Sunday, 13 April 2014

March or is it April?

Okay this should have been posted in March, but I've been just too busy with work to post so here goes - March has seen PROGRESS and a NEW START!

Beyond the Cherry Trees 
I've finished another block - the 19th - two blocks in two months - I am on a roll!!

I've lost count of how many blocks I have completed, I think this might be block 20?

Benjamin Biggs Quilt
Now I have to ask myself, do I really, really, need another project?? Should I really, really finish a project first???!! I am blaming a certain somebody who lives in Texas for putting me in this quandary - as if I should really, really be asking myself these questions in the first place, especially when I already know the answers to them! 

Answer - YES and nooooo!

So herewith the Benjamin Biggs Quilt - a free BoM available from Gay at Sentimental Stitches and Brenda at Dear Jane. This month's block is available now to download from Gay's site and then the May block will be available from Brenda's site - the patterns are being published on the 1st of each month.

The Benjamin Biggs Quilt - Lafayette, Indiana
The blocks are being published in block order which helps with the planning, but then that means you need enough of the fabric you will be using for the applique, from the beginning of the project i.e. it will be harder to blend in new fabrics if you suddenly add them in the last row. Hmmm... and I rather enjoyed how Gay did the Beyond the Cherry Trees Quilt patterns because we never knew until they were published which block you would get next.

Now, in true Fiona fashion, I am not going to follow the traditional red and green of this quilt - I have instead decided on blues and yellow-browns. Originally it was going to be pinks and greens from my stash, but then on a visit to Puddleducks to buy some background fabric I-spyed some lovely Jo Morton blues and browns on the shelf and that was it! I have added to the pile from my stash and will continue to do so as the project progresses, but I am very pleased with the current selection, but amazed how not all blues go together, but maybe they will blend better once in their blocks.

Fabrics for the Benjamin Biggs Quilt
I have selected a Makower Essentials fabric as the background - it is in an ecru colour to give the whole some warmth and since it is one of their basic fabrics, I can buy a metre at a time without worrying that it won't be on the shelf the next time I go into the shop.

Each of the original blocks is a finished 16" square and whilst that's a usual size for me (e.g. Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt blocks), I had to ask myself do I want another quilt that measures 100" square? So I have decided instead to make my blocks 14" finished, making a quilt that will be 90" square. As you know, I like to stitch on my rail commute to work and the other week there was a happy happenstance because the width of the tables on the train are... 17" - so ideal for prepping the blocks!

Prepping on the train

and here's the first block completed... It's block 2 for February, but I wanted to start with a simple block just to see how the colours work and then progress from there.

February 2014 block
I have decided to alternate the blocks between blue leaves and stems in one block and brown leaves and stems in another - well, that's the plan!

So what has happened to Phebe with the new start? Well, there has been a little and I mean a little bit of stitching. I have to admit I am struggling for the motivation, I suppose it has something to do with having done the centre block before. If I could only get over this hiatus...

Thanks for stopping by...


  1. Hello Fiona. Your Benjamin Biggs color palette is lovely. I think I may have a piece or two from that line in my stash. Your appliqué is just beautiful as always. I did the urn and the people on my Phebe center and have taken a long break from it, too. I missed Shipshewana this time. Hope I will see you in the fall.

  2. Another lovely Cherry Tree block - the soft tones are so delicate.