Thursday, June 11, 2009

Anybody need a potholder?

I just finished making 42 quilt blocks that just aren't working for me. They photograph nicely, but in person, are just so chaotic, it's a horrible sight to see. I had big plans to lay them out in the driveway but failed to take into consideration the lovely breeze we were having. Whoops! Chasey, chasey.

Anyway, I laid the blocks out upstairs and the crazy randomness of it all was making me cranky. (This is totally my own fault, I shouldn't have done something using 36-40 different fabrics and expected calm coolness. What a lesson learned.) So I've spent hours trying to find a way to make this work. I've got about 10 yards worth of fat quarters in this thing, about $90 worth of fabric, and to think that I just wasted it was making me even madder.

So today, I started messing around with the blocks and when I folded them in half, I liked them better. I'm going to change this into a stacked coin quilt! I think I'll be using white fabric in between each column and all around the 4 sides. Hopefully I have enough white fabric on hand, I think I do. I still have to do the math and figure out the size but at least I have hope again. Last night, I was in despair!

This is less than half- these are folded and some are being used to test which color I like best as the solid. I think I'll be using white strips. And I may remove some of those black strips.
I'm just happy to have found a solution that works for me. I still want to do the Old Red Barn Co quilt along, though. I will do it right next time, though and pick 12 fabrics all from one line of fabric.
Thank goodness for the advice and recommendations of my friends, they are so full of good ideas! Like potholders- I could have made 42 ugly potholders! lol Now I don't have to. Yay. Not that I have anything against potholders, but can you imagine the blurb I'd have had to write in order to get some sympathy sales on Etsy? "Please, keep me from shooting myself, won't you buy an ugly potholder?" I figured I'd have to sell about 20 to break even. And I still might, if I have any strips left over. Consider yourself warned!


Rachel said...

I liked the first lay out and the second too! But I like bright colors, it makes me smile...depends on who or what you're making this for if it would make them crazy too.

Karin said...

Oh no. i feel for you! so frustrating when you're already so invested (not just talking money, but time and energy and emotion!) and then it's just not working.

honestly, i like the "crazy random" layout as is. but the coins with white would look really nice too.

hope it makes you happy in the end!!!

Susan said...

My friend Jennifer keeps telling me to look at this like it was a learning experience, that it's not a waste if it taught me something. I know she's right. We have also come to the conclusion that the SIZE of the blocks has a lot to do with it. I like small things. These blocks are huge to me, 12.5", big chunks of color and wildness. Too much color and I love color. This was for me, so I didn't even have to worry about pleasing someone else. I think if I had done it with only 6 colors, I'd have been OK, maybe. Oh, well- too late now. I've been picking out seams and taking out strips and I am about to start laying out coins in a less random way. (I don't do random well, either. Small and tidy, that's what I like!) lol

Thanks for your advice and comments, Rachel and Karin. I value it a LOT!

MaryAnn said...

Is that your layout in the second picture Susan? I loved it! I think they would look good in the stacked coin style too.

You could never make an ugly potholder! :o)

Susan said...

It was going to be, MaryAnn, until I changed everything! I decided to take something my mother says to heart- "Don't spoil a ship for an 'aypeth of tar" which means don't ruin something really nice by cheaping out at the last minute. So I decided- why make a quilt I know I won't like? I changed almost everything about it to make it something I know I will always like. They take too much time and money to make to have something ugly or unpleasing in the end. At least- this is my opinion! I agonize over this stuff!

Rachel- if you see this- I dreamt about your dog quilt! I had all of your fabrics in my dream. How weird is that?

Just Colleen said...

Is it bad that I laughed at your pain when I saw the blocks blowing around the driveway, and again when I saw the cat "helping" with your block arrangement? LOL

Anonymous said...

I "met" you on the ORB Q-Along...
Creativity isn't a straight line, so good for you for reinventing!

I did some learning on this project too-I think the flow is better with these big blocks when there is a narrower range of values. I think the higher the contrast, the busier it looks.So when you have RANDOM and HIGH CONTRAST, you see all the stripes going every which way too clearly. With this pattern, I think the ones I like best n the Q-along are quieter because of their narrower range of values, regardless of the scale of the prints or the colors. I hope you'll post your results back in the ORB flikr group!

PS. I find places to donate quilts that just don't speak to me! There is someone out there who will love even the ones where I wonder, "What was I thinking???"
-Stephanie Allgood

Susan said...

Colleen, I would have laughed too, if I hadn't been so annoyed at the wind. I wished I could have turned it off for an hour. Oh, the power I wish I had! HEY! Did I laugh when your cat upchucked on YOUR quilt? NO, I did not! Brat! lol

Stephanie, that's great advice about the contrast and value ranges- I think one thing I hated about my blocks were that they were almost all so vivid and bright, there was no resting place for my eye. I purely LOVE your quilts, I think they are perfect and wonderful and so yummy. You had a great stash if you were able to pull all those nice fabrics from it and make it all work together that well! I'm in awe of people like you who get it right the first time! I have to work so hard at it.

If I don't like it as I'm working on it, chances are it will not get finished, it will get cannibalized for something else. lol

sallgood said...

Your are smart to rework what's not working for you. Sometimes for me, it's just waiting for "new eyes"- taking a break- and then getting back to it sometimes makes alot of difference. All the best! -Stephanie

PS. Thanks for the support on my choices of fabric, but I'd leave out the ones with white backgrounds if I was to do it over again!!