Monday, November 02, 2009
Now that's what I call progress...
So, keeping up the good vibe from yesterday, I decided to dig back into my boxes of swap blocks (which are getting emptier by the day - hoorah!) and tackle the blocks from the first Birthday Block Swap. Which finished a while back. Just how long a while back isn't info you guys need to have! Back in January, I had a good clearout and got rid of lots of blocks I thought I might never get around to using, but was left with a number of sets of blocks which still needed to be made into tops. This set of blocks was one of the big ones, so it feels good to have tackled them.
I had asked for blocks (any size) with a black or black-on-black background, and then solids, tonals, or handdyes. Any block, maker's choice. For one reason or another I ended up being in all three groups of the swap, so I got LOTS of blocks. Plus, as hostess, I did receive some extra blocks as thank yous. I got blocks which ranged in size from 2 3/4" square to 18" square (only one of each of those), with most of them being either 12" or 6" blocks, but some in between. I also got blocks with a wide range of black in the background. Consequently, I decided to divide the blocks up into several different projects.
The first, left above, is the 18" square, surrounded by 6" squares. I had received 15, 6" squares, so I actually had to make one for that piece, but that's ok; it was by far the best way to use those blocks.
The second piece (right) uses four 12" blocks which had backgrounds which weren't quite as black - they are all BOB prints, but just aren't quite as dark black and therefore, looked better together, rather than with most of the other 12" blocks, which I have used together. This piece also uses the one little tiny block which I received (kind of a joke, that one, but hey, I wanted to use it!). I think I will add another black border to this one, possibly with a thin blue one first (to complement the star in the centre). I know the outer border is too narrow, but I used all of that fabric I had. I thought it might work, but actually, it seems a little odd. Back on the work pile for that one, I think. But it's a good start, at least!
Then, I decided to use these three blocks (left) together in what will be wall hanging. They all use very muted solids (except the turquoise) for the colours and next to some of the brighter fabrics, they appear quite dull, whereas on their own, they really work. One was a 12.5" block unfinished (the middle) and the other two were 10.25 and 10.75", so the answer was to put borders around all of them, to bring them up to 15" square. One of the smaller ones actually had a black border around it, but I took it off and put a larger one on. The top and bottom blocks, which are the same block, came from two different people - no doubt why the sizes don't match. This is one of the challenges of swaps, of course.
Finally, I used a dozen 12" (finished) blocks in a top together.
There are actually a handful of blocks left over - six, I think - a few of them just didn't work in terms of size or colour in any of these pieces. One 12" block had a black where the printing was almost grey, so it didn't really coordinate well. I can't remember why the others didn't work. I think there were two 8 inch blocks, which were awkward size-wise. A couple of them might go on the back of one of these pieces (or more); at least one I will use as a mini quilt base in future. I don't mind having a small handful of blocks hanging around in case they are needed for something - it's when it gets into the hundreds that one worries!
I actually did some other work today, too, and started putting together another top from a swap of black and batik blocks, but I want to put one more border on it, and as I already have lots to show, I will save that for another day.
Still, looking back at all the blocks I had hanging around at the start of the year, I've made some good progress. Tomorrow is back to school and back to work for me - in addition to my lunchtimes, I have a few hours every morning until Christmas - this is good for the budget, but less good for my sewing time. But I'm sure there will still be the occasional thing to show...