This week EQ8 announced another block challenge – Western Spy. Think eight-point star meets wreath. Designing with this was fun… piecing it would be a different challenge: y-seams galore!
When I saw this block, two totally different ideas came to my brain – two complementary blocks vs medallion. I am not good at choosing, so I did both!
The first one I tackled was two complementary blocks. Since the Western Spy has clipped corners, I thought another block that would match those corners would be a good place to start. I looked for a block with interest, but different centers. The “Old Favorites” tab looked like a nice starting point. Low and behold, the first block there was “Jewel Star.” Hmmm, stars should go together – right? A little tweaking and rotation of a few Jewel Star blocks, made quite a nice secondary pattern. The next challenge was coloring… Red, white and blue, just felt right for these stars. I chose six shades of blue and two shades of red. The result was True Blue.
Using Western Spy as a Medallion was my next challenge. This one grew more organically – quite literally. I put the Western Spy block in the center with plain wide borders to highlight it. Then, I added a subtle star border with more plain borders. The contrast of the plain borders added more of a visual separation. This way the stars could shine. But, it needed something more… something to tie it together. Then, it struck me – Applique. I played with a few motif options and really liked the idea of vines. Vines could connect the stars, provide some continuity and interest in the plain borders. But now, the Western Spy looked lonely in the middle. The applique was needed in the center. Vines were too much… So I clipped the vines into stems and put them around the edges. A few changes in color – pink and green were perfect for the sweet pea vines. I hope you like the end result as much as I do – Western Sweet Pea.
These challenges encourage me to use blocks I may have over looked earlier. It is a great way to play with my program and just have fun. Let’s face it – we all need a little fun.
I hope you enjoy these and that they give you some ideas for your quilts.