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Nov 20, 2015

Bonfire Block of the Month Club 2016

Nov 20, 2015
Pin It The Block of the Month Club here at Gen X Quilters has become a way of life for me.  It's my biggest project every year and the one I get the most excited about designing, sewing and creating.  Every fall I get the nervous jitters as the time approaches to announce the next BOM.

Today is the day I share with you the details on next year's Block of the Month Club - Bonfire!  The Bonfire Sampler is one of three sampler patterns included in the book Sister Sampler Quilts.  This new quilt pattern was unveiled at Fall Quilt Market a few weeks ago.  I am super excited about this quilt and I hope you like it too.  I love watching all of your creations come to life. I hope you will join in!  Things will be a little different this year - and I'm excited about making things better each time we have a BOM.

I will be hosting a quilt-along here on the blog for Bonfire Block of the Month Club.  But Bonfire is not just your average BOM.  The theme of the sampler quilts in Sister Sampler Quilts is: SISTERS.  What does that mean?  Read on friends.....

Bonfire Pattern/Book: This year the BOM will work from the book Sister Sampler Quilts (the new book by yours truly :).  There will not be pattern mailings as we had in the past.  You will have the whole book at your disposal, so those who want to work ahead can.  The book retails for $19.99. (Amazon's pre-order pricing is even lower.)  This is a fantastic price for a BOM.  Not only will you receive the Bonfire pattern, but there are additionally 2 of my previous best-selling BOMs in the book.  There are 25 blocks in the book; all the blocks are interchangeable between the 3 samplers.  It's a steal - 3 samplers for less than the price I usually charge for one.
Bonfire is the third sampler in the book.  We will work the 6 blocks in that chapter and choose another 2 blocks from the previous chapters in the book.  Since all the blocks are interchangeable - you may pick and choose as you like.  So if curves, for example, are not your thing, you may choose another block.  It won't offend me - I really want this quilt to be yours.

SISTERS - Sister Blocks.
Every month, participants will make 2 blocks - a "set" or "pair".  Each pair are called "Sister Blocks".  Making BOM blocks in pairs allows you to learn as you work.  Each time we make a block, we learn about color and fabric placement, value, tone, scale, etc.  By making two of each block, we can play, improve upon our selections, or try out something different.  The Sister blocks can be "Identical twins" if you like or truly unique as all sisters really are.
SAMPLER - The Quilt Design.
We will make 16 skill-building blocks (2 of 8 block patterns) and frame them in a setting reminiscent of a star or bear's paw block.  The sample in the book is scrappy.  It uses a combination of prints and solids, across several fabric manufacturers and fabric lines.  This quilt is a great way to use up those scraps in your stash.
Blueberry Park Brights by Karen Lewis Textiles for Robert Kaufman
BOM Sample. The samples I will be making/showing you in 2016 will feature the fabric line Blueberry Park from Robert Kaufman.  Blueberry Park will be a PERFECT line to use for this quilt.  I can't wait to get started!  I will do another post specifically about selecting fabric for the BOM in December.  Find Blueberry Park here.

SENTIMENTAL - The Sister Swap. (Optional)
This quilt is designed to be shared.  Share the making.  Share the fun and joy.  Share the fabric choosing.  Share the shopping!  Share the learning.  Share the cussing and seam ripping.  Share the experience of creating an heirloom.
If you like, find a partner.  A quilty friend, mom, daughter, grandmother, aunt.  A Sister.  And make Bonfire together.  (Sorry guys - I don't mean to leave you out!  By all means, everyone find a partner and join in!)
You and your "sister" will both be making 2 blocks each month for the BOM.  After you complete your blocks, you keep one and pass the other to your partner.  In the end, you both will end up with a quilt where half of the blocks are made by yourself and half of the blocks are made by your partner.  The sister blocks turn into sister quilts.  Two similar quilts yet not exactly the same. (More posts coming on this in December.)
This project is very special to me, as I will be partnering up with my mom to make our sister quilts.  I will be showing you our sets of blocks throughout the BOM.

The block swapping is completely optional of course.  I am just really excited about working on a joint project with someone very special to me.
SOCIAL.  It is more fun when we can share our fabric selections, progress and blocks with each other.  If you are on Instagram, use #bonfiresampler to share with us there. 

And NEW this year............Monthly Giveaways!!   Each month, at the beginning of the month, I will post the sister blocks that we are making.  At the end of the post, there will be a linky that will remain open all month long where you can add a picture of your sister blocks at any time. Simply add your photo by the end of the month to be eligible to win that month's drawing.  Blocks!  Fun!  Prizes!  I'll give more details on this as we get closer to kicking off the BOM.
1. Pre-order your copy of Sister Sampler Quilts. (Amazon OR Signed Copy from me)  Books will start shipping in December.
2. Decide if you want to sew with a partner.
3. Start browsing fabric!  (using fabric requirements listed in FAQ #8)
4. Stay tuned to Gen X Quilters for pre-BOM posts in Dec. Kick off will begin 1/1/ 16!
Frequently Asked Questions.
1.  When are the new block patterns released?  For 2016, the BOM will work from the book, Sister Sampler Quilts (available here and signed copy here).  You will have the entire pattern in your possession and can work at your own pace.

2.  How long does the BOM run?  This BOM will run for 10 months.  January though September will have block patterns each month.  October will be spent putting the quilt top together and finishing the quilt.  Hopefully, it will be done in time for the holidays!

3.  How many blocks are there in the quilt?  There will be 8 block patterns.  We will make 2 of each block during the month.  

4.  What size is the finished quilt?   64" x 64" OR 82" x 82" 
5.  What size are the blocks?  9"x 9" finished OR 12" x 12" finished.  You may choose to make the larger quilt with 12" blocks or the smaller quilt with 9" blocks.  Instructions for both sizes are included in the book.
6.  What skill level is Bonfire?  Bonfire BOM is an Intermediate level quilt pattern. This BOM will challenge participants to tackle skill building blocks with strings, curves, HSTs, Hourglass, and Flying Geese.  If you do not like any of the blocks, you are free to substitute any of the other interchangeable blocks from the book.  Blocks in the book range from Advanced Beginner to Intermediate in skill level.

7.  Is there a coloring diagram?  Yes, find the coloring diagram for the Bonfire quilt here.  I always find it so much easier if I can play with color before purchasing fabrics.
8.  What are the fabric requirements?  To work the sampler blocks, I have called out a total yardage of 5 colors needed.  I prefer to break this yardage up and use fat quarters, fat eighths, and scraps to add variety.  If you like this look, just make sure that your assortment of smaller aqua pieces (for example) adds up to the total aqua yardage for your size quilt.

Lap Quilt - 64" x 64" (9" finished Blocks)
1/2 yard total of each of 5 colors (aqua, purple, gold, orange and red) 
2 yards linen in natural (outer background)
1 1/2 yards White Solid (block background) 
1/2 yard each Red and Orange Prints (fabrics for large setting HSTs) 

4 yards Backing 
5/8 yard Binding

Large Twin Quilt - 82" x 82" (12" finished Blocks)
1/2 yard total of each of 5 colors (aqua, purple, gold, orange and red) 
3 yards linen in natural (outer background)
2 yards White Solid (block background) 
3/4 yard each Red and Orange Prints (fabrics for large setting HSTs) 

7 1/2 yards Backing 
5/8 yard Binding

 9.  It's already halfway through the year.  Can I still join?  No problem!  Block of the Month Clubs online are great because you can really work at your own pace.  No one is going to prevent you from skipping a block because you don't like it or working at your own pace, be it ahead or behind.

To me, quilting is fun and about interpretation.  I am providing you with the patterns as a guide.  Feel free to adapt them to your liking.  After all, YOU are the person who will keep the quilt or gift it to a loved one.

10. I like the Bonfire blocks, but prefer a more traditional setting.   Can I still join?  Absolutely!  You are more than welcome to join the BOM.  If you prefer, set the blocks without the large star setting or any way to your liking.  The finishing instructions for the layout you see above are included in the book along with 2 other setting arrangements you may choose if you like.

11. How do we share our work for the BOM?  It is more fun when we can share our fabric selections, progress and blocks with each other.  There are two methods of participating in the BOM. 
1. If you are on Instagram, use #bonfiresampler to share with us there. 
2. Join in the monthly linky to show off your blocks and win prizes!  There will be more details on this as we get closer to kickoff.

What do you think?  Sound like fun?  I hope you'll join me in making Bonfire!  I am so excited to be starting this BOM with you.  The first block post will be available on January 1, 2016.  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment.  I will try to address all getting started questions here in this post for all to read.  

Grab a button....  Will you quilt along with us?
Gen X Quilters
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  1. Hi Anne Marie! I've never done a block of the month....I still feel so overwhelmed sometimes by where to begin. So here is my chance. My question is if I've never done curved/challenging stuff before do you think I can learn it in this forum? Will you be doing 'tutorial' type of instruction? Thanks for any feedback and have a great weekend. Colleen

    1. Hi Colleen- Great question! The great thing about BOMs is the chance to work at your own pace. You would make 2 blocks each month over the course of almost a full year. You can speed through blocks you are familiar with and take your time for those you are not. YES - I have VIDEO TUTORIALS for all of the skills used in this BOM and the book. There are step by step written tutorials in the last chapter of the book, and the videos supplement those. Remember, if you try one of the curved blocks and don't like it, you can always substitute any of the other blocks in the book in your sampler. All the blocks in the book are interchangeable - only 3 of 25 have curves. String blocks are super fun. I guarantee you'll love those after you try it! I love BOMs because we only take it one month at a time!

  2. Great pattern design and blocks. I've ordered the book and look forward to hearing your fabric advice before I order from Blueberry Park line. Looking forward to 2016 already!

  3. Alright, it's been a few years since I've read blogs or visited but I saw your book on fqs on IG and was intrigued. I did (probably your first) sister quilt years ago! I just ordered myself and my sister a copy of the book on Amazon. Hopefully she'll want to play along but even if not, I'm in! Congrats on the book!!!

  4. Hi! Five of us are banding together to make Bonfire. We live in the same area, have all quilt pieced together, and are SO looking forward to this endeavor. We all got the book and are excited to start! Thank you, Anne Marie.

  5. Is there a place to sign up to the BOM? I have the book. Can't wait for it to start!

  6. Hi Sue- So glad you are joining in! There is not an official place to sign up for the BOM. As long as you have your book, you are ready to go. You may add your blocks to the monthly giveaway through the linky that is at the bottom of each month's block post. I can't wait to see what you make!


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