As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Next on the Quilty Agenda?

Now that I’ve recovered from the shock of getting the "Beauty and the Beast" piece to the flimsy stage, and the challenge completed, my mind has been bouncing from trying some of the blocks in the Quilt Mavens Perfect Paper Piecing book that I received as my prize, and starting a completely different project.

I’ve always absolutely loved the designs in Navaho (and other Native American designs) blankets and rugs – the first scarf I knit was done in an ombre yarn that made diamond patterns with a simple garter stitch, and the first afghans that I crocheted were ripple stitches with variegated yarns creating the intriguing diamond shapes. I can’t explain it – I guess it’s something that speaks to my soul – but it’s the same uplifting inner feeling I get when I cross into the plains, riddled with hills, ravines and mesas, of my native "Big Country" portion of Texas.


So when my long-distance quilting buddy, Margie in Arkansas, sent me this picture of her recently completed Zuni quilt top, I was hooked. The pattern is from "Traditions with a Twist" by Blanche Young and Dalene Young Stone – the book I always associated with the Blooming Nine Patch quilts that were all the rage in my part of Texas a couple of years ago. There is so much more in that book!!!! After my brain got an image of Margie’s beautiful version of "Zuni" imprinted on it, I was compelled to start collecting fabrics to make my own version. Now, a month later, I am almost ready to start cutting. Well, first I have to wash all those pesky fabrics I’ve collected – since most are batiks, I DO recommend washing because there is SOOOO much dye in the richly color-saturated fabrics, and most were bought specifically for this project, as I don’t normally get large enough pieces for my stash to "shop my stash" for this quilt. But, never fear, I did get a "little something extra" of most of them, in order to add these to my NYB ’scrap’ stash.

The dilemma now is deciding the order in which to number these fabrics. You see, that’s the secret to Blanche and Dalene’s quilts – they use strip sets, and each fabrics place in the "pecking order" determines where they will appear in the quilt. I have learned that taking a picture of the fabrics together sometimes helps a lot.

This is my first combination:


I liked each of the fabrics – but together, something is just so wrong. So… Out with the lovely lavender hand-spray.

Second try:


Out with the lavender… In with a lively yellow, and black. Reminds me of a Texas sunrise – or sunset :0) But seems like it’s too "blendy?" I think I need to move them around where there is more contrast between each fabric and its neighbor – after all, that’s what will form the outline of the diamonds.

Another try:


I think I like this one best. There are still other combinations to try. Now that I’m looking at these in a line in this blog post, I’m thinking that, perhaps, the solid yellow along with the yellow-orange should move to the left. Allllll the way to the left. That would place the yellow next to the black – it’s hard to get much more contrast than that, which should make those diamonds absolutely POP out of the quilt. Whoa…. Calm down Bobbie… There are other combinations to try. Maybe you should get professional help – maybe those "professionals" in white coats with butterfly nets. It’s JUST fabric… It’s JUST another "UFO" – but somehow, this one seems so different. It seems like this one wants to be made so badly that it’ll finish itself :0) That would be, as Martha says, "A VERY good thing!"

P.S. Suggestions for color arrangements are greatly appreciated. Once I start cutting, I’ll remove this line, so you won’t waste your "breath!"


After Tracy’s comments sunk in, and I started considering the placement of warm colors and cool colors, which I had totally ignored before, I came up with this possibility:


Not only does it better alternate the warm and cool colors, it also seperates the 2 most intense ones – I think that might be another "Martha-ism" – VERY good thing!


July 6, 2008 - Posted by | 14739, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time)


  1. BUT – if you leave the bright yellow where it is, you’ll have TWO “popping” diamonds… You have 6 warm colors and three cool ones (if you count the black as cool). The cool will recede, so unless you stick the black in between the warm colors somewhere, it’s not going to make as much of an impact.

    Just my two francs… 🙂

    BobbieBentNeedle wrote:
    Now I know why I wanted another darker green, and a dark purple to add to the mix. THEN, I could go warm-cool-warm-cool-warm-cool…etc… I know that I KNOW which colors are warm and which are cool – I just never consciously THINK about which are which. Thanx for kick-starting my brain!

    Comment by Tracy | July 6, 2008 | Reply

  2. That quilt is so gorgeous. I may give it a try after I finish the other projects I need to do. Those colors are so rich and beautiful.

    Comment by Candace | July 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. All I can say is “wow”! You seem to have it under control.

    Comment by Aileen | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] I sent pictures to my friend Margie, the maker of the quilt at the beginning of the post, "Next on the Quilty Agenda?" She graciously consulted with the lady who taught the class in which she made her quilt, and […]

    Pingback by And the winning combination is….. « As the needle bends | July 10, 2008 | Reply

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