Tale of Two Cities – Late June 2014

I am having a hard time getting into the sewing groove. I am pretty sure it has to do with my ‘depression’ over my sewing machine. All the travel I have been doing gets me out of the groove as well. I know that you don’t notice the travel, because I continue to post, but I have been out of town all but 17 days since May 23.

In order to get into the sewing groove again, I decided to work on the City Sampler/Tale of Two Cities block challenge. I spent almost the entire day last Thursday sewing. I don’t feel like I accomplished much, but I keep reminding myself that it is about the process and not the product.

Before I started working on this most recent batch of City Sampler/Tale of Two Cities blocks, I was thinking that this project was fulfilling a goal in my quiltmaking adventure: to make all the blocks in a block dictionary. I never picked out a block dictionary to work from, but always thought I would do the blocks in Around the Block. I didn’t even realize that I had started to work my way through a block dictionary until recently. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. 😉

City Sampler no.11
City Sampler no.11

I decided I’d like to make up to no.20 before the next BAMQG meeting. I had made 10 before I started on Thursday. My goal would have meant making 10 more blocks. The first block I made was, obviously, no.11. I am trying to go in order to keep everything straight, though I do veer off sometimes

I am not sure if I like this block. I love the fabrics, but the ice cream cones might be a bit much.

Also, the brown is still a problem for me. This is a similar, but different brown than the brown I used in the City Sampler block no.5. The dots are smaller and I was hoping that would help. I am thinking that the brown part of the background fabric will have to stand on its own in this quilt. I don’t think I will use anymore brown. I don’t know that I will remake the blocks I have made with brown, but we will see.

City Sampler no.12
City Sampler no.12

Next up was no.12. I used the octopus fabric again. It is really fun fabric, but I don’t think it is working in this quilt. I actually forgot that I cut the plus pieces and imagined using the background fabric for the plus pieces. When I found I already cut the pieces from the octopus fabric, I put the block together. Then I decided to make it again with the background fabric and see which one I liked better.

City Sampler no.12 (#2)
City Sampler no.12 (#2)

I definitely like the one with the background fabric (Remix by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman). The background fabric works in this block, because it is surrounded completely with other fabrics, thus the fabric in the plus will not run into the background fabric, should I decide to surround the blocks with sashing or something.

Making sure that the background I use in the blocks doesn’t bleed into the sashing or border is a design choice. I don’t mind using the background fabric in the blocks since I really like it, but I want the blocks to be crisp and distinct. You might make a different choice as you work through design choices in your work. You can create a great effect by allowing one fabric to bleed into another, so don’t be afraid to try it.

City Sampler no.13
City Sampler no.13

One member of our guild made a few of hte plus blocks and then skipped to the rectangles. She considered the pluses crosses and the motifs bugged her. I thought about this while I was sewing the blocks and I have to say that I didn’t think of them as crosses. I began thinking of them as pluses and continue to do so.

Whether you think of these blocks as crosses or pluses, I think there are enough blocks to remove a few from the running, as you prepare to put the blocks together into a top, to create a look that you really like.

No.13 looks odd to me – off balance or something. I realized that the outside still has a seam allowance so the pluses don’t looked balanced at the moment, but will once I put all the blocks together.

I briefly thought of posting new blocks on a weekly schedule like the Block-a-Long and the Creative Prompt. I don’t think I am quite that organized. We’ll see. For now I’ll just write posts as I sew the blocks.

This is a fun project and it is getting me to sew. I feel a small sense of accomplishment as well. All I have to say is that Friend Julie better be working on her blocks!

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Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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