a finish! fig tree mystery block of the month 2015

I have a finished quilt to share with you today! You might have already seen some of these photos if you follow me on Instagram. But I had even more pictures that I wanted to share with you here, along with some of the details. But first... let's roll the slideshow!

This is the 2015 mystery block-of-the-month sampler from Fig Tree & Co. I sure learned a lot while making it. There were some diamond shapes, tiny pieces, bias edges and even applique. I substituted a few classic Fig Tree pieced blocks in the place of some appliqued blocks, but I tried to keep the same overall feel of Joanna's design. I stalled on the appliqued clamshells until the very end, and then I finally learned the procedure (and I'm so glad that I did!). I even substituted a few fabrics - I like to squeeze in some of my favorite Strawberry Fields prints wherever I can! I used the cherry print from Fig Tree's Farmhouse collection on the back. It was expertly quilted by Diana Johnson in the exact same way that she quilted Joanna Figueroa's quilt, and each block tells it's own story. I've been having lots of fun examining every block!

I've fallen behind on the mystery quilt for 2016, and I might never catch up. That's ok... I give myself approval to work at my own pace. There are four new Fig Tree blocks-of-the-month coming up in 2017. Signups started last week, and a few of them are sold out already. You can check here to see which BOM programs still have openings (I've signed up for the red & cream and Nantucket quilts).

Can I share how I took these photos? I dragged the quilt outside right after the landscaping crew left (don't worry, I hadn't washed the quilt yet), and there had been a rainstorm that morning. So the ground was covered with grass clippings and it was squishy with mud. As I snapped my camera I realized that there were teeny tiny mosquitos ALL OVER ME. You know, the kind that are so silent that you don't even know they're there? Oh yeah. Now the quilt has been washed and is draped on my bed, and I'm COVERED with mosquito bites. All this for the art of the quilt, my friends! 

mystery sampler 2016

Hello! I hope that you all had a great weekend. I cannot believe the beautiful weather here in Southern Indiana. After a week of rain, all the magnolia trees are in bloom and daffodils are popping up everywhere. All my little birdfeeder friends are starting to find other sources of food, but I know that the hummingbirds are flying back from Mexico and will be here soon. (Hopefully they'll bring some enchiladas for me, because I'm not happy with our local Mexican restaurants. But that's a whole other story. Let's now return to quilting...)

I have a little confession.

I'm a block-of-the-month addict.

I just can't help myself! I'm currently working on FIVE of them: Fig Tree Wool, Fig Tree Yuletide Christmas (from last year!), Fig Tree Crossroads (new blocks are coming this Tuesday), Lakehouse Two by Two (help, I'm falling behind), and now, Fig Tree Mystery Sampler 2016.

I might need an intervention soon. Somebody please stop me from signing up for any more BOMs.

These pics are all from the Fig Tree Mystery BOM. Isn't that star cool? It's from a pattern called Sweet Sugar Swirls. No templates or Y seams, just some creative cutting with the angle lines on your ruler. I'd really like to make a whole quilt full of them, but you know... I've got other blocks that need to be sewn! The individual Sweet Sugar Swirls pattern is available here.

February's fabric/pattern pack had instructions for a lower case "a" but I quickly realized that if I reversed the pattern I'd have a lower case "g" block! I flipped the pattern over, placed it on my lightbox and traced it from the back. It could also easily become other letters, too.

Last year's Mystery Sampler BOM was one of my all time favorite quilt tops. I loved making it, loved the completed top, and I'm sure that I'll love the finished quilt when it comes back from being quilted by Diana. So, lots of love for that quilt. And that's why I didn't hesitate to sign up for this year's Mystery Sampler!

But here's what isn't a mystery: the new block for the Fig Tree Crossroads sew along is coming on Tuesday. The blocks use Strawberry Fields Revisited fabric, and we're all sewing along to raise funds for March of Dimes. You can join us! Click this link for details. I'll be back in just a few days with those blocks.

Have a great week!


fig tree mystery sampler - two more months done!

Hi everybody! Ok, this past week saw a return to some serious sewing! 

I've been completely obsessed with getting caught up on the Fig Tree vintage mystery BOM quilt. I've also been making the blocks in the right order, even though I wanted to jump around. While working on these two Cross & Crown blocks, I thought it might be fun to have the tape measure print pieces lined up. (I'm taking liberty with my use of the word "fun" here. Maybe I should have said that it was like a self-imposed dare.)  I cut each piece as I sewed rather than all at one time, so the 6" block took a few hours. It wasn't as difficult as I expected, and I loved the result. So why not do it again with two Noon & Light blocks?

And here's the second of four pineapple blocks that will go into this quilt. I know that this block looks tricky, but the Pineapple & Figs pattern is so easy. It's made of ivory solid strips, with print squares sewn diagonally onto the corners flipped open. You don't need any special rulers or templates. If you've ever wanted to do a pineapple quilt I would highly recommend this pattern.

Now on to the pastels, with a 6" Lady of the Lake block. Oh how I love this aqua solid paired with a sweet pea print from Fig Tree's Mirabelle collection. I pressed the seams open on the 1 1/2" HSTS to keep them flat, but I pressed the seam on the large HST to one side.

And a springy rosebud block, too.

Finally, a spool quartet block with a text background.

Now I have just one more month to piece and I'll be caught up! But there are a few appliqued blocks this month, so I need to put on some calm music while I work on them, because turned applique edges are not my strength. (I've gone kookoo over Sam Smith's entire album right now. I think I've played it a billion times. Possibly more. You know, the "Stay With Me" guy?)

I was super excited to see that Joanna just showed a preview of her upcoming Fig Tree collection for fall. It's called Farmhouse and it includes black prints, text and cherries! You can see the fabric and the upcoming patterns on her blog here. I already know that I'll need a bolt of the cherry print to use for backings, maybe even on this mystery quilt!

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I'll be back this Wednesday with April's Snapshots sew along block... a cute puppy. I'll have the link to the pattern and the tutorial video, so be sure to stop by!

fig tree mystery quilt - month 2

Hi everybody! I'm just back from a week of travel and now I can get BACK TO SEWING. More about the trip in a few minutes.

As soon as I got back I cut up fabric for month 2 of the Fig Tree mystery sampler quilt. The two weathervane blocks in the third photo went together really quickly. The single plum colored pineapple block was fun to make - Joanna Figueroa's pattern for this block uses the stitch and flip corner construction so you don't need to cut any weird shapes or use any awkward rulers. I made a quilt with this pattern a few years ago and it was simple to put together.  

The three nosegay blocks at the top are my favorites. I've been wanting to make these blocks for years but I was scared of the pattern. Joanna originally called it Coney Island. I love that name because I visit the Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn every summer. I don't do the rides, but I like to walk on the boardwalk and visit the aquarium. It's a little seedy and very old timey New York. Let's go on a little visit to Coney Island now, ok?

That was a fun diversion, right? But back to the quilting. The nosegay/Coney Island blocks actually aren't that difficult to construct as long as you pay attention. I had to do a few steps over with new fabric because my seam ripper really messed up some of the bias-cut pieces. But I absolutely love the finished blocks. I'd really like to do a whole quilt full of them.

Last week I traveled to Houston on business. I was a guest speaker at a military convention. I taught ten classrooms of managers about my company's current fragrance and cosmetic promotions. This involved a day of classroom setup, then 10 solid hours of talking, talking, talking, and finally the classroom teardown. Chocolate and tea helped. Exhausting but rewarding. As a treat, I flew to Santa Fe for a few days to recover. Of course it rained the entire time I was there, but that didn't stop me from eating amazing food like the pumpkin waffles with vanilla cinnamon cream at Inn at Loretto. I got to listen to my favorite cabaret performer, Doug Montgomery. And I visited some of my favorite museums, where I found a painting by American Indian artist Fritz Scholder done in Fig Tree colors.  It really doesn't get much better than that.

I've even started a new quilt using the blogger bundle that I put together for Fat Quarter Shop! It's cute and happy, and I'll tell you all about it next time!