Saturday, January 9, 2016

Allietare Red Blocks


Well, this is the last link up of the main phase of Bonnie Hunter's 2015-16 mystery quilt, Allietare. I feel like I've been working steadily since the reveal on New Year's Eve, but I don't have a lot to show for it yet. I do have a random selection of photos and reflections on the whole mystery process, and I hope they'll be in some kind of order by the time I finish writing!

While many people have already finished their flimsies, as you can see in the link up here, I know many more have not, so I don't feel too bad about that. I hoped the challenging pace of the mystery would shed some light on why all my projects take so long. It sure did! My lesson about scope creep, which you can read here, has led me to rethink many of my projects.

I admit there is some more scope creep happening now. But I hope it's justified! Fussy cutting many of the red squares, which you can see here, was one extra bit of work. The other "issue" is these star blocks:


I folded up one of my gold fabrics just to lay out the block, which is why it looks lumpy. Fortunately, I don't like the way it looks at all. The bright gold makes the red look dull. And in other blocks, the bright reds make the golds look dull. So, I say fortunately, because now I have the excuse to make the pieced centres that I wanted to make before the final reveal.

It's funny, too, because I went to so much effort to make sure the reds and golds looked good with my blue batik, but I didn't consider how they looked together! So, that's a hint about where things are going, but you'll have to wait until the next post to see the outcome. :D

Even though I don't like my golds with my reds, I was surprised at how nice the block looks when all the light backgrounds match:


I won't be able to do that every time, but it will be a fun thing to keep in mind when I finally lay out the star blocks.

Laying out all the red blocks was the big job this week. First I put all the Week 2 matched sets up on the design wall. Then I put in all the centre squares:


It seemed ok at first, and I thought that was pretty easy. But then I added all the corner units, and a lot more tweaking ensued! Some blocks never changed, and some changed several times:


My goal was to show off the fabrics to their best advantage. As I learned with the stars, not every Kaffe fabric looks good beside every other Kaffe fabric! But I think I got there. I quite like this combination of the Herringbone and Shirt Stripes patterns:


I also lucked out with those red hearts -- I think they tie into this block perfectly. It felt a little lazy to cut all those black squares from the same fabric, but it really worked well this time.

I wanted to use that same red hearts fabric for the black border, but I couldn't do it without making the border a lot narrower. So I went online. Both the Herringbone and Shirt Stripes shown above come in a great dark blue that would have been a nice, calm finish for the quilt. In the end, though, I went with a more exuberant scheme. I can't wait to get the package and see how it looks!

In the meantime, there is still tons of sewing to do:


After these 20 red blocks, I have all 30 of the star blocks, with many Week 4 sets still not finished, and the extra piecing as well. Plenty to do! But, I am sticking with it until it's a flimsy.

Overall, this mystery has been a great experience, and I really appreciate the time Bonnie takes to publish this free design and organize the link ups each week. It's like a design workshop where everyone else does the work! It's so interesting to see all the different variations. Even though I'm still sore, I would certainly consider doing another in the future. I envy those quilters who can sew all weekend! "Run your own race," is what I keep telling myself.

And even though the link ups are over, I'm sure I'll have plenty more to share. (Edit: Click here to see all the Allietare posts before and after this one.) I know I've added a few more followers, so welcome! I'm sure everyone can squish up to make room for a few more. :D


18 comments:

  1. You can add your post to the Reveal Link-up until Sunday evening. I am still planning on doing that. Your blocks look great. All that tweaking and fussy cutting. Scope creep, for sure!

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  2. this is looking great so much done in such a short time too, can`t wait to see the big reveal when complete. Personally |I think the red and gold are okay together though on th photo they look more pink than red

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  3. You have learned some interesting things along the way with this one - can't wait to see your final version. I love the colours still, and that first picture of all the red bits laid on on their own makes me thing that would be a pretty nice quilt without anything else added at all.

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  4. Your blocks are gorgeous!!! The quilt is going to be very pretty! I also have a slight scope creep, you are not alone:)

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  5. Even that first layout on the white design wall, without the corner units added, would make a beautiful quilt. Those blocks are stand alone striking. Although having said that, the blue batik is the perfect backdrop for your blocks and the corner pieces add just the right balance. Can't wait to see your star units integrated into the mix.

    Now that the quilt has been revealed, was it close to how you had pictured it?

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    1. Thank you! My guess was more complex, but I got all the bits in exactly the right places. I'll post my sketch next time. You see that Kaja above also liked the quilt with more white space. The pattern is free for a few more weeks -- save it now and make your own version later!

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  6. I love the colors you are using, and also the dedication you have to get it just right. I will be watching for your finished top.

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  7. Sounds like you've learned a lot along your mystery journey. A mystery is challenging in itself, especially when you don't know where you're heading. It will be interesting to see your final reveal. Your blocks look great and you've used those Kaffe fabrics so well. I like the blocks when the backgrounds are the same too, But you do what you can at this point. It's going to look great. You've made the quilt look very modern and uniquely yours.

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  8. Pretty amazing to see it develop. I love e change as the background unifies it - the batik is terrific and I see the importance of the black. Now I look forward to exuberance!

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! It never looks quite the same when you get the fabric home, but I hope I have a good sense of the standard Kaffe palette now. It's pretty exuberant, all right!

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  9. I really like the first block, and I agree, the gold dulls the red. I know what you mean about tweaking the layout. Looking at them all together, the fabrics really look great. I hope you don't have any cats to mess up your layout, we had one years ago that loved ruffling the blocks. So what exactly do you mean by a flimsy? Is that a quilt top without the border?

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia! Around here they call an unquilted top a flimsy. I don't know if it's just local, but like the word!

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  10. Monica, I'm excited to see your definition of "exuberance!" I like where you placed your Kaffe fabrics. It is beautiful already!--Terry

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    1. LOL, thank you, Terry, I hope it looks good! But, plenty to do before I get to the borders. :D

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  11. Great job Monica, it's going to be a wonderful quilt! I love your Kaffe Fassett fabrics!

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    1. Thanks very much, Christine. More Kaffe to come, too!

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  12. Absolutely LOVE your color choices!!!!! Im a Kaffe girl!!! Can't wait to see this one done!!! Hugs

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  13. It's so interesting to watch your choices on this mystery quilt. Fussy cutting and arranging the reds and golds to suit you is a good decision.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

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