teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Tuesday 28 October 2014

The Marmite Block - Do You Love It Or Hate It?

The theme for the 1 November meeting of our NYC Metro Mod Quilt Guild Block Lotto is Flying Geese.  This follows on nicely from my October Bee Blocks for Maria - Orderly and Liberated Flying Geese - making me a dab hand at stitching them up quickly.

What's a Block Lotto, I hear some of you asking?  Well, first of all, participation is optional, if you do choose to take part you get one raffle ticket for each block you enter into the Block Lotto.  When all entries are received a raffle ticket is drawn and the winner takes away all the blocks entered.

Let's get down to it - October Block Lotto instructions:

1: finished block must contain at least one flying geese unit;
2: at least one of the flying geese units in the block must be red; and
3: the finished block must be a 12.5" unfinished square.

Here is my finished block...

which I hate... 

or maybe I love...

I just can't make my mind up either way, this is the strangest feeling I've ever had making a quilt block.

Let's start this story again - this time with the block the other way up just so it doesn't feel quite so repetitive.

I pulled out my red scrap box to find fabric to make the block and right then and there I saw four 5" charm squares that I really dislike.  Do you have that, fabric in your collection that makes you uncomfortable, that you try not to look at, let your eyes move on quickly and hope the niggle inside you goes away?

If you don't like a fabric in your stash the first question is how did it come into your possession?

Mine was by way of a Flickr fabric charm swap.  Ever joined in one?  I've joined in two; one was strictly Kaffe Fassett fabrics - the organiser was strict about everyone's chosen fabrics and the resulting received charm pack was wonderful - well it couldn't be anything else as I loooove Kaffe Fassett.  My other swap was a Scrappy Fabric Charm Swap.  Now I know for some scrappy sounds wonderful and I totally agree, when scrappy comes from my own scrap stash and I'm in total control (did I really just own up to being a control freak on my blog?!).  I'm not so keen when it's an amalgamation of many people's stashes, for me this is in danger of becoming fabric vomit.  

So why did I take part in this Fabric Vomit Scrappy Fabric Charm Swap?  Well I wanted to support the organiser, an online quilty friend, and I thought I could just divide the charms across my colour separated scrap bins and use them up for projects such as this.  To be fair the majority of fabrics in the swap were really lovely - just not together!!! - separated amongst my stash they'll all be very useful over time, however there were one or two that really set my aesthetic nerves jangling

If you don't like a fabric in your stash the second question has to be why is it still there?  

Why not swap it - you'll be amazed how one of your quilty friends may love it as apparently we don't all have the same taste in fabric it seems!, donate it to a quilt guild or charity store, or use it - maybe make a charity quilt?

I struggled with my conscience, is it okay to make a block using fabric I've chosen but don't actually like?  I wondered how I'd feel posting about a fugly block I've created from choice - that one was simple, I just wouldn't, post about it that is.  Still to finally be rid of four 5" charm squares that I didn't like and wouldn't have to look at again in my stash!!!  That decided I set about making the block.

I pulled the four 5" charms squares and made four Flying Geese Units.  I sewed the scrap ends together along with a small piece of black solid and included them too, then added a black solid to make it up to the required 12.5" block size.

Finally I stood back and looked at the block. [hmmm, it's actually not bad] did that thought actually just go through my head? [kind of got a Japanese feel going on] oh no, stop talking head voices.  I know let's show it to hubby and see what reaction he gives [he's going to love it, oh look at his face he does love it, oh what have I done? now he'll want a whole quilt made like this].

There you go I eat my words and have decided to share the block after all and be totally honest about it.

 Still can't decide if I love it and hate it though, it's quite a Marmite Block moment.  I do indeed HATE Marmite, fortunately so does my husband so we've never encountered this (un)romantic problem:

I think the block could look great in a quilt made up of all these fabrics/colours but continuing the theme of being honest let's face it these Block Lotto blocks are going to be a pile of Scrappy Blocks - can red Flying Geese pull all that together in a whole quilt?  The winner's got their work cut out - I really hope it's not me!

Have you made something for someone else with a fabric you don't like just to get rid of it? 
Share your Charm Swap experiences too.

As always you can check out all the blocks that our Guild make for the Flying Geese Block Lotto on my Quilty - NYC Metro Mod Guild Challenge Blocks- I'll add more pins as each person in the Bee posts photos of their finished blocks and you can see my NYC Mod Quilt Guild post here too.

And you can click this link to see all of my NYC Mod Quilt Guild Bee Blocks and Challenge Blocks/Quilts.

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  1. Oh, Chris, you made me laugh! Not only I have asked myself the same questions but I also agree with you in wishing NOT to be the winner. Still loads of fun to participate! Now let's see what happens on Saturday. Are you coming?

  2. I love the block (and marmite!) but I am struggling to see it work with anything else. Good luck with (losing) the raffle! xx

    1. Managed not to win Lin, had to miss the meeting at the last minute so, although I'll hand the block over to the winner at the next meeting, I wasn't entered in the raffle on the day!!! - Chris :D

  3. Ha! I'll admit to having made an ugly block or tow for bees and block lottos. You win some, you lose some... and then you hope you don't win the raffle :)

    1. Where you at the meeting Tina? I missed it but I promise it wasn't just so I wouldn't win the raffle!!! - Chris ;D

  4. Oh Chris, I normally love your work but this block is not doing it for me. I love Marmite too, why wouldn't I, I'm English. I think it is the floral fabric with the horses. Fingers crossed that you don't win!

    1. I'm so not offended Catherine, it's really not my taste either - thankfully I missed the meeting and lost out on the chance to win!!! - Chris :D

  5. Well, I LOVE Marmite!! But I do not love ugly fabric! I have done Flickr charm swaps where I have received some total losers and they have gone straight into the trash bin. Couldn't even bare to give them away. I am not so sure about the donkey looking fabric, but you are right about the Asian feel of the block. Who knows? Someone might love it...or at least not hate it.

    1. I've told myself no more charm swaps - I'm not saying never - but let's say I'm not searching them out - Chris :D

  6. I actually do like the block but I think some fun bright prints would help.

  7. Shame we often put so much thought into design...and often it comes out totally different and we like it anyway! Good joB

  8. Oh Quilting Conundrums! I am on the fence as to this block. Sometimes it is what it is and we move on!!

  9. Thank you for sharing your trial and tribulations of a quilt block at Make It Monday.


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Chris Dodsley

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