Sunday, 15 February 2015

The impossibility of random

Most of today was spent joining the rows of Leah Day's Building Blocks Quiltalong. The project is a "quilt as you go" project so, having pieced and quilted 42 individual blocks I now had the task of joining the blocks together in rows and (tomorrow) the rows into a quilt.

Although Leah's pattern just called for two fabrics to be used for the whole quilt, I decided to use a variety of bright solids, one per style of block. Ironically Leah later produced a Spoonflower cheater cloth which was almost identical to my finished quilt - great minds think alike! 

Here's my quilt ready to be finished off with the sashing between the rows.

Despite changing my fabrics, I still closely followed Leah's pattern so, when it called for the blocks to be sewn together in a particular order, I still followed along. Because I had used different colours to Leah, that meant the some of the neighbouring blocks had high contrast, some low. 

I'm normally a very "matchy-matchy" quilter; my nightmare is a pattern that says "randomly sew one piece A to one piece B". But what if the fabrics match?! Or clash?! Or there isn't enough contrast?! I don't think I'm ever going to manage to sew a scrappy project because my quilts and fabrics have to be planned out to the n-th degree. This was a real problem in the Mister DJ quilt where I was meant to randomly sew strips together. I confess I didn't but it still came out great. 

Happily it's not just me that had a problem with choosing things at random. Apparently humans are pre-programmed to find patterns and create order and can't therefore make truly random choices. Even when we think we are making random choices, we're actually still broadly following a pattern.

The fact that Leah's quilt now has two neighbouring pink blocks and a few clashing colour combinations is actually great - for once I've actually been random! Although technically I suppose I'm still following Leah's pattern so I'm not really being random after all. Drat.

1 comment:

  1. Those blocks are stunning! I've popped over in response to your comment on Lily's Quilts blog re Siblings Together, the details for the block are on flickr, please get in touch if you need more info. Thanks for your help.