Friday, November 5, 2010

A Story of 12 Quilts - Part 1

I've been finishing up the borders for the 2008 BOM.   This quilt, like most all others has a history, but in this case definitely a bit different than any other quilt I've made.   I'd  like to share a bit about not only how this 2008 BOM top came to be but also a provide a peak at it's 12 other sister quilts.  

A total of 11 signed up for this Brown Bag BOM.  Here were the rules:
  1. Place a minimum of 3 different fabrics in a brown grocery bag.  Fat quarters, scraps or yardage  are allowed as long as there is a total of 3 yards in the bag.  If you want to use a specific fabric as a border, be sure you keep back enough to do that (don't put it in the bag). 
  2. Each month you will come to the meeting bringing back the brown bag from the previous month with a completed block and you then will pick up a different brown bag to work on for the next month.
  3. Make any block you want, so long as it finishes to 12" (12.5" as is).
  4. Use only the fabric provided in the brown bag you are working on. 
  5. You don't get to see what's in your own brown bag until the end. 
I wasn't too sure how this was going to work, but I was game.  On the drive home from the first meeting,  I decided to pull a second set of fabric and make my "practice" blocks out of it to identify any construction problems before cutting someone else's fabric.  The bonus being I'd get 2 quilts out of this BOM program.

I was excited to get home and open the bag that came with me.  Talk about panic, the fabrics in that first bag were all black and white!  What was I supposed to do with that?  One of the fabrics had large poinsettias on it.  So I decided to pick a block with a center square.  When I finished these two it amazed me how fabric placement could change the look of the blocks so much. 

My Block
Brown Bag Block
Block 1:  Magic Squares

So we all take our bags back for the next meeting and home I went with a new brown bag.  I open the bag and just about got whiplash from the change in fabrics.  From black and white to Easter egg brights in purples, pinks, yellows and greens.  One of the fabrics was a beautiful floral, so a block with a center square was chosen again.  It still amazes me how fabric choice and placement can make the same block look so different. 

Block 2:  Laural Wreath

So back to the shop for month three.  What am I going to bring home this time?  Hard to get any more different than the first and second blocks.  This bag held red and green, but not Christmas fabrics.  At this point I decided to pick only blocks with a center square for any of the BOM blocks so my practice block quilt would have somewhat of a constant theme. 

 Block 3:  By Chance

For month 4 the brown bag contained what I thought of as "country style" fabrics, plus by this time three other blocks.   It was exciting not only to see the fabrics I had to work with, but also the completed blocks in the bag.  Now the challenge became not only to come up with my own block, but to use the Brown Bag fabrics in such a way that the new block "fit in" with the others already constructed. 

Block 4:  No Name Block #2

For month 5 the Brown Bag fabric palette was 1930 prints.  I had a hard time with this one as she has included a lot of fabrics and colors.  Looking at the other blocks already in the bag, I decided to just use the red and yellow. 

Block 5:  Square and Star

Halfway there with the month 6.  There were only 4 fabrics in this bag, two of which were the beige that I used in the block and a gold.  The other 5 blocks had used the beige background, to add gold at this point would have looked out of place.  But I like the contrast of the red and green with the beige in the block I ended up making.  

Block 6:  Memory

By this time I had imposed a few rules for my practice blocks. Can you guess what they were?   I'm an ordered person by nature and I couldn't just let myself do whatever.  I will admit, I tried really hard on the Brown Bag Blocks to come up with a graphic contrast in all the blocks no matter what the fabric choices were.  My block choices were also getting more and more complicated.  Since I only had to do two, it seemed to be a good opportunity to try some blocks that took a bit more time to piece. 

I promise to post the second half tomorrow.  For now I should really go finish my practice 2008 BOM.  

P.S.  Sources for the blocks are listed in Part 2. 

1 comment:

Shay said...

Wow. I love how you;ve posted the practice blocks and the brown bag blocks side by side. You're completely right about how fabrics can change the look of a block completely.

I'm not sure I could do a BOM program like this because if I dont LOVE the fabric I have a very hard time finishing !

(I really liked the black and white block-strikingly pretty)

Cant wait for Part 2 !