Saturday, February 27, 2016

a failed project

well, that's done.
The blocks made from the book Stratavarious  do not show well with my brown scraps. I'm sure I could go to the scrap drawer and find better mixes of texture but that's not the challenge right?

I do not like them, and doubt they'll find their way in a finished quilt. They don't even look good mixed with the blue ones or I'd show you. Want to see the blue ones? look here  (post )

Pictures of the two other block sets I'm making this year, and I like them both:
They seem to work a bit better.

They are all made from strings/strips.
The stratavarious pattern is a half-square triangle block.

The next one down with no name, is a four-patch of diagonally set triangles.
The diamonds are randomly pieced, then cut.

Being analytical by nature, I thought about why the first blocks do not look good.






1. I am cheap. I keep almost every scrap people give me even if I don't like them because I know there will come a time when that will be the perfect color or print for a project.
2. I used those brown strips I don't like much for this project
3. The tones just do not resonate with me and there is no other way to view them in this block, meaning they are not part of a tree trunk, or a bird's wing, or someone's hair.

When ugly colors/prints are used as a component for bark for instance, you don't notice the fabric, you notice the blend of fabrics.

I don't often make something I feel is a total failure, as I figure out how to use stuff. It's one of the creativity exercises I do. These blocks are a loss, no way around it. For now they are stored with the others. 

So what do you do with blocks that don't turn out the way you expected? 

 See other brown blocks at the RSC2016 party today. Looking forward to a color change next month.

33 comments:

  1. I have finally learned that if it doesn't work...get rid of it...it's ok! Life is too short to spend time on a quilty project that doesn't give you pleasure...there's too many other projects that will. Give yourself permission to toss the ones that you don't like...you won't regret it or miss them tomorrow, you'll probably feel a little relieved :)

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  2. You've hit on exactly why I'm not happy with my Smith Mountain Morning -- I used scraps I would not have used in a "good" quilt. Lesson learned; get rid of what doesn't make you happy.

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  3. I have a few blocks hanging around that I tried and didn't like in the end as well :)

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    1. there should be an old blocks home... a place to send all the failed orphan blocks to be sewn into utility quilts! Or given to children as experimental playthings. Painted over, overdyed. We hate to waste don't we??!

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  4. I agree, they are just dull and you won't miss them. Make a statement by throwing them in the trash, not even recycling. The blue ones work better because they have sparkles of brights in them. That's the big lesson I've learned this past year.

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    1. I went back and looked at them again after reading your comment. I think it's the light ones I dislike the very most! This block technique makes one light one and one dark, and I could trash the light ones and mix those dark ones in somewhere!
      Thanks Paula!

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  5. I have admittably throw some blocks away I just don't like...they don't ignite any creative thought and actually clog my creative process. It's rejuvinating to get rid of them. Hmmmm...that reminds me, I have some crazy wool stitiching I didn't like and need to find a home for. :)

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  6. I'll be the first to admit that my eye is not well trained when it comes to these things, but I like those blocks!! I think they would be surprisingly spectacular (or at least very nice) mixed with other colors. Don't give up on them yet! They may just be good players with other friends....

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  7. I think your blocks turned out really nice. I especially like the diamond blocks. For me, brown is a hard color. I don't use it much, but I have tons of it on my shelves. I think it is hard to put browns together. Maybe if you slashed those blocks on the diagonal and made half square triangle blocks with a solid colored triangle.

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  8. I second what Cathy just said!! I wouldn't toss hem so fast, you just never know if and when the right mix might come along and make these into a beautiful, or at least interesting quilt! LOL!!

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  9. Did you arrange those BROWN blocks any other way? I think they would be fine in the same arrangement as the BLUE blocks. If you didn't, give it a try!

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  10. I enjoy seeing all the different ways you've been experimenting with your strings! It is hard when you spend time creating something and don't end up liking it. That happened to me back in early January when I was trying something with my blues. I ended up taking them apart and doing something completely different that I now like much better. Set the ones you don't like aside, and maybe later on they will play better when more colors are added to the mix!

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  11. You know I tried this pattern with much the same results...only I was using blues and greens. I hated it on the wall. I chopped them up and made snack mats and a few mug rugs.

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  12. Oh dear, sometimes if i totally dislike something, i can put it away for ..... a few months. occasionally a new vision awakens. Good Luck!

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  13. When I saw your blocks through the prism of the linky preview picture I thought "cool! She's made Impressionist blocks!" I hope you can find a way to use them; sometimes blocks just have to marinate for awhile.

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  14. or you could just paint over them, and or use as a background or laminate them for a food serving poodle place mat. made one for Rubt the cat, hair balls occasionally , like this morning! And easy clean up!

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  15. So sorry-I've been there a lot!! I usually shove those blocks into a drawer and then take them out later to reassess--then maybe cut them up and rearrange--OR (gasp!!) throw them out...really I do. Once I soldiered through making a whole big quilt even though along the way I didn't really like it all that much--now it is a flimsy I hate!! It is in my closet of shame...Maybe donate it?? anyway--you are not alone and your diamonds are lovely...small pieces of a lot of fabrics even uglies) seem to work better for me....hugs, Julierose

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  16. Seeing is believing!
    And now you know more about brown than when you started!
    "When in doubt throw them out"!
    They'll never bother you again!
    Take care,
    Joanne



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  17. OK I don't think they are terrible, but I do understand about colors that just do not appeal to you. I have some that I struggled with, and finally just cut them up into teeny pieces that I could stomach in small increments. If all else fails, isn't there a block orphanage somewhere?

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  18. I wouldn't throw them away, at least not yet, but then I'm a real hoarder! I have a large square biscuit tin and throw misfits and orphan blocks in there. Now and again I view the contents to see if I can use anything. On the bright side: your other blocks are lovely and crying out to join the rainbow!

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  19. Well LeeAnna - if it were me and I really disliked them I would put them in the bin! Sounds drastic and wasteful but no point putting yourself through the stress of trying to work with them. I do like the ones you have with your blues.

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  20. I understand that the blocks might disappoint you. I don't think they are too bad. I would put them on point with other color blocks around them (rust, aqua, red, orange, purple). The truth it is I am not much of an earth tone quilter but I do think these are worth salvaging. Hope you can get back to them later :) Hugs, Mickie

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  21. I actually like them. But when I have blocks I don't like or don't turn out quite as expected I throw them into an orphan box. I've made lots of donation quilts from that orphan box!

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  22. Those dark ones are great. If you tried to mix them as you did with the blue ones, it would be better? Or you could make new light ones with some sparkling browns in them. I bet you will find a way to use them, even if you have to keep them for another project.

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  23. Don't like it, cut it up. Insert colours to spark up the blah browns. Turn it into an "art" piece rather than looking at it as a block. A very experience quilter once told me if you don't like it, you didn't cut the fabric small enough. Cut it up, add colour, cut it up, add colour until you like it. If it doesn't work, toss it!

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  24. LeeAnna my take on why you don't like those blocks is that none of them have any variety in them, so the dark ones are dark and the light ones light. So all of them are Just for the exercise, could you remake one and chuck in a bit of variation in colour? Or even a bit of the accent colour. Not a lot, just a whisker.
    As for what to do with those you've made - if you don't want them, don't bin them. Give them to someone who makes charity quilts. There are lots of people like Cathy above and Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts, who make charity quilts from orphan blocks.

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    1. I meant to say "all of them are just blah" in the second sentence. Don't know what happened there!

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  25. I don't think the fabrics are ugly, they just don't play well together in the arrangement from the book .

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  26. I agree with one commenter... arrange like you did the blue ones. Maybe make 4 of them into a block like the blue and hang onto it. As you make them all year that duller brown block just might be the rest the eye needs as it looks around the colorful quilt of blocks. Just a thought...

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  27. Consider using them as background for some applique. Make them into the backside of potholders (depending on their size maybe). I would chuck them from the original plan for this set of blocks and then slice through them, insert a strip of pink (or some other fabulous contrast) and see what happens.

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  28. I like the brown Strativarious blocks. They look warm and cozy.

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  29. I like to sew what makes me happy. If I really don't like something, I donate it.

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