Have you seen our February/March 2013 issue yet? It’s a good one! It just came out, and can be purchased at the Quilt & Sew Shop or your local bookstore. This issue is one of my personal favorites, not only for the quilting news, stories, gorgeous photos and especially fun patterns (I might have to make Confetti), but because it was the issue that was just wrapping up when I started working here.
Most of you know that in every issue, in the Staff Picks section, we feature new fabric lines along with new books and products that we like. What you may not know is that staff members sew up all the blocks that are shown alongside the fabrics.
It must have been my second or third day on the job when Susan Geddes, our art director, told me that one more block was needed for the Feb/Mar issue, and it was needed right away since it had to be photographed first thing in the morning. Lori, Mary-Kate and Kath were all out of the office, Susan and Bill had already made one, so it was left to me. She suggested I choose a block from the archives, something relatively simple, so it could be completed quickly without too much hassle.
Okay, no problem!
I got the fabric and rifled through about 200 block patterns, looking for one I liked that would be a cinch to stitch. Oooh, Independence Square! I liked the look of it a lot, and since it is all straight lines and 90 degree angles, I could easily finish it by the end of the day. So I did.
I brought my block to Susan, and she laid out all 4 blocks. All the fabric lines we feature in this issue are very different in terms of style, print and color so they were all very different blocks. Sort of. I must have been looking at them for a full 30 seconds before I saw it.
Lori and I had chosen the exact same block pattern! Out of hundreds of choices! I was mortified. Maybe there was time to make another block? Not really. Susan assured me that it would be alright, she could show them on different pages and put one on point to alter the look a bit. She did, and I think she was right.
I’m sure some eagle-eyed readers would see that they are the same block right away, but I wonder how many would never notice if I hadn’t said anything?
Lori’s letter from the editor in the same issue took the words right out of my mouth. Color choices do make a difference! The same block pattern can look wildly different depending on which colors are placed where and value differences can drastically affect the look of the design. But that is where the fun lies, don’t you think?
Traditional blocks have stuck around for so long because they are so versatile. This instance really drove home the point that two quilters, sewing the same pattern, will always come up with a finished piece that is entirely original, because color, value and print are simply tools for personal expression.
Naturally, when it was time to make a block for the next issue, I wanted be sure it hadn’t already been made by someone else. I selected another favorite and ran it by Susan; Lori had made the same block two issues prior. D’oh!
Now, can you tell whose block is whose?