Before the month closes…

I want to share the first block in a series for Bee, Myself and I

The idea behind BM&I is to do a bit of sewing just for ourselves each month.  And like so many other quilters out there I often find that hard to do, as I feel that it is selfish to spend the time, energy and funds on me.   Thanks to Granny Maud’s Girl and Kate Chiconi from Tall Tales at Chiconia, I have had the prompting to begin.  Thank you both!

I had a few false starts last month when I listened to the lady at the quilt shop on background choices for my Hat Boxes blocks.  She didn’t understand how Kaffe Facet works: bright colors, wild florals and prints.  In a word bold.   And of course I had forgotten to pick up my book on the way out the door.  I got home and tried to make them work, but they simply were not right.  They were pale, insipid, uninspired.

I had to wait for the next payday, and then went out yesterday to shop for new backgrounds.  I love the new fabrics, but again made a wrong choice for the box I had already cut out.  The banding on the box is too close in value and print.

Having worked so diligently on the Y seam involved on the background I was loath to disassemble the block

and just made a new one.  This is much better!

Color is washed out due to flash, sorry.

The block is done!

Last thoughts:   It was frustrating to have picked wrong fabrics initially, and to have again made the same mistake this month with assembly.  However, I have learned how to make a very good “Y” seam and now have another background all ready to go for another hat box in the future!  That said, after all that trouble to make a perfect “Y” seam it was rather disturbing to realize I would be cutting it off the back to reduce the thickness of the layers for quilting!

I just have to remind myself that it was all worth the effort, because now I have a new skill in my arsenal



30 thoughts on “Before the month closes…

    • Lynda says:

      Anita, the truth is I have avoided anything that involved a Y seam. I won’t have to now! Looking at those tumbling blocks with interest, although I may only make a cushion or baby quilt to see how I like working with massive quantities of them. 😉

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Hooray for enough practice leading to perfection!; ) So, (I’m assuming) you’re using these more complex blocks as a highlight rather than an each and every?
        LOVE the deeper contrasts: )

        • Lynda says:

          Deb, it is an each and every. Look up “Kaffe Fassett Hat Boxes Quilt” on Google. It’s pretty wild, and that is the whole idea with his quilts.

  1. katechiconi says:

    I feel exactly the same way about the Y seams. Such a waste of effort… So latterly, although I can execute them perfectly, I didn’t bother to go all the way into the corner and pivot. It saves a bit of time. I love your block, perfect colour combos, and it gives the cubbyhole a real sense of depth.
    Mine is coming out tomorrow because I had to do the F2F round up today.

    • Lynda says:

      Kate, I have observed how compacted the end of your month gets! You are working on so many projects at once, and yet you get them done to perfection no matter the type of sewing or stitching involved. Multi-talented, and far more organized than me to be sure!

      Thank you for your compliment on color combination. It really was a struggle for me to get here. My thought was that the unifier for all these prints was to be sure they perfectly matched the colors I found in my box print. That was harder to do in real time than it was when I thought of it before heading to the quilt shop. LOL, I think the clerk who helped me will turn and run the next time I show up.

      My new motto: Keep doing this until it becomes second nature!

      • katechiconi says:

        It’ll be second nature very quickly, I think. I like your idea of matching background to print, but as you say, it may present problems down the line of finding a good matching print that is a suitable scale – you don’t want the background competing with the feature print, but it does need to be a good match. Good hunting!

  2. Garden Correspondent says:

    This is so beautiful! I really enjoyed reading about it – I’ve never quilted but I love sewing (and haven’t started a new project in decades so this was quite inspiring!) And I totally get what you mean about sewing for yourself. I used to knit a lot and I think I made a grand total of one thing for myself!

    • Lynda says:

      Siobhan, aren’t we funny that way? I need new clothes and I even have the patterns, fabric and trims all lined up and ready to go. Yet I don’t make them, because I have blocks to stitch for worthy causes, things friends have asked me to make for them, and products to make and sell. Silly isn’t it?

      The weather is turning here and will be freezing soon enough. I will be pretty cold if I don’t get busy on at least a couple of those items. 😉

      Shall I be looking forward to a post from you that features what you have been inspired to create? ❤

  3. tialys says:

    A lovely hatbox. I felt the same about the Y seam as both you and Kate but, like you say, it’s another skill mastered so perhaps we should seek out a project where we can show it off.
    Will you be using the same background fabrics for all the blocks?

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Lynn! I agree about trying another project that uses them. I’m thinking about those tumbling blocks you see all the time, but no big project. I just want to test the waters so to speak. As for the backgrounds, I want to keep them different as was the idea in Kaffe’s Hat Box quilt. However, I find I am a bit too starched to allow myself to use just any color or print in the background. I have decided that color has to unify the whole in each block. It is a challenge finding just the right colors to match my HB fabrics, but when I finished this one I was happy with it.

      • tialys says:

        I used (almost) all different fabrics for my backgrounds too and I sort of had wallpaper in mind as something people would use to line shelves and cupboards. It is difficult to choose though and I’m not saying I’m 100% happy with all my choices. I had a wobbly moment when I saw Kate’s backgrounds as they are all very similar to each other, in tone at least, and I wondered whether I should have done that but I’d already finished mine anyway and it is up on the wall in the bedroom with husband’s approval so I must have done something right!.
        Just enjoy yourself with it and don’t stress too much – you can always ask your readers about a match if you’re not sure – I did, although I didn’t always follow the advice 😉

        • Lynda says:

          I wondered about asking my readers on color choice, but felt a bit shy to do so. Thanks for affirming that idea. 🙂 And, I know what you mean about Kate’s backgrounds and that wobbly moment… I was having that yesterday. I will continue with my plan and it will either work, or it will become my dog’s next winter blanket. 😉

  4. Joanne S says:

    I’ve never attempted a Y seam. (One more to add to the list). I think it looks perfectly lovely. Hate ripping out seams, but always am glad afterwards…

    • Lynda says:

      Joanne, once I got into it, well it wasn’t as hard as I had convinced myself it was. As for ripping seams, I will do it when there is no other way, but thankfully, there are many more blocks to do and I know this background will be useful down the line.

    • Lynda says:

      Lisa, I have a lot to learn about mixing and matching colors, but I am trying. For now I’m taking my color cues from the main hatbox fabrics. There is one fabric in which I will be bringing the color to it, and then I will be reversing the process to choose the background fabrics.

      I may not be able to draw or paint much (besides furniture and walls) but I can sew a little, and for now that is good. I have begun a journal for actual drawing/painting and such. It is my safe space to learn and enjoy the other art forms. I am not regular about doing it and have decided to make an effort to get in there at least once a week… more is always allowed of course. 🙂

      • Playamart - Zeebra Designs says:

        Long ago I spoke to garden clubs as ‘A Gardening Artist.’ In visiting with many gardeners, I discovred that most all of them loved to cook as well. Many drew or painted, but not all… I predict that if they tried, they’d probably do that well also. It’s that love of working with one’s hands.. it gives us comfort and grounds us.. What do you think?

        • Lynda says:

          “It’s that love of working with one’s hands.. it gives us comfort and grounds us.”

          I agree! I read an article over the weekend about quilting that said exactly what you’ve mentioned about creativity soothing the soul and calming the mind. Allowing myself to break free and be less critical of my efforts has been a giant step in my healing. No stopping now!

  5. Granny Maud's Girl says:

    Once you try a Y-seam, you wonder what all the fuss was about, right? Perhaps this is a good way to practise, but next time you can choose a project where your fabulous Y-seams are not cut away or hidden. Can you make something with the scraps of the background you cut off?
    I love the colours you have chosen for your hat boxes.

    • Lynda says:

      Hello Carla!
      Oh, and I was thinking it was beginners luck! 😉 I am looking forward to a small project with tumbling blocks. I haven’t any ideas for the scraps as of yet, but I am definitely holding on to them.
      Thank you!

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