Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Colour Block of the Month: White

This month's Colour My World Challenge over at Quilt Matters was to make a quilt block in white. I found this to be the most challenging colour (or absence of colour) so far. I don't usually sew with white fabric. In fact, I don't even buy white clothing.

It's not that I think white is boring exactly, it's more that I get annoyed with it being see-through, and not ever staying white. Drop something on it and it will never be white again. Put it through one laundry cycle and it will never be white again. Rub up against something and it will never be white again. Touch it too often, even with clean hands, and it will never be white again. Forget it within reach of the cat and it will never... you get the idea. What's the point of something that goes from white to a slightly dingy shade of grey on the first day it comes out of the bag, and never gets used again?

Nevertheless, I did think mixing a bunch of printed white fabrics would be a fun experiment. I've been trying a new improvisational quilting technique for each month's colour block, and this time I went with the free pieced chevron method from Tallgrass Prairie Studio.

I started with a whole bunch of short strips of different fabrics, and sewed them on one at a time, alternating sides and pressing after each addition.

When the big messy arrangement of strips reached the length I wanted, I cut off the edges and squared up the centre section.

All of the remaining strips were sewn together, and then cut in half at a random angle to fill up the space on either side of my chevron centre.

Once assembled, I found the slightly wonky angle of the chevron section to be rather pleasing, though also kind of boring. I added a white border to finish it up. This is the completed block:

I don't find that there's enough contrast between the mostly-white fabrics for any part of this design to really pop. In my eyes, that makes it the least interesting block so far, but once integrated into the final quilt I think it will actually show up a lot more because it will be the only spot of white in an ocean of randomly assembled bits of colour.

After eight months of colour blocks, here is how the collection's coming along!


  1. you are so right about white! That's why I avoid it like the plague. But It sure is pretty when it's brand spankin' new. I thought you did a good white block:) how much contrast can you get with white? there's white, and there's white. Unless you get in to the whole spectrum of creams...but that's not really white

  2. I so agree with you about white! I rarely buy white for all the reasons you mentioned. Love your wonky chevron, MC. I have to say that I didn't realize that there were so many fun ways to do wonky. Love it! I look forward to what you do each month!

  3. This is a lovely piece. Although the piecing doesn't pop, I like the effect of the prints against the white background and I love the way this goes with your other blocks :)