Did you know that July is International Quilt Block Month?
Actually, it isn’t. But it should be, dontcha think? Internet- make it happen!
Seriously though, let’s talk about quilt blocks.
We collect them, we swap them, we join clubs and classes to make them. We tape them to our walls, stack them on our shelves, post pictures of them online, and yes, stitch them into quilts. Blocks are a quilter’s trading cards. They’re our Friday night fix, our one-at-a-time victories, our miniature masterpieces.
Whether we’re pooling them to make a community quilt, or just whipping up a pop-of-color pillow for the couch, blocks have been, and continue to be a quilting staple, and one that I can’t get enough of. From video classes to BOM clubs to books, blocks are a BIG part of my love for quilting.
But WHY? I mean, what’s the big deal?
How is it that fabric trends come and go like summer storms, piecing styles are ever evolving, but somehow the square by square tradition of my mother’s mother’s mother remains virtually unchanged, decade after decade, century after century? Exactly what is it about this old-as-the-hills approach to quilt-making that brings so many of us, from all tastes and styles, back again and again?
I did some soul searching to try and answer this question in my new book and I hope it resonates with you as it does with me:
“…They’re just plain approachable, and for some of us, the idea of building a quilt, block by block, just feels, well…good. I love making lists, hanging my clothes by color, and cleaning my house room by room, so it’s no wonder I love block-based quilts. In my order-craving mind, they just make sense. I might not have time to clean my whole house, but I can clean one room and enjoy it– my oasis of order in a sea of chaos. For me, stitching up a single block is a wonderful little triumph. I may have a zillion more to make, and it might be the only sewing I get in that day or week, but in that moment, one block is enough.”
This sentiment is really the fuel behind both The Sugar Block Club, and The Quilt Block Cookbook. And it’s a simple concept, really- patchwork in small square doses = approachable little triumphs that feed the quilt-lover’s soul. Simple, but lasting. So I celebrate blocks, gems that they are, and relish in the joy and satisfaction that each victorious finish brings me.
BUT WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF YOUR BLOCKS?
What a common cry! You (and by “you”, I really mean we) go block crazy, then once the mini-victory euphoria has worn off, you suddenly realize there are 92 of these things stacked on your sewing table and all you can think to do with them is slap on some sashing and bang your head into the table.
I know. It’s painful. Well, head bang no more! I come bearing gifts of sweet inspiration. Stay tuned throughout July for the rest of this Quilt MOB Series, where we’ll celebrate the ‘Month of the Block’, highlighting dozens of fun ideas for what to do with your blocks!
First up, I’ll share about the sampler layout that I’ll be using for my Sugar Blocks this year (a lot of you have been asking about it!), followed by more innovative sampler layout ideas, as well as some exciting non-sampler options. That’s right, folks- you don’t have to make samplers to love blocks! Woohoo!
So stay tuned and to make sure you don’t miss a post, be sure you’re subscribed to receive email notifications via the subscribe box in the sidebar.
And for all you social bugs- add a button to your blog, and tag all your block-related social media posts this month with #MonthOfTheBlock (and be sure to tag me, @StitcheryDickory on IG) so we can all celebrate our July quilt block (and block quilt) finishes together!