progress, or lack thereof…


I wish I could say there’s been some progress here, but really… um, no. I made up all these blocks, put them up on the wall, and have been staring at them ever since. I’ve auditioned a bunch of background fabrics, but nothing seems quite right. All along I’ve been thinking of an Essex yarn dyed, but so far I haven’t found the perfect one. I’ve also considered a low volume/barely a print, but again, haven’t found quite the right one.


I got a lot of great suggestions on Instagram yesterday, so maybe I’ll finally figure something out? I’m still open to ideas, so do leave a comment if you have an idea for a great background fabric!

(oh, and yes, these do remind me of nautical flags, though that wasn’t actually my inspiration. If I ever get this one made up into a quilt top I’ll fill you in on my original inspiration!)

All solids shown here are Hawthorne Hues.
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34 Responses to progress, or lack thereof…

  1. 1
    Andrea says:

    How about Quilter’s Linen in grey, steel or silver? Or maybe even in navy or charcoal?

    Great blocks, by the way, they’re so cheerful!

    • 2
      Keek says:

      That’s exactly what I was going to say. You’d be surprised how well gray works with every color. It sounds bland, but it really makes the colors pop. Grey is just a shade of black and that’s why it works. I recently did a t-shirt quilt and used a darker Kona grey for sashing and it looked awesome. Audition various shades of grey and the only hard decision will be which one to choose.

  2. 4

    navy sounds like a great idea to me. although i see that you have some blocks in navy. maybe a thin white frame around each?

  3. 6
    sandra says:

    hi. i love your site – it is always a good inspiration.
    and i think your small blocks will turn brillant.
    i tried it in photoshop with *Crosshatch in Grey, Architextures* in the background.
    i like it. i would have upload a photo – but there is no possibility.
    happy quilting!

  4. 7
    Lindsay says:

    The first thing I thought of when looking at these blocks was nautical flags, too. That said, it would be neat to connect the blocks at the tops with a thin strip of black fabric (to make it look like bunting) and have the remaining backer fabric be a light gray (linen?). Just my thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 9
    Laurelle C says:

    I like your idea of a low volume barely there print. Maybe keep looking for the perfect one ๐Ÿ™‚ I am kind of partial to low volume and text prints at the moment.

  6. 10
    Becky says:

    Just curious–what size are these?

    I do like the crisp geometric of these. Looking forward to hearing what originally inspired you.

  7. 11
    anne wolf says:

    or even a pale sky blue. That might emphasize the flagginess of the blocks.

  8. 12
    dispack says:

    GREAT fun blocks!!!!Use medium gray!

  9. 13

    Sometimes just staring at your blocks and contemplating your choices IS progress! You’re just being diligent in making sure you choose the perfect fabric.

  10. 14
    CJ says:

    I made a quilt with lots of actual flags of different countries on it, and I used three different cream fabrics. They were very low volume prints, and from a distance they all look pretty much the same and the flags stand out really well. The other colour I considered was a very pale grey, and I’m sure that would have worked too. I’ll look forward to seeing what you decide on.

  11. 15
    Marika says:

    The remind me of flags (country ones). What about a crosshatch in white ?

  12. 16
    Andrea says:

    I like some of the other suggestions. Why not combine them and connect the “flags” with black or white “string” to suggest bunting, then using a pale blue background for the “sky”? You could use a similar layout to these examples (with triangular “flags”): one, two.

  13. 18
    Jane says:

    The blocks reminded me of my very favourite of your quilts; Converging Corners. I think white sashes of different widths so they would all be in a grid pattern but irregularly spaced would be interesting. Looking forward to seeing your finished quilt!

  14. 19
    Sheila says:

    Previous comments are leaning towards my thoughts of a darker background too, dark grey or navy may be a good choice.

  15. 20
    kitty says:

    What about some Confetti Dots in stone, or in white, or even in white sparkle?

  16. 21
    Adrienne Wilson says:

    Great looking nautical flags. They’d look great on royal or navy blue…….like the ocean.

  17. 22
    Colleen says:

    These are great blocks! I like all the ideas above, & gray background sound good to me, too. I though maybe white with a thin blue stripe initially, but leaning towards gray. I really like Andrea’s ideas of connecting the blocks with strips to look like bunting. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  18. 23
    Dorrie says:

    What about adding a thin white border to each and setting them against Navy? They’re such great little blocks with lots of color. . .I’m sure with whatever you choose it’ll be marvelous!

  19. 24
    Myrto says:

    Try out to put them floating in a dark background, some of them horizontally and others standing — I think they should look beautiful!

  20. 25
    Mary says:

    I think it would really pop with a dark gray background. But then I kind of like dramatic colors ๐Ÿ™‚ Whatever you pick, they all look great. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  21. 26
    Cathy says:

    for background fabric, something soft and curvy? See Hawthorne Threads, Paloma – Paisley in Mist. I have that fabric, a lovely soft tone on tone greyish paisley, it might be just the thing to offset the strong lines of the blocks.

  22. 27
    Coastal gray says:

    I still think go for the flag look…. If you leave them the way they are now and put a thin sashing of white (as if rope) going from one side of the quilt to the other, along the top edge of the flags, on each row of flags, and a light grey background. :). Then a pop of color for the binding…. Red or navy…. Or any color, solid…. Just my opinion.

  23. 28
    Sarah says:

    This might be a little crazy but do you need a background fabric? I think you could just sew all those blocks together without any sashing and have a beautiful quilt! If you were using prints I would do a sashing but the solids go together so nicely. Just putting that idea out there.

  24. 29
  25. 30
    Sara Hill says:

    Or just tan, one of the textured ones out right now

  26. 31
    Fran K says:

    The first thing that came into my mind when I saw the pictures was the World Cup. It’s looks like all the flags – very colourful.

  27. 32
    Wendy says:

    Love the quilt so far, but I vote for white as the background fabric. Makes the other colors pop more. I’m getting tired of grey backgrounds.

  28. 33
    Camilla says:

    Beautiful blocks! I love the look of colour against dark grey like Kona charcoal…

  29. 34
    Elizabeth White says:

    My thoughts — I would try a very small print — maybe dots or a cross-hatch. I might even try a small black & white print for the background. This is the fun stage where you can try lots of prints, colors, or weaves. I will be looking forward to seeing the finish.

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