Riley Blake MQG Challenge Quilt Post #2 – The Blocks

Over the last couple of weeks I had a chance to work some more on my Riley Blake Challenge hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild.

Post #1 for this quilt was about block design. This week I finished sewing my blocks and I’m pleased with how the quilt is starting to shape up. I may just make that February 17th deadline yet!

Riley Blake Challenge

Riley Blake Fabric Pull – it took me 3 tries to get the right shade of grey I wanted!

I had originally chosen a grey background for my improv blocks and it took me several tries before finding the right shade (I can be a little finicky like that).

Riley Blake Challenge

Original Design Sketch

However, once I made up a sample block it wasn’t really speaking to me. Then on a whim I decided to go with a much darker background – the Riley Blake Charcoal solid included in the original challenge bundle.

Fabric Audition

Auditioning a darker shade of grey – Charcoal solid by Riley Blake

I pulled in several more Riley Blake Basics in coordinating colors, then cut out a bunch of different length strips and sewed them together in an improv way (so fun – even if it does waste a bit of fabric). Using a large square ruler, I trimmed the blocks to size. I was going for the effect of a foundation string pieced block – without the pesky foundation part!

Riley Blake Challenge

Improv Strips Sewn Together

Now I’m starting to like how the blocks are coming together.

Riley Blake Challenge

Riley Blake Challenge Blocks

I timed myself while working and it took a total of 21 hours to starch, press, cut and sew a total of 36 – twelve inch blocks (not including prewashing all the fabrics first!) That seems like a long time for me, but I sewed them together just a few blocks at a time to make sure I knew what I was doing.

Improv String Blocks

Riley Blake Challenge – Improv String Blocks

This is my first attempt at an improv design and it was very liberating. As I finished each block, it was fun to see the wonky, graphic design emerge. I may rearrange them to balance out the colors and I’m toying around with adding a border of dark charcoal around the edges to make the whole thing appear to float. We’ll see.

I can’t wait to sew the blocks together and then start on the super fun part – the quilting!!

61 thoughts on “Riley Blake MQG Challenge Quilt Post #2 – The Blocks

  1. knitnkwilt says:

    Your quilt plan looks good! I had the same experience of going for lighter grays and liking dark ones better. I love the idea of strings with alternating solids instead of print by print. I’ll keep watching!

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