Friday, July 28, 2017

Blog banner quilt is Scrappy Trips

    I have been quieter the last few weeks, slower too.  I had debated on resting a longer while from blog posting and not really starting anything new.   I wasn't going to close my blog, but I did feel I had repeated myself so much that I was boring.
Insight:   Things occur and happen to direct you along the road 
you are suppose to take.  There are signs we can chose to ignore, 
but with advanced age I have learned to be more 
receptive to directions.  At least sometimes. 

   All of this to say......this has been a week for emails and questions....not just requests for patterns.  Questions are a good thing.  Questions ask for help, provide direction, point up details I have forgotten, and they let me know what readers/followers want to know.   So after 3 questions about the quilt shown in the blog banner, I think I needed to provide details.  A hunt thru past posts revealed a big lack of details.  I have no idea what happened about that.

   Trippin'  Thru the Flowers is from 2014.  I began working on this as a Let's Book It project in April/May 2014.  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.    She calls it Scrappy Trips.   It is a Trip Around the World variation.....many small trips in fact.  My version is based on value rather than one color.   So.....chains of value radiate around the center square creating diamond bands of value.   Doesn't that sound rich?

  Value......not color.  Value is the lightness or darkness of the fabric.   And the secret to a quilt with the changes in value like this is variety.  You can't have enough floral prints to chose from :)   
 Three things I use to work with value in a water color (or a scrap quilt) are
  •  a value viewer (ruby beholder), 
  • a design wall, 
  • and a camera.   
Learn to sort your fabrics into correct value groups.   I use a ruby beholder viewer.  Additional tip....... Visit Exuberant Color for some good lessons... variety of value  ,  a lesson on value .  I learned great lessons from Wanda's blog, and there is no reason to create my version when she is a master at this.  

Design wall.....big, small, permanent or portable, it is so important.  I can stand back from a design layout about 8-10 feet and see how the values are working together.  In this design I wanted to  see distinct lines of dark and light.  I needed areas of medium value fabrics to blend to the dark and to the light fabrics.  

A camera....if all else fails, take a photo.  Look at it on the computer and amazingly, I can see where problems lie that need to be fixed.  Added tip....turn the photo into a black and white version and you will see instant photo based on value!

Back to the quilt............  
This is how the Scrappy Trips is put together.  4 blocks come together to make up the small trip around the world unit that you see.   If you read thru Bonnie's pattern, you will know that it takes 6 strips for each block unit.    So I had to make several variations for the variety in the full quilt.
   I laid out the strips according to value from dark to light before sewing them together.  It was important to be sure the dark and light fabrics were distinct and not too "mushy".   The lowest block on the left is just a little bit too mushy.  Compare it to the upper corner block that is diagonal to it.  Much stronger light in the center creates the radiating diamond.     So yes, I did have to do some planning--not too much--- to be sure I had light center units forming as well as dark center units.  

 And now a little further along.
   I got better as I went along....selecting fabrics to put together to blend and to have contrast.  
  In the pattern instructions, after you make sub-cuts you unpick a seam to join the rows.  The strongest dark or lightest light fabric was needed to run thru the center to get the pattern.  

   So many Scrappy Trips became Trippin' Thru the Flowers.   And  then became my blog it speaks dearly of the floral fabrics I love.   The blended values  remind me of shadows  in the garden in the evenings.  Movement can be strong and still gentle and that is what this quilt says to me.  
Happy stitching.


  1. I've always loved that quilt so I like the revisit. You unpick a seam on purpose? That's a touch crazy to me but maybe worth it for that quilt, LOL.

  2. i have always wanted to know about that quilt, so beautiful, thanks.

  3. I am impressed that you used that tutorial for the Scrappy Trips and managed to make this. I suppose if I were making watercolor quilts I could do it too. Maybe someday....

  4. I've always loved this quilt but I had no idea you had used Scrappy Trips! I have used that pattern with solid bright fabrics - it is totally different. ~Jeanne

  5. Wonderful post. Thanks, thanks, thanks! You know your stuff and I'm impressed with everything you do.

  6. I have always loved this quilt and think it is one of your best efforts. I started one at retreat about 3 years ago and have worked on it only spiradically. I know I should pull it out and make a more concerted effort. I think I lack enough lights to make it work, but I'll see if I've acquired more fabrics since then that might work.
    And no, don't stop blogging. Slow down if you must, but we need your gift of making watercolors glow.

  7. Love, love the Scrappy Trips. Please, please don't stop. I value your words and pictures. And you, too.

  8. If you have nothing new to post about, just show us something from several years ago with a link back to that post. The oldies but goodies are always fun to see a second time.

  9. Once a teacher, always a teacher. So much to learn in this post about that lovely quilt. I've had Scrappy Trips on my radar for a while, and yet it never occurred to me this quilt was one. I think mine will be better for having seen this post. Thanks.

  10. I am SO glad you posted this. I have ever admired your banner quilt and could not figure out how you did it other than I KNEW it was a trip around the world. What size strips did you do this with? 1.5 inches? I have never done a watercolor quilt and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one of yours.

  11. I have often thought this banner quilt was gorgeous but never asked questions. I suppose I thought I had too many UFOs already. :) Wonderful to hear that it's a Bonnie Hunter free pattern. I will tell you that you did a marvelous job on your quilt. The colors and color placement is fabulous which is why it's so outstanding. Thank you for this posting; love that you explained it to us.

  12. How good it is to see the full quilt and to read your words in this post. Excellent tips and information.

  13. I've never been good at value. I did get a ruby thingy, at a quilt show's flea market, for a whopping 10 cents. I used it to make sure that there was enough contrast for Kevin's mystery, last month.

  14. I'm so glad you decided to keep writing about your work and answering questions! I'm a fairly new blog reader, so learning about your older pieces is new to me :) As I've said before, I struggle with value and am always on the lookout for tutorial and glimpses of insight to learn. Thank you, Debbie.

  15. Thank you so much for your blog on your Tripin' Thru the Flowers quilt. I have always love it as your Banner Quilt. Please don't stop blogging. You words of wisdom & your encouragement to each of us (your followers) is a priceless gift to us. Maybe you just need to slow down for a while but please don't quit. How would I start my day if you weren't there for me? :(

  16. This truly is a beautiful quilt. Definitely banner worthy. Thanks for sharing the details.

  17. I love your quilt. Thanks for the additional info. I hope to play more with value.

  18. Hello! Visiting from Free Motion by the River! I have wanted to make a Scrappy Trip quilt for a long time and your floral version is fantastic! Great lesson on value. I love Wanda's blog too. :)


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