Quiltmaker 100 Blocks

Quiltmaker 100 Blocks
My block is in the November 2015 issue!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Opposites Attract Blog Hop - Black and White Blocks


Hi everyone and welcome to Day One of the Opposites Attract Blog Hop!  

Do you have a quilting 'bucket list'? In other words, a list of quilts or quilting projects that you would like to make? I don't have a written list, but I do have a mental one. I basically have three requirements for a bucket list quilt - I want to learn the technique, I really like the way a certain pattern looks, or I want to try different color combinations.  I'm not sure that a certain color combination is a technique, and it certainly isn't a pattern, but it is something that I want explore, so I added it as a requirement. 

One color combination that I have been wanting to try is black and white. So when I first heard the title of this blog hop, I immediately knew what I wanted to do for it. Black and white! What is more opposite than black and white?

Two color quilts aren't new. A few years ago, there was a quilt exhibit in New York City of a collection of quilts from a woman who collected only red and white quilts. There were 650 quilts in the exhibition, and the collection included quilts from three centuries! It's hard to believe that there are so many red and white quilts! Take a look at this link:
Red and White

I was thinking about doing something similar for black and white quilts. Except that my collection will have to be a virtual collection, since I have neither the resources to purchase a bunch of quilts nor the space to store them! So for the time being, my collection is on Pinterest. I started a board to keep pictures and links for black and white quilts separate from my other all-purpose "Things I want to Make" and "Quilts" pages. Here is a link, if you are interested in seeing it: Black and White Quilt Pinterest Board

In the course of playing around with black and white fabrics for this blog hop, I've discovered that making black and white quilt blocks isn't as easy as you would think. For one thing, there are many different definitions of 'white'! Who knew? For example, milk is white, right?  But take a look at whole milk next to skim milk.  Whole milk is a creamier white, while skim has a grey or blue cast to it. But they are both 'white'. So you need to take a look at the undertone of the white fabrics that you want to use, especially if you are going to go scrappy. I found out from the owner of the local quilt store near me that 'white-white' is called 'optic-white'.  Be aware that, if you are going to use a lot of optic white in a quilt, any other whites in that quilt may end up looking gray or dingy.  

Similarly, there are variations in black fabrics.  A black fabric may look 'blacker' if there is less of a print and more solid black.  For instance in the picture with all the blocks below, the whirligig (my term, not sure what it is actually called!) in the block in the upper left hand corner really stands out.  In the closeup of that block, on the right, you can see that the whirligig black is almost solid, with only a few speckles of white.  The other black in that block has more of a white print, so it doesn't stand out as much.  


12 Black and White blocks
Whirligig Block


The two blocks below both use two white on black prints that are very similar in saturation.  I thought that the difference would be enough to make the pattern really stand out, but it didn't work.  When looking at them close up, the difference is obvious but from a distance, they mush together and blend in.  


Blacks blend together from a distance
Another example of blended blacks

You can use the differences in blacks and whites to your advantage, to help achieve dimension and definition.  If you want the blacks to blend together more, use one with more of a print and less solid.  Conversely, if you use a white with a black print, it can also help to either define that section of the block or help it to blend in.

The three blocks pictured below are a much better example of what I was hoping to achieve.  They show more of the definition that can be created by using fabrics with different amounts of black or white print to really make the design elements pop. 

 



I'm including the one below, not just because it is a great example of definition, but because I love it! I did some fussy cutting to achieve the center medallion look. Fussy Cutting is a technique I want to explore. Hmmm, another one for the bucket list?


My favorite black and white block so far!




Now, for the giveaway!  The friendly folks at The Fat Quarter Shop have generously donated a $25 gift certificate to be given away each day of the hop. To enter to win today's giveaway, use the Rafflecopter link below.  Good luck to everyone!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


47 comments:

  1. I enjoy your adventure in black and white blocks; who should have thought that there could be such a great difference in the saturation when the blocks are put together. There's a lot to be learned from color theory and saturation of the different colors.
    Note to self: Must make a B&W quilt one of these days!

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  2. I'm amazed at the saturation, what a great lesson in learning about color theory. Thank you.. So happy you joined us for the hop today.

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    1. Thanks for having me! I always enjoy working on your blog hops!

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  3. What great blocks! Looks like you had fun :)

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  4. I love black and white quilts...so very fresh!

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  5. Black and white... the same combination I picked! Your blocks looks great, thanks for sharing your work, very inspiring!!

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  6. Working on 2 black and white quilts now, absolutely love them.

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  7. There's so much visual interest in the B&W combinations! Thanks for sharing your blocks and the information about working with B&W.

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  8. A black and white quilt is on my bucket list. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  9. Wonderful collection of blocks. Your stop on the hop is my favorite. Great job. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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  10. Hmmm very interesting....Ty for your thoughts on this it helped alot .... happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  11. Hmmm very interesting....Ty for your thoughts on this it helped alot .... happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  12. Love your blocks and color combo. I also enjoyed your pinterest board. Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat

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  13. Black and white quilt is on my to do list too

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  14. I love black and white quilts.....I like to add a touch of red in mine.

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    1. I am currently working on a sampler quilt called the Splendid Sampler, and I am doing it in Black White and Red! I call them my 'newspaper' quilt blocks ^.^ (black, white and red all over - sorry, old joke!)

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  15. black and white...the easy choice and always in style!

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  16. I love, love, love black and white quilts and your blocks totally wow me!

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  17. lack and white is such a classic "opposites". Your block choices are interesting, and the illustration of what blends together too much is helpful. I also have a Black & White quilt on my to do list. Thanks

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  18. I just love black and white quilts. What a great post showing just how things changes with fabrics!

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  19. Black and White quilt is on my bucket list as well. And yes, there are some many variations of white and black--I have a number of them in my stash so I have the right one for any quilt I am making.
    nl@ridder.ca

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  20. This was a great tutorial about being mindful of certain color shades! Two thumbs up.

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  21. Your blocks are wonderful! It is interesting the way we hope something will look, and then it either disappoints us , or makes us fabulously happy! Thanks for the inspiration. raydeer@memlane.com

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  22. Really enjoyed your black and white blocks!

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  23. Really enjoyed your black and white blocks!

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  24. Two color qults are on my bucket list. I would love to make a black and white quilt and a blue and cream quilt. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  25. Love your black, gray, and white version. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

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  26. I love 2 color quilts, I have both the red/white and black/white quilts. With my color challenge self two color quilts are the best.

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  27. Great insight for buying white and black fabrics. So helpful...

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  28. Love your fussy cut star! I really like b/w blocks and fabrics

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  29. Love your fussy cut star! I really like b/w blocks and fabrics

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  30. One of these years I want to do a black and white predominant quilt.

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  31. Really fun B & W! Great looking quilt!

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  32. Beautiful and well said, thanks for sharing!
    cork@pa.rr.com

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  33. Those black and white blocks are so fun. Thanks for going into detail on the variations in color!

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  34. Really interesting blocks. I do like the Whirly Gig pattern anyway, and in your blacks and whites, I think it stupendous. I know it's been around since the centennial, because I have a centennial quilt that is that design. Black and white is a great design element, and I like your explanations of why certain blocks don't really make it even though they ARE black and white. Thanks for sharing your blocks and explanation.

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  35. I like black and white quilts and love several of these blocks, this will be a beautiful quilt I'm sure, would love to see the finish.

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  36. This was a very interesting read -- and your block are gorgeous!

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  37. I love blacks and whites together.

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  38. Thanks for your very interesting discussion. I do love working with blacks and whites as well.

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  39. I like black and white quilts. I have known for a long time that there are many variations of the colors black and white. That is why I have to make sure I buy fabric in all one dye lot and preferably from the same bolt if I want it to be all the same color.

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  40. I don't generally lean toward black & white..especially in a whole quilt! But you have definitely changed my mind! Your Quilt blocks are AWESOME!! Thank you for sharing them!! :)

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  41. Love the black and white...very crisp looking. Thanks for sharing.

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  42. Enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for sharing!
    Dmac5958ataoldotcom

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  43. I've found the same thing with my own 2 colour quilt (red and cream), it's really not as simple as I had thought.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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