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I’m not a real fan of January.

Usually the first weeks after the holidays seem so much gloomier than at any other time of the year because the decorations have been taken down and the weather is usually dreary.

Since I didn’t actually put up any decorations this year, one would think this January would not seem as gloomy as previous ones.  One would be wrong, though.

In an effort to vary my routine, I signed up to test a quilt pattern.  It was not the best idea I’ve had.

I thought I had “mad skills” and that I could cope with a pattern rated for “Intermediate/Advanced” quilters, only to find out that I don’t like working on “other people’s quilts.”

It’s not that I can’t choose my own fabrics and colors (I can), nor is it that the time frame to make this quilt is “only” 8  weeks… (I made Spirographology in less time.)

So far I've made 3 "Seven Sisters" blocks by hand for  Stars for Malcolm. Yes, they take longer by hand.

So far I’ve made 3 “Seven Sisters” blocks by hand for Stars for Malcolm. Yes, they take longer by hand.

It’s that I find I organize my projects and work to a different schedule than this particular quilt (which, I can’t show you until it’s published in the magazine…)

I mean, they start out with cutting all the pieces out.  I like cutting, but this took days and I still wasn’t finished. I got bored.

I gave up cutting and started piecing only to find that I started resenting the way the pattern was organized. This is not rational behavior. Or even “normal” behavior on my part.

Part of the reason I volunteered to test this pattern is because I hoped it would help me when I wrote patterns of my own (mostly for my Guild’s web site.)

Up to now, I’ve only ever written block patterns, but I thought, maybe, people preferred to have a pattern for an entire quilt (I’m thinking of doing Catherine Wheels, actually.)

Another Barbara Brackman block since I can't show you what I'm actually working on...

Another Barbara Brackman block since I can’t show you what I’m actually working on…

Since I organize my quilts by block and usually design them from the inside out, I thought working though someone else’s organization of a full quilt might help me.

I thought I could figure out the “industry standards” for organizing patterns, and since I was writing for the web, I could do into as much detail as I needed to make more complex patterns easier for quilters who hesitate to call themselves anything other than “beginners.”

Nope, I have come to dislike this quilt as I plod along (rather than “soar” like when I “normally” put together a quilt.)

I’m a bit afraid to finish it and turn in my pattern notes because they seem to show my antipathy. Some of my comments are “nit-picky” in the extreme (all those tech writing classes came flashing back with the “consist use of grammar and the active voice.”) but I feel I should include them.

I guess the editors and writer can just ignore them. I just hope they don’t take any of my comments the wrong way.I’m sure I’ll love the quilt when it’s done (and has “rested” for a couple of years…)

DagmtfixedIn an unrelated note: fellow blogger and all-around nice quilter, Beth from EvaPaige Quilt Designs is hosting “an excuse to quilt every day in February” (a.k.a. “Drop and Give Me Twenty.)

She did this last year on a whim and it was fun, but it should be even more so since it has PRIZES attached.  (I don’t know how they will be awarded, and I don’t have a special in with Beth, but I encourage you all to cruise over to Beth’s blog (Quilting Hottie Heaven) in February (or even now) and spend 20 minutes a day on your new (or existing projects.)