December 350 Blocks Report

Posted on December 31, 2019 by prairiemoonquilts in 350 Blocks Project

The final Block Report of the year! How did you do?

I’m unhappy to report that I did not make a single block this month. So my final month’s total is a big fat ZERO. I had big longarming goals, so I was at the longarm pretty much all my sewing time, and even then, didn’t get as far as I wanted. I also spent some time cleaning and organizing, and didn’t make as much progress there as I wanted, either. I’m still plenty busy with the tasks from the Final Countdown. I hope you’re joining me for that — I know a lot of you are.

I did work on these old (as in almost 20 years old) Dresden plate blocks I drug out of hiding, but even tho I got 4 of them appliquéd down, I can’t call them finished until I decide what to do about the centers.

I asked about the centers on Instagram, and got lots of suggestions, so I’ll ask here, too:

What should I do in the centers?

There are 20 plates, each one identical to the others. I’m not sure why I made them all identical, even tho it’s hard to tell that they are. So my quandary is: Do I make all the centers identical, too, to keep the blocks all identical? Do I leave it open with a white background and appliqué something in there, like a little flower or set of diamonds? Do I use solids and mix the colors all up? Do I use prints? Do I do two circles overlapping? I’m still open to any and all suggestions, so add that to your comment, if you have one.

Now it’s your turn. Time to report in for the final time, your block totals for the year. I have a few updates to add to the Project Page from last month that trickled in late, but you can check there to see how everyone is doing. I’m excited to gather all the statistics again, and see how we did as a group!

The November prize winner is Deanna, who has a block total of 338 so far, with one more month to go!

This month, I’m giving you until January 5th to report in, and I will be drawing for all the big prize winners on January 6th or 7th. I can’t decide which day exactly because I’m not sure what we’ll have going on here, but it’ll be around that time. And even if you were a monthly prize winner, you are still eligible for the big prizes just like everyone else, so never fear! Just report in!

After I get this year’s project all wrapped up, I’ll be launching the 2020 version, sometime before mid-month, so go ahead and start tracking your blocks, and we’ll get it kicked off soon. And thanks so much for playing along this year!

66 responses to “December 350 Blocks Report”

  1. Deanna says:

    Me? A winner? What a surprise!

    I would applique the edges in and leave those centers open. With your skills you can do something amazing in there.

    December brought me 29 blocks, which, I believe, gives me 367 for the year. It was a year of finishes more than starts which explains the low block count relative to how many quilts were completed.

    Thank you again for hosting.

  2. Pamela K. Coughlin says:

    Put Sunbonnet Sue in the middle of your Dresdens!

  3. Randy Menninghaus says:

    56 for me… yippee

  4. Randy Menninghaus says:

    I vote for leaving it open….

  5. Marianne says:

    Those are big circles! BI vote for fussy cutting medium to large size print for the centers. Don’t make them identical. Use the fabric efficiently and see what happens. Of course if you have the time and energy and want to put A variety of appliqued things in there, that is good too

  6. Sherry V. says:

    I really fell off the wagon with blocks, and everything else, this year. I plan on being back in January. . .and hope that I can keep myself on track to get at least one block done a month.

    As for the Dresden plates, if you like “slow stitching” you could embroider something in the centers. Depending on what you ultimately want to do with the project my original vote was to turn under the edges, stitch them down and call it a day.

    I will be looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

  7. Wendy says:

    The first thing that came to mind for those Dresden centers was unusual, but interesting — do you have any antique doilies in various colors that are about that size? I’d like to play with that idea and see if it works. Upcycled denim centers, maybe? Hmm. Anyway – block count for me is 19. Watched the Quilt America episode the other day. What a great episode! So fun to see!

  8. Betty K says:

    My total for the month is 21. That gives me 555 for the year. Better than I thought I would get since I have slowed down on my sewing. My main projects are cat mat’s (donation to the local shelter) and mug rugs.

  9. KT says:

    I vote for leaving the centers open and using your amazing longarm skills in the centers! 32 blocks for me this month–better than I expected with the holidays.

  10. I completely fell off the chart trying to keep up with my block count this year. Next year will be better. I did finish 11 quilt tops this year but have no idea of the block count! 🤔
    I love the Dresden blocks. Since you have made them the same I would decide on the background fabric first. If you use a neutral you could then decide if you want the centres to pop by making Them a nice solid bright color. The other option would be the neutral center with an Applique in the middle. Is it a gift? What would the recipient like? If it’s for you, what room would it be in? If it’s a busy room with lots of colour then I would stick with neutrals.
    Good luck with making your choices!

  11. Christopher Thomas says:

    I did a total of 90 blocks for the month of december

    would of loved to do more, but my mother has been in and out of the hospital all year long

    my 2020 be the year i can get more done

  12. Crystal F says:

    36 blocks for me…spent most of the month putting blocks together.

  13. Danice says:

    The dresdens look great. No ideas for a center though. Wow you have been busy with the longarm. Count me for 25 blocks in December. Happy New Year’s Eve!

  14. Cathy Wight says:

    At first I thought I tied with you at 0; but remembered I made 4 star blocks toward the beginning of a quilt of valor. Happy New Year Everyone!!!

  15. Louise says:

    42 blocks for me this month.

  16. Sharon Gratz says:

    I only wrote down 12 so that’s what I’m going with. Total of 440 for the year? Anyone have a good way of keeping track? The Geezer prefers I don’t notch up the woodwork. lol

  17. PAULA M says:

    For the month of December, I have 10 blocks. I did accomplish binding for 6 Christmas quilts, 1 doll quilt. 2 machine sewn the rest hand sewn. Waiting on visit from the 6th quilt holder to come home. I will post pictures of all 6. I say leave the center blank, maybe a special design in the middle????

  18. Suelynn Williams says:

    I didn’t make any blocks in December. The Dresden Plate block is pretty. When the time comes for quilting, maybe you could use variegated thread in the centers.

  19. Rose Marie Smith says:

    I made 86 blocks this month………..75 of which are those little snowball blocks for the Blizzard Quilt.

    I know you like to do hand work……….how about some embroidery in the centers? I’ll go check and see if I can see anything like that to show you.

  20. Donna says:

    I made one block for for the BOM modern version of Garden Path Sampler.

  21. Wanda Marvel says:

    3 blocks

  22. I am happy to report 48 blocks for me this month. I look forward to continue count through 2020. Thank you for hosting usand inspirating us. Happy New Year.

  23. Stephanie says:

    I spent most of December working on assembling and quilting, so not many blocks this time, just 4.
    Looking forward to doing it again in 2020.

  24. Sandi says:

    I would put circles in the center with different fabrics but in same color shade.

  25. Laura says:

    I made 1 very large block.

    Happy New Year

  26. Maxine E says:

    I also had a big fat zero BUT I finished the quilt that I was working on that was a Christmas gift for my cousin’s neighbor. She loved it! and I am on my way to finishing the T-shirt quilt that I started earlier this year. Just quilting of the borders to go and binding and it will be mailed hopefully by the middle of January. I have been busy with having all 3 of my children home for the holidays. It’s been a long while since we’ve all been under one roof. I am a very happy mom! Happy New Year!

  27. You would still have to finish the edges somehow, but I like embroidery as a center option – or just a circle is good, and either alternate the colors you’ve used in the petals, or make them all one.

    My December total is 122! Thanks for another great year of counting. DesertSky Quilts

  28. Karen E. says:

    I made 66 blocks in December for a total of 1815 for the year. Happy 2020 to everyone!

  29. Mary Delia says:

    I would use various fabrics for the centers but all in a same color way – such as yellow or any color really. Kind of keeps it scrappy but still ties it together.

  30. Christi Bentley says:

    I would put a solid color in the centers…..maybe the yellow or green? Thanks to some sewing this afternoon, I have 47 blocks for December!

  31. I did about 90 blocks, for a total of 1999. Too bad I didn’t make 20 more blocks to equal the year. LOL
    Happy New Year everyone.

  32. Cheryl says:

    I got along pretty good this month, finished five more UFOs. Did 60 blocks this month for a YTD total of 2019. Love the doily idea for the center of the dresden plates. Happy New Year!!!

  33. Beverly says:

    Four blocks for me this December.

  34. Peggy Long says:

    Only six for me this month. Have completed all the blocks for the #littlemisssawtoothqal with @southerncharmquilts and @havelssewing. Also made 2 crazy quilt blocks for table toppers. Made 2 more Sew Together bags without sewing items for granddaughters, and crocheted 2 Swiffer mop covers for my daughter. Beyond that I was busy getting ready for the best Christmas present ever…cruising the western Caribbean with my youngest daughter. Had such a wonderful time, doing wonderful things and meeting some wonderful people. Swam with dolphins in Cozumel, walked the beach in Grand Cayman, and commandeered a bobsled and ziplined in Jamaica. Climbed the rock wall on the ship, too! My very first cruise! Not one bit sorry that I didn’t get much sewing done. Happy New Year!

  35. Angie in SoCal says:

    I was working on two baby quilts so I can report 42 more made. Happy New Year to you and your family. May God bless you with peace, love and health in 2020.

  36. Aileen Kline says:

    Happy New Year. December I made 12 blocks and made many many gifts.
    Hope everyone is getting organized for the New Year! I am trying! LOL!

  37. Marlene says:

    9 BIG (10″ x 22″) blocks. My “real” December goal is get all the Christmas gifts done that should have been finished NLT August! Once again, can see how well that worked.

    As for your “empty” centers, I always think they look so “unfinished” when left open. However, the idea of hand embroidering vintage designs in the center and finishing the raw inner ring with a buttonhole stitch really talks to me this morning! I would love to be able to collaborate on an effort like this with Granny, my grandmother who taught me to hand embroidery when I was tiny. She had no idea what she was starting when she taught me to thread the needle. Happiest of New Years to you and your family.

  38. Julie M. says:

    I was able to get 174 blocks done this month.

  39. denniele says:

    Those Dresdens are so lovely….I would leave them open or put a motif off a vintage linen in the center.
    My total blocks for the month….2! Crazy since I thought I was busy.
    Happy New Year to you! I hope 2020 is a great one.

  40. Clara Chandler says:

    Happy New Year to all! I enjoyed the Quilt episode on PBS and heard that you are Victoria’s BFF. What a great friendship you have. The quilts shown were inspiring.
    This month only 13 blocks were sewn together. I spent my sewing time finishing 4 placemats for a gift and binding a quilt for another gift. Here’s to continuing the counting in 2020!

  41. Joan says:

    49 blocks done this month for a grand total of 600 blocks finished this year.
    Have some blocks like yours–antique, probably made by a grandmother or great-grandmother into a quilt top that was not finished… She finished the centers of the dresdens by turning under the edges. The background fabric on this quilt is like cheesecloth, probably what her budget would afford… It’s nice to have this treasure, just wish I knew more about its history!
    My suggestion for you is to keep the blocks visible–an idea that works for and appeals to you will become apparent in time.

  42. Marilyn Holder says:

    Total for December is 4. Finishing 2 quilts and on to another.
    If you leave the centers with plain fabric, quilt with a color thread and your fancy stitches. Then it will not look like an open barn door.

  43. Awesome blocks! I have some very similar that have a yellow circle in the middle.
    I have 32 blocks for December. Don’t remember if I reported the 42 for November.
    Anyway, here’s to a more productive 2020!

  44. Amanda M. says:

    I got a total of 90 blocks made for 8 different projects. According to my tally that puts me up to 780 blocks for the year which amazes me! I have a book called Fancy to Frugal that shows a fancy center for Dresden Plates that I have on my bucket list to make. The centers are striking in that pattern but a bit hard to describe without it in front of me. If you want to borrow it, just let me know. Thank you for hosting this challenge and I am looking forward to doing it again in 2020!

  45. 20 blocks for me. I did a lot of stuff, such as machine embroidering large motifs, to make pillows and on sweatshirts, but I didn’t count those.

  46. Debbi says:

    Well I lost count of my blocks somewhere along the way. Overall I have been doing more quilting in 2019, but my accomplishments are minor in comparison to others. I’m happy with it tho and the studio is 80% in order and quite usable. 2020 will be a more productive year with finishing things I’m sure. Going to do a better job of tracking too! Thanks Shelly for all your studio challenges!

  47. Judy Smith says:

    Only 13 blocks for me this month. I didn’t hit the goal but concentrated this year on finishing pieced tops. I finished 10 quilts. That doesn’t leave much time for piecing in my world.

  48. Carolyn S says:

    Only two blocks for me. There are so many creative ideas for your Dresden plate blocks. I don’t know which one I would go with. Anxious to see what you decide.

  49. Paula Mu says:

    I had 36 blocks this month. 25 from the NQA Countdown to Christmas and 11 from the little tree from theTemecula Quilt Company. I am surprised I got that much done as it was a busy month.

  50. JanetD says:

    December’s count is 21. Looking forward to doing the count again in 2020!

  51. Ginabeth says:

    I am going to say 16 for December 2019. Did not do well keeping up this month.

    Have you thought about embroidery in the center? Would be cute!

    Put me down to join in 2020. Was fun keeping track❣️

  52. sharonG says:


    I went on a great vacation so, I only had 45 blocks this month

  53. Linda Knight says:

    I made 42 blocks this month. They were large blocks and that’s all it took to piece a top for a wedding quilt for my grandson and his new wife. My goal was to finish it before their first anniversary and I did get it loaded onto my quilt frame yesterday. Wish me luck!
    Happy and productive new year wishes for all.

  54. Raewyn says:

    Well done, collectively, on such great productivity! I’m hoping to join in this year – with better record keeping this time 🙂 Happy New Year!

  55. Mary Durham says:

    I had 25 for the month. 10 of them were very small, but I guess a block’s a block.
    Happy new year, Shelly!

  56. Ginny says:

    I made 3 for Dec. Short for the year but still a lot done along with everything else.
    Thanks for calling us to accountability.

  57. Debi F says:

    I’m joining the zero club for December blocks, but in my defense, I gifted 7 quilts for Christmas presents, and they took precedence. All that Quilting, labeling, and binding! Looking forward to regular piecing SOON!

  58. Diana S says:

    I didn’t get a lot accomplished in “”December as far as making blocks. Had a quilt to get put together and that took most of my time I had for sewing. Did manage to add 15 blocks to my total. 10 more for the quilt and 4 for a log cabin table runner. Happy with my total for the year. Not as high as last year but still good for me! Happy New Year!

  59. Joy Dabney says:

    10 blocks for December. All in all I am very pleased with all I did in 2019.

  60. Pam Martin says:

    I just worked on bindings and the Bonnie Hunter mystery clues in December. I didn’t complete any blocks. I did give away 10 quilts for Christmas and 3 earlier in the year so I now have room make more.
    Happy New Year.

  61. Marcia in TX says:

    Only 3 blocks done but oodles of borders done and 1 quilt totally finished and another set of rows into a flimsy.

  62. Barbara B says:

    December was a good month, I completed 191 blocks.
    Happy and Blessed New Year

  63. Karen says:

    A whole 3 blocks for me, which gives me a total of 85, which is the most I have ever done. So I’m thrilled! Thanks for doing this challenge for us!

  64. Beverly says:

    Four for me. Working on organizing whole house. Getting rid of paper is my new goal. Then back to cleaning up sewing room and sewing.

  65. Marsha Y. says:

    Total blocks for December is 37. I even managed to set together 2 quilts, quilt them, and get binding done in time for Christmas. They were both king size. It was a busy month. Already working on 2020!!! Thanks for your inspiration, Shelly.

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