In 2000, I was pregnant and on flat on my back bed rest for six full months. During that time I purchased through the mail this...
I would flip through that calendar day after day looking at each block and dreaming of one day making all of them. I thought that once I was off of bed rest I could think about doing it. HA! Having a first baby with colic, there was not much sewing going on. Fast forward 11 years. My son was now becoming much more independent and I was feeling a little (a lot) lost. I knew I needed something to help me get over this not feeling needed feeling. I have friends around me who enjoy quilting, knitting, cross stitching almost as much as I do, but I thought maybe there would be others who would enjoy watching this project develop too. After going back and forth on whether I could accomplish it or not my husband finally asked, "What are you going to lose if you don't do it? Will anyone really notice if you quit in April, I doubt it, but you might really feel great if you get to December and finish it." Okay, so he kind of ticked me off with the who is going to notice comment, but he got me wondering if I could do it or not. So I started January 1 with this....
Now I made up my rules, I wanted it posted each evening before midnight (which did not always happen), I wanted to make a block each day, and I wanted them to be made out of the same fabric line so that I could use any block and it would coordinate with any other block at the end of the year. That being said, three fat quarter packs will not make every block in this calendar, and I maybe should have chosen a line that was not discontinued before I ever even started. By about the end of February I knew I was in trouble with the fabric. I started looking and ordering Toy Box II fabric by Sara Morgan from any online shop I could find. Thank goodness I had the foresight to purchase a whole bolt of one fabric from a shop I visited early in March. I cannot even tell you how many times I would order any amount I could find, and I wish I had ordered more. But that is something else I have learned during this whole process...planning ahead, even a little, is a good thing.
Now, I had tried sorting the blocks by size many times on paper, and I had tried to figure out how much fabric I would need, but with no fabric requirements listed at all, it was going to be interesting to see if I could make it. I have used more than one bolt of background fabric and even that is getting hard to find.
Something else I never planned on was my husband being diagnosed in April with a very rapidly growing malignant melanoma and within days of being diagnosed he was in surgery having half of his ear removed. That was a day I really wondered if I should continue...that is until he told me I had better get home and get my block made. Did I cry while I made it, you bet I did...was it the best block I ever made, no, but it helped me get through a night that was painful and horrible and for a short time I had to think about something else. There have also been days when we have come home from oncology appointments and I've run for the sewing room to make my block. I guess just making something with my hands that had some beauty rather than the ugly of cancer was healing. It also gave me a place to go to cry and pray.
A year has passed and there are now 366 quilt blocks in my pile. I'm so excited about it I could jump up and down and dance with delight. For once in my life I finished a project I started and it required a lot of discipline to do it. I have a list of projects that I want to work on that is a mile long, and I have these blocks here that all need to be made into quilts. I am half tempted to just start putting them together and get a finished quilt, but it took me this long to get them all pieced, and I want to enjoy making something beautiful with them (even the ones that are not my favorites). I have not decided yet what my project for this next year is going to be, but I still have a few hours before I actually have to do that.
Thank you so much for all of your page views, comments, and emails this past year, you gave me more encouragement than you will ever know! This is number 366 of 366 and it is an 8-inch block. Happy New Year and Happy Stitching!! --Kristen