I’ve been working on my challenge quilt for the Robert Kaufman Kona Charms challenge at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild. And let me tell you, it really has been a challenge for me. The colours in the charm pack are not ones that I would usually pick for myself, nor do I usually sew with pre-cuts because I find that they are usually cut off-grain and a bit wonky, and the pinking along the edges makes it difficult to piece with a great deal of precision.
I’ve been sketching out ideas ever since I got the charm pack. I love graph paper because you can quickly get a sense about whether or not an idea will work, and since I have an all-in-one printer I’ll often make a copy half-way through a sketch so that I can go off on tangents without having to redraw the whole thing every time. For instance, I might draw the outline of the pieces in black pen, and then make copies in order to try a few different ways of arranging the colours.
After I decided upon my final quilt design, I worked up a sample block from some scraps to make sure that I had all my cutting dimensions correct before I started on the charm squares. I actually really like this block, so I need to find a way to incorporate it into something!
Next I laid out all the charm squares from the pack on my design wall to work out the arrangement. I only needed 36 of the 44 charm squares for the diagonal pieces, so I had to play around until I figured out which ones to use. The remaining eight will be used in the secondary design within the block.
Since I was already deep into challenging myself, I ignored my initial impulse to use Kona Snow as my other fabric (we’re only allowed a 1/2 yard of one other fabric), and pulled a tan and cream dot out of my stash. Actually, it came from the box of vintage scraps that I got from my mum last year. They looked good together, and there seemed to be enough contrast between the fabric to keep things interesting.
Well…now that I’ve sewn up all the diagonal blocks and laid things out on the design wall again I’m not loving it. I think it looks kinda bland. There just isn’t as much contrast between the solids and the dot fabric as I originally thought. Hmmm…
I tried adding some Kona Snow. This would not obey the rules of the challenge, but I think the addition really solves the problem. What do you think? Should I just forget the rules and do what looks best?