Sunday, May 04, 2014

Playing on the Design Wall

I always tell quilters that sorting my fabric stash (and scraps) by color was so enlightening for me.  I was reminded of this when I pulled out some I-spy charm squares and sorted them  by background color.

I-spy squares chosenI needed eight 5-inch I-spy squares with a similar colors for background for each block.

  • I didn't have but a few orange ones.  
  • I only had enough of purple ones after cutting a few more squares from my stash. 
  • I probably could have made a few more blue blocks, and
  • I had a lot of greens, but not a lot that were similar enough for this project.
  • I had more I-spy squares with white backgrounds than any others, but, since I was planning to add a white fabric and needed contrast with all the squares, those will be used in another quilt design that's been percolating in my head for a while. 

I-spy Star block
My idea was that from a distance, you'd see a white star on a print background in various colors, but up-close, you'd see that the background around each star was actually 8 different fabrics, with lots of interesting I-spy characters.

For the star points, I added 2 3/4 inch white squares, using the method often used in snowball blocks.  After I trimmed away the (smaller) triangles from the corners, I used them as leader-enders while I sewed the blocks.

It didn't take long until I had nine 13 1/2 inch square blocks.

Blocks Complete

And then the fun could begin. I arranged and re-arranged the blocks on the wall until I was happy.

Arranged   And re-arranged

And re-arranged   And re-arranged

Final ArrangementI didn't think about how many possible combinations there might be, when I saw this one on the wall, I decided it was good and sewed it together.

Here's the completed top along with the pinwheel blocks I made from the bonus triangles.

I don't know if this would have happened so quickly for me without a design wall. 

Finished Top and Pinwheels

The pinwheel blocks at 3 inches (finished size). The eagle eyes will notice that almost half of them are spinning in one directions and the rest are going the other way ... I haven't decided if I will fix them before I sew them into a doll quilt–taking half of them apart may be one of my Sunday night TV-watching handwork, along with some more of the stitched words that have appealed so much.

I don't know if I would have noticed my dyslexic group of pinwheels if I hadn't put them up on the design wall ... I only wish I had done so when I was making them, so I could have see this oopsy sooner.

I'm joining Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday and Judy's Design Wall Monday.


canuckquilter said...

I love your I Spy quilt! I recently sorted my stash too, and was surprised to discover what I had available to play with. And I agree that a design wall is a marvelous invention.

Juliann in WA said...

What a fun idea for an I Spy quilt,

Kathryn said...

I've not seen an I-spy done like you've made yours, and I like it a lot. I may steal your idea one day. To tell you the truth, I don't think any one would notice the direction of the spinning pinwheels if there is some sashing between them. Looks like you had a veryroductive day.

joe tulips said...

I have never been a fan of ispy quilts. But this one makes me change my mind. I am a tone on tone person who doesn't know how to use prints. This is wonderful! I never noticed the directions of the pinwheels either.

Julierose said...

Love that I-Spy--those novelty fabrics are such fun! It is a WOW quilt.
hugs, Julierose

Jo said...

These star blocks look great

Brenda said...

love the I spy idea. I think you'll find a way to use those opposing pinwheels -- don't take them out!

Linda Big D said...

Love this treatment of I Spys. If you decide you need more of any color, let me know. I have a whole tub of I spy squares, sorted by color. Most of mine are 4" squares but I have some 5" squares, and I have a large stash of I spy fabric so could cut more! I have at least 3 more I spy quilts to do for great nieces and nephews, but I like to use a different pattern for each, so I love this new idea. Thanks. (I'm also about to participate in 2 I spy swaps this month, so the stash is growing...).

Ruth said...

excellent idea for a kid's quilt!

Lovelli Quilts said...

Beautiful. I love your dyslexic pinwheels. What about doing half one way and half the other. It adds a whole new dimension to the I spy game.

Ramona said...

Great I spy quilt! And you pinwheels are too cute. I say let them spin as they are. :)

Unknown said...

Oh YES! I LOVE your stars - and I do read the color around them! So much fun novelty fabric! I have done this a lot too and especially love the lattice quilt in the book Colorfic. Have you seen this pattern? Thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

If you're going to sash the pinwheels, I would leave them. It took me a few minutes of serious looking to see the spin direction even after I read that some were backwards. :)

carol fun said...

What a great idea with the novelty fabrics! I will definitely be looking a my novelties with a new eye. Thanks for sharing!

Wendy said...

such fab blocks, what a great i-spy quilt. I thought you were going to use the pinwheels as cornerstones between the sashing, in which case you wouldn't have to unpick.

Melinda said...

Great i-spy blocks. I think I would just make more of each type of pinwheels and have two quilts.

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