Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not really feeling the Farmer love

I pieced 11 of the first 12 blocks last night.  I skipped the basket because I don't like baskets. Piecing these together really isn't too bad, but cutting them out is another story. Sadly, I'm not in love.  I am really happy with how the blocks came out.  I think I did a pretty good job constructing them, but my fabric choices on the other hand were not so hot.  I tried using all the Bliss fabrics, but many of the fabrics are quite busy.  I knew it could be problematic, but kept cutting.  I cut out all 11 blocks before piecing a single one.  Once I started piecing the blocks I realized it just feels like there is too much competition among the prints.  The block patterns are not standing out as well as I'd like.

I really do love these sampler blocks.  I'm just debating on what to do next.  I could keep the blocks I have and start mixing in solids in future blocks to try to tone down the busy-ness.  I could also change things up and just start making scrappy blocks and put the Bliss blocks away.  I want to love this quilt, and currently I'm on the fence about it.  It's just so different from my usual style. 















22 comments:

  1. I love your blocks but I know what you mean about fabrics fighting for attention. I've been watching everyone in the blogsphere making these blocks and I'm getting the itch to pick up this book. The basket block is not my favorite either.

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  2. You're right that the patterns are really busy together. But I still like it. I feel like it would be a perfect gift for one of the girls in 7 brides for 7 brothers. :) I love old movies. Anyway, I think you should push all the way through it. My mom has a quilt that looks busy but you could spend hours admiring each block. And I think that's pretty special too. :)

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  3. The colors seem busy but are really beautiful and earlier you said you didn't care for traditional so I think this will be fine, maybe add some white sashing.

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  4. I think they look lovely, but if you really feel put off by them have a good nosey through the book as lots of the blocks involve the same size pieces, you could always unpick and replace a few with solids? But I wouldn't! I think they're cute :-)

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  5. I'd leave the ones you have but add a few solids in. It will turn out so cute! I love bliss and I think you'll love this quilt with a few more solids. Cute!

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  6. I think you are correct that the prints are competing with each other. I think I read that there are 111 blocks in this sampler so you could probably leave these as they are and just change the composition of future blocks...these will blend in in the grand scheme of things. Your block construction looks great and the fabrics are really pretty :o)

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  7. I sure appreciate the work you're putting in to cut out all these different blocks. It's one of the reasons I don't want to do this quilt-along! (I like basket block, by the way.) If you're really frugal (like I am), I'd take apart the blocks with just two prints, and substitute a solid in one of the places. Then, I'd remake the other blocks, using the "reject blocks" to make the quilt back. Hope my input doesn't put you off. I mean it in a constructive way.

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  8. I think your blocks are lovely - I'd keep them, and mix in a few solids for the next few blocks. And you might end up doing solids for sashing in the end (as they do in the back of the book) - so it might be fine!

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  9. I think adding some solids is a great idea. I think if you do that, these blocks could be farther apart and then maybe you'd like them more.

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  10. Take them apart and add some solids. If you're like me, if you keep going, you'll always look at those blocks and hate them even if you change course with the future blocks.

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  11. I think they look like beautiful Bliss blocks, but I am not so sure if they are 'you', if I can be so bold!

    So glad I haven't started yet - I am learning so much from other people's initial 'findings'.

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  12. Earlier in the year I was following along with a Civil War QAL. (I have now fallen hopelessly behind - but somehow still hope to catch back up!) I choose to make the blocks more modern by using Meadowsweet fabric, but had a really hard time making them look good. The larger scale fabrics are really hard to use in smaller pieced blocks.

    Thankfully, I didn't cut all of my blocks out at once and was able to learn as I went, but a few of my blocks didn't turn out as nicely as I would want. I learned that if I wanted the right contrast I usually could only use one of the prints and then have the rest of the pieces by solids or tone on tones. It still took almost as long to choose out fabrics as it did to sew them together.

    I hate unpicking, so I would NOT unpick the ones you have. Just start from here on out to use more solids or small tone on tones. If the blocks still bug you at the end you can always do them over, but they just might add a bit of personality to your quilt.

    http://sewnbyleila.blogspot.com/search/label/Civil%20War%20blocks
    Here are some of my Civil War blocks. :)

    Keep going!!! You can do it!!

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  13. I like Katie's idea of working in some solids to the rest of your quilt and peppering these all-printy blocks throughout the final quilt layout. I also agree that sashing will help these blocks feel more calm. I can't stand unpicking, so I definitely vote to keep these blocks as is, and just spread them about the other 99 blocks of the quilt! :)

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  14. I was going to suggest starting to add solids in, and once you have lots of blocks together these few won't look so busy. I plan on doing something similar! :)

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  15. I love your blocks, yes some of them are busy, but the fabrics are beautiful and they are pieced so well, it would be a shame to unpick them. I agree with the comments above, try making a few with solids thrown in and some co-ordinating fabrics that read as solids and once they are all together they will all blend and look beautiful.

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  16. I always have problems deciding on fabrics that will look well together. I start off thinking everything will look great, then the more I sew, the more I sit back and go "Oh crud!" I'm sure once everything starts coming together, you'll start loving it. I generally do!

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  17. I didn't know you were doing this! I thought there would be no way at the beginning, but now I'm thinking maybe I will start. I think it's all about fabric selection. Some I've seen are way too much and others fit together really nicely.

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  18. If you were here at my dining room table, asking my advice...I'd recommend plowing ahead, playing with a combination of Bliss prints and some quieter fabrics (or solids) in your next set of blocks. When set 1 (the rowdies) is intermingled with set 2, you might find that their combined volume is just right!

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  19. I also would say to keep what you have and just start mixing in more solids or less busy prints, with the Bliss fabric. If you are doing 111 total blocks (or even if not), 10 busy blocks in the grand scheme of things I think will just blend right in. Good luck!

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  20. Kati, you often make quilts that have a bold and vibrant all over pattern. Each piece helps create one over all look. So a sampler is naturally going to throw you off your game a bit. Especially one with this many blocks! I think that it may just be the nature of a sampler that each block is really meant to stand alone. And you did such a lovely job on each of them, that they do. A little more contrast in some blocks might be nice, but I certainly wouldn't redo all of these!

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  21. Kati, I agree that you should keep these blocks for now. I think if you mix in solids in your future blocks, these will blend into the finished quilt just fine, but you could always re-do them at the end if they're still bothering you. Good luck!

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  22. Gosh, you're blocks are stunning indeed, maybe use them as feature block and pull out color/prints to complement those blocks,,it's like life, some days are full and bold, some are a bit quiet, so maybe your fabrics/blocks are just reflecting a year in the farmer's wife's life!! (yes, I am guilty of being a romantic xo)

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