Sunday, April 06, 2014

Making Blocks for Scrappy Quilts

Sunday was gray and cold and windy here, feeling more like winter than anything else.  It made it easy to stay inside and continue to play with purple scraps.  The result was a purple haze on my design wall.

Design Wall - April 6 - a Purple Haze

These are the blocks for the four ongoing projects I'm working on as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Two are new this year, two are old (and older) projects that I hope to finish by year's end  as I work my way, month by month, color by color.

As I moved from block-to-block and project-to-project, I realized that my approach to these scrappy blocks isn't always the same.

Scrappy Purple Broken Dishes BlockEach of the Broken Dishes blocks is made from 32 triangles.  When cutting fabrics for these, I don't really think about the individual fabrics and how they will play together, only their VALUE. The placement of the light, medium and dark fabrics creates the stars in these monochromatic blocks and they do seem to be proof of the idea that if you use 50 different fabrics, they will work.

FYI, the 8 broken Dishes blocks on my design wall are from a previous iteration of the Rainbow Scraps Challenge.  My goal this month is to make 13 more.

Purple Briar Patch BlockThe paper pieced Briar Patch blocks contain 3 purple fabrics plus 2 black and white prints (one light and one dark). In each of these blocks, I do think about choosing three fabrics that play well together.

But because I doubt that the blocks will be lumped together by color in the quilt, I don't worry if the blocks made from a single color, like these six scrappy purple ones aren't great together.

Six Scrappy Purple Briarpatch Blocks

A side effect of my gray, overcast day is that some of the purple fabrics in these blocks look a little dead.  They are actually more lively and purpley in person ... but they still don't all play well with one another. 

Purple Triangles-in-a-Square blockFor the Triangles-in-a-Square blocks for my Mod-Mod Throw, because I know they WILL be grouped together in the quilt, I paid more attention to the group of 14 fabrics and how they ALL worked together.

I still used a mix of purples that were closer to red on the color wheel and those leaning toward blue, but all six blocks are happy to be adjacent to one another (and definitely happier together than those Briar Patch blocks) ... or at least I think so.

6 Scrappy Purple Triangles-in-a-Square blocks

I made these using the 4-at once method (#1 in the instructions) and the paper foundations (method #3) to make 2 more.   I'll have more to say about these and the Mod-Mod quilt-along next week.

Scrappy Purple Oak Leaf BlockI confess I am not entirely happy with my purple Oak Leaf block.

While I do want to have enough contrast between the 10 purples in this block–because I want the individual triangles to be obvious–this one seems to have almost too much value contrast and would, I think, benefit from more mediums and fewer dark fabrics.

If I get all those Broken Dishes blocks made before the end of the month, maybe I'll try remaking this one and see what happens.

When you make scrappy blocks, do you choose fabrics that coordinate, choose them based on value or color,  or just randomly choose and use them ... or do you have your own technique for choosing fabrics? 

15 comments:

Cathy (aka CrafteeCC) said...

loving the purple scraps ..... especially love the broken dishes blocks :)

Jo said...

Nice purple blocks.
Well done

QuiltSwissy said...

I have never thought about some of what you talk about. However I realize I do worry about how the scraps play together in value and colors in most everything I do.

I need to do some scrappy project and get some of these squares and strips I have been saving out of those boxes!

Needled Mom said...

Your purples look fabulous. I think I choose mostly by values when I am working on scrappy.

Nann said...

When I look at the oak leaf block I see that the dark triangles on the edges are very dark. But when I see that block on the design wall with the other purple blocks those dark edges help distinguish it.

Sheri said...

I usually stop by a few of the posts on the linky parties if I feel "invited in"! I'm currently working with purples too (doing Material Girls Layer Cake quilt along) as I want to give a quilt to each of my nieces and 3 of them chose purple. I love your broken dishes and the square in a square blocks and the oak leaf on the design wall looks very attractive. I can visualize the multicolor briar patch blocks looking well together. I'm not so good about knowing how to group fabric colors except to lay them together and see if "they play well together" as you said. I had a hard time admitting that to myself at first because I'm artistic and thought I should be better at it. I'm amazed that the color pallette is infinate and adding in value and tone makes it even more so. I found that out when I kept buying fabrics on sale and thinking they'd go together and then they didn't! (Sorry I'm not that gregarious in person, but in print seem to go on and on.)

floribunda said...

Sophie, I think those broken dishes blocks look particularly sparkly -- I really like them! Once I get out from a couple of sewing obligations, I think I need to dig out those scrap bins again and start playing along. Thanks for the inspirations!

Libby in TN said...

I have trouble doing scrappy. My organized A brain won't let me. To me, value is the most important consideration. If all reds go together (as Mary Ellen Hopkins supposedly said) shouldn't all purples? Yet I will separate my red-purples from my blue-purples .....

Bonnie said...

Love your purple blocks. You are going to town, even if you've included some blocks from previous Rainbow Scrap Challenges. Purple is such an interesting color with the way it leans red or leans blue. I'm looking forward to making my soon.

desertskyquilts said...

With all these rainbow scrap projects, you are going to wind up with a LOT of quilt tops!

Pumlans flitiga fingrar said...

Lovely Purple blocks!

Karen said...

Lots of pretty purples. I really like the broken dishes blocks.

Kate said...

Gorgeous purple blocks! It depends on the block as to how I choose the fabrics, but I use all the approaches you mention sometime or the other.

Cathy said...

I LOVE all your blocks. I might have to get the Briar Patch pattern.

I am a random scrappy person. I don't think about anything too much. (I'm not into quilting for the thinking aspect of it - I'm in it for the mindless aspect of it). I'm not out to win any awards either.

To me, if you cut scraps small enough they all pretty much go together like a box of broken crayons or a beautiful cottage garden.

Sheila said...

I love your purple fabrics and projects : )

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