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.