I am taking part in a QAL with a bunch of awesome quilty folk from all across Canada. We are 14 quilt mavens, and each of us is putting together a version of a quilt found in Elizabeth Hartman’s “Patchwork City” book. If you want to see it, you can find it on Amazon;, or go to her blog “Oh Fransson”; or perhaps you’d rather just click here. I decided to take on the “Metro Area” quilt and am using the colour scheme found in the Downtown version, which is primarily green and orange with big chunks of black and gray, smaller bits of other colours, and some really adorable/strange/unique/modern focus fabrics thrown into the mix. I love it!
Our hosts (Jean and Laila) provide us with two sets of blocks each month…that’s two (2) each 8.5 x 8.5 blocks; 5.5 x 8.5 blocks and 5.5 x 14.15 blocks. So six blocks per month and we are currently on month 3. For your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of where I’m at right now
Below are the FQ’s that I’ve chosen as the primary colours.
so…not a whole lot of choices really considering that I am committed to completing all 75 blocks….oops, you should also know that I am allowing myself free reign of my scrap basket (see above) and I guess I should say I have OCD/linear tendencies, so in my head, each month I plan to make one set of blocks primarily green and the other primarily orange… so nope I’m not gonna make this easy on myself. Sigh…
While all of the above is absolutely fascinating I know (LOL), you are probably wondering what or where is the question in all this? So here it is. Within this limited colour palette, how do I make a fabulously fabulous, interesting and awesome quilt?
Its so bizarre, sometimes I just go to the shelf, pull out a FQ and immediately know what fabrics I’m going to pair with it. Other times, I spend literally hours trying to figure out what should go where and then I second guess myself a few thousand times before I finally put together a block.
Here is a good example of a block that came together really quickly. I purchased a fabulous FQ of Esperenza in parchment from Bobby Lou’s Fabric Factory in the southern USA. The collection is called Folklorico and the designer is Alexander Henry. Check it out here. I gotta say I haven’t seen anything yet in this collection that I didn’t love. Anyway, as you can see, this fabric features pretty doll like characters, most of who are holding onto skulls and/or other hideous things…what’s not to love?
This block is called “Donut Shop”. Although the focus fabric is not actually orange, it does have coral/gold tones and is funky/fun which allowed me to think orange polka dots, narrow stripes and arrowheads would work together. And, IMHO, it does. I think I put this one together (not counting sewing of course) in less than 10 minutes.
But, this one was a whole ‘nuther story altogether.
It’s called “Meow” and I made it the very next day. Let me say this little block caused me a whole lot of grief and caused me to say some very bad words, several times. First of all, this is not the block I was supposed to make, but my printer was broken which meant I couldn’t print off the template for the proper one, so I chose another block, which would not require a template for piecing. Things went rapidly downhill from there. This block was supposed to be primarily green, and is supposed to look like a cat–I think– but I wasn’t really paying attention to that little fact when I was auditioning fabric, which is why after cutting and sewing, then discarding, and re-sewing about 100 green strip pairs together, any of which would have been perfectly satisfactory, I ended up completely overwhelmed, which led to me selecting the same fabrics in two of the three sections and then reusing the same fabrics in the border Holy Heck, WHY DID I DO THAT? And why didn’t I notice until I was pressing the finished block. Oh and also what on earth is that dark grey strip doing in there. Clearly I was distracted and distraught!
So I am seriously looking for input from anyone who cares to answer. Is it better to choose a focus fabric for each block and then build from there? or should I try to get a variety of colors/patterns into each block? What would you do? Einey Meeny Miney Mo, leave me a note and let me know.