Why I am a Block of the Month


For several months now, I’ve been enrolled in two “block of the month” classes at Cool Cottons, just a few feet from my house as the crow flies. (And you won’t believe how many crows actually fly there, but that’s another post.)

One class is the Quilt as You Go Block of the Month, taught by quilter and teacher extraordinaire Joyln Buhl.


Handout from Jolyn Buhl's Quilt-as-you-go Block of the Month Class

Each month we get instructions and fabric to make a block. Many of the blocks are quite intricate.  Joyln loves her triangles! (And lucky for us, she teaches a totally cool way of constructing them…you need to take a class from her so you can learn it too!)

Once we finish a 9-inch-square block, we then add sashing from fabric of our own choice to increase its size to 15 inches.  We make a companion block called a setting block, from the same fabric as the sashing.

Then we machine quilt each block, then sew the quilted squares together in pairs, then join the pairs, and so on… the idea is that at the end of the year, we have a completed quilt of 24 squares (a square of a different pattern and its setting block for each month of the year).  Of course, this happens only if we keep up on our homework.  Because I fell so far behind before escaping from nerve pain hell, I’ve been sewing and quilting double time for the past few weekends.


The Maple Star square


Maple Star with sashing

And you just keep going and going.


After quilting both blocks, you add the setting block to the main block.

Then you sew two 2-block sets together like this:


Note how the setting blocks and main blocks are set opposite one another in all directions.

I’ve taken care to find fat quarters to use in the same color family for the backs of the blocks.


The back of a 4-block set.

book_flowerbedIf that weren’t enough, I also joined a Wool Applique Block of the Month club.  We’re working from one of Sue Spargo’s Folk Art Quilt patterns – Flowerbed

Each month, get luscious hand-dyed wool for one block, which we finish and embellish as we wish. You can see that my confidence is gaining:  my first few blocks were very basic, but now I’m adding embroidery and thinking more outside the box….I mean block.

So that’s how I’ve been spending lots of my weekend hours. There’s something so soothing about creating something with your hands when you spend your work hours making things with your mind. It’s my mediation and therapy all rolled into one.



One of the first blocks I did. That's why it's so simple and unembellished.


One of the last blocks I did. Note all the embroidery embellishment.


3 responses

  1. I am needing the Sue Spargo pattern for block of the month from earlier years with all flowers in wool. Is it something I can purchase from you? It’s not available on line from Sue anymore.

    • Do you know the name of the book you are looking for? I think she has several and they can all be block of the month projects. I only have the one called flowerbed. I just have the single copy. Have you googled it?

  2. I just noticed Amazon has a bunch of her books, you might want to check there!