(WARNING: THIS POST IS WORD HEAVY…tomorrow’s will be picture heavy…so there will be balance)
Once I had the quilt designed for this years Road Project I had to come up with “The Plan”.
What is “The Plan” you might ask. Well let me back up a bit with some more information first.
Last years project, The Castle Wall Quilt (which has a given name of Traveler’s Walls…but I have a feeling I will always refer to it as The Castle Wall Quilt), was also a scrappy quilt. Scrap quilts really work for me in these projects for a number of reasons.
Reason #1 – I love scrappy quilts. And of course we all make what we love. That being said if you aren’t a scrappy quilt lover then adapt the blocks into a palette “plan” that makes you happy. Read on for some yardage info in a few paragraphs that will help you out if you wish to make an adaptation to the plan.
Reason #2– These blocks move around a lot. I plan to kit up all seven blocks in a row within a week to 10 days of starting each design. And then of course these sandwich bags of block kits are being stuffed into my backpack and off we both go. I might take a bag out in the airport while waiting for my flight, or in the hotel room after teaching, or towards the end of class if a student asks to see the block I am working on in person (this started to happen a lot towards the end of 2014 and Castle Wall). So basically there is a chance that a piece or two might just land up being lost. So if the block is scrappy I can either wait to I get home and replace the lost part. NOTE: I keep all the fabrics used in the block kits in a basket in my studio until the blocks are done for this purpose. Or if there just is no more of the needed fabric…well then I find something close enough and substitute. Just like we see done in so many antique quilts. Just get it done. And being scrappy this situation won’t make the block stick out like a sore thumb.
Reason #3– And probably the most important reason. Treating each block like it’s own little quilt (I will discuss this more in a bit) keeps this project fresh to me while working on it. And that keeps the project from fermenting. Yes fermenting. See there are no UFOs in my studio, there are just quilts in various stages of fermentation I say.
So let’s cover this concept of each block is it’s own little quilt.
Well easy. Treat each block as it’s own little quilt and PLAY.
Play with color combinations and texture combinations….just play. It’s ok to play. We sometimes forget that this is needed in order to grow creatively. And not every block will be a striking success. Clunkers happen. But they are also needed in a quilt of this nature. In most cases they calm things down and become places for eyes to rest. And well sometimes there are just truly hideous blocks…and those become fodder for the back of the quilt. It happens to all of us. Don’t let it be a stopper. Just set it to the side for the quilt back. Just remember you need to play to grow.
So for my quilt each block will be it’s own little quilt in coloration but there does have to be something that pulls it all together. In the Castle Wall Quilt (there I go again) it was the center fabric. I fell in love with Bohemia by Julie Paschkis/In The Beginning Fabrics and used a print from the line in three different colors, black, white and yellow, for the centers. But I didn’t want to go that route this year. I wanted something that would allow me to play even more.
That’s what will tie everything together, the color red. It will appear in each and every block in the same position. But red fabrics will never be repeated. They will be used only once in one block. And there will be all kinds of reds from tomato reds to deep cherry reds. And there will be no guidelines regarding print or style of the red fabric. I will just pull a red and build a small quilt around it in the form of a block.
So this is why you saw the red in this image on Friday.
Since I plan on using the Paris Flight block in two rows, the edges, of the quilt. I am allowing myself to mix it up just on this block and use the red in two different areas of the blocks. I will make the first set of seven blocks (a row) in the January-February timeframe. The second set of Paris Flight blocks will just be fillers throughout the year when I have the seven blocks for that timeframe completed. Remember I know all the blocks, some are very easy, one or two are a bit challenging, the easiest block falls in the next window (March-April) when my travel schedule is very full. I am guessing I will get a few more Paris Flight blocks done then.
For those who want to use the method of using a focus fabric in each block, a’la Castle Wall, well EQ is telling me all the red in my finished design (meaning ALL the blocks…no you haven’t see this image) comes up to 1.5 yards of fabric. As a designer I am advising that you gather up 1.75 if not 2 yards to be safe. After all you might choose to place your “red” fabric elsewhere in a block or two and a bit more fabric may or may not be needed. So if going with a single fabric as your focus better to have a bit more than not enough.
As stated before I will be making six different blocks in my row quilt. But you can choose to make any number you wish and substitute here and there with rows of blocks you like vs. one that just might not strike your fancy. And as I introduce more blocks (see schedule in the blog post here) I will post some setting options incorporating the new block into the quilt in several different ways just for fun and maybe you will see a variation that catches your eye.
Here are a few playing with the Paris Flight block.
Keep in mind that the spacer bars colored in green/grey and yellow grey are just colored that way to make them visible. colors have not been chosen for these bars at this time.
In preparation for the unveiling of the project I made two Paris Flight blocks to share immediately with you. One EPP style and one hand sewing using the templates.
Tomorrow’s blog will cover my making of this block and all the tips I have for you if this is your chosen method of construction.
And just wait to you see the “surprise” that this block can do.
On Tuesday I will do the same for the hand sewing method using the Acrylic Templates.
And behind the scenes I will be kitting up the remaining 5 blocks of this row as my travels for 2015 begin on Thursday!
Enjoy your day,
p.s. EPP papers and Acrylic Template Sets are in stock and ready to order in the store on this site.