My Civil War Sampler Block 18 is Tea Leaf:
This is another one, like Tennessee, that I am just really not very happy with — mainly my color choices.
There was a graphic in the book (that isn’t on the blog) of a sassafras tea leaf, and I was excited that I had some fabric that rather resembled it. (You know how I like literal “symbolism” — such an oxymoron, I know.) Here’s another picture of tea leaves by Lensnmatter on Flickr to give you an idea:
And here are my fabric choices laid out together:
Honestly, as I look at the finished block again, I think it’s not so much the two “uncontrasty” leaf fabrics together that bother me. Because, in the block instructions, the entire leaf is all just “dark.” It could have all been the exact SAME color, and it would still be considered as having followed the pattern.
Really, I think it’s the other print, with the viney leaves, that makes me not like it. It should have been lighter and/or less “busy,” and I think it would have looked better. As it is, this block has absolutely “no chill,” and it’s like…assaulting your eyes, haha. Oh well. Live (and sew) and learn, right?
One thing I am really happy with about this block (other than finding an excuse to use that weird tea-leaf-like print that I used for the leaf part—in, not one, but TWO funky colors), is the stem piece:
I think I did a nice job of fussy-cutting so that line would end up pretty well right in the middle. I get kind of excited whenever the blocks have a part in them that seems like it is “begging” for something with straight lines in it. It’s hard to describe.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I also like to try to anal-retentively make sure that if there’s a discernible pattern, that all of the pieces have the pattern going either “the same way” (e.g., all “pointing up”) or “in a certain noticeable pattern” (e.g., all pointing…clockwise, like they’d be running in a clockwise whirlpool circle if the thing were spinning like a pinwheel).
Here are a few examples:
- All the little “ships” on the blue water in #11 Blockade are pointed “up.” (If your ships aren’t upright, then you’ve got problems.)
- The direction of the vines-on-pink in #6 Port and Starboard is much more subtle, but if you look closely, two of the sets of pink “bow-ties” have the vines reaching upwards, and two of them have the vines hanging downwards (on opposite corners, obviously, for balance).
- The white-on-purple roses in #12 Louisiana “flow” clockwise around the outer part of the block – which makes sense, because if that tan pinwheel in the center were real, that’s the direction it would turn when those little triangle “cups” got filled with wind.
Sometimes I “let it go” here in the sampler quilt if it would mean cutting a lot of extra pieces and wasting some, but I do like to do it if I can.
I’ll “let it go” on my feelings for this block as well. You know what’s better than a perfect block? A finished one.