Sunday, July 24, 2011

nothing so simple

my Summer Sampler

I have been following along this week at the Summer Sampler quilt along.  After choosing an easier path to be happier on Monday, I dove right into paper piecing on Wednesday.  I'll give credit to Faith's excellent tutorial for making the technique so approachable.  So much so that I was glad Friday involved even more paper piecing.  Who wouldn't fall in love with the sharp, tidy angles it creates!

first paper-pieced!

My family was playing "war" in cards when I finished this block and paraded around the room like a mama with a newly hatched chick.  They were slightly puzzled, but admitted that it did look "different" than the kind of sewing I typically do.

I won't lie, I think it's spectacular!  I adore the double-bladed star points and the small square frame before the Kona cerise background.  Come on, you want to make this block, don't you?  It's not fussy, really!  But, you will gain a pile of scraps...



Which is, I suppose, the only thing I can say against paper piecing.  And yet, I'm not tempted to try to paper piece with smaller pieces.  Instead, I'll just have to brainstorm more scraptastic ideas, yes?

week 2 blocks.

Kelli made a comment on the "happier" post that gave me such inner clarity.  I realized that there is a need to balance the drive to challenge myself with the need to know myself.  On Monday, choosing to simplify the block was a moment of knowing myself - what I really want from sewing and where I'm going.  On Wednesday I challenged myself with a new, mysterious technique.  On Friday I challenged myself in color.

Because you know I love color.  But, after reviewing my Summer Sampler blocks, I decided I wanted one with more black.  After toying around with making a block with a black background, I landed on using this black pinstripe.  It reads fairly black, but adds movement and texture.  Though I wasn't sure how those lines would read, angling around the diamonds.

sharp.

Do you like it?  Oh my gosh, I do!  I did not anticipate how much I would appreciate those lines and the mini-patterns they create.  What a pleasant surprise.  Hurray for taking on a challenge!

stretching myself, colorwise

In the end the block strikes me as sharp and dangerous.  Kind of like a block you wouldn't want to cross.  One that knows where to draw lines and isn't about to blur the edges.  Ok, so maybe a little too dark and dangerous, but coupled with these other more cheerful blocks

Summer Sampler weeks 1 & 2

I'd say the overall quilt has a personality I can be proud of.  And, I guess that's life.  Nothing is as simple as black and white.  There's a whole lot of color out there to be celebrated.  And, hopefully, in the end every block can be appreciated for what she uniquely brings to the table.  That's what we aim for anyways - for our quilts, our blogs, our community and ourselves to be an always-evolving work of art that's much more than a sum of its parts.  Knowing ourselves, yes, but challenging ourselves to grow, always.  Thank-you for taking this journey with me.

31 comments:

  1. Cheers! There must be balance in all things!

    And that block is incredible!! I absolutely love the black and those beautiful colors!! Wonderful!

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  2. so nice to see something that is so creative..I think you might like my latest quilt!

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  3. They look great Rachel! Hooray, I'm so glad you tried and conquered paper piecing! I am fairly new to it as well and was just happy I wrote a tutorial that didn't confuse everyone. :)

    And save those scraps, we will be using them in string blocks this week and next. :)

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  4. oh my, i understand why you're so happy with how these blocks turned out, i think they are absolutely amazing! i've been sitting here for an hour debating on fabrics and trying to get started on these blocks, but you've totally energized me with this post!

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  5. these. are. fabulous. your color scheme is great.

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  6. Great post Rachel! Those colours are ones I don't normally lean towards but they look great. Really striking yet not too imposing. And the piecing, I always have a little bit of awe when I see such precision. :)
    Thanks for your inspiring and encouraging words too. I love that sewing is a great way to express who you are, in creativity and in skill. And when you're ready (or not) there's always a challenge! A good one.

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  7. Love the blocks you've done for this, so different, and yet all tied in so well with the colours

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  8. I have been following the summer sampler series but did not make the blocks. The blocks do look stunning. Maybe in the future.

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  9. Yay for a challenge! I love the color choices you have made it screams modern retro to me. I will keep this in my head for a later quilt :)
    Tahnk you for the inspiration

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  10. Incredible blocks--and I love your "dangerous" black block, too. Great post.

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  11. Incredible blocks--and I love your "dangerous" black block, too. Great post.

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  12. Wow, these look wonderful! I love the colors you chose to work with, they are striking! Looking forward to seeing more of your blocks.

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  13. Hmm. Have to say I'm not crazy about them. Color combo? Not sure what it is that doesn't hit me right. I usually like what you do.

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  14. Rachel, these are completely amazing! I really like all the black in the Arkansas Traveler block, and that pinstripe was an inspired choice. Glad you're enjoying the QA! : )

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  15. Wow, your black block is amazing. I would never have thought to try a pinstripes print - what an inspired choice!

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  16. Eeeekkkkkk!! I absolutely LOVE this! I posted a few days ago about that black "kicking it up a notch". But, now- to see it all pulling together. Well, let me just say for the record that if this quilt needs a forever home when you're done, then please note me over here with my hand way up!!! Like Epstein from Welcome Back Kotter :) Im dating myself, I know.

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  17. Your blocks are amazing & I love that black pinstripe! Very cool!

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  18. I am wondering how these blocks will look when sewn together.
    There don't appear to be the proper seam allowances at the end of some of the points.

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  19. Your colours are just deadly!! Love it! I just finished a black purple yellowy-green and grey quilt.. we obviously both have amazing taste ;)

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  20. wonderful color choices, love how these blocks are turning out!

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  21. I am loving your Summer Sampler blocks. The colors are awesome and bold! I agree that the black pinstripe adds a lot of movement to the last block. I just love it!

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  22. At the risk of sounding sycophantic, your blocks are my absolute favorite in the whole quilt along.The colors are just...sublime.

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  23. I have never tried paper piecing, but seeing your blocks makes me want to try! Your colors are beautiful.

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  24. Your blocks look amazing. I love the colors and fabric you choose for this quilt.

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  25. i adore these blocks, especially the "dangerous" one! the blacks are just right... can't wait to see the rest of the quilt.

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  26. i am totally loving this quilt...the colors are gorgeous and the executions looks fantastic. :) can't wait to see it finished up.

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  27. Your blocks are just STUNNING! What a wonderful colour combination.

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  28. These are really, really beautiful. Your color and pattern choices are perfect (the arrows made by the black pinstripes are my favorite!).

    It sounds like you're finding a good way to grow without giving yourself too much frustration!

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