Unproductively productive

Did you ever have one of those days where you work and work and work, and when you’re finished you have nothing to show for it?

That was sewing yesterday. Jeanne of Grey Cat Quilts came over and we worked on a couple of samplers. When we stopped for lunch Jeanne discovered that her block – the third or fourth attempt of the same block – was once again too big. She eventually figured out the problem – a 5 grid block that needed to finish at 12″ caused for some wonky rounding in the EQ measurements – but it was too late. That block is forever destroyed for her, and now she’s looking for a replacement block. Since it’s for her Botanical BOM quilt, that means she had to find another block with a plant name, which is more challenging than you’d think.

Did I tell you about the Botanicals BOM? The group that gets together at my house, alternately called Friends and Family Sewing Day or Stitch & Bitch, has done a couple of block of the month quilts. We’ve been getting together every month for more than four years and this is our third BOM. (We skipped last year, when I was going to write up a mystery quilt but kept messing up the instructions.) The BOMs are themed (stars the first year, then baskets, and this year plants), and I choose blocks from EQ or design a couple of my own, then write up instructions for everyone each month. The Basket BOM is available for free download on my Patterns page, if you’re interested. I didn’t put the Stars BOM out here because a couple of the blocks are designs I saw elsewhere, that may have copyright issues. The Botanicals BOM is safe as far as copyright – if you’re interested, I could start posting them here, too. I’ve written through block 8 so if I started posting them every two weeks you’d catch up about the time we got to the end. It’s twelve blocks plus a couple of extra/alternate for those who chose layouts that required more blocks, or who wanted to skip a particularly challenging block. Let me know if you’re interested in the Botanicals BOM – if I get a decent response, I’ll put them up. Here are a couple of EQ illustrations of the quilts:

Botanicals BOM Sandi
My colors and layout
Botanicals BOM Sharon
My aunt Karen and cousin Sharon’s layout, in Sharon’s colors
Botanicals BOM Sue
Sue’s layout – great for a newer quilter because it has background fabric sewn around the blocks, then trimmed to make them tilt.
Botanicals BOM Mom
Mom’s layout in one colorway. She’s making two quilts, because she’s an overachiever and she couldn’t decide which colorway she liked best.
Botanicals BOM Jean
My aunt Jean’s layout and colorway. We were surprised how much we liked the black background in the blocks.

Whoa – got a bit off track there! While Jeanne was fighting with her block, I was wasting time. I do that. I was checking things online, talking about really cool upcoming stuff that you’ll see here in the next couple of weeks (ooh, foreshadowing!), and ranting about politics. This blog is a politics free zone, so no details. I also packed away a few WIPs to make room so I could – finally – work on the Test Your Skills Sampler. I’m a bit behind on the blocks, so I made the Capital T. I finally settled in to sewing, and it was a little too quiet there for a while. Except for Buttercup’s snoring. I had just sewn the flying geese units into pairs when I realized I’d done it wrong – they were supposed to have different color “sky” fabrics on each side, and I’d made them the same. Rather than take them apart and switch the pieces around, I made eight new flying geese. When Jeanne had to leave I’d just finished sewing the last pair of geese together.

And then I took a break.

I know! All I had to do was sew the nine sections together – basically a nine patch – and it would have been finished! That’s my problem – I lose steam and go off to find something else shiny to play with.

I did finish it last night before going to bed, but really – a sewing DAY, and I finished a single block?!

TYSS Capital T Block

Ah, well. At least it’s progress.



  1. I really like all the colours for the botonical BOM, especially your Mom’s with the black. These blocks look challenging and fun.

  2. I think your bocks look really different and I love all the different layouts. I have one BOM almost done so I could add another.

  3. More progress than I’ve made in most days lately! I’m hoping this week will be better!

    It was interesting seeing all the different layouts an colours of the quilts.

  4. Have you given any more thought to posting the Botanical BOM patterns on your blog? It would be fun to make them…

    • Yes, I will post the Botanicals BOM blocks on the blog. I stalled for several months in producing new blocks, so this might be a good way to re-enter the blogging habit. Thanks for asking, Pat! Sandi Piecemeal Quilts


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