Saturday, March 25, 2017

The benefit of hindsight

Thanks for all the suggestions and commiserations regarding my Starburst Cross quilt block placement.  Of course, I know it is a balance issue... and maybe just a little bit too much going on all at once. 

I know the cause of some of my problems... firstly, the original bundles I started with were from a single range.  This can cause problems because the designers didn't always intend for all the fabrics to be used in one hit, and didn't necessarily design it as a balanced group. 

The second problem is that the quilt I chose to make used all of those fabrics in identical proportions.  So each fabric appears as one star... and one background.  That magic theory of using odd numbers of things because it creates a better balance... yeah, nah... wasn't going to happen. 

Lastly, I know that as I added fabrics to the starter bundle, I didn't worry too much about the group as a whole... I just knew that each fabric I chose to add "went" with the starter bundle.  OK, that is a big mistake... always look at your collection as a whole.  Seems obvious, but somewhere that logic was missed this time.

So, I tried all kinds of placement.  Susan suggested placing the strong red background block as the centre block, and then place the other blocks around it.  This worked surprisingly well, as it drew your eye to the other blocks that have red in them, such as the florals and the weird stripey background.  But, I just couldn't do a quilt with that strong block as the centre.  It just went against all my irregular design principles.  So I did the next best thing, and took some of the blocks out... particularly the murky block that doesn't read as a star or anything else, and also the yellow/green blocks that just didn't go with the other yellow blocks.


I found a different brown fabric that will be OK, to add another dark block, and will make the remaining three block backgrounds quite light.  I'm thinking I will make the top block a red star, and maybe the others a brown and a blue/green star.  I am still not sure whether I will leave the bottom centre block there... (it's companion block with a green star and grey background was cut already), as it sort of lets the site down in the contrast department.  Maybe a crisper, light background star would look better.

So... it's been a long process, with lots of looking and thinking... not much in the way of doing.  But sometimes quilting is like that, isn't it?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Things to do and think about

We have been having absolutely disgusting weather the last few days... or is that weeks... so it has been very conducive to sewing shed activities.

After work I like to piece... and piece... and piece... I finished another Starburst Cross block



I also finished up one of the Block P's from my March RSC project... 1" squares.


And since I'm two months behind with starting the RSC, I figured I should try to catch up with those months, because they are pretty important colours.  Somewhere between blue and green is the Feburary colour selection.  These squares are cut 4 3/4".



And I've got plenty of smaller scraps for one of the blocks with smaller pieces.  When I say it is a scrap challenge... it really is scraps!


January was purple, and look... purple scraps!


For my dedicated weekend sewing, I figured I should concentrate on the blanket stitch for My Tweets before it got out of hand and I found myself three years down the track with nothing done [like that's ever happened before :o)].

Block 10 had those pesky little circles to get finished.  DONE!



And Block 11 needed the works.  DONE!


I'm already thinking about sashing and setting designs... but more about that later.

Now that there are only THREE blocks left to piece on the Starburst Cross quilt, I have laid out all the completed blocks and started to consider placement and setting.  The pattern has the blocks set with no sashing.  So first I tried alternating dark and light.  Lets call this Version A.


My black and white version shows that really, there is not a huge amount of contrast in a lot of these blocks.

Then I tried graduating the background colour from a light/light in the top right, through to a dark/dark in the bottom left.  Lets call this Version B.


Again, the black and white version throws up some booboos, but it is an interesting experiment.


Then I just tried mixing them up so that the yellow and dark blocks were spread out... and the florals given a bit of space to breath.  I'm still not sure whether there is any improvement.  Lets call this Version C.


Another setting option would be to use grey sashing between the blocks.  This would allow the fabrics a bit of space, and emphasize the "cross" part of the design.  Unfortunately, without cutting all the sashing strips, there is a bit of creative visualization required!

So what do you think?  Version A, B or C... or grey sashing?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tillies Lane - Block 4

I had a quiet Saturday at home, with the rest of my family out at a farming Field Day.  I enjoyed my quiet time - sewing and cleaning... not a perfect mix, but achievements were made in both areas, so I'm calling it a win :o)

To start with, I wasn't sure what to sew first.  All the options!  So I started with the easy... my Tillies Lane BOM.  Since I had already chosen the fabrics, it was a simple matter of tracing the pieces onto fusible, wielding my iron and scissors and BAM!  We have two blocks ready for blanket stitch.

I would so buy this watering can!

A little mini 3" block full of colour
 Once these were done, and I felt a bit more settled, I assessed what sewing jobs I had lined up, and worked out that really I needed to focus on my Sugar Club blocks.  Doing the final round of triangles means sewing 40 half square triangles, then sewing them together into rows of 10 triangles, before any progress is made on the block.  This became my priority, and I sewed some hour glass blocks as leader enders, and started the basic piecing on the RSC block - the little 1" fourpatch blocks are so cute.

Just because this was taking up way too much room on the floor, I also pieced up the last few seams on the Stack, Shuffle, Slide quilt and I've just got borders to add now.  Looking GOOD!

All in all, a pretty constructive weekend.  Linking up with Lyn at BOM's away...

Friday, March 3, 2017

New Scrappy Project - Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Since succumbing to the rainbow side... I have been eagerly awaiting the new month to find out what colour this months blocks would be.  You can read more about So Scrappy's rainbow scrap challenge here.  Basically, following the colour of the month, you complete whatever scrap project you have chosen, although she has some great ideas (along with a whole heap of linky inspiration).

I have chosen this particular quilt as my rainbow challenge.


It is a design by Weeks and Ringle, and appears in the 2017 Modern Quilt Calendar.  Although I desperately hate the quilt, am not fond of the fabric aesthetic...  I am confident of the basic quilt design and layout, and I'm sure with a little bit of "all the good ones" magic it will all turn out perfectly.

I decided to stick with a selection of black/grey prints as the alternate square in all the blocks...

 ... and worked my way through a pretty meager selection of red scraps.  I must admit, red and yellow are my least purchased fabrics... hence the decision to chose Block P which consists of 1 1/2" squares.  My red selection went from a very brown rust, and something a bit coral like, right through to a solid barn red.


So all ready to start sewing!

This week has been a bit cruddy as far as sewing time goes.  But I have set aside time for cutting new blocks, and choosing fabrics.  So I still feel like progress is being made.

For the Tillies Lane large applique block this month (the watering can)...


I've set aside this interesting selection of fabrics.


And the mini block...

Will be sunglasses required eye popping.


While sorting through the red scraps, I cut a few more of the hourglass blocks from those fabrics large enough to cut 2" squares.


And I've cut up the remaining Starburst Cross blocks.

So now I am all ready to start sewing over the weekend!