I caved--2015 Block of the Month with Jinny Beyer

Online Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist Class

I haven't done a block of the month (BOM) in years. The last time I tried to do one, it proved to be a lesson in frustration--I kept running out of the month's allotment of fabrics before getting all the pieces for the block cut. In six months, I think I ended up with three completed blocks. I ended up cancelling the rest of my order and tossing what I'd already received--and never signing up for a mail-order BOM again.

Fast forward to 2015 and the free 2015 Craftsy Block of the Month with Jinny Beyer. Craftsy has done a free BOM class every year for the last few years but none of them have grabbed me, and I had too much other stuff I wanted to get done.

This year, however, it's Jinny Beyer. I've been a Jinny Beyer fan since before I even started quilting. Back when I was still a muggle just thumbing through my Mom's quilting magazines at her house, I was able to pick out a Jinny Beyer quilt in a nanosecond. I always loved her use of color. However, I've never done one of her quilts. I started eyeing the 2015 Craftsy Block of the Month with Jinny Beyer with a "hmmm" in my mind.

  Jinny Beyer BOM kit with coffee at the ready

Jinny Beyer BOM kit with coffee at the ready

And then a bunch of the #Twilters started talking about doing it. And I caved. Things are always more fun when you do them with friends.

I'm impartial about the design of the finished quilt. I like basket quilts well enough, but they're nothing I've ever really felt moved to do myself. And, interestingly enough, given that it's Jinny Beyer, I'm also a bit impartial to the colors and fabrics--it's a bit too dark for me, although the blues and purples are beautiful. But I have a few blank spots in my quilt skills toolbox that I really should address, and this BOM will help me address them. Also, I began to find something very appealing about the idea of maybe, just maybe, doing this BOM entirely by hand. After all, Jinny Beyer is a hand-piecer, and she shows her hand-piecing technique in the class. Maybe it's something I should try out.

On the other hand, I do want to get this thing done. So maybe not.

  Fabrics sorted and labeled

Fabrics sorted and labeled

I waffled a bit about fabrics. Yes, I could have--and, arguably, should have--just gone into my stash and built my own fabric collection for the project. But, read the above paragraph. I do want to get this thing done. And with everything else I've got going on, I don't want to have to be thinking too hard about this one--or, rather, I want to be able just concentrate on whatever technique is being taught by that month's blocks and not sweating about whether or not my substituted fabrics are really working. So I bought the fabric kit. When I did the math, it's a pretty good deal per yard. I like it well enough, and I for-sure know that once it's done I'm sure someone I know will absolutely fall in love with it so it'll find a good home. I might also find I like the finished product more than I do the picture. I'm game, anyway.

This morning, as I did my sorting and organizing, I was tweeting back and forth with #Twilter friend Gretchen (aka @mafiretones) who also bought the kit and was doing her organizing at the same time as me. Although Craftsy includes a print-out of the fabrics in the kit, we both found ourselves having to consult Jinny Beyer's website to pull up images of each fabric (the print-out includes item #s) to be sure. Some of the fabrics are pretty close to one another and in the print-out it's hard to see the difference. So, there's a helpful tip for any of y'all who also buy the kit.

Gretchen has set up a Flickr group so we can all share our photos of fabric choices (even if you're using the kit!) and monthly progress. We should, of course, also post our project photos in Craftsy. It's just still hard to find people you know on Craftsy--how many times have I submitted a feature request to be able to search for other users?--so we thought the Flickr group would make it a little easier to have a sense of community.

  Organized for the year. All my Craftsy quilting class print-outs go in the binder.

Organized for the year. All my Craftsy quilting class print-outs go in the binder.

So feel free to join us! Sign up for the (free) Craftsy class 2015 Craftsy Block of the Month with Jinny Beyer, join the Flickr group, join the conversation on Twitter (#JBBOM).

I'll be working on my January block this weekend. Stay tuned to find out if I do end up doing the block by hand or machine.

(Craftsy links in this post help support this podcast and blog. Thank you!)