Not long after sharing the Rosie block tutorial, I hit an impasse with this project. I had been layering my blocks over an autumnal lacy print I'm absolutely in love with, but somehow it never felt quite right.
I couldn't figure out what was amiss. I loved the fabrics. I loved the blocks. Time passed as I studied the work, identifying favorite blocks and noticing the way they used color and value.
I wondered if the red square was wrong. Would white be better? The red seemed to stand out too much from the other blocks. Or perhaps the top right block (orange floral) needed less contrast between the background and the square fabric?
I swapped out the dark teal square for this unusual blue. It's called malachite from the Freespirit Designer Solids line. That's when I noticed that many of my favorite solids in this work were from that line: dogwood gray, malachite gray-blue, jungle dusty green. Interesting. Were the Freespirit solids mixing best with these Freespirit Floral Retrospective prints because they share some sort of color mood? Hm.
Sometimes a project needs to simmer. Unsure of next steps, I simply put it all away for awhile.
When I returned to my Rosie blocks late last week, it was with fresh eyes and a clear head. I immediately decided not to sash the blocks traditionally. That lacy print is begging to be used, but this may not be the right project after all.
What about a staggered setting, with no sashing at all?
I like that this compact layout maximizes the flower prints. From the beginning, I wanted this quilt to feel exuberantly floral. Really, really deliciously floral and colorful and lovely in a bohemian bliss kind of way, because that's how the Floral Retrospective prints feel to me.
But this staggered setting has some drawbacks. One, I'd have to make a LOT more blocks to yield a throw quilt. Two, it's still a bit predictable.
What if I arrange the blocks in an irregular 3 x 3 grid. I'd need to make one more block and then fill the gaps between blocks with more of the background prints. More of the prints in their uncut glory! Yes, that's what I want.
And what if I add some stripes at the top and at one side, to subtly frame the blocks while enlarging the quilt. Maybe with some flying geese blocks or some other shape that echos the Rosie ribbons.
At last I've found the momentum I was craving! I'm so glad I waited for an exciting idea to strike. I hope to be back with a finished quilt in the near future!