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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 47 Dixie Tea

It looks as though I am feeling bland this weekend as this is the week 47 block I made. But following on from last Saturday with the tree trunk I cut my leaf stem from the same interesting fabric. It's always good to have some more quiet blocks in a sampler collection and I think this one will come under that heading. And I enjoyed being able to hum along to the Dixie tune while cutting my fabrics.

I have been giving increased thought to the setting of the blocks. After seeing the selection of settings that Barbara Brackman highlighted on her blog a couple of weeks back I am leaning towards using setting blocks rather than sashing. Of course setting blocks require sewing an additional 50 + blocks...h'mm.

Thursday was a very unsatisfactory day so when I got home I thought I would just shut myself away and work on a quilt project. The moral from that day is not to try anything complicated when your mind is fretting elsewhere.

Above is one option. The block would alternate with the weekly blocks so some of the blocks would be framed by the pale grey and some would be framed by the medium grey. This option would give an "on point" look to the blocks without actually setting them on point. I'm wondering if the "x" is too heavy i.e. currently the x is 1" wide and maybe it could do with dropping down a little in size? The tan color was introduced as some of the blue and grey fabrics I have used do have some tan in them and this would provide some variety in color. I could also choose to make the "x" in the dark grey which you'll see in the next option.

This chain style block is a second option. The dark grey could be replaced by the tan fabric. This block will give the same effect as the one above i.e. an "on point" appearance. However, there is more cutting and sewing required to make this block than the first option.

I'll also point out what happens when you sew while stressed. You can see many of the seams in option 2 look wonky. In option 1 the evidence might not seem so easy to see but had I shown these two blocks side by side you would see straight away that the option 1 block came in too small at the odd size of 7 1/4" finished instead of the required 8"; what did happen between making the calculations and cutting the fabric? It is just as well these two are sample blocks.

Linda at the quilt shop and I spent quite a long time happily pulling bolts of fabric on and off the shelves trying to come up with options to try for these setting blocks when I was in there early in the week to pick up my door prize. When we laid down a good number of the blocks we could see that blue blocks well outnumber grey blocks hence the choice to use grey and maybe tan in the setting blocks so the blue is not so overwhelming. Thank you Linda for helping me as well as others who passed by and were equally helpful by pointing out when we were trying too hard to make something work.

Please feel free to make your comments about the options I am considering.


Cheryl Kotecki said...

I always make my practice blocks in software, so I'm no help with visualizing your options with your blocks. I'm sure whichever options you go with, your quilt will be spectacular. It did not seem to me we had more "Union" than "Confederate" blocks in the quilt - I thought it might be the other way around! I did enjoy the link Ms. Brackman included to the old recording - that got me thinking of musical ways to might enhance my own posts.

Sherrye said...

Dorry, I'm a little partial to your block #1 only because the "X" reminds me of military (crossing guns, i.e., or "stripes" for officers uniforms). I can't picture how the tan is going to fit in since I don't remember all the other blocks, but you say it is elsewhere in the quilt, so that will tie together.

I've never been very good at history, but block #2 is "courthouse steps" and I wonder how that fits into the Civil War?

Dorry said...

Thanks for those good comments. I'd have to lay out the blocks together again to show the reasoning for the tan stripe; I might be able to find a stripe, or similar, with some combination of blue, tan and grey.

Courthouse Steps is somewhat similar to option 2 but the small squares would not stay that constant size.