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The last Wednesday of every month I take my favourite class. For the last three years I have taught at Mill Rose Cottage in Ballan a group of ladies for a half day and we have made two block of the month quilts and now working on one of my most popular quilts, Prairie Rose.

The first quilt was one I designed called Country Dance. It was a modern take on my passion for Baltimore Album quilts.

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Over the course of a year eight of us made this quilt, some making identical quilts as the original whereas I made a very colourful second version using batiks which is shown above.

It was such a fun class and over the year, a few more ladies joined in the group until we were 12.

The next year I designed a second BOM quilt, Brimming Baskets. This was a bit more of a challenge. Most of the group decided to continue meeting up on the last Wednesday of the month with a few more additions.

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 This quilt didn’t come as a pack. The pattern was a guide to what fabric I suggested. However, some were very bold and decided to use their own colour schemes. Noelene chose to make her’s in blues and purples, Katrina in modern fabrics including a couple of Kaffe Fasset fabrics and Marg kept closer to the original.

Other members of the BOM Squad, as we became called, undertook to make Prairie Rose.

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Again, some kept to the original colour scheme of reds and greens, but others threw caution to the wind and did their own scheme. Lin did hers in reds and aquas, Janine did hers in pale violet, maroon and red but Sue and Rhonda kept closer to the original.

Its wonderful to see your design completely reinterpreted. I’ve seen a variation on Prairie Rose done in browns and yellows – a very brave and bold colour choice. When I was told about it, I couldn’t see how it would work. When I saw a photograph of it, it more than worked it was totally stunning.

Lin stunned us this morning by unwrapping her quilt and showed us her red and aqua version. Again not what colours I would choose to make it in but it was positively glorious. My photo didn’t come out (I moved the camera and its blurred, so I will have to get Lin to send me a photo) however you will be as thrilled as I am with the way it turned out.

I spent some time with Lin talking about how it might be quilted. It was all basted and ready for her to start and Lin actually began outlining the applique during the class.

Sue and Rhonda are getting close to constructing the quilt but I think that both of them are having it professionally quilted. Rhonda is completing the first border, Sue is finishing the last block.

Sue taking a quick break from stitching Prairie Rose

Sue taking a quick break from stitching Prairie Rose

Rhonda working on the border of Prairie Rose

Rhonda working on the border of Prairie Rose

Unfortunately Marg and Noelene weren’t able to make it to this class so I am not sure of their progress on Brimming Baskets. Robin is progressing wonderfully and is on block 7 of 9.

Robin caught unawares (I shouldn't be let loose with a camera I always take bad shots)

Robin caught unawares (I shouldn’t be let loose with a camera I always take bad shots)

BOM 2014 Rose -web BOM 2014 Mexican Rose - web

We are not rushing the construction of the quilts, sewing is just part of the reason we meet up. We always have several interesting conversations. Thankfully, at least this time they didn’t make me blush! Last time I nearly crawled under the table with embarrassment – I’m glad they consider me “one of the girls” but it all got a bit too graphic and juicy and beyond my understanding or even wishes to understand!

We have had many laughs and Sue is a wonderful raconteur. She has had me holding my sides laughing with tears streaming down my face. Her timing is impeccable. I’ve even unfortunately sprayed diet coke when she caught me unawares with a punch line! Fortunately not over any quilts or fabric!

I took along General Jac and I did manage to spend a little time doing some sewing but most of my time was spent with the group making suggestions and helping with more fabric selections.

It looks like we will be continuing with the classes next year too. We haven’t as yet decided whether we will do another group BOM quilt (which I will design) or if we will undertake one of the quilts I have made already. A discussion will be had next month and a consensus decided on at the following class in October.

As for my own progress, block two of General Jac is fully stitched and yesterday I celebrated by making some blocks in the precision piecing challenge. I needed a mini break.

I have made several of my more challenging blocks and so far I have met the challenge. They all ended up exactly 6 ½ inches square. However, one block my colour choice was disappointing in that it was too pale – there wasn’t enough contrast. I decided to repeat it, but the rejected one will be used on the back of the quilt.

 Precision Piecing challenge 1 - web

Today I brought dark cream fabric for the sashing and have decided to use a dark red as cornerstones. I think it will make for a very striking quilt.

 

Layout of precision piecing challenge with dark cream sashing and dark red cornerstones

Layout of precision piecing challenge with dark cream sashing and dark red cornerstones

I loved the red and white quilt show in New York in 2013 (or was it 2012?) at the Armoury. I would have loved to have seen it in the flesh but I have spent many an evening looking at the photos that people uploaded onto the web. The set up was so completely inspirational, those spirals of quilts going up into the roof were amazing. To think that one person had collected 650 red and white quilts and they were shown to the public just the once and for such a short period of time, I think the exhibition only lasted 9 days.

It did however leave such a lasting impression and not just with me. I have seen many people inspired by the exhibition and have made red and white quilts in the last year or so and they too have claimed to be inspired by the exhibition.

When we agreed last year to do the precision piecing challenge for me it was the perfect opportunity to do a red and white quilt (except it ended up being a red and cream quilt).

I’m really happy with the blocks I’ve made and the fact that I can now piece with confidence as a result of the challenge. I have two more blocks to finish both rather complicated and then I shall construct the quilt.

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