Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Life Outside My Comfort Zone

It's human nature to avoid discomfort, preferring to stick with what you know and play it safe. I admit it - I like my comfort zone. A LOT. But I also know that stepping outside of that zone is how one grows. Not so long ago, foundation paper piecing intimidated me, but now, not only do I like paper piecing, I've even designed a block that utilizes that technique.

I've been long overdue on taking a stroll outside my comfort zone, so for my September stash bee block, I decided to spend some quality time with appliqué. While I know how to do basic appliqué, I typically avoid it, opting for straight piecing or paper piecing.


This month our queen, Emily from the Darling Dogwood, asked for bookshelf blocks. My first thought was to add a cat on the shelf (I admit, I have a cat problem), but once I saw the amazing block that Sarah made, I went back to the drawing board. For inspiration, I looked at our own bookshelf to see what I might add. We tend to break up our books with framed photos. Since it might be a bit creepy to include a photo of my family on Emily's block, I decided to go with a flower pot instead. I loosely used this pattern for the pot and the pink flower but completely improvised the tulip (which happens to be my favorite flower). While this took me a ridiculous amount of time to complete (2 hours for the pot and flowers), I think it was well worth the time in order to advance my quilting skills. I think my comfort zone just got a little bigger.


7 comments:

  1. This is SUCH a cute block, and way to go challenging yourself! My first Stash Bee block was a machine appliqued owl that was a huge challenge for me, but is one of my favorite blocks I have ever made! :)

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  2. What a very lovely block. I agree that the Stash Bee has been great for helping me step outside of my comfort zone from time to time, and I really appreciate that you put so much effort into this for Emily. :)

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  3. It's amazing, Diana! I love the flowers and the pot, and I love knowing that you used it to increase your skills! Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into this block!

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  4. Very cute, I like tulips as well. I am the opposite of you, I like change and new challenges. I was afraid of needle turn applique for a long time. This Winter my quilt guild hosted a trunk show by a local applique. She brought small practice appliques for us and showed us her technique. I was hooked. Now i have hundreds of ideas for appliqes but not enough time. Debbie

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  5. I just started quilting last Thanksgiving and didn't know about stash bees and don't have the required fabric ( think walmart and joann remnents as my way to build a stash)but I check in almost every day to see what you all are doing it has been a great insperation so thank you all.

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  6. I love the flowers! Yay for expanding skills and comfort zones.
    A cat would have been good, but perhaps cat spreading would give the wrong idea. :) (I have been looking at photos of my boy, trying to choose one to frame with his ashes. LOTS of cat spreading!)

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  7. Your flowers look right at home on that bookshelf block, Diana. I love the three dimensional effect you've given your tulip! I just know Emily is going to be so happy! My very first quilt, made for my daughter, was a great big bookshelf surrounded by cats. Some was pieced and some was applique.

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