Monday, May 9, 2016

My first Splendid Sampler blocks

This weekend I started on some blocks from The Splendid Sampler quilt along which is being put together by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  I picked out a color scheme based on a solid blue I had from Connecting Threads (I love love love them) and a variety of prints in my stash in dark yellows, oranges, red-oranges and reds.  I did four blocks.  These are not in order of the blocks as they were released, just four blocks I picked out that I felt like working on.  There were 3 straightforward piecing blocks and 1 applique block.

I'm pretty happy with this first block:
This is Splendid Sampler Bock #5, "Simple Simon", by Celine Perkins.  I'm pretty happy with the way this one turned out.  

Then I did this one:
This is Block #8, "Friends Around the Square", by Julie Karasek.  Please don't let my results taint your opinion of the block pattern itself!  I really don't care for the way this one turned out and I know it is my fabric selections.  I realized as I was picking out the specific fabrics for these blocks, I was trying to pay attention to value, but wasn't focused on anything else.  So I ignored the "loudness" and scale of the patterns on the fabrics and how the different shades of color would work next to each other.  The large and bold pattern on the red background fabric really doesn't work at all for me and I also don't care for the gold fabric here--the gray flowers just stand out too starkly in what is already a pretty busy block design.  

I already have a tendency in patchwork to stick to solids and tone-on-tone fabrics and to be uncomfortable with how to use fabrics with distinct patterns inside of patchwork next to other colors and values and scale choices.  So I think this Splendid Sampler may be a great opportunity for me to work on that and learn about what works and what doesn't (at least for my tastes) and get batter at that.  So I will consider this block a learning block.  ;-)  

This next block is Block #10, "Iowa", by Sherri McConnell.  I like this block and I'm reasonably satisfied with how mine came out.  The fabric selections are a little odd, but not tooooo disturbing.  But I didn't take seriously enough how much attention needed to be paid to getting the center row to line up correctly where there are three different spots that have 4 points coming together.  So on my first run I just ran it through the machine and then noticed how far off my points were.  Check out the closeup:
YIKES!  So even though I don't rip seams out and redo them very often, this time I did and it turned out much better.

The last block I did this weekend was Block #14, "Flying High", by Janet Clare.  I love this block -- it makes me think of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Instead of using different fabrics for each bird, I chose to use a single fabric.  I'm not sure if that was a good or bad choice, as I think I would like the block either way, and it was fun to cut out these adorable little birds and stitch them onto my background.  I am now hearing Neil Diamond's Jonathan Livingston Seagull album in my head... (and that is not a bad thing if you ask me!)

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