Monarch Challenge” sticker that has resided on my design wall since I came back from Houston with the fabrics!!

Thanks to all of you who have sewed along with me, offering encouragement and suggestions. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Does this mean that it needs to go into a “group” category????

Until next time…..

One of my favorite things about quilting is to motivate others and help them in their quilting journey. As part of this endeavor, I LOVE to present programs and workshops to groups and guilds around the world. All of my programs work well with Zoom meetings and I would love to speak to your group.

You can find out more at this link…..

EXACTLY 20-inch square

Yesterday I promised that I would finish the Monarch Challenge Quilt and, for the most part, I will…..

When I left you yesterday, everything was finished except for the binding.

But, before I could add binding, I needed to ensure that the quilt was going to be 20 inches square…..EXACTLY!!!

One of the big challenges of the Cherry Wood Challenge is that they have to be the EXACT size. You can understand that when you see the way that they are displayed…..

Now I had to figure out how I was going to finish the quilt…..if I used a facing, then the quilt would need to be cut at 20-1/2 inch because turning the facing will take away the 1/2 -inch.

However, IF I am going to bind the quilt, I need to trim it to 20-inches because once the binding is folded back over itself, it doesn’t take up any of the size.

Does that explanation make ANY sense???

Anyway….. I decided that a facing wouldn’t work well because of the bulk along the bottom where the leaves were. They would not have turned under well!!

So, after a lot of measuring, I carefully trimmed the quilt top, starting with squaring-up the bottom portion.

Then I measured up to the top-right corner and squared it further…..

Happily, it measured exactly 20-inches!!

I added the binding and set out to take photos so that I can enter it into the challenge.

What do you see when you look at this photo?

Does the bottom right corner stick out to you??

It certainly does to me and I feel sure that having such a bad (un-square) corner would immediately take me out of contention for acceptance.

So that means that there is ONE more thing to do before I can call this quilt finished…..

Come back on Tuesday and I PROMISE that it will be finished!!!

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Isn’t it finished yet??

For all of you who have toiled thru the Monarch challenge quilt process…..THANK YOU!!!

When I left you yesterday, I only had a small piece of fabric and needed to make as many flowers as possible out of it…..

I pulled out my wonder-under and started carefully fusing it to various shaped pieces of fabric…..

When I had crammed as many flowers and buds in as possible, I had 18 new flowers and almost as many buds…..

I carefully cut them out…..

……not wanting to lose ANY of the fabric!!

There wasn’t much left when I was thru…..

I decided that some of the smaller circle buds weren’t needed. Instead, I turned a lot of them into larger ovals!!

I fused them to the flower and started stitching them down. Now I had another supply problem as I was running out of thread…..

Will the problems EVER end??

I sewed down the new flowers and then added the double-sided ones……

I LOVED how it looked…..

OKAY….come back tomorrow and I PROMISE that the Monarch Challenge quilt will be finished!!!

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Monarch Continuation

On the weekend I posted about the quilting for the Monarch piece. You can check it out here…..

Now it was time to put the finishing touches so here we go……

The first step was to add the leaves and stems to the piece.

I decided to use all 5 of the leaves that I had made but thought it would look good if one of them ran off of the quilt…..

I pinned them in place…..

….and sewed down the middle of the leaf so that each one floated over the surface of the quilt…..

Next, I added the stem and stitched it in place…..

I had to do a bit more quilting on the background of the milkweed……

At this point, the flower looked okay…..

…..but it needed more flowers to fill it in further. I had already made some double-sided flowers that I was adding at the end, but I realized that I needed MORE!!

But there was a problem….

This was all of the white fabric that I had left…..

….and remember that I can’t use any other fabrics

……and there wasn’t time to order more!!!


Come back tomorrow…….

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