Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blocks or Strips?

which do you prefer? are most of your quilts block based, or are they an overall design?

i'm all about the strip piecing, so i don't generally make a lot of blocks. i made the wonky stars baby quilt last year (i've heard them called maverick stars, but honestly sarah palin has ruined that word for me!) and i've plotted out a few block based designs that i'll get around to eventually, and i've made quilts where the design is made up of basic blocks, like the Fat Quarterly quiltalong, my green Kona baby quilt, or my in-progress bow tie quilt, but none that make the blocks the focus, like a log cabin, or a churn dash, or something like that.

i'm completely swooning over Swoon, and i'm determined to make a log cabin quilt at some point, but my attention span works against me in regards to a full quilt made up of obvious blocks.

that's why guild challenges and bees are so awesome! i can make blocks, which are fun, but i only have to make one or two of each design, so i don't get bored. and i get to see if i enjoy that particular block, before committing to an entire quilt with it. it's perfect!

i've been working on blocks off and on for the past few weeks, catching up on a guild challenge, and working on bee blocks.

the June challenge for VMQG was a modification of a Bottled Rainbows block. i was super excited, because i'd really wanted to do that quilt-a-long, but i was too busy at the time. we changed it up slightly, so that the fabric requirements were a bit more practical, but otherwise, it's exactly the same.

teal bottled rainbow

the quilt-a-long instructions gave several options for how the ticker tape pieces were sewn down, but since we'll be making guild quilts out of the challenge blocks, we (or rather, Paul, our challenge coordinator extraordinaire!) decided to keep it consistent and have everyone zigzag their blocks.

green bottled rainbow

have i ever mentioned how much i dislike zigzag? ha! i've seen it making a bit of a comeback in the last year or so, but i still haven't changed my mind. to me it feels cheap. i think it looks homemade, but not in a lovely handmade kind of way, more in a "i can't sew straight, but it's less obvious if it's not a straight stitch" kind of way! i don't mind satin stitch, it can look really polished when it's well done, but i'm definitely not a fan of zigzag!

green detail

i do like how my blocks turned out, but i'm contemplating making more of them for myself, and i definitely won't be zigzagging them.

pink bottled rainbow

despite how excited i was, i still didn't finish them until just before the august meeting. they require prep work before you can start the fun part, and i've realized that i'm not good with that sort of thing!

in addition to the guild challenge blocks, i mentioned in my WIP Wednesday post that Sarah of {So Sarah Sews} is organizing a casual charity bee, specifically for two teenage sisters who are in the foster system. the blocks are all pink, purple and white, and she's chosen two blocks to do, one for each sister. folks are posting their blocks in the flickr group as they finish them, and they're really looking fantastic!

square block 2

i made two of each block, though i could quite easily have continued making them, especially the garden fence block by Hyacinth Quilt Designs. so simple and pretty!

square block 1

luckily, i'd just picked up some purple and pink for my bowtie blocks, after realizing how little selection my stash had, especially in purple.

star 2

we're staying away from childish prints, because the girls are young teenagers. it's one thing when you're an adult, then you can love childish things unabashedly (or at lest, you should be able to!), but when you're 13 and trying to feel grown up, it's a whole different story!

star 1

the instructions for the star block came from a Moda Bakeshop pattern, the Charming Stars Quilt, designed by Stefanie from Little Lady Patchwork.

now that those are done, i can focus entirely on my improv block for Unscripted Bee! i've been working away on it, and i'm hoping to get it finished Monday or Tuesday of this week.

and in addition to the bee blocks, i also came across Block Lotto the other day, which sounds super fun. what do you think? have you ever participated? this month's african violet block could be really funky, if done right!


SoSarahSews said...

I love those bottled rainbows. Your blocks are all beautiful! I made the Swoon quilt top and love it!

amy dame said...

thanks Sarah!

i've seen a few versions of Swoon, and i've loved all of them, but i ran across a halloween version the other day, which i ADORED, and it totally cemented my love! one day i'll make one.

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