Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Yellow & Gray

[Is it Gray or Grey?  Grammar Girl gave me both the answer, and some simple ways to keep the spelling variants sorted out in my head in the future.  Umm, that was a bit of brain distraction...]

Block challenge at Something To Crow About Spring/Summer Retreat (aka Quilt Camp): make a block of your choice using yellow and gray fabrics; block should finish out at 12" square.

Ooh, I love block challenge!  Such freedom to experiment and move out of my normal comfort zone, or just practice a new technique, in a small, controlled way.  What would you make?  What style of block does this color combination make you think of?

Am I alone in feeling that yellow and gray makes me think modern?

Challenge blocks: traditional vs. modern vibe
Well, clearly there were some blocks that were more modern than others.  In fact, I was initially a bit stunned at the collection of more traditional blocks, made with more traditional fabrics.  (I should have known better, given the primitive/Thimbleberries aesthetic of the shop sponsoring retreat.  But I forget.)

I knew that I wanted to make a yellow and gray challenge block using a fat quarter of elephant fabric I have had for 10+ years. 

And given the large-scale of the fabric, I wanted to showcase those lovely pachyderms!

I borrowed an idea I saw from Sew Peace to Peace, who blogged her Have a Latte design back in April.  Jana shared that her woven accent strips were made with a 1/2" bias tape maker, but that these particular strips were cut on-grain (not bias). 

I love this block!  (Excuse my poor photography; the applique strips look a lot more wavy here; the lines are less wonky in person.) Used Fairy Frost from Michael Miller fabrics for some of the strips, but threw in a yellow gingham for contrast as well.  The underlying elephant fabric was not cut or pieced in any way--win for the large-scale print.

Not satisfied with only ONE block, I ended up challenging myself TWO more times.

Made up a piecing pattern to approximate this pillow block that I had seen at a Modern Quilt Show in the spring.

Does this block look like a decent approximation?  Used another fabric with a bit of a large image--the hula-hoop kids.  I also felt like the red of the girl's dress might detract from the overall yellow+gray aesthetic... Oh well, I think it's cute, and I enjoyed the challenge of how-do-I-make-that-block?

Finally, I made a pretty block to mimic a design I saw in a trendy & fun quilt shop, Hip Stitch in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Although made up entirely of half-square and quarter-square triangles, this design definitely led me in a modern direction.

Doesn't this block, in these colors, make you swoon?  I'm such a fan of mixing the traditional with the modern.  I love scrappy, too, so I scoured my yellow scraps to build this masterpiece.  Love!

Okay, so I made my THREE yellow & gray challenge blocks.  And they joined all the other blocks made for fun.  This is how they all looked together:

Quite a variety, eh?  Another of the things I like about block challenge is seeing what everyone comes up with.  Raffle was held on the last day of Retreat.  I did not win, but I am super happy for the winner, and hope she brings back her completed quilt next year for us to ooh and ahh.

Great Fabric Destash accounting:

Fabric In:  1/2 yard (bought fat quarters of both the fairy frost and the main gray I used)
Fabric Used:  1/2 yard (the two blocks created from pieced fabrics + scraps; I also gave away the rest of the elephant fat quarter to the block winner)
Net Destash:  0 yards
How far to meet my goal? (still) 105-2/3 more yards

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