I LOVE talking about blocks, studying blocks, and playing with them in Photoshop... I am always on a quest for great blocks and trying to figure out what makes them so great ... So I started this companion blog that will be devoted to this quest. But also check out my regular blog at http://olderrose.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's so risky about bold prints!!!!!

(I was in error when I posted this not to mention it was constructed by Lorrie Ramsey) This is a gorgeous block...  The colors are all coordinated and the prints are all seem to fit a theme...  It is bold, brash, and bright... It is a block that says "I can stand alone" and "I can speak for myself." and therein lies the problem..  It would be stunning on a traditional quilt but  in my opinion it will be overpowering for CQ...

Remember the lovely sunflower work by Rita a couple posts ago?  The sunflowers and all her seams are swallowed up by this block.
The same happened with  Colleen's work on this same block.
Well I was rooming with Cathy K. in CT when she was working on her block in this series.  Cathy is a "master block modifier" and here is how she handled this block...  First she laid a piece of green lace over the print in the lower left corner which made it disappear...  Then she had to find something bolder than the block and found this crocheted red flower and with some leaves made the plaid area disappear....added the large sun to balance out the flower..both with button centers.  Now the block is a field of greens..
Her next area was the print where she used silk ribbons and beads to make it into a motif rather than a fabric print... Remember this technique as it can really be useful.... Here is a close up of it...
Cathy's work is not swallowed by the prints on the original but she had to do a lot of modifying to make it work....  Wouldn't it be easier (and kinder to the stitchers) to save those bold brash prints for traditional  quilts? 

There is just one thing on Cathy's work I would change.  I know she meant the buttons below the big bold red flower to be little flowers...  But I thought they looked liked buttons who ran away and got lost...  so I moved them back up with the other buttons and added a few beads.... 

So in closing I am going to repeat what I said about blocks you send out to stitchers in RRs

What you send is actually the canvas for their art, the stage for their creativity and the backdrop for all their time and effort...
You are certainly welcome to agree or disagree with me on this issue as I'm only voicing my opinion... If you are someone who likes working on bold bright prints now's your chance to speak up!


  1. Thank you for this post, Gerry. As you know, I have been struggling in a couple round robins where the bold cotton prints are being used more often. In the end, even if treated well artistically, it feels more like art quilting rather than crazy quilting. I really did enjoy these colors, tho.

    As for the buttons, I like your change, but am on the fence about which I prefer.


  2. I rather like the bold background but can see it is challenging when selecting embellishments.