Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Two More Retro Sampler Blocks Completed, and Fabric Crises Averted

 Hello and happy Tuesday!  This post needs to be a "quickie" because I have a dentist appointment to get ready for.  I like making these Tuesday To-Do lists, even if I don't always cross everything off before the next Tuesday rolls around.

Last week, I managed to eke out two more 5" sampler blocks for my '80s Retro Building Blocks sampler quilt:

5 Inch Puss In the Corner Block

Neither of these blocks is in the original Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt, by the way.  I always try to mention that in case anyone out there is working on that quilt, so as not to confuse anyone. Like most of the blocks in my quilt, these were both foundation paper pieced due to the non-ruler-friendly patch sizes that happen when you take a 6" block and force it down to 5".

5 Inch Card Trick Block

Meanwhile, my order of Kona Solids from Missouri Star Quilt Company DID arrive this past week, including the Ocean blue that I was needing so desperately, and I washed, dried and folded all of it.  I HATE prewashing fabric, but the only thing I hate more than prewashing fabric yardage is frantically trying to remove dye bleed from a finished quilt.  

In that same order of Kona solids, I had 6 yards of color Midnight that I'd intended to use for the background of Anders' kaleidoscope high school graduation quilt.  I ordered it from my iPad based on the color name and the little fabric image on my screen, because I was too lazy to go all the way upstairs to get my Kona Solids swatch card.  And now I am punished, because color Midnight is actually NOT the darkest color of blue as I'd hoped -- it's a deep, dark PURPLE!!!  Y'all, it would have looked just fine with my other fabrics, but I used a deep, dark purple solid background fabric for my older son's graduation quilt two years ago and I am neither Donny Osmand nor The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.  I have had enough purple; I wanted blue!  I wasted some time scouring my favorite fabric web sites but was leery of buying online again when I knew I needed something exact, so I masked up and headed to the not-quite-local quilt shop yesterday afternoon, bringing some of my hand dyed stripes and marbled fabrics with me for auditioning purposes.  I swear I looked at every single bolt of fabric in the store, and this Provisions 2 digital print in Indigo from Free Spirit Fabrics was the ONLY one that I could get excited about:

Provisions 2 in Indigo, Digital Print from Free Spirit Fabrics

Remember that these are the other fabrics I'm planning to use for my kaleidoscope blocks:

Hand Marbled Fabric from Marjorie Lee Bevis

Hand Dyed Stripes and Batiks from eQuilter

My Ultimate Plan for All of This Fabric

I like the way the inky streaks and splotches in the background fabric play with the watercolor and paint vibe I get from my hand dyed and hand marbled fabrics.  The only glitch was that my "local" quilt shop had just over 4 yards left on the bolt, and I will need at least 5 yards for all of these isosceles triangles.  I asked them if they could order more for me, but they're not taking any special orders right now due to lengthy backorders from the fabric manufacturers.  So I bought everything they had and then found three more yards from an Etsy seller to ensure that, even if I have made math errors in my yardage calculations, and even if I make a horrendous cutting mistake, I should still have plenty of fabric.  Crisis averted!  Best of all, despite the deep, saturated blue-black of my Provisions Indigo fabric, it passed my colorfast test with flying colors. Woo-hoo!

But all of that new fabric has been put away for now so I can turn my focus to a couple of clients' projects:

Tuesday's To-Do List:

  1. Finish vintage quilt repair & schedule client pickup
  2. Load & quilt small outreach top with new E2E design (I want to preview the design and how it stitches before committing to using it on the client quilt top that is up next in my que
  3. Load & quilt my client's quilt
I know, all work and no play...  I do have a few more sampler blocks that I might sneak in here or there, but really, now that I have my fabric for the graduation quilt, I need to make a decision.  My design wall is being held hostage by the sampler quilt, but I'm going to want to be able to use it to lay out the kaleidoscope blocks.  I could just take the sampler blocks down to free up the wall, but it was SUCH a pain to get the blocks lined up properly with all the different block sizes.  Also, there's the "Out of sight is out of mind" phenomenon to consider.

What do you all think?  I have 30 more blocks to make for the sampler quilt, plus the four corner blocks and the borders.  I've made 6 blocks so far in January, and I'm finding that the smaller blocks that remain are much more manageable than the biggest blocks that are already completed.  Should I try to finish the sampler quilt top first, at least the main body of the quilt, before I take it off the wall and start the graduation quilt?  Or should I just take the sampler blocks down and put that project away until after the kaleidoscope top is ready to be loaded on my frame?  Let me know in the comments.

And now, I need to brush the coffee off my teeth and get ready for the dentist!  I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Lynette said...

Why would a purple be called Midnight? That's weird! Love the new fabric you found. It looks great with the prints.

TerryKnott.blogspot.com said...

I agree with Lynette. . .Midnight "purple" is wrong on so many levels! I feel the same way you do about prewashing. . .I am leaving a project on my design wall because I know that if I take it down. . .I won't make more progress on it. . ..How are you with projects not front and center in your studio?

Mary said...

Hi Rebecca! First of all, I totally fell in love with that Provisions Indigo Tim Holtz fabric and so glad to hear it passed your color fast test. I used a bunch of Kona purples and blues in a couple projects (Dimension in Dusk and Cat & Birds), so I’m familiar with Midnight being a very dark purple. Hopefully you can use it in some other project. I think you may have had a happy accident in finding the Provisions Indigo to use instead. Sometimes I have to go with the inspiration. What about transferring your sampler blocks to a portable design board like the Fons & Porter Design Board available at Annie’s? You could tuck it away and then pull it out when the time is right. Hope your dental appointment went well. Take care, Mary.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

love all that fabric! - the 2 quilt block you show reminds me of an old block I think was called "card tricks" or something like that

Marty Stanchi said...

Just leave the sampler blocks up. When you need to put up kaleidoscope blocks, hang a sheet on the design wall and pin over it.

piecefulwendy said...

Oh, I so get not wanting to go get your Kona color card - been there, done that. And also paid for that. LOL. I don't see "midnight" as deep purple either. I do, however, like the new fabric, and yay for finding the yardage you need. As to the two projects, I'd take the sampler down but keep it close, and have some fun with those gorgeous fabrics. This is probably why I have so many UFOs!!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Rebecca! Oh gosh - the wrong color fabric. Been there, done that but seriously - Midnight is purple?!! The sampler blocks - are you motivated to work on them and get them to the quilt top stage? Or, now that you have the new fabrics in house, is your mind on the kaleidoscope blocks? Be honest and make the move based on that answer. Let yourself be okay with the decision and be ready to reassess at the end of February. {{Hugs}} Can't wait to see what you decide and good luck with your list. Thanks for linking up today! ~smile~ Roseanne

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Love your background fabric - nice choice!
For your design wall dilemma, consider hanging a very large flannel backed table cloth, vinyl side to the wall, right on top of your existing blocks on the wall. It'll give you a clean design surface for laying out your kaleidoscope quilt, without disturbing your sampler quilt layout.

Anonymous said...

The kaleidoscope quilt is going to be gorgeous!


Linda said...

First of all, I love your retro blocks. Card Trick is one of my favorite blocks. The foundation piecing gives it a finished look mine have never had - lol!
Second, I feel your pain on the fabric order. My pet peeves in buying fabric online are when the seller gives little or no description and/or does not provide a ruler below print samples, if that makes sense. I love the Indigo! Your Kaleidoscope is going to be spectacular. For me, I would take a picture of what I have so far then put it away to work on the graduation quilt, but that is because I like to finish early when I have a deadline!

Susan said...

Pretty blocks, all clean and crisp!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

What a great find! That background fabric is perfect for your project. Sweet block too. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Marti said...

I don't order online much for that very reason. I'm glad you were able to find something locally that worked. I've never thought about forcing a block to be a different size, but that is a good term for it. I've done it and made it work, but it did feel like I was forcing a square block into a round hole.