|The Circa 1880 Nine Patch Quilt by Pam Buda ~ Photo by Aaron Leimkuehler|
Did you gasp?
Making the 500 + blocks needed for the quilt is very doable in one year's time. (Nobody said you have to make it in a year. I promise there are no Nine Patch police around!) I have worked out all the kinks and have making these blocks down to a science - I promise! All my hints and tips will be shared when you're at club meetings at your local participating quilt shop and through a private Facebook group.
Still thinking it's not possible? If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I keep myself pretty busy. I was on a mission to make this quilt and I had to find time if I was going to get it done. So, I made a commitment to spend one hour each morning, 5 days a week to making the blocks. Sometimes I did less. Sometimes I was able to spend an entire Sunday. It all worked out. At first, I wasted a lot of time and knew I had to work smarter, not harder, and over a few weeks, developed a system that enabled me to make a dozen blocks in about an hour.....and YOU can too!!
This quilt is an heirloom for sure....I call it my Hour A Day Heirloom. It's done...I really made it. It's not a UFO! All from one hour a day!
To gain a larger variety of scrap happiness in my blocks, I asked six friends to trade blocks with me. We all agreed to a set of trading rules and stuck to them. We didn't make strict timelines to trade because we're all busy, so we traded whenever we had about 25 blocks made. That helped to be able to work at your own pace. A big reason my Circa 1880 Nine Patch quilt is so wonderful is because of them. So, it's time you know who they are!
My local (in Illinois) friends are Debbie McClarence, who is my co-worker and right hand.
Karen Schultz of Elgin - a dear friend and founding Prairie Women's Sewing Circle member who I have known for many years and adore.
Becky Carpenter of Montgomery - another dear friend and founding Prairie Women's Sewing Circle member - friend to Karen as well...and super talented quilter and antique lover like me!
My out of town trading friends are:
Janet Olsen of Logan, UT ~ super talented quilt maker and maker of extraordinary pies! Janet writes a wonderful blog called Rogue Quilter. She inspired me with her beautiful work and makes a lot of small quilts I love.
Wendy Reed of Bath, ME - I met Wendy several years ago when I taught at the Maine Quilt Show. I knew immediately we were kindred spirits. Wendy knows so much about nineteenth century fabric and makes the most amazing repro quilts. She also has a blog...The Constant Quilter which you should check out. Wendy is hosting a monthly sew-along to sew all twelve projects in my Vintage Patchwork book! How fun is that? Click the link for her blog to read more.
And....last but certainly not least is Cyndi Black, owner of The Busy Thimble quilt shop in Litchfield, ME. I met Cyndi at the same time I met Wendy. I was very lucky to visit The Busy Thimble shop on that trip and immediately fell in love with the shop and Cyndi. Like Wendy, Cyndi makes amazing repro quilts. She also writes The Busy Thimble blog which I'm sure you'll enjoy.
|Fussy Cut blocks using Circa 1880 Fussy Cut template. Photo by Aaron Leimkuehler|
I L*O*V*E fussy cutting fabrics for lots of the quilts I make. So much so, I have designed a new set of fussy cutting templates that make it so easy peasy to cut just about any size motif you like. The new templates are also making their debut at market and I will be anxious to share them with you when I get back. So...stay tuned for more fussy cutting news!
The quilt is set using Marcus Fabrics Aged Muslin which was absolutely perfect in recreating the look of the antique quilt. It is a very special fabric - not your ordinary muslin in that each and every yard is hand dyed. No two yards are the same which gives it the perfect aged patina. It also shows the quilting stitches beautifully.
Speaking of the beautiful quilting....my quilt was quilted by oh-so-talented Valerie Langue who owns The Quilt Merchant in Winfield, IL. Val...you truly outdid yourself!!
I also designed 26 new fabrics for the club and a new backing fabric designed especially for the Circa 1880 Nine Patch quilt! I'll tell you lots more about them soon.
In the meantime, I'd better get back to packing for fall market. I have a lot to share while I'm there. In the meantime, give your sewing machine some love today! It misses you!