HOME – My First 100 Day Project

I have always wanted to try a “100 Day Project”.  It’s an invitation to choose something you will work on every day for 100 days.  Most of the projects I’ve seen are creative:  sewing, drawing, painting, and so forth, but you could choose anything.  I have a short list of ideas I’d love to try.  While I have no idea who decides when it starts, a fresh 100 days kicked off on January 31st.  And since I can’t stop smiling at the cute tiny 4″ house is from my new HOME quilt pattern, I decided to make 100 tiny blocks.  So here is the start of my first 100 day project, HOME.

Guess why I’ve never jumped in before?  Two reasons, the first being fear of failure.  I don’t want to commit and then quit.  The second reason is that I can’t settle on a single idea, especially one that is realistic for 100 consecutive days.  

So far, I’ve got six HOME blocks.  I thought my first tiny one was cute… until I made an even smaller house inside the same block.  That littlest house is just over 1.5″ wide – so cute!  They are a lot of fun to make, but I may not make one every day.  I decided I will be ok with that, because even seven of these adorable little houses is better than one!

So my first 100 day project is NOT going to be about perfection, but it will be all about fun.  And tiny houses.  Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve got time for it, which is why I’m keeping my expectations low.  I’m using all scraps for this project, brights with a light/dark pattern in each house, and all the white/off white scraps I can find.  I thought I’d have plenty of them, but I’m burning through them faster than anticipated already.  Therefore, I’m giving myself permission to pivot and change things up if I choose to.

For now, though, aren’t these adorable?  Want to make one?  The pattern is available HERE!

Refuge Quilt Top from HOME Quilt Block

HOME.  What has it meant to you over the past year?  Does it mean more than it did before?  It does to me.  As I considered what I wanted to say in a house quilt, especially a house quilt made in the pandemic, an image came to mind.  I pictured a house, bright with light, and dark clouds pressing in on it.  Things like howling wind came to mind, and I pictured the house straining under the pressure of the storm.  But then the image zoomed in, and I saw my husband and myself working together to support it, both to keep it standing and to keep it bright in spite of the darkness outside.  In that moment, my vision for this quilt was born, and using this fun house/log cabin quilt block is perfect.  So today I present my Refuge Quilt top, made with my Home Quilt block pattern.

This Refuge quilt top is smaller than I usually make, because I plan to hang it in our home.  I used 25 of the 10″ HOME blocks for a 5×5 grid.  It finishes at 50″ square.  All the roofs are black, and the background pieces come from about 15 different gray solids, ranging from almost white to almost black, and with green, brown, yellow, and blue undertones to them. 

All these solids captured what I wanted to say about the world in the past year.  There have certainly been bright moments, but also an abundance of challenges.  Keeping the storms and the darkness out is hard, but essential work.  I have titled this quilt “Refuge” because that is what home is for me and my family.  My husband and I work hard to create a place of security and safety for our children.  It’s the best, most meaningful work we do.  I am grateful to do it with him, and we lean heavily on God for help.

I made the houses from solids and prints that (mostly) read as solids, with a light and dark in each house to emphasize the log cabin design.  The bright colors provide a happy contrast to the storm outside, and each one is different – just like every family is different.  I chose to make homes in two different sizes, and alternated them in my layout.

My refuge quilt top describes, in fabric, the strain and beauty of keeping home strong.  It reminds me to be consistent in my efforts, even when it feels like an exercise in endurance, because HOME MATTERS.  Family matters.  May you be blessed in all you do to strengthen yours, and may your home be a refuge from the storm, a place of security and peace.

HOME Quilt Block – a paper pieced pattern

I watched a lot of quilters make house-themed quilts in 2020.  It made sense!  Most of us now spend far more time at home than we once did.  I wanted to make one but didn’t see a pattern I was drawn to.  Then, in October, I suddenly remembered the quilt block I’d drawn up with my sister a couple of years ago, and it was exactly what I wanted.  Meet our HOME quilt block, available now in my Etsy shop

This foundation paper pieced pattern comes in three sizes:  4″, 6″, and 10″ (finished).  It’s a house, made log cabin style – which I LOVE, because log cabin blocks are like comfort food, but sewing.  And we need all the comfort we can get right now, it seems! 

The roof of the house makes the top corners reminiscent of pineapple blocks, as well. I guess you can say that the HOME quilt block combines three different blocks into one:  house, log cabin, and pineapple.  It’s a lot of fun.  Especially that tiny 4 inch one.

I imagine countless ways to sew these blocks, including making different sized houses, depending on where you choose to switch to background fabrics as you sew.  The first project I made was this mini quilt, made with nine of the 6″ blocks.

These blocks make a striking stand-alone project. They would also be fun in a row quilt, or a medallion quilt, or even dropped into a patchwork quilt.  I think the 4 inch blocks would make a fun set of coasters as a gift.

A quick note about my HOME quilt block:  this is a paper piecing pattern that assumes basic knowledge of foundation paper piecing, and also does not include instructions for a complete quilt.  It’s just a block, in three different sizes, ready for you to use in whatever way you’d like.  You need a printer to make the block.  If you don’t have one you can email the file to a local printer for them to print for you.   

And can I make a plug here for two amazing products I wouldn’t paper piece without?  First up, the fabulous Add-A-Quarter rulers, which come in two sizes.  I have both and use them all the time.  They have a nifty 1/4″ lip that sits right over the seam and folded paper for a perfect 1/4″ trim every time!  I highly recommend them. 

Secondly, I discovered the Clover Finger Presser after I made most of my blocks, and I’ll never paper piece without it again.  I was using a seam roller, which never left the fabric flat.  Mine also started leaking oil on my fabrics.  How does that happen?  No idea, but it did.  The finger presser leaves my fabric flat with less effort, which also leads to better accuracy!  It’s small, inexpensive, and my new favorite tool.  I will add, it seems to be made for a right handed person, but I’m a lefty and it is working great for me!

The HOME quilt block is for sale now in my Etsy shop, and I can’t wait to see what you make with it!  I’ll be back tomorrow, because I have a quilt top of homes to share.

 

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