Saturday, 11 June 2011

12 down, 99 to go, advice please

12 down, 99 to go by Lynne @ Lilys Quilts

By the way, I will come back and tell you how I made the Army Star, I am also happy to make a template available to anyone who would like to attempt it but I am not going to do a tutorial because blood sweat and tears were shed making it once and I cannot put myself through that trauma again.

On a lighter note, here are my 12 blocks so far in the funnest quilt-a-long on Flickr right now. Based on Laurie Aaron Hird's wonderful book, the Farmer's Wife Quilt, hundreds of us over there are working through the 111 6" blocks that make up the quilt. It's worth popping over to the Flickr group just to see the variety of fabric choices being made. Some scrappy, some from specific fabric lines. Some modern, some traditional and lots of chat and support too of course. Thank you to Angela and Amanda for all the fun I'm having.

Dorky though it may sound to any non-quilters reading this blogpost (OK that'll just be my sister), Mandy, Katy, Justine and I have a Farmer's Wife day coming up soon. We'll all sit around the octagonal table in my dining room speaking in a Somerset accent and listening to Dolly Parton whilst our machines whirr away happily churning out little 6" blocks. Katy's going to being her dog so we can pretend he's livestock and herd him round the drawing room. I just hope my cats don't eat him given he's the size of a large rodent and they eat large rodents. I digress.

What I wanted to say was, given that I am colour and fabric blind, I now need to know what to do with the scrappy look I have put together so far. Do I continue on for another fifty blocks and then take stock or do I need to make some colour decisions now and, if so, what do I need more or less of? This stuff is easy for you lot but it's like a foreign language to me. Che?

53 comments:

  1. Rubbish- you have lots of skill with colour!! I think if your going scrappy you really need to be completely random - like eyes closed picking stuff out kind of random. It will work!

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  2. I'd continue with the look you have so far - scrappy, but if you look carefully you do have a consistency in these blocks you've made so far - the red, black and pale blue with the white background the only odd block at the moment is No3 on the first row - so pull these fabrics into a few more blocks.
    Looking good Lynne

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  3. I think you have a bit of a turquoise/aqua and red theme going on and I think your blocks are looking fabulous!

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  4. Hi Lynne!
    You all want to drive me crazy, don't you? I don't have time for another big project (or any, if I'm honest)...but all those blocks are popping up & are very tempting...*sigh*.

    As to the colours...I'd say, if you want to go true scrappy, then don't plan ahead, just collect some more blocks and see where it goes... If you want to have a more planned scrappy palette, you might want to determine soon which colours you want to omit in your quilt :).

    Have fun @ your FWD meeting!
    Julia

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  5. You lucky ducks being able to get together- perfect for this project! I echo Ethne with the colour stuff-try this website when you can make a palette based on a photo and as she says a palette is definitely coming through- I remember Amy put me on to this website- seriously fun! http://kuler.adobe.com/#create/fromanimage

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  6. I would agree with others - if you're going to go scrappy you need to just not think about it (and perhaps do a few more blocks that don't include either red or aqua, gorgeous as they are!). However, if you want to have a limited palette quilt, perhaps now is a good time to decide. Perhaps you could decide to exclude certain colours, rather than limit it to just a couple of colours (I am sticking to 3 colours, and I can tell it's going to be a challenge). That would still keep a scrappy element without a complete lack of control.

    Love the blocks you've done so far though!

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  7. Love the idea of this quilt, something new every time rather than repetition! I think scrappy is the way to go on this one, you've got a lot of red so far so just make sure that you use other dark value colours as well (unless of course, you want red to be the main theme!)

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  8. Love it so far Lynne! but you have more red and black(I think) than anything else so more green, pink and orange please!

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  9. I think you should keep doing what you are doing and re - assess every so often. The dominant colour so far to me, is red, and you will be able to distribute these evenly at the end.

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  10. The only blocks that look like they don't quite belong to me are the one that's blue, orange, and pink in a star, and the one below it. Those ones seem lonely. So I'd incorporate those colors/fabrics into future blocks.

    You guys make me so jealous...without the book, I'm in a bind. I could just buy it...but still. :(

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  11. Lynne,

    Just keep going the way you are. You are achieving the scrappy look. I sure wish I could be sitting around a table sewing on quilt blocks.

    Have fun!

    Carol

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  12. I think we're all sayin' just keep on keepin' on.

    Way too early in this project to start thinking now.

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  13. They're looking great Lynne ... and as for your fabric/colour blindness - well Pish!

    I think that you should just go with what you pull out of the stash. If you seem to be going with one set of colours more than others then that's what your eye is telling you to do ... there are 100 blocks! ... if you're anything like me you'll find that your colour tastes change over time and everything will balance out in the end.

    I love what you've done so far ... I'm vicariously quilting along on this one ... LOL

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  14. I haven't commented in a while so I thought I would throw my 2 cents in the pot. I think you need to keep it at a controlled random. In other words, keep it random but if you see any specific color(s) starting to become dominant avoid them for a few blocks. This will allow the eye to continue to move. I have to say, once again, you are impressive!

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  15. When I pulled fabric for my scrappy bee quilt, I put all the fabrics I wanted to use on my dining room table, just piled together, then looked at the pile to see if anything really stuck out as "odd". One or two "odds" were ok, to give the eye someplace to rest on the quilt, but I pulled out some that just weren't right. Other than that, I just scrappied it up!! Don't worry too much about your fabrics - scrappy tends to work itself out!

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  16. Scrappy is great! I agree that the 3rd blocks from left on top two rows are lonely but over time and with so many more to go, it will all balance out. Worst case scenario, Lynne, is you get to the end and have a few blocks that don't balance and you make new ones. History shows that Lynne is not afraid to make blocks again until she gets them "right." My thought, though, is that if this QAL is done in the spirit of the era, what was available was used. If you are doing that, you are right on.

    By the way, is there room at your table? I caved and bought the book. I guess that means that I am in though I have one more quilt that I HAVE to finish (and start-LOL) before I can commence with FW blocks.

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  17. Like a few others have said you have a red and blue shade going here so far. Maybe add a couple other colors as well?

    BTW you have convinced me to do this quilt along! I am getting the book from a lady @ quiltingboard.com (excellent web site) All I have to do in return is send her some red FQ's. Love IT!! The book is coming from Montreal so it will probably be here in a week. Can't wait to get started. Are you using the rotary instructions or templates or EQ6 and/or 7? I am going to do the templates myself.

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  18. Ditto Suzanne. Scrappy was practical for the time. Yours will certainly be modern based on the fabrics used, but I love the look of something truly haphazard--and themes emerge at the end. I think it's a great way to get a reflection of yourself, too. Once it's all done, you'll see certain colors stand out, or certain types of prints. I expect going intuitively will help you see who you are as an artist in a much more organic way than in a thoroughly planned quilt would. Cheers and enjoy the process! Those of us not tempted to join in are enjoying it vicariously through you! Thanks!

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  19. I think Ethne has it spot on. Scrappy has an uncanny knack of blending itself together, but you are probably unconsciously/instinctively choosing from your scraps fabrics that already work together. All your blocks so far have cohesion - just keep doing whatever it is your doing, and maybe not overanalyse!! Jxo

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  20. I wish I could sit around your table and join in the sewing. As much as I love Dolly Parton and her ability to keep standing upright without pitching forward on her face, despite her unique physique, I can't picture her as a "Farmer's Wife."
    Personally, I don't think you should worry too much about color. The blocks are playing beautifully together. Whatever you are doing to decide on fabrics is obviously working.

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  21. Scrappy is scrappy - just use the colors you want to use on a given day and the blocks will look great - they do so far!

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  22. I agree with lots of your other commenters -- you've got a great light blue/red/black theme going and if you want "organized scrappy" then I'd stick with those colors. The one block that stands out now is the 3rd in the top row as the pink and orange don't quite fit the current color scheme. So you could start adding more blocks in those colors if you want. If it were my quilt, I'd stick with light blue/red/black but that's just me.

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  23. A seasoned quilter once told me that if you mix more than 20 colors then they all somehow match. It's like magic. Swearsies! I say go with whatever colors make your heart sing for that block and the final product will be amazing because we all tend towards certain colors and shades anyway. You are an intelligent woman who is very well organized (and there has been a block or two that didn't work by instinct alone) so you're feeling a little uneasy with not having a plan. I say: feel the uneasiness, breathe through it, keep going the way you are, and embrace any aberrations!

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  24. I know that they feel a little wonky to you now, but in true scrappy tradition, they WILL all "go" together once they're in the quilt together. Somehow the more fabrics you add, the more they'll continue to feel cohesive. Go with it!

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  25. I made a couple of these blocks (hand-pieced) with a friend last night. She bought the book a few weeks ago because we had talked about doing this together a few months ago. Lo and behold, here's the blog world, prodding us along. I may have to start my own (like I need another WIP).

    To me, the blocks that are sticking out are the ones that are full color. Some are color on white and others are all color. The all color blocks look heavy and draw my eye immediately to them. I'd say you need more white balance, but who knows if that's really accurate.

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  26. I love all your blocks! And I'm jealous, I want to have a FW sew day with you girlies... how fun!

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  27. Keep going as you are! I think your blocks and colors are lovely. I bet once you pick a sashing it'll look like you planned it all along!

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  28. Your scrappy choices are fabulous. IMHO I think you should go for it......the more the better. Especially in a quilt with so many blocks. I've just finished the top on a quilt with 40 odd different, mismatched green fabrics....It would look a mess if it were only a few, but something magical happens when there are oodles. Bonnie Hunter is the scrappy queen....you may want to check out her wesite. It is http://www.quiltville.com/ What you said about your friend's dog had me chuckling....We had a minature dashcund when I was in my teens....it was referred to as rat on a string once when mum was taking him for a walk.

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  29. The blocks look great. :)
    Anna Maria Horner gave some fabulous advice somewhere... she said she often decides a look by what colors she excludes, rather than includes. I went with that approach for my pickle dish and was really happy. It looks scrappy, and yet still somewhat unified... even if you can't quite figure out why... :)

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  30. I'd stick with those colours,adding more lime and navy in parts. It's looking really good to me so far.

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  31. I'd just keep on going. I love what you have so far. You have convinced me to join up. I love the way your blocks are coming out. I was really on the fence about doing this QAL, but I think it will make a fabulous quilt. Looks like I need to order that book from Amazon.

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  32. Your choices have been great so far. The only thing I would suggest is to add more of the green you have in only one block that I can see. Otherwise, just keep on going like you have been. You always create wonderful works.

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  33. I really hate that you've added another project to my summer! Drat your talented self, lol! I love your blocks so far--I really like how not all of your backgrounds are the same or even all solid. When I do true scrappy (not planned or coordinated in colors) I find that given enough of everything (I try to include a print or color at least three times somewhere, but sometimes just once if that's all I've got) it all blends well--it's really about which blocks you place next to each other and if you do a sashing, choosing carefully.

    And I guess if you won't torture yourself for a tutorial (can't blame you), I'll make do with the template. ;)

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  34. you know me...I stress out over this more than you! I think your blocks look good so that might mean you are in trouble with color choices. Ha! Ha! But, the orange one sort of doesn't belong and I love orange!

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  35. the part about herding your dog around like live stock made me laugh! ah sounds like fun.

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  36. they are beautiful- i say go scrappy with it! and dolly parton? i didn't see that coming! ha! ;)

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  37. Don`t plan. Go scrappy. Lose control.

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  38. Hi Lynne, Wow, what you got looks great so far. My 5 cents worth is that you've only just made about 10% of the total blocks you're going to make. Keep on going, keeping the scrappy theme, your eye will keep on guiding you when it comes to fabric choice (as it is already). When you get to about 70% of the blocks made then lay them out and look at what is 'missing' and what you need more of.
    It would be so easy to get involved in another project because I'm enjoying the thrill of seeing the new blocks you and the others post as they're done, but think I should finish a WIP instead. Good luck.

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  39. I think you just go on the way you do now without trying to much. This looks already good. Besides you still have 90 % to go so much to early make any decisions on colour.

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  40. How scrappy do you want it to be?

    1. Completely scrappy - no holds barred, anything goes, every fabric welcome! (Add a greater variety of shades - your light pink check and grey star background are the only non-POW! fabrics right now.)

    2. Limit it slightly and say bold fabrics only, but any color family welcome. (You're on track for this except for the two colors I mentioned above. Don't use too many of these softer colors in future blocks.)

    3. Limit it further and feature several colors heavily, while inviting others to play in moderation. (You're leaning this way, too - strongly emphasizing red, aqua and navy/black, with whimsical accents of lime, pink, orange and others. Make sure the majority of your blocks incorporate at least one of the three main colors, but feel free to include other fabrics in smaller proportions.)

    Once you've chosen one of the three directions above, you'll have a better sense of how to move forward. Any of these options will be wonderful, it just gives you a set of guidelines that will help you select fabrics.

    I think you're doing a beautiful job!

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  41. Oh you are too funny!! Continue on; it looks wonderful; really

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  42. These look great. You worry too much. :-) Enjoy your FW day ;-) x

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  43. Oh, just embrace the scrappy!

    Seriously, I think you'll find as you go that you are choosing colours and combinations that please you. And remember the sashing will help the colours blend together more.

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  44. I find the fact you consider yourself fabric blind just hilarious - your blog is one of my absolute favourites for your amazing fabric combinations, you have an incredible talent with colour and fabric choice.

    I think all of your blocks have a bit of white in them, even if it's just in a small polka dot - that plus the way you have photographed them on the white background brings them all together for me.

    I'm waiting for my book and am also struggling with the theme or no theme concept. A lot of my quilts have white in them so I think i may have to go with that to keep sane (maybe that's why i love yours so much??). But then I am so in love with Katy's that I would love to do a Liberty one…

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  45. keep going scrappy like you are, and make sure to use the fabrics in at least one other block and it will look fantastic, love that Army star you did!

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  46. Hello Lynne. I just become a follower of your blog - just love it! I found a mention of a Union Jack tutorial but when I tried to access it, I couldn't get it. As an expat living in Canada, I just love all things British. Is there any way I could get the tutorial? Many thanks.

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  48. I made a Dear Jane quilt with 59 blocks. You can see it on my profile on The Quilt Show (KellyV.) I paid absolutely no attention to color as I made the little 4 1/2 blocks. I picked fabrics that made me happy. I didn't worry about backgrounds matching either. In fact I repeated very few fabrics in either my backgrounds or in the patterns. What pulled it all together was the sashing and border material. It was so much fun to play with all that different fabric.

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  49. Hi Anne, I cannot get back to you directly through your blogger account so am replying here and hope that you pick this up. The tutorial you were looking for has been taken down as it will be coming out in a book which comes out this autumn. However, there is another union jack tutorial on my blog which was published on the day before the royal wedding - DOuble Fat Jack so scroll back to the end of April and see if you can use that one instead. Let me know how you get on!

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  50. Hmm... I see red and dusky gray tones standing out so far. You could go for more aqua so that the red and aqua come across and the rest of the colors are scrappy.

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  51. Loving it so far, Lynne! As always, there is heaps of great advice here, but I'll chime in my bit: If you don't truly want a red/aqua quilt, now might be the time to branch out a bit with more lime, butter yellow, orange and maybe even lilac/purple. In any finished quilt, red will draw the eye, so it's good to either have it evenly distributed, or concentrated in a focal point.

    Have a wonderful wifey day. It will be so much fun, and bonus, no cows to milk!

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  52. I think you should keep going as your doing. I LOVE your blocks and how they look! I also like the look on point, and the assorted background lighting - it looks like assorted grey solids and looks stunning!

    My friend Mo and I have been texting each other in Southern accents at the moment... we're both reading The Help. Love playing with accents!

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  53. Love your blocks Lynne, you are not colour blind but colour fabulous.
    Wish I could join in the sit n sew, bit far from Down Under though.
    I do go and sew with my sis in law who is also fwsing, she has actual animals at her house, even a chook that insists on sitting in the fireplace...not a smart move at the moment as its winter here...LOL Now I want to have us talk like farmers wives too, hmm they don't sound that different here to anyone else really so thats a bit of a problem. ROFL

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