Block of the Month Quilt Patterns

Block of the Month

The beginning of the year is a good time to start planning a large quilt. Many quilters take advantage of seasonal sales and programs to get fabric to start blocks in order to make a large quilt. For many quilters, time is a factor when it comes to starting a quilt. By committing to making a quilt block a month, a large quilt top can be completed in a year, little by little.

A “block of the month” program (BOM) is a purchasing plan in which a kit with fabric, pattern and directions for a quilt block are offered for purchase once a block of the month 2month during one year or so. Many quilt shops and online vendors offer these block of the month programs. Normally, one can see the finished quilt and purchase kits that have enough pre-cut fabric and the pattern and directions for the block to be completed during the current month. At the end of the year, a kit with finishing fabric for borders or lattices or sashing is purchased and the whole quilt top can be sewn together.

Why start a “block of the month” quilt?

There are advantages to starting a quilt block of the month top. Sometimes a quilter might have a hard time deciding on colors or how to match fabrics to complete a quilt top. By buying a quilt block of the month kit, the choices are made and you know exactly how the quilt will look. The fabric is precut into small pieces, designed to be enough to complete the block for the month, therefore there is no waste of fabric. More fabric can be purchased if needed, in case of mistakes.

Also, the cost of fabric and notions to start a large quilt can be steep if purchased all at once. The quilt block of the month programs allows dividing that cost into installments, making it more manageable. Some stores will require an initial down payment that will be applied to the purchase of the finishing kit with the fabric to complete the borders and binding fabric.

You won’t run the risk of running out of a particular fabric for your quilt and not block of the month 1being able to find it. The shelf life of most fabric lines is short, so unless you can commit to cutting and sewing the blocks quickly, you run the risk of not being able to find the same fabric after a few months of the purchase. If you make mistakes when cutting or sewing, it might be difficult to find the same fabric or to match the dye lot (different bolts might show slight differences in color).

There is a convenience factor when buying a quilt block of the month kit. Many online stores offer automatic purchase plans in which a credit card is automatically charged once a month. The kit for the block of the month is shipped to the quilter’s home. It allows the quilter to start sewing without even having to get to the quilt store.

Programs to buy a quilt block of the month offer a wide variety pattern choices. Both pieced and appliqued quilts are available. Many of them offer current patterns from well know designers and books, and some might even be available in different colorways to suit your taste. Mostly are full size quilts, but there are larger quilts offered as well. Though most offer one block a month, some of these larger quilts might require that more than one block be sewn per month. Some appliqué block of the month programs will offer a choice of laser-cut pieces, ready to be fused with fusible webbing, or pieces of fabric for traditional hand or machine appliqué.
Often times, a skill level required to sew the quilt is given as a guideline to help you pick a block of the month program that will match your abilities. There are programs designed to suit the beginner quilter all the way to the expert quiltmaker.

There is another type of BOM available online. It’s the free block of the month red quiltgroups, in which a designer, magazine or quilt shop offers a free block pattern and directions to sew it on a monthly basis. In this case, the quilter has to provide their own fabric, but a list of materials is given at the beginning of the program, so the fabric and notions can be gathered. The block of the month pattern and directions can be downloaded and printed. Often times, the quilters provide pictures of their ongoing quilts and blocks, and they share tips and encouragement. Quilt guilds also offer this type of block of the month program, and progress is shared among the guild members during their monthly meetings.

Also, local quilt shops might offer a block of the month program in which a quilter purchases the kit for the first block. If the quilter finishes the block within the month and takes it to the store, the next month’s kit can be purchased at a reduced rate or sometimes, even free.

For more information on making a quilting block click here!



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