Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Challenging myself

This Whirling star block was made yesterday, I used some fabric from my favorite Civil War dress within the block which I really enjoyed doing. I gave a lot of thought to the sashing fabric before I began this quilt. I've always picked out the sashing after all the blocks were done and this time I decided to pick out a light colored sashing so that I would be challenged to purposely not use light colored fabrics for backgrounds of the individual blocks as is my norm. I'm trying to step outside of the box a bit, as well as trying to keep to the more Civil War Era practice of using light fabrics for sashing between the blocks. This has led me to some interesting and not quite comfortable for me block and color designs. I also have challenged myself to use Victorian era color sensibilities and not those of the 20th century. All my other quilts have huge contrast, most have light block backgrounds with colorful sashings in between, and using Victorian colors is causing me to pair together fabrics that both/all have serious patterns or interest, and to pair up colors that might not seem to go together, at least in 2007. So far, when the blocks are viewed one at a time, they are less striking than when paired together.
This is one version of the Yankee puzzle block, and I chose the fabrics because of the block's placement in the first strip of 6 blocks that I'm making, they repeat some colors used a few blocks away in the strip. The quilt will be 6 blocks by 6 blocks, so there will be plenty of opportunity for challenging block designs to spread out the colors in the quilt. I have chosen a few fabrics from my box of fat quarters, then as I have worked and sewn, I've added more from my stash and my scraps but kept the original ones out for further use. That way I'm building on the colors that are already out and on the table and also adding new ones.
This is called the album block, and it needed some bright colors so I added lavenders and gold, which are new additions to the colors so far. I've been challenging myself to make a block a day, but Saturday begins my 10 days of Summer Camp at the Genteel Arts academy and I still have a business to run at the same time, so I'm not expecting to get a block a day done under those circumstances. I have to be clear of mind and not overly tired when I quilt as the cutting and sewing is very exacting so I am not sure when I'll be able to work on it after camp when vacation is over. Still, I enjoy the process as much as the progress, so I'm happy with what I've done and looking forward to what I will do in the future.

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