Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sunglasses, Please...

Yow! This is blinding!

I cut the Bento Box starter blocks evenly into fourths and put them on the design wall. I moved some around, but if I keep this layout, I can see a few more that need to be swapped.

But the overall effect on the wall is hard to look at. In the photo it's not so bad, but life size, wowza, that's a lot going on!!!

So, all the starter blocks have been cut into fourths. I'm using parts from the 25 that were made, but I want to end up with a 5 x 4 block layout, so I won't need all the parts.

Do you think it would help if, instead of mixed parts in each block, I used matching pairs of parts, like this? Or would it not make any difference to the overall busy-ness?

Would sashing help to give the eye somewhere to rest? I could use solid white with solid black cornerstones. But would that just be boring as well as busy?

Thanks so much for any advice you can offer!

Things I've learned so far:
1) Need more variety in the outer frame fabrics in the dark blocks; it's hard to keep the same fabric away from itself.
2) I'm very glad I cut the blocks evenly into fourths. If I had chosen the uneven option, it would have been even more chaotic and hard to look at.
3) In the photo above, I'm not loving the yellow paisley that was one of the inspiration fabrics. Too muddy looking compared to everything else.

Looking forward to your advice! This is destined to become a Heart Builders/My Stuff Bag donation top so even if I can't improve it, it will still go to a good cause, and it's definitely been a learning experience for me. Thanks for your comments.


  1. wow! That's a lesson.... it's so cool, the design and fabric wonderful but one's eyes do jump around. Is it wall or bed sized? It might look different viewed on a bed... I do like it lots. I tell you, it's amazing what you learn making quilts. I enjoyed the pictures of it before cutting up too. LeeAnna

  2. I do think that matching pairs might really help tone down some of the business and make everything a bit more even.

  3. I don't think the yellow paisley is out of place. In the photo it blends in well, and doesn't call attention to itself by being different... just functions as a middle grade. I'd leave it, if it was my quilt. Love your quilt... one of the patterns on my bucket list.

    1. I saw an interesting layout here today:

  4. I like how it looks but can see what you are saying about being busy. busy in a good way but maybe matching some pairs of quarter blocks would tone it down. yellow paisley looks fine in the photo. good luck.

  5. I think you need to put the parts for a couple matched blocks up on the design wall and see what it does. I think white sashing would be boring and might try black sashing with orange or green corners.

  6. I think it is in the nature of the block to be busy. Have you tried just a quarter log cabin layout?

    1. I like Jasmine's idea. I tried a Bento Box in mostly Kaffe fabrics and it made my head hurt! I ended up doing the quarter log cabin layout and it toned the whole thing down quite a bit.

      That being said, I really like your design. The contrasts are really crisp and clean. You just can't compare it to the concentric square blocks that you started with, I think! If you like the zen simplicity of the starter blocks, Bento will always seem a bit cray cray.

  7. Matching up the blocks might help. Have you considered laying out the the blocks with the orange in them along a diagonal or maybe in a cross formation if there are enough? I'm wondering putting those warmer colored blocks in a defined arrangement will give the eye a line to follow and thus make the overall quilt look less busy.

  8. I have to say, I LOVE IT! Isn't the point of the bento box block to make your eyes go ga-ga??? LOL Seeing all of these different bento box versions from you, Wanda, and Julie are very inspiring! My vote, no sashing, no matched blocks, and perhaps a black border?


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