I decided to start making my blocks while I was on a quilting retreat and the feedback was interesting. When I had my fabrics spread out on the table, the response was mixed.
Some people liked the low contrast, others thought the pile looked too drab. It may not be a palette for everyone, but give it time, it may grow on you.
Because I’d limited my palette to the fabrics I had on hand, I cut fabrics for one block at a time…something I don’t usually do. I then placed them in position at my sewing table. To get some differentiation in pieces, I ended up using three prints per block. Here’s my first finished block.
Looking at just one block, I’m not yet sure about the palette I’ve picked, but already I’ve learned a couple of things.
I’m usually a chain piecer and I like to multitask. So, I confess I was sewing this block together at the same time I was sewing another project…making the most of not having to cut the thread too often. The first thing I learned is you REALLY SHOULD put the block together in rows like the instructions call for. I started picking up random pairs, sure that I could keep it straight. It’s true confession time…here’s what I ended up with:
This was like a Jenga puzzle! It took me forever to figure out what went where once I snipped pieces off the chain. Why, oh, why didn’t I sew it together in rows as written? Who knows! I blame it on the fun retreat friends I was yakking away with and maybe the glass of grape juice I was enjoying while I sewed. Even when I thought I’d figured it out, I made a mistake that I didn’t discover until the block was finished. Do you see it? It’s the center of the strip on the right hand edge. The strip is turned the wrong way! The little brown square at the center should be on the outside, not the inside. YIKES!
Eventually, with the help of my reverse sewing device (aka seam ripper) I was able to save the block and my sanity by promising to make no more blocks without following the instructions. So, for my second block I followed the prescribed set of plans and was much happier.
Again I used mostly darks from my assortment, though this block had slightly more contrast than the first. I followed the assembly instructions as written to a T and it was FAR, FAR EASIER—lesson #1 was learned! But, another true confession, I once again turned one of the side units the wrong way. A little seam ripping of that piece and I was back in business. Not sure why I can’t see that in my head as I’m placing pieces, but I was consistent….consistently wrong on blocks 1 and 2. Perhaps three will be the charm for me. Whew!
So, for block three I dipped into my “lights” to pull in a slightly more contrasty look for the nine-patches and four-patches.
I pieced it to perfection….with the exception of that one side unit I turned the wrong way again! I think I wasn’t meant to piece this block so late in the evening at a retreat….hmmm. Easily fixed, but seriously, what’s my deal? I’m setting this project aside until morning.
P. S. If you decide to join in—don’t forget to share! We’re so excited to see what everyone’s making as they quilt along! We created a hashtag you can use on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Simply hashtag any uploaded photos to your own social media sites with #APQquiltalong. That will make it easy for all of us to see what everyone is working on! I’ll be back to share my progress with you soon.
Now, check out these other Quilt Along participant’s blogs:
- Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side, amyscreativeside.com. Amy’s planning to make a guy-worthy quilt, with a scrappy mix of blue, green, and gray fabrics.
- Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, bunnyhillblog.com. A rich, vintage look in hues of beige, purple, and rusty brown is what Anne is seeking.
- Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms, camilleroskelley.typepad.com. A scrappy, cheerful assortment of Bonnie and Camille prints ups the contrast.
- Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co., lavieenrosie.typepad.com. Carrie adds a French twist, working in a scrappy three-color palette of French General fabrics.
- Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane, quiltjane.blogspot.com. Jane’s version is all about text-ure—text prints mixed with solid-color wovens.
- Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop, fatquartershop.blogspot.com. The big blocks pop when separated by colorful sashing on Kimberly’s quilt.
- Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, lisabongean.com. Lisa turns up the volume with black backgrounds and cream and tan print patchwork.
- Lissa Alexander, modalissa.blogspot.com. Lissa shares her experience and tips about the process of making the featured version of Tone It Down.
- Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, www.aquiltinglife.com A fan of primary colors and American Jane prints? Sherri’s version might be just what inspires you!