Saturday, October 18, 2008

Evolving Teapot Quilt

The color part of this challenge has gone much better than I had anticipated.  I finished my first quilt block using most of the color palette Sharon suggested for this month.  Here is the first block.  I have not yet embellished it with the embroidery on the petit fours or stitched the "steam" that is supposed to arise from the cup.

I decided from the get-go to not be fussy about making every angle sharp and every line perfect.  I wanted the blocks to have sort of a country shabby chic look.  I'm not sure I achieved that, but I am really happy with the first block nonetheless, given that I had altered the pattern from paper piecing to applique, changed the background requirements, and tweaked the design (cup overlapping the teapot, only three little cakes instead of six.)

I was so happy with the first block that I rushed off and did a second one , which I think I may like even more than the first.

I also cut out the appliques for five more blocks, which leaves me with two undecided as to fabric (I am planning for nine 12 inch x 12 inch (30.5 cm square) blocks in the finished quilt.)  I think I'll try to choose the materials for those after I have the other blocks completed.  That way, if I need a dark blue teapot with dark yellow plates and a pink cup to make the rest of the blocks work well together, I can make it specifically.  At this point, I used fabrics I loved and that worked well in an individual block without worrying as to how they relate to one another in the finished quilt.

Now, before all you experienced quilters recoil in horror saying, "You what!?!?!?", I actually did rethink this rather random plan and laid out the blocks with the appliques pinned to them to see if my choices worked as a whole.  That's when I decided the last two blocks would be dependent on how the first seven are assembled.   However, I must say that I was surprised at how well the randomly developed blocks came together.  I admit I will have to do a bit of finagling to get the color gradations I want in the overall quilt, but so far, so good.

So, both challenges are completed for this month, but I will continue to follow the progress of the quilt for those of you who might have an interest in this medium.

I don't wish for any "do-overs" for the quilt block I did for the challenge.  However, for those of you who have trouble working with patterned fabrics, I think I stumbled on something that might help: when selecting patterned fabrics for this quilt block, use a 1:3 ratio for the largest to smallest print.  That is, the smallest print should be 1/3 the size of the next largest print, which should be 1/3 the size of the largest print.  I suspect it would be 1:4 if four fabrics were used, and so on.  I'm sure this has something to do with how the eyes travels around the finished block, but all I know for sure is that, after sometimes playing for an hour or more with fabric combinations, that ratio always seemed to apply to the fabrics I finally settled on. 

Any other "rule", you ask?  I'm not sure yet.  Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Miss 376 said...

I'm going to look forward to seeing how this all comes together. It's going to make a lovely quilt