Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nancy's November block: Winter Woods and Fields

In participating in the bee thus far, I’ve come to realize that the true opportunity in a bee lies not in the distribution of the construction effort but is instead in the distribution of the creative effort. I have an overarching inspiration and idea—winter woods and fields—and have chosen an earthy, neutral color palette to go with that idea. And yet, this quilt won’t really be mine at all; my bee-mates are going to take their packets of fabric and make blocks that I can’t predict, blocks of which I might never have conceived. The prospect of this absolutely thrills me.

“Enough with the philosophizing. What are we making?!” This month, we’re going improvisational. Before I get into the rules, though, I think it’s helpful to explain where this is all going.

For about a year now, I’ve been finding myself returning to mixed neutrals again and again in my clothing, decorating, etc. (Don't get me wrong—I love love love color—but I feel that the beauty of neutrals is often underrated.) As I agonized over what to do for my bee month, it finally occurred to me that I should try playing with neutrals, so here we are.

In addition to neutrals, I’m also a complete hooker for textures. I can’t ever get enough of texture (and the illusion of texture), and it shows in my inclusion of osnaburg, batiks, and shot cottons. There is some possibility that I may also add a bit of embroidery here and there to add some texture and surprise as well; this depends on what the blocks say (see below).

I also plan to use this as a chance to play with negative space. Once I get the blocks back, I’m going to arrange and rearrange them on a design wall until they tell me they’re right. (In my copious amounts of free time—HA! right—I also take lessons in ikebana [Japanese flower arrangement] and my sensei always teaches us to “listen to the materials so that they can tell us how they want to be arranged.” I think this is a great philosophy for quilting, too!) Right now, I’m not sure whether the whole negative space “background” will be a single shade of white or whether I will mix them (it’ll definitely be some form of white/cream). We’ll see what the blocks say.

The Rules:

1. Please feel free to supplement with your own solid, neutral fabrics, excluding black.

2. You may or may not choose to use all of the fabrics I've included. Don't feel compelled to use all of them! I'm including several so that you've got choices. Please return unused fabrics and scraps, though. Also, I have LOTS more of the fabrics (I bought one of the Kona fat quarter bundles in Earth, and I've got more of the batiks, shot cottons, and osnaburg, too), so if you want/need more of something, let me know, and I'll be happy to get it to you.

3. Completed blocks can be square or rectangular... it's up to you! I'm thinking that the shortest side should be at least 7", and the longest side shouldn't be larger than 12". However, if someone wanted to do something outside of this side range (e.g., a long, skinny block or something like that), then that's cool.

4. Curves are fine, but I think I'd prefer no out-and-out circles.

I'm super stoked about this, and I can't wait to see what you all design!

(And hey, I just realized... this is my very first blog post. Not just for the KC Scrappy Bee, either; I mean this is my first blog post ever. Cool!)



P.S. FWIW, I cannot get this stupid text editor to play nice and make all of the type appear in a single font. I apologize for the random changes in fonts!


Caitlin said...

Sounds like fun! I can't wait to get my packet! And for a very first-ever blog post you did awesome :)

Nancy said...

Thanks, Caitlin!

ScrappyStuff said...

Congrats on you first ever Blog post!

I am looking fw to playing! Your right, neutrals have their own 'beauty'
~ i look forward to seeing this in it's completion, and i haven't even started!

Mary Anne said...

"Winter Woods and Fields" - what a great reference from which to start!

sewquick said...

This is going to be FUN! I love neutrals and I look forward to playing with it! I'm sure the finished quit will be fabulous.

Nikki McDonald said...

Inspiration struck immediately. Now I just need some time to work! Can't wait to get started...