As I assembled these tops, I pondered my process for grouping unlike blocks.There are many features to play with: color, shape, value, intensity . . .
- I look for exact pairs (or groups when there are more than two).
- I look for similar colors and balance them–usually into corners.
- I fill in the empty spaces with similar or coordinating colors; sometimes blocks that match in color add different colors as well, and that new color leads to a criteria for selecting other blocks.
- I evaluate shapes and shift blocks around.
- I consider values and shift blocks around.
Sometimes, of course, the block that is the right shape is the “wrong” color or value, so I shift around and go for the Gestalt effect that is pleasing.
I’d started this process toward the end of July (here), and after a reading break, I made five more tops. This first one is about similar shapes first, then color considerations.
I had some of the stripe left that I’d used in the first batch, just enough for sashing/borders by adding the yellow cornerstones. The plan is that the stripes unify the different colors.
Another top where striped fabric comes to the rescue:
This one started out with framed pictures as the unifying idea, then framed anything, then 9-patch blocks that had a novelty center. Finally the Shoo-Fly block that sorta fit. Next I shuffled them around till I liked the look of the colors and shapes.
The next one was arranged mostly by color; secondarily by shape. The yellow center block might have looked good in the bottom middle, but so did the one with green. Either one would have balanced the top center.
The border and cornerstones tie those two blocks to the other more aqua ones; however, there is purple and green in the prints of the corner blocks, which suggested the addition of the two center purple/green blocks. Aqua around the center block was to keep the top from becoming too purple.
I played more drastically with color in the next one. The closer to the end, the fewer to swap around.
I started with the matching pink blocks and added the pink-brown-green. I’m not sure which came first the 36-patch or the aqua in the corner. The bottom center balanced the top center’s dark value. Originally I had the orange and aqua 36-patch in the lower corner to balance the upper aqua, but it was too dark. Dark seemed to fit the center better. Then, because the colors were so varied, I made the sashing and borders in as many of the colors as I could and tried to spread them around. It isn’t the world’s best design, but this is, after all, a utility quilt, so making do is okay.
And the last one is a surprise. Looking at them tossed on the floor–the 12 rejects from the other 9 tops–I had decided they didn’t play together at all. I decided to take a photo to show that.
Instead of putting the blocks away, I started moving them around until they became a workable group.
Isn’t it amazing what just a little rearranging will do?
That concludes my current batch of Lotto blocks, collected over about 6-7 years and 9+ winnings. I still have Blocks of the month from guild to assemble and my Foot Squared Freestyle blocks to arrange. Maybe in a day or two.