It was an easy choice for me to select a project for Passion 48. I’m smitten with the glamour of the circus. (I’ll tell you more about that in the months to come.) Without the discipline of sewing an hour a week on a project at work, I probably wouldn’t have set aside the time to make this quilt for myself. Instead, it would have been on my wish list forever.
Under The Big Top (shown above) is by designer Tammy Barfels (October 2012 American Patchwork & Quilting). To my mind’s eye, this quilt captures all the joy and color and excitement of the circus. The circus is happy. Fabrics should be happy, too. My fabrics, at least so far, are strictly dots. I have a huge stash of dots and I may be able to make the entire quilt without adding any new fabrics. (You may not know that I am the official crowned Queen of Quite-a-Dot. See From the Editors, Quilts and More, Fall 2011.)
The pattern says “advanced”…will I be able to complete this quilt in 48 hours? Hmmm…this calls for streamlining. Just thinking of cutting 480 assorted wedge-shape pieces for the circles is daunting.
With the help of Maggie Goldsmith, our very capable art assistant, we created a paper-piecing pattern for a quarter circle. Each quarter has ten segments. When a task is overwhelming, what’s the best thing to do? Break it down into little pieces. This seems more reasonable, and I won’t have to cut 480 pie-shape pieces.
The first week I cut, and cut, and cut fabrics into 2-1/2”-wide strips for foundation piecing. An hour later… I did make a dent in the stash. Bonus: On the outside chance that I might cut too many strips for the circles, I’ll have made scrappy binding for this project. Time will tell.
Second week, I tried out the foundation piecing paper. Success! First trial, two segments (half a block) in one hour.
Third week? I’m getting faster… three segments in an hour.
By now you have probably heard about Passion 48. (If not, check out this post.) For the next year, we get to spend an hour each week working on a project just for us. I bet you are thinking, “WOW, she has the best job, she gets to sew while at work.” I love my job, but the truth is, as an editor I spend very little time sewing. Most of the time we are writing instructions; researching the latest trends, tools and techniques; editing copy; brainstorming topics for American Patchwork & Quilting radio shows; and working with myriad of talented art staff who create the great diagrams, layouts, and photography that appear in American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilts and More, and Quilt Sampler magazine.
When I do have time to sew, I gravitate toward Civil War-era reproduction fabrics and small blocks with tiny pieces. Therefore, the walls of my home are filled with lots of small quilts, but sadly not a handmade quilt on my bed. For this challenge, I decided to make a queen-size bed quilt using modern fabrics and large rectangular pieces. Urban Attitude by designer Cherri House of Cherry House Quilts was the pattern I decided to make (see original quilt below).
I am using an eclectic assortment of fabrics designed by Marcia Derse for Riverwoods by Troy. I think the larger pieces will perfectly showcase Marcia’s hand-painted designs.
For the first three weeks I have been cutting, cutting, and cutting. I am almost ready to start making blocks!
I’m not a big resolution maker, but there is one resolution I’m determined to keep. It’s a resolution (read: challenge) I’ve set for every staff member at American Patchwork & Quilting this year. And, it’s the same one we had a few year’s back. We’re resurrecting it because it was such a BIG success at giving us all what we desire—MORE TIME TO QUILT!
It’s called PASSION 48 and here’s the challenge: Spend one hour a week (no more, no less) working on a quilt project that is just for you. The rules are simple. The project is a current or past pattern from one of our publications or from allpeoplequilt.com. Once you select a project, there’s no switching until it’s done. No UFOs in this challenge! Work one hour a week for 48 weeks. (You get four weeks off for unexpected interruptions that inevitably prevent your best quilting intentions.)
How does it work? I pull out my project, twist my little friend the owl timer to 60 minutes and get to creating! When he rings his bell, I put down my tools and put the project aside until some time next week when I’ll work on it for one more hour. We’ll see how far we all get with our projects throughout 2013!
The project I’ve chosen is a challenging one, but I’m excited to be starting it. I’m making Way Around, which is the cover quilt on the February 2013 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting (available at newsstands now or as a digital version here). Instead of blue and white, mine will be a scrappy mix of browns, blacks, red, orange, golds, and tans—all the autumn hues I love so much.
What’s the point of Passion 48? What we found the last time we did this challenge was that every one of us quilted more that year than ever before. Why? My guess is because once you prime the pump by working on a project for an hour, when you’re forced to put it away you immediately want to pick up something else and start quilting again. We all have hectic work and family lives, just like you. And the hardest part for us, too, is often just getting started. This challenge forces us to get out of the starting gate. And most importantly, as many of you do, we often get caught up in making quilts for others but neglect to do something for ourselves. Passion 48 gives us permission to make something we want—just because.
Sound like fun? Then take up the challenge and join us. You’ll quilt more than ever before because of it, I’m confident!
Happy New Year,
Hi, everyone! I’m Lindsay Fullington, the multimedia editor for American Patchwork & Quilting. When I heard that everyone in the office was doing Passion 48 this year, I have to admit, my stomach dropped a little. Although I consider myself a crafty person, I’ve never quilted. In fact, until a few months ago, I didn’t even know how to sew. (I can hear everyone’s gasps as you read this!) Lucky for me, I belong to a staff of amazing quilters and they have been extremely helpful with all my annoying questions about how to thread a machine or how to achieve the perfect seam allowance. You can follow my learning experience and see what easy projects I’m making in the office at our newly launched blog www.howtosew.com.
It took me a long time to find the perfect pattern for my Passion 48. I didn’t want anything too large or too complicated–I’m a beginner and wanted to make sure that whatever project I chose was at my skill level. I also wanted a quilt that explored many different techniques so I could gain experience in many aspects of quilting. I finally settled on Picture This, a fun wall hanging from Quilts and More Winter 2012 (available on newsstands until February 3 or as a digital version here.) Here’s the original quilt:
This quilt had everything I was looking for. It was small, basic, and matched my design personality. Plus, it would teach me how to use templates, as well as use both hand- and machine-stitching. I settled on fabric from Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics. I love vintage-look and retro prints, especially when they have text on them. The petals of the flower in this quilt offer a way to show off all my favorite fabrics from this collection. Instead of a picture in the middle, I decided to use a black-and-white print to make the bright prints pop. Here are some pictures of the fabric and my first experience cutting with templates:
I’ve loved working on this quilt so far! I’m almost done cutting out the petal patterns and can’t wait to start sewing in the upcoming weeks.
Are you following along with our staff’s projects? See details about Passion 48 here and keep coming back every week to see everyone’s progress. If you’re interested in making this quilt along with me, the pattern will be available online in a few weeks.
Share any tips or thoughts with me in the comments section.
It’s a busy time of year in the office! Just back from the holidays, we’re finalizing our newest bookazine Bags, Pillows, and Pincushions Volumne 2, we’re planning tons of special content for our special 20th anniversary issue of American Patchwork & Quilting that comes out February 4, and we’re creating the best projects for the next edition of Make It Yourself magazine out in April. On top of that, we have great new stories in Quilts and More and many free patterns going on our website allpeoplequilt.com. To say the least, we’re working hard!
When it’s so busy, it’s easy to push our own projects back until we have more time. In an effort to stay inspired and creative in this new year, we’re all embarking on something called Passion 48. For one hour each work week, we all work on a project of our choosing. We get four weeks off in case of vacation, sickness, or just being too busy. So, for a total of 48 weeks this year, we will all be creating a beautiful quilt.
There are a few rules we have to follow:
–The quilt must be from one of our publications.
–We spend exactly one hour (no more, no less) a week working on our project. Check out our cute timer later in this post!
–The quilt must be for us, not for a gift.
–We must blog about our progress once a month.
Last week, we had a launch party for Passion 48. We each brought our pattern and fabrics and spent 2 hours cutting to give us a little jumpstart to our year of quilting. We all squished into our sewing lab, played music, and talked about our projects. Here are some pictures from that day.
Come back every week for two new blogs from our staff. You can see what patterns they’re working on, see their thought process behind fabric choice, and see their projects progress through the year. Take the Passion 48 challenge with us! You can make the same quilts as us or start a different project. We’d love to hear what you’re working on and see your creativity!