Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blocks, Blocks, Blocks

During 2012 I participated in Amy Gibson’s Block of the Month Club on Craftsy, and I might have mentioned that I don’t usually like these types of projects because I prefer to design my own quilts, rather than make someone else’s design. However, as I worked on the quilt through the year I discovered something about myself.

While I did learn a couple of new techniques last year and found that rewarding, the best part was the camaraderie of my fellow students. For me fiber art is a very solitary pursuit. I don’t have many friends who share these interests, and none who don’t have a full time job doing something else. In the online community others are working on the same project but giving it their own twist, and offering advice and feedback. Sometimes I even experienced the gratification of receiving a “like” from a student whose work I admire. These all kept me interested and challenged. So surprise, surprise, I’ve signed up for the Craftsy 2013 Block of the Month with Laura Nownes. And I’ve also signed up for Amy Gibson’s Sugar Block Club – a new block and a new recipe every month – what fun. 
2013 Sugar Block Club
Now for the big challenge – fabric selection. Do you audition every piece of material in your stash when you are starting a new project and then go out and buy something new anyway? For these two quilts I did a bit of both. For the Laura Nownes quilt I decided to follow her lead up to a point.
Since Laura has shown us her finished quilt, there isn’t much mystery about what we will be making. That does make fabric selection easier (it also makes it easier for those of us with some experience and a bit of impatience to jump ahead).
She chose Robert Kaufman’s “Spot On” and “Metro Living” lines and while I loved the polka dots, I found her finished quilt just a bit too busy and my eye just couldn't find a place to rest. I think part of this is the design, which may require a bit of rework for my taste. Adding in the number of colors – this quilt is a real ROYGBIV sampler – and it’s just too much. I chose just greens, red/orange, and grey/black prints from “Spot On”, and will probably use more white and gray where she used pinks and blues. I may have to skip that flower basket too, but that's just me.
Now you may think I’m crazy, but for the Sugar Block Club I went a different direction from Amy Gibson. Amy hasn't revealed the finished design, so all we know is that the blocks will be modern interpretations of traditional designs and that Amy is using Westminster Fiber’s Free Spirit Solids in bold colors.

I like the idea of solids but thought I might like something a bit more subtle since I'm working on something quite bright in the other BOM club. At first I though of all of those Kaffe Fasset shot cottons I've been saving to use for a quilt?
I do love these fabrics, but truth be told the fabric is lightweight and stretchy, and even with a lot of starch will be difficult to work with. Besides I have this idea for circles…
Since I do have a ridiculously large stash of Robert  Kaufman Kona Solids in all the colors of the rainbow, I auditioned colors in many colorways and combinations. What I ended up with may surprise you. I've always wanted to try a really neutral quilt with subtle variations on brown, tan, and gray. So here is my selection.

It’s a rainy gray day here in Atlanta so the indoor photography may not give true color fidelity, but the variation in colors really is quite subtle in natural light. Will it work with Amy’s blocks? Hard to say. I might have to add additional blocks, sashing, and borders to make it work in the way I want, but at any rate I’m committed. Here is my first block.

And here is the first Craftsy block too. We were instructed to make four of these 6 ½ inch log cabin blocks, but I made eight while I was at it. I suspect as I change things up in the pattern I will find a place to use them. If not, four of them sewn together will make an cute pillow front.

I can’t wait to see what happens in February.

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