.....and then there were nine......nine blocks filled with wonderful color.....well on my way to a Country Charmer quilt. I try to have each and every block different than the rest, all with an interesting and unique story to tell. I want my blocks to be reading a different page in the same book. And, I want that book to be a real page turner.
Whenever I want to be able to see my fabrics and strips together, I always put them on my pasta dryer. Everything is right at my fingertips and doesn't take up much room. I load this up with the colors that I want to incorporate again and again for continuity throughout the quilt. I'm incorporating four different fabrics for the backgrounds.
Always start with an interesting center.
P-U-L-L the center colors all the way through the entire block.
Line your fabrics up to see who is touching who or is it whom? Do they play well together? Do any of them jump out and say me, me, me.....or are they a nice, cohesive grouping? Notice that most of my prints are small-scale prints. My centers usually have the largest scale. When I shop for fabric, I always look for "different" colors, like the teals you see here. I try to find fabrics that have more than three colors too. Since I usually make scrappy quilts, fabrics with three colors make it easier for me to match them up with something else.
Lay them out on your block layout chart.
Don't stitch the corner sections on like this. Have the 4-patch in the center with the beige background rectangles along the outside of the block. On my first Country Charmer, I didn't realize I had one section turned around until the quilt was on the long-arm and half quilted. Oh well, no one knows but me.....and now you and the rest of the planet!
Except for the waviness of the herringbone fabric, I like this block a lot. It looks wonky here but not in the grand scheme of things.
Move on to another grouping. If they look good here.....
....they will look good here. Get lots of movement going just like the fabric in the star around the center square.
Play with your fabrics. Play until you are tired of playing. Swap out one fabric for another until you are happy. Wait a minute.....wait just one minute. Why did I put that red fabric in there? It's not in the center square. I put it there because I like it and think it looks good. It has just a hint of the gold and works with the blues.
The blocks become addictive. You eat, sleep and dream Country Charmer blocks and you can't wait until you can get back to your sewing room to put some more blocks together. Right? (Please tell me I'm right or else I'll sound like an idiot!)
I hope you are all enjoying yourselves and your Country Charmer journey. Enjoy the process, the whole experience. You are honing your skills from fabric selection to piecing 53 little pieces of fabric together into an 8-1/2" block along with lots and lots of other quilters around the world. In a word, AMAZING! Be amazed......I am. You can't hit every block out of the park, but you can have fun trying. I'm cheering for you.
Remember if you don't have a blog and would like everyone to see your blocks, you can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post them for you. Or you can post them to Flickr HERE. Please check out Lesley The Cuddle Quilter. Lesley is going to post a Linky tomorrow, Feb 1st on her blog. You can see who's making Country Charmer around the globe.
P.S. There are lots of Country Charmer patterns available at the shop if you want to jump on the Country Charmer Quilt Along. This is a no stress, no designated quilting day, low-key event, just work on it when you can quilt along. The goal is to have a quilt finished by the end of November.
I was having trouble with the whole color thing - was going too scrappy I think - so pulled a layercake so I have a constant and that helped. I hope to have a couple of blocks to show tomorrow and will be sure to add that the patterns are in the shop.ReplyDelete
I see that your "page turner" is autographed...those blocks are totally signature ~ "Lynns"!ReplyDelete
Yes !! These blocks are addictive and so much fun to make ! I just finished block # 9 last night and will post my progress on my blog Friday :-DReplyDelete
Yes, very addictive. Having fun!!! ThanksReplyDelete
Your blocks and fabrics are so wonderful.ReplyDelete
Liebe Grüße Grit
What a wonderful lesson in color selection, Lynn! Although I'm not sewing along, I can't tell you how valuable your information is!ReplyDelete
Lynn, I love these blocks!! I really wanted to SAL, but have purposed to finish UFOs first!! I love star blocks and these are just lovely! It's in the back of my mind to make them someday! So enjoy seeing yours!!ReplyDelete
Praying your hands are better!
Have a blessed joyful day!
I am so glad I read this post right this minute. I am in my sewing corner ready to play with block 3. I love your idea of choosing a centre and going from there. I have also learned, just through piecing blocks 1 and 2, that sometimes lines of fabric are just so perfect, that there isn't enough contrast! So I am going to try to shake it up a bit and add some more "interesting" fabrics to the mix. See you tomorrow for the first of our monthly reveals!ReplyDelete
Thanks again Lynn for the tips...yes they are addictive and lots of fun.ReplyDelete
I very nearly did what you said and stitched the rectangles in the centre instead of the outside, so easy to do if not careful.
Hope to get a couple more down this weekend..
Your hints are much appreciated. I have 4 blocks cut, zero sewn together and my entire stash/scrap jars scattered about my cutting table.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the hints Lynn. I too have sewn some of those pieces with the rectangles in the wrong places. I'm really learning useful things about working with lots of fabrics - well 12 is a lot to me!ReplyDelete
What wonderful information Lynn! Thanks so much! I've been down with a head cold the past two weeks and have only had enough energy to get my fabric washed (sheesh!) and then worry about my choices/colors :) Today the plan is to get off my duff and begin cutting fabric. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has done so far. Love your pasta holder for strips - great idea!ReplyDelete