Sunday, January 24, 2016

False Starts and the Design Process

What do these little cuties have in common? They are rejects...all three of them.

3" Quilt blocks

Last November when I participated in the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks blog hop for my block, All Points North, I asked readers to leave me a comment with the name of their favorite quilt block. I thought it would be fun to use one of the suggested blocks as a jumping off point for a new design. It was fun to read the suggestions and there was a nice variety of blocks named. I'd never heard of some of them and had fun looking the blocks up online to find pictures.

Favorite blocks from my blog readers

As you can see from the list log cabin is the clear winner followed by star blocks and churn dash. Well was hard to ignore the fact that the log cabin is so popular. Up to this point my method for designing quilt blocks has been to take a traditional block and find some way to modify it. But really, what could I do to change up a log cabin quilt block? I've already modified a star block (All Points North), and a churn dash (Dashing Geese) so I felt like I should give the log cabin block a try.

For two months I have been sketching and mulling over what I could do. I was just about ready to admit defeat and move on to a second choice when all of a sudden inspiration hit! Funny enough I was taking a shower...what is it about showers that helps to clarify thinking? This has happened to me more than once.

I sketched out a couple different variations of my idea in my sketch book then got to sewing. In the process I made the three little reject blocks up at the top of this post. My dear friend, M, was pulled into the review process for a second set of eyes :o) On the first couple tries either the colors just were not right, or the pattern didn't look the way I thought it would in the finished block. It took a bit of ripping and replacing elements to get everything just right. I also put to good use Leanne's (She Can Quilt) post for how to replace a piece in a completed quilt block. Thank goodness I could refer to this post so I didn't have to start from scratch!

I'm so excited to say I have a block stitched up and ready to send in the mail for possible inclusion in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 14 which will come out next November. It will be several months before I hear whether or not it is selected ~ wish me luck :o)


  1. I love hearing about your process, Debbie! It sounds like a challenging but rewarding journey.

  2. Nice. It seems like a very normal part of being creative, and really just of being a maker. I heard a very accomplished knitter say recently "If I'm not ripping out, it's because I decided to live with the mistake." I just love that.

  3. Good luck, Debbie, I do hope your block is selected! Your little house reject block (there has to be a better term than 'reject'...maybe you could call them 'tentative' or 'unconfirmed' :)....anyhow, might that find its way into your Random Sampler?

  4. I normally call my 'rejects' Orphan Blocks, but that is also really sad. There must be a better word.

  5. I normally call my 'rejects' Orphan Blocks, but that is also really sad. There must be a better word.

  6. I suppose calling them "blocks whose time has not yet come" may be cumbersome.


Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I love it when you share your thoughts, so please leave a comment.

I respond to comments and questions via e-mail. If your profile is not linked to your e-mail then check back here for a reply.