Stina requested two 12.5” blocks for the first Scandibee quilt ever to be made. The design she had chosen was simple improvisation of strips sewn together, and for one of the blocks she asked for a favourite colourway, whereas the other should be low-volume colours of choice.
Auditioning fabrics is usually quite easy for me, and since I found that the green section was mostly missing in the contributions of others, I decided to go for both warm and cool greens as well as various tints/shades/yadayada. At that time I didn’t even look at the low-volume fabrics yet, but simply sat down to cut, press, and sew, then press some more. Here is my first block:
If you’ve followed my other projects, I’m sure you recognise some of the fabrics already. Also, in public I hereby confess my love for the Lizzy House Jewels pattern. It is unbelievably versatile, and, while simple, it gives nice movement to a patch.
Another emerging favourite is the screen/drawn texture, which several designers are now including in their collections. The lime green above (it really is a bright lime rather than yellowish green) is my favourite size, too, in that this one fits also in foundation paper piecing on smaller templates without losing the quaint tone-on-tone effect.
While I have some low-volume fabrics already, as a category it isn’t one I’ve been investing in actively, and once time came to shuffle ideas around, my mind went blank. Nothing seemed to fit together! I don’t think I’ve ever had the experience before, so it was with utter disbelief that I rummaged back and forth without feeling any kind of clicks anywhere. This still amuses me to no end how I ended up racking my brain, because I’ve pulled fabrics for other projects after this block – without any problems whatsoever. In fact, I had forgotten all about this short-term misery until searching my memory again, when writing these words.
Clearly I have something to show, though, so without further ado, the second January block in low-volume fabrics:
I think it works quite well, and Stina, the January Queen Bee, seemed happy enough, but if you count the number of fabrics and compare it to the first block, if nothing else then this tells you what a challenge it was. Who knew how difficult a few rectangles could be…
In other words, what I have learned is that I might want to focus actively on both tone-on-tone and white-on-colour patterns in general, and those in particular when it comes to low-volume fabrics. The latter is a popular category in quilting currently, so if I intend to do projects together with others, then that in itself is a reason to expand the section a bit at some point.
As for the technique, it is a wonderfully quick way to make good use of strips on the longer, thinner side, and I can very well see myself making a scrap quilt like this in the future. All colours of the rainbow, yum! And finally, I do need a 12.5×12.5-inch ruler, because the 16×16-inch one I have is a tad too large for comfortable squaring up of blocks, when utilising the nifty diagonal lines on both ruler and block in some cases.
The Scandibee collaboration is well under way already, but I still want to take the opportunity to say how much I appreciate the ladies and their skills. Sewing with them pushes me in more ways than I had imagined to become a better quilter, and on Instagram in particular their cheerful, supportive comments are worth their weight in gold. Thanks ladies, you rock!