Friday, February 24, 2012

Back to the drawing board - Rose Star quilt

It's back to the drawing board for me to rethink my Rose Star quilt. I've pieced 8 blocks so far and I love them all. Here are my favourites ...

Each block looks great on it's own (perfect for cushions) but when you put them together there is just too much going on. Too much colour, too much pattern, and not enough space in between to give your eyes a rest.

It's missing ... I don't know ... balance, cohesion, identity. What are the words I'm looking for ... it just doesn't make sense. So it's back to square one with this quilt to find a way to bring it all together. I do have an idea about how I might make this happen, but I want to try it out before I tell you about it.

It all comes down to how to use colour. I don't think I've found my feet with it yet. I look back at the quilts I've made over the years, and they've mostly ended up quite blahh because I've been unadventurous with colour.

But last year, when I found Lily's Quilts blog  and joined in her Hexalong doing the Candied Hexagons quilt, I went colour-mad and decided to go bright and bold with each block. It did not work. It definitely did not look like this GORGEOUS quilt by Lizzie Broderie.

My Candied Hexagons are still in pieces. Same problem as with the Rose Star quilt, I jump into making the blocks without a clear idea of where I'm going and what the whole quilt will look like when completed.

So it's back to the drawing board to find the right balance between not enough colour (blahh) and too much (aarrgh). And I think I need to include some more plain fabrics in my mix. I'm going to start by looking again at some great tutorials by Lily's quilts all about colour ...

And if you can suggest any great tutorials for me to look at, I'd love to hear from you. Help me find my quilting style, my colour, my quilting mojo!


  1. I am having the same problem with this quilt / blocks (my version). I think I will just surround each rose star with a solid ... most likely white but toying with a soft pink thus framing each one and hopefully the scrappy look wont look that bad in the end.

    Sorry I can't help you with tuts to help you find your style ... I'm still looking for mine and enjoying the process .. and throwing my self outside my comfort zone :o)

    Looking forward to see what you decide to do.

  2. Thanks Sharon. I used ivory between the blocks but there just wasn't enough space between the blocks to balance the whole thing out.

    If I do end up using these blocks, I'll probably applique them on so that I can allow lots more space in between.

    Or maybe I could do a plain Rose Star block in between the patterned ones? Hmmmm, lots of ideas.

  3. The blocks are beautiful. They'd look fabulous in a row across an otherwise totally plain quilt.

  4. That's a great idea! Or maybe as a table runner?

  5. How about adding lots of space between each block so that each Rose Star is showcased and highlighted rather than competing with its neighbour? I think they're fabulous and I love your fussy cutting!

  6. if you go to the following flickr photo
    you can see how it's joined with plain pieces.

  7. My humble opinion is to use a solid as a filler. they are such great looking blocks each needs to be emphasised So looking forward to seeing what you do and that you do finish!

  8. I think your blocks are gorgeous! I would probably make a few simple, plain or tone on tone blocks with minimal patterns to put in between these blocks. Choose a color pallette, usually the dots on the selvage of your fabric are a good spot to start. If you notice the Candied Hexagon quilt she has lots of solids mixed in with soft, pastels or polka dots. Good luck!

  9. Hi...I have come across this perhaps a little late to be helpful?...I love your blocks myself, they are just beautiful. The differences between the quilt you are admiring and your own blocks may be seen if you squint your eyes, or get a reducing glass. Your blocks have more contrast between dark and light tones.A good example is to look at Kaffe Fassett's quilts - they tend to have less defined contrast, and you end up with that kaliedoscope effect which somehow doesn't seem so busy. Have a wonderful time developing your style. x ps using my husband's blog!!! My name is Kathleen x