Monday, March 23, 2015

Transparency Bee Blocks

Two transparency blocks.

In Bee Sewcial, my only quilting bee this year, the Queen Bee gives us an idea, an inspiration, a palette, some sizes or whatever she likes and we are tasked to make whatever we are inspired to make for her using only solid fabrics. It is really fun and challenging and I love it.

This month Melissa gave us approximate sizes, a colour palette and asked for transparency blocks. Now I did understand the concept of creating the look of transparency in quilt blocks, but I had never done it, much less designed my own.

Despite the not great photos - and colour is a factor with transparency, so forgive me the bad lighting - you can see the effect in both blocks, which I take to be a big success. I did stick to lines and boxes for the design as they are easier and even still, I had to sew and unsew a lot, but in the end I learned a lot too.

Transparency block

First it took me a long while with a pile of blue and green fabrics from the large blue and green list Melissa gave us (the background is Kona Ash) to figure out what colours would appear if one colour went over the the other in a transparent sort of way. My approach was to figure out what my brain would accept as the likely resulting colour so that it would see the effect as transparent, not necessarily what the actual resulting colour would be in real life.

The blocks are best viewed from a bit of a distance to allow your mind to accept the transparent effect - but it works. My son pointed out that I could have used a computer graphics program to get the "right" overlap colour but I wanted to just work with the fabrics I had on hand.

So, light blue over dark blue gives medium blue, dark green over dark blue gives teal-ish, and light green over dark green gives medium green - at least that is what I hope you see. I like the design of this 14" or so block too, improv with nothing wonky. I made a careful point of matching the seams as perfectly as I could too, to enhance the transparent effect.

Transparency block

This block is smaller, about 9" square. I wanted to try for a woven look and I think you will see it. I was going to make the blue strip wider, but I am glad I did not as I think that the woven look is enhanced by the similarity in size of each strip.

I used three of the same fabrics from the first block, and so the teal-ish arises from the light green and blue crossing. Even together, see the top photo, my eyes, at least accept that these are possible transparencies, so I'll call this one a success.

Despite their uncomplicated construction these blocks took all afternoon on Sunday, but it was a really nice time - playing with colour and then with design and then getting the blocks right.

We have been getting spring snow this weekend, so off to the melty brown ooze for the day.