Friday, March 9, 2012


Tonight after dinner, I went into the Sweat Shop to play a little. I'd been looking forward all day to getting out the fabrics for the March Country Cottages block, and it was finally time to "get my hands dirty." Figuratively speaking, of course!

You know, I'm sure, that sometimes finding the right combination of fabrics is the most time consuming part, and this was no exception. It took at least an hour, I think, to decide which fabrics I wanted to use in this third block, because I wanted to stay somewhat consistent in the overall visual "feel" of the blocks while not repeating the same fabrics in the same places. In the photo below,you can see what I finally decided on for the house; the fabrics to the left of the house will be used in the shamrock tree, but I ran out of playtime and didn't get those pieces prepped tonight.

I suspect a few of you might wonder how I DID pick my fabrics for this block, so I'll tell you a little about my thought process. I had decided with the second block that I was going to have black roofs throughout, so that was kind of easy although there was another fabric I preferred. The problem was that I couldn't find a fabric for the body of the house that "worked." And I didn't want to use a fabric with too much white in it for the body because February's block had a white background and I wanted contrast. I finally found the stripe in my stash and thought it went just fine with the other fabrics I'd been using so far.

All of the house windows are that golden yellow, so there were no decisions to be made there, and I knew I wanted something that would contrast and show up well for the door--hence the red and white check. After that, the rest of the fabrics, including those for the shamrock tree, were pretty simple to select. When I get this block finished, I'll show you all three blocks side by side, and you can see whether you think they look well together so far.

I was so busy with the cottage block that I nearly forgot to pick a Thimbleberries project for the month, even though the jar was sitting right in front of me! In the end, though, I set aside the cottage block and drew a slip of paper out of the jar: Thimbleberries Raspberry Cobbler blocks.

Some years ago, my online Thimbleberries group decided to swap blocks, but we were divided over whether to swap blue and gold blocks or red and gold blocks. In the end, we decided to swap both: the blue and gold block swap was called blueberry cobbler and the red and gold block swap was called raspberry preserves, and I participated in both. So really these blocks were misnamed in my project list--they're really Raspberry Preserve blocks. No matter though; the only thing that really matters now is what to do with them!

Some years ago, I set the blue and gold blocks into a quilt and gave it to my parents as a gift. That was just a few months before I began my blog, and so I don't have any photos available to share. In the coming days, I'll probably set these blocks out on the design wall to try out different possible settings and, of course, I'll share those ideas with you--and maybe ask for your opinion if I'm stumped.

Originally, I had it in mind that these blocks might make a good border for the birthday block quilt I worked on last month, but the golds in the blocks are too dark for the birthday block quilt. I think I might want to bring in a third color for sashings or something similar to set off the red and gold blocks. I'm leaning toward a blue, which would give it a bit of a patriotic feel, I think. What do you think? If not blue, what then?


Susie said...

Just recently I read on someone's blog how they love red and brown quilts. Maybe a shade of brown would go with your reds and give your quilt a vintage feel.

Unknown said...

How about a green.? There is green in the blocks.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I always look for, is if by putting the blocks together,you might get a secoundary effect. (It looks like there is another block there). I call that my FREE block(no work to get it).

Anonymous said...

Blue would be nice. How about black?


Judy in Michigan said...

At first I was thinking the green in the leaves of the little flowers but brown sounds like a very good alternative!

Josie McRazie said...

I am not a blue fan, but I agree i think Green would really set it off!!

Jan said...

Green is the first thing that popped into my mind, too.

Nancy H. said...

I like green too, but blue would work too.