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

Monday, January 16, 2012

Embellishi​ng busy blocks

An email from Lauri Nuske this morning:

"Hi Gerry,
I participate in rr's and dyb's and have fun embellishing the different blocks. Most blocks I send out are solids or light patterned.  So when I get a block that is heavy patterned, like lots of flowers and calicos and dark prints, I get stumped as to what to add that won't get lost in the print.  Any suggestions?"

Well Laurie this is always a problem for me also...  We all want to do our best and have it show... but as you say it is difficult, if not impossible, on busy blocks...

First you have to be bold and willing to modify the block.. Consider using all-over stitching or  large clusters such as Cathy L. used here.  If it doesn't have a silkie, add a large one...  If it does have a silkie,  embellish a 2" frame around it to make it the focal point and draw attention away from busy prints. Look for laces to cover areas, large motifs, very wide ribbons and even patches of fabric. I covered an entire patch on a block last fall. Tulle or organza can soften difficult areas nicely.  

Sharon B. incorporates some large busy prints in her work but balances it with large dramatic buttons, dense floral clusters, and heavy and/or textured threads.

Everything you use or do will have to make a statement stronger than the prints.  The next time you get such a block send me a picture of it and I will see if I can give you some ideas...

But personally I find a whole block of busy prints extremely discouraging and it makes my work much less enjoyable..   Last spring I did two posts on this very subject and how Cathy K. and Janet P. handled busy blocks head on.



Note: My life is finally settling and in a week or two things should be back to normal...  I missed doing this blog and noticed several emails for it.  I will catch up as I can..  Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Thank-you Gerry for your response to my question. I love your solutions and will be putting them into practice on the next busy block I receive. As you said, it's discouraging to open a block like these. But with your suggestions I know it won't be as intimidating!!