Friday, February 16, 2024

This is Not Working

My design wall is filled with blocks for my Road Trip quilt. The concept is to have the ones with all khaki backgrounds at the center, and lighter ones going outward toward the edges. 

It's not working for me. I don't like having the light blocks at the edges, they just kind of fragment apart and the whole thing fades out. It looks like I ran out of khaki fabric and had to use something else around the edges. 

Here are the upper left and lower right quadrants. The fabrics themselves are fine, but the placement of the blocks, and maybe the placement of lights and darks within some of the blocks, isn't working. It might work better with light background blocks at the center of the quilt and darker ones at the edges, to frame it and hold it all in. Or maybe sprinkle the lights among the darks so it's more evenly spaced across the whole top. 

I think I know what to do to attempt to fix it. I printed out the photo above. I'll number all the blocks on the photo and put corresponding labels on all the actual blocks. Then I'll cut apart the photo, rearrange the layout, and see if I can get it to work better. Then I'll put the blocks back up on the wall in the new arrangement. 

I may have to take apart and reconfigure some of the blocks. I have about 1/2 yard of the khaki Grunge left but I can't get more to match - it was leftover wide backing from several years ago. I have exactly enough of the license plate print left to cut four more 3-1/2" squares, so I'll have to carefully reuse what I already have made. There's enough of four of the five colors to make more block parts, as well as more of the small multicolor print. I have a few rejected blocks that I could bring back or cannibalize.

I fully admit I have been procrastinating on this. I've been doing other sewing in the meantime to avoid dealing with this, although it would be nice to have my design wall back.  

I welcome any ideas and suggestions you might have for making this work. I still like the prints, the colors, the general concept. Please comment. 

Link Ups: Alycia Quilts (Friday),  Small Quilts and Doll Quilts (Monday)


  1. I agree with your thought of mixing up the background fabrics and spreading them throughout the design. It would keep the eye moving. My eye gets stuck in the middle with the darker background fabric, so I agree that the lighter background kind of fades away. I love all of the different blocks!

  2. I think your idea of printing out the photos and cutting the blocks out to shuffle around will be much quicker than trying to shuffle the actual blocks on the design wall. I like the idea of mixing the backgrounds up a bit more (sprinkle the lights among the khaki), and I hope you can find something that sparks a lot more joy in finishing this up.

  3. I like either one of your next ideas, light in the center with the darker blocks surrounding them OR cutting the photo apart and redesigning it. The only other option I could think of is a third background color halfway between the 2 you already have in the blocks in a few new blocks for better transition.

  4. Random placement of the lights darks might be more appealing. That's heartbreaking to not be happy with your original plan this late in the process. Good luck with your relook and redo.

  5. I like your idea of putting the blocks with the lighter background at the center and framing them with the darker blocks. The variation in block sizes complicates things too, but I'm sure you will figure out a wonderful plan.

  6. Oh, I so know that feeling of not being happy with what you’ve got so you do avoidance sewing! I like Wanda’s suggestion of adding a third background color but don’t know how much work that would entail. You on you for sticking with it and for sharing.