Happy Sunday, readers! I hope you are all enjoying your day. I have been suffering from a headache/migraine that has decided to depart with a little help from Magnesium. I have felt so good in fact today that ALL OF THE 365 QUILT BLOCK CHALLENGE MARCH BLOCKS ARE COMPLETED! Hence the reason I am seeing red!
First I would like to share my formula, that helps me decide my fabrics. I have a pile of fabrics. Depending on what my daily BOM (bill of materials) tells me, depends on what I select. Playing with contrast is key at this step.
A long time ago when I was working on the tumbler quilt, I realized that the same fabric could be considered light or dark depending on the value of fabric it was placed next too.
Every other tumbler in this quilt alternates between light and dark. A tan could be placed next to dark blue or black and it could be considered the lighter value. A tan could be dark enough placed next to a white that it would look dark. You can probably see all the repeats in there if you look closely enough, some as the dark value and some on the light.
The same holds true for the 365 quilt block challenge.
Each day has its’ own block. Each block can vary between only two colors used to 4, 6 or even 8. When the BOM calls out for blocks A and B to be Dark Dark, and block C and D to be medium, and medium dark, this simple task of pairing fabrics can be difficult. You have to pay attention to placement to make sure there is enough contrast between the Dark Dark and the Medium Dark pieces that touch.
With the help of the homemade Alpha Bitties my Mom made for me (thanks Mom, I am using them every day to help keep things straight), I select what fabrics are to be dark, or medium dark, or light and place the corresponding letter for that block.
Here I have assigned the BOM blocks to cut from these pieces of fabric.
I then cut the fabrics to the dimensions on the BOM, and then keep them with the Alpha Bitties so I don’t get turned around. Here is the block board (Lori Holt’s design that I made at TOGA, and boy I have been using the heck out of it). Then I subcut or draw lines as prescribed in directions.
It makes it so much easier if you have 35 pieces in your 3 1/2 inch block to keep them all straight and sewn in the right place!
Todays block was sewing a partial seam (yuck), and sewing the remainder part of the block normaly, revisiting that first partial seam making it whole. Not my favorite, but nice to know that I can do it!
This block was making 4 tiny flying geese to surround a square.
Nothing more frustrating to be making all these tiny cuts to fabric and learn you have to cut a huge chunk out of a larger piece because you sewed the wrong left wing where you should have sewn it to the right wing.
During the course of the last 5 months, sewing these small blocks, I took some very good advice from someone (who took multiple years to finish their 365 quilt top). The only thing she said she would change was she thought she made all of her dark 3 1/2 inch blocks too dark.
So, I decided to look at contrast a bit and realized I could use the same concept of my tumbler quilt in this 365 quilt. If I chose the color black every now and again, I could use a dark red as a medium dark red, and sew on and sew fourth! I even went to the trouble and placing some light colors amongst the darks, so that I would get good contrast when they all go together. I am sew thankful for the advice offered by a fellow quilter. Very good advice, indeed!
Independently these blocks are kind of ugly, but when you place them as a whole, it gives a wonderful variety.
Today I have three legs sewn of the center medallion border. Only one more of those to go and I am running out of ideas for the lighter fabrics. I made need just one more lighter red to make that side happen. But in the mean time, I laid it out, not in any particular order. The large cornerstone blocks around the medallion have not been made yet, but it did not keep me from laying them out on the floor to see how this was going to look and if I needed to take a different direction.
Just look at all those contrasting blocks! And forgive me I got so excited I did not even pay attention to the yellow bookmark photo bombing this picture LOL. By making some black, some dark red, and some with just a hint of light fabric, it has made my eyes happy! All of this work, hours and hours, and now I can start to see the picture coming in to focus.
I am going to steer this direction for the lighter blocks too. I will probably use loud and colorful neutrals (yes there is such as thing) and incorporate that style as I go. Here are some I made so far. Most of this color fades at greater than 6 foot leaving just a hue of soft blue, or pink, or even tan. I am very happy with that.
Well, I have felt good enough to play, it is time to get to work in the kitchen. Potstickers for supper, MMMMmmm. Light, simple, delicious! And tomorrow it is back to work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, and crave weekends like this every week.
May your week be filled with productivity and well-being! And thanks for reading my blog!