Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 - The Year of the Diamond Dazzle group quilt

Two years ago I tried something new for me and ran a group quilt-making project using one of my original patterns, "Syncopated Ribbons". Fifteen quilters answered my call to make me four blocks each, and the resulting quilt, sewn together by me and quilted by yet another quilter, Melissa Heys of The Completed Quilt, is one of my favorite quilts ever. I am sure you can see why in this lovely photo, which is now also the pattern cover because I loved it so much:

All I did to get the project going was ask volunteers to make 4 blocks (of course I supplied directions), slice them in half (see how the blocks are all diagonally split down the middle in a cute sort of way? I went crazy and trusted them to slice them, and you know what - not ONE of them screwed it up! Quilters rule!) and mail them to me. The only rule they had to follow other than the sewing directions was that they could use only teal, purple, and lime fabrics. And did they ever. Every time I opened the mail and saw a fat envelope the week they were due I was in ecstacy. When I sewed all the blocks together I was truly amazed and awed by the sheer number of fabrics in this quilt, as not one fabric was ever repeated between two different contributors. I even once on a day when I apparently had way too much time on my hands tried to count the number of different fabrics but stopped at 120 because I was overwhelmed. Now that I think about it, that would be such a great project for my daughters on their next snow day - might glean me all of 37 seconds of free time before they started whining that they were hungry.

So it's two years later and it's time for another group quilt, this time based on a pattern that isn't even published yet, tentatively called "Diamond Dazzle" but I currently have two problems with that name:

1. It isn't dazzling enough for the prettiness of the actual pattern.

2. I can't say it without the image of Carol Channing on a white staircase getting stuck in my head. And for most people that might not be a big deal, but it is well known in my household that the worst possible event I could ever encounter in life would be coming upon Winnie the Pooh singing "Celebration" like Carol Channing while eating a blue hot dog, as this combines five of my biggest pop culture dislikes (blue being blue food). Thank God this isn't likely to occur, although my daughter Paige did draw me a picture of this melange of horror once that I still display over my desk to remind me at all times that things could always be worse. And because it totally cracks me up.

In any case, although the pattern will involve pieced diamonds, avoiding the word Diamond in the title will behoove me and my psyche, so we're still working on that. But for now, it's the title I have so I'll work through my issues. Somehow.

For this project, I am looking for between 15 and 20 quilters who would like to make 20 strip pieced diamonds each using directions I will supply and the colors of hot pink, blue, and orange ONLY. Like in the last group quilt project, the diamonds will all be mailed to me once they are sewn. But here's the cool part - this time, I am only keeping 6 or so from each participant. The rest will get divided up by me, and everyone who made diamonds will get a packet back from me containing enough diamonds to hopefully make the baby size quilt from the pattern that will by then (mid to late March) be published. So not only am I getting a group quilt out of this project, so are you if you decide to participate! It's kind of like winning the block of the month at your guild meeting, except it won't cost you a raffle ticket, and you KNOW you are going to win.

Did you also figure out that participants will be helping me test the directions for making the diamonds? Hee hee. I'm pretty sneaky.

The timeline for this project is a bit fluid on my end (I won't lie to you, I can't always stick to deadlines due to situations beyond my control - ie I have three small children) I hope it may work about like this:

  • From this minute onward - Taking volunteer names until I reach 20.
  • 1/28 (or earlier if my daughters have school on Wed - dare to dream) - All volunteers sent directions for blocks and more details of the project.
  • 2/10 - Blocks and any comments on the piecing directions due back to me. This would give participants a week to make their blocks and 3-4 days to let the USPS get them back to me. Sounds like I am being a hard ass, I know, but trust me, these blocks are cut from long strips and you can make 20 in about 1 hour, 2 hours tops.
  • 3/31 or before - Participants receive their blocks and the completed pattern in the mail, which may be used to put the blocks together or may be sold on ebay.

I'm really excited about this new project, and hope many of you will be as well! If you are interested in participating, please contact me at, and start gathering 6-8 fabrics, 1/8 to 1/4 yard cuts, in blue, orange, and hot pink (no scraps or fat quarters, please - you'll need "width of fabric lengths" for the piecing).

Who's up for it? I promise I'm usually pretty fun to work with!

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