Monday, November 27, 2017

Eye of the Beholder


Ever since my friends and I have been working on the snake quilt* and Cherie taught me how to paper piece the arcs, I've been wanting to make a Pickle Dish quilt. So I played around and drafted a block.

Um, no, I don't think so.
For a 10" block, I started with 2-1/2" squares in the corners which makes the arcs 2-1/2" wide. There's too much "eye" in the center. I might as well just use a standard Double Wedding Ring pattern for an effect like this.

So I looked at pickle dish & similar quilts on Pinterest. Many use Kaffe Fasset's pattern, so I ordered the book.

And made another test block using their pattern.

I have the utmost respect for Kaffe Fasset and his pattern design team. But to my eyes, it looks like too much eyelash and a beady little eye, with big heavy 3-1/2" squares in the corners. In his pastel version with low contrast prints, featuring those prints in large corner squares makes sense. But I'm thinking of using black & white prints for my corners, high contrast, so such large corners feel overwhelming to me, especially for the small size of the eye.

So I tried again, and I drafted a version with 3" finished corners, halfway between my first attempt and the KF pattern. Knowing that some corner squaress will be light and some will be dark, I used light scraps for this test block's corners.

OK, I'm liking the proportion better. Personal taste. No disrespect toward the KF design team intended.

But are the light corners influencing my reaction? Let's look at it with dark corners.

Let's look at them all together on my design wall.

I'm satisfied with the 3rd version, medium eye and medium corner squares.

Next I'll play with colorings in EQ7. All these test blocks were made with scraps from my scrap bins. I'm thinking black & white prints with pops of color for the eyelashes. This ought to keep me busy for awhile....

*About that snake quilt - the blocks are done but we're still trying to coordinate our schedules so we can get together for another sew day to get the top finished.

Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Em's Scrapbag, Love Laugh Quilt


  1. Out of all the test blocks, I like the one you decided to use the most, too. I think it is interesting how fabric choices can even affect how we feel about a block or block size.

  2. I love your analytical approach to quilting. I also love pickles and pickle dish quilts!

  3. I like your plan of experimenting withy one block before getting into a project. I've never thought of pickle dish blocks as "eyes" and "eyelashes" but now I will probably think of them this way from now on. You are keeping me entertained. Thanks for linking with Design Wall Monday, I like your work.

  4. You know, I so appreciate you sharing your though process. It helps me grow as a quilter. I also create test blocks that usually become tote bags. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Your quilt is going to be stunning! I made one double wedding ring quilt; took a class where we paper pieced it! It turned out beautiful but never again!

  6. Definitely version three. It's amazing how much fabric and relative size affects the way a block looks.