Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Workshop in Progress

Back at Thanksgiving I had this plan to use up a bunch of little scraps in my ever growing scrap bins.  I had this idea that I'd make 6" blocks in two different patterns.  The first pattern would be scrappy centers and solid borders.  The second pattern will be solid centers and scrappy borders.  The solid centers will most likely be Kona Coal.

This is my progress at the first pattern.  The centers are 4" square with a 1" border.  The center is just pieced together as I go based on the size scraps I am using.  As you can see, some of them are pretty small.

I have actually been a bit stuck on the best method to choose fabrics for each block.  I organize my scraps into three bins- warm colors, cool colors, and neutrals.  The first block I made was the one on the bottom left- mostly pulled from the cool color bin.  I then decided to grab scraps from both the warm and cool color bins and I came up with the block in the lower right.  Sick.  I think that one is hideous!  So for the next blocks I kept it safe and pulled from only one bin.  The ones pulled from the single bin are fine and I like the look.  However, I don't really want a quilt with only blue-green and pink-orange blocks.  That seems a bit boring and not really the scrappy look I am going for.

So my question for you is this:  how do you or would you go about choosing fabrics for scrappy blocks?


Anonymous said...

I actually like the one in the bottom right. In fact, I like the whole photo, with a combination of cool blocks, combo blocks, and warm blocks. What about incorporating them all into one quilt, with a few combo blocks throughout to tie the warm and cool blocks together?

Rebekah said...

what a cute idea for a "self-contained" scrap quilt (my bins are overflowing right now).

I agree that the block with the warm and cool colors will look best when combined into one quilt

Cheryl Arkison said...

You are probably heading towards a quilt with all one sort of colour (all cools or all warms) if you really hate the combo block.

You could sort more by individual colour...

If you do decide to combine them, remember your balance of warm to cool. 2/3 warm to 1/3 cool for a more balanced quilt.

Lesly said...

I've not done too many scrappy quilts, but the ones that I have done are either matched for light/dark values or matched along a particular colour, e.g., different reds and creams.

Lisa said...

I like the one you don't like! I think if you had a whole quilt with all those fabrics it would be a nice riot of color.

That said, since you don't like the mixed one, maybe you should go with both a warm quilt and a cool quilt. Do you have enough scraps for that?

When I make a scrappy quilt I usually go with just a few colors, like, say, red, white and blue, or pink and green, something like that.

Good luck and you have some awesome fabrics there so no matter what you decide to do it is going to look great!

elle said...

I don't think you'll get a fair evaluation with so few blocks. The one you don't like will stick out too much with the few. You wouldn't see it in 20. I use a 'controled' scrap palette just as if I were picking colours for any quilt. And as Cheryl says, proportions are important.

Anonymous said...

I really like the white borders round the scrappy squares. This is going to look great when it's done!

For me, scrappy doesn't necessarily mean random. How about tipping your bins out on the floor and picking up different scraps to see what goes together. That way you'll get a mix of the warm and cool but with colour combinations that you like.

Although this method is a pain when the time comes to tidy up!

Katie B. said...

I actually like the sick block too! But maybe you could do an all cool (or all warm) quilt and just add variety in the way you piece the blocks. I think if you take these blocks and then add the ones with the solid centers/scrappy borders that will give you lots of variety.

KatieQ said...

I like your idea of separating your scraps by whether they are cool or warm colors. I always have trouble deciding how to store mine. I have tried by color, light/dark, size,or type (floral, geometric, novelty, etc.), but have never been satisfied with any of them.
Although I do love the cool block, I think the mixed block looks good. Having the white border around the blocks should make it easier to mix warm, cool, and combo blocks.
Maybe you should try a few more mixed blocks before deciding.

Dorrie said...

Nichole~I agree with most of the others~I like the corner right block. And I think it may grow on you if you make two or three more, space them evenly on something solid and stand back from them to view them. Honestly, I think you've got something going here! What a great way to de-scrap the bucket.

nanann said...

How funny! I'm going through the same dilemma with a scrap string quilt I'm doing currently. Totally intended on mixing all the colors, but decided against it.

I am actually doing all warm blocks and all cool blocks. When they're all done, I'm going to try out my different options (individual warm and cool quilts or go ahead and mix them up).

By the way, I must admit I like your block that has both. You might try doing a block with both again without so many different pieces. That might be skewing your point of view as well.