Over the last several years I've been having a love affair with (addiction to?) Block of the Month projects. The idea is so inviting - making one block a month. It's so doable, only one block! No matter how busy I get I can surely find time to make one block, right?
Wrong, because I can't say no to BOMs. One block turns into 10 or more blocks. I finally had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of all the BOMs I'm working on. So I thought I might take a few posts to explore why BOMs are so attractive and look at some of my BOM quilts past, present and future.
The attraction of BOMs is in the name - only a block a month. It provides the structure and organization that I seem to need. It provides a deadline of sorts. Some BOMs also offer a sense of mystery and excitement. The first one I did was an internet BOM and I just couldn't wait til the next installment to see what the block looked like.
My preference is to join BOM projects that just include the pattern. I will occasionally buy a kit but I really like to chose my own fabric. Many BOMs offered currently by on-line shops require the quilter to buy the whole kit including fabric and will sometimes offer a couple different color ways. I would probably be involved with a lot more BOM quilts if I could just get the pattern. Pattern plus fabric BOMs are a bit pricey, ranging from $25 to $50 a month. I haven't yet done a BOM project where you go to the shop and if you've finished last month's block you get the pattern for this month free. This format feels almost too restrictive. Oh No! I don't have my block done yet! Feeling judged!
I really like BOM projects where the participants meet and talk about their experience and share their blocks. Our guild (Kaw Valley Quilters' Guild) does it that way. The block is published in the monthly newsletter and then we show our blocks at show and tell. It is so cool to see how people interpret the blocks differently. During the last BOM (first half of 2014), designed by Barbara Brackman, the quilts were done in black and white, wools, and traditional civil war prints. This is Linda Frost's quilt done in lovely soft Japanese taupe fabrics.
Another plus about BOMs is that sometimes the leader of the group provides tips and techniques, lessons learned, and guidance for those of us making the blocks. We did that at our shop for Elizabeth Hartman's modern minis from her book Modern Patchwork.
So, the pros of joining BOM projects are the sense of community, guidance, structure, educational opportunities, motivation, and a sense of anticipation. The cons? Well, I can see very few cons unless like me you join so many that you can't keep up. One con might be cost and fabric choice if fabric is included.
BOMs can be found in so many places - your local guild, on-line quilt shops, local quilt shops, quilters' blogs and on-line groups.
Next time - a look at BOMs past.
Are you in love with BOMs? Feel free to comment below!