Quilting is not like riding a bike

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To be honest, the only bike I’ve ridden recently is the recumbent bike at physical therapy. But I have full intentions to pull my trusty Schwinn cruiser out of storage and get back to riding. I haven’t ridden it in more than 10 years and have some apprehension about whether I can glide around the block without a serious case of road rash. However, modern cliches tell us that we never forget how to ride a bike, so hopefully I’ll get through this adventure safely.

Unlike biking, I’d never considered that I would get out of practice from quilting. I was wrong. It had been many months since I’d made a pieced block and it didn’t come rushing back to me. I struggled to get a 1/4″ seam on my Janome and my seams weren’t as straight as usual. However I’ve just made my 4th block in five days and was confident my skills were rapidly returning. That was until I made a flying geese block (incorrectly) and am missing points on all my geese.

I don’t really like doing sampler quilts, but I acknowledge they are a great way to learn (or maintain) quilting skills. I used to attend a Block of the Month at our local quilt shop. However, after they have made several changes to their format and abolished Show & Tell (my favorite part), I decided to stop going. This summer I signed up for a summer block-of-the-week sampler at Stitchin’ Heaven in Texas.  (Please not I am not associated with this company in any way, except as a customer). I have been extremely happy with this decision.

This weekly program has been a wonderful step back into quilting. It was reasonably priced ($7. 00 per block). I receive two sampler blocks in the mail every two weeks. The blocks are a good match for a moderately skilled quilter. The instructions are well-done and the fabric is labeled so you can relate it to the pattern.  According to the website, this program is no longer offered, but I know that there are many other companies offering similar programs.

The purpose of this post was not to sell Block of the Month programs, but to share my realization that we need to work to maintain our quilting skills. Now I hope that my bike riding skills return as easily!

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Love that the fabric colors are labeled!

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Four of my finished blocks!

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