Random But Pleasing?! What’s That?

The other night at our guild meeting, Mary asked “Random but pleasing?  Does that mean it’s not random?”…….(tongue in cheek).  She’s a great scrapper and was giving me that look, just being a smartie.  So Mary, this is for you and all the others who may legitimately want to know.  Random but pleasing is random but sort of.  As I cut and choose my scraps, I like as many different options as I have available.  Meaning many colors, styles( 30’s, civil war, kids etc.), patterns (stripes, polk-a-dot, florals, fruit, etc.).  I like and use it ALL …whatever is in the bag, box or pile!  When I’m sewing my pieces together, I usually have them randomly stacked in piles next to where I’m working and I “audition” the pieces as I am sewing them together.  I want interest and balance but most of all I don’t want to lose the focus of my block pattern.  So I look for diversity in color, fabric pattern, and value.    So if one piece is the same color, same pattern (polk-a-dots, stripes, floral, solid), same value (light, dark, etc.), that piece is set aside and the next is “auditioned”. It’s a quick glance.  No matchy match!   No hemming and hawing about whether I like it or not or whether is goes……do I love it or not.  Not important!  Can I live with it and does it give me the contrast and balance that I want to have in my block.  That’s what I’m looking for.  Of course, when the blocks are finished there are always some that I really like and some not so much.  When I’m down to assembling those last couple of blocks, there are always some pieces that just need to be put in there.  They may not have that zing that I’d like.  So I stick that “not so much” block somewhere in a corner of the quilt .  The corner is usually hanging off the bed and you can’t see it that well anyway.  The ones with the pop go in the middle  where they are most visible.  I hope that explains my “random but pleasing” theory.  Happy Quilting, Everyone!  BTW I love seeing your Clue #1 blocks on Flickr.

  • Colleen
    January 21, 2015

    Thanks for that explanation – I honestly did not know what you meant. When I did Scrapitude, I cut the pieces totally scrappy, and put them together completely randomly. The only exception was that I wouldn’t sew two of the same fabrics together. I didn’t think about value or style of fabric. This time I will!

  • Pat Seager
    January 27, 2015

    After seeing last year’s quilt on Sandy’s blog I decided to do this one. My friend Linda and I are working on it and will get the next clue while on retreat next month. looking forward to it.

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      January 29, 2015

      Hi Pat, Glad to see you. Its always fun to do a mystery with a friend. Have fun on your retreat.

  • Jeanette Ivie
    February 5, 2015

    I’m joining in on this year’s mystery. I thought it would be a great way to use up some of my scraps. I decided that it would be a great quilt to make with my red and blue fabrics and donate this quilt to Quilts of Vallor. I have a question on how I should combine my fabrics. I have a nice bunch of blues and reds. In your first clue, should I have a red and a blue in each block or should I mix it up a bit, with some red, red & others blue, blue. Thanks, Charlotte. I’m excited to see how this quilt turns out.

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      February 8, 2015

      Hi Jeanette, I love your idea of donating to Quilts of Vallor. My question is what color is your blender fabric? If your blender is either red or blue you could use the colored squares in the opposite color. But if you are using a different color for the blender, I would say just mix them up. It’s really hard to say and not give away anything since this is a mystery. Good luck and I’m sure whatever you choose it will be appreciated by the lucky person it is given to. Thanks for joining it.
      Happy Quilting, Charlotte

      • Jeanette Ivie
        February 8, 2015

        Thank you for your help. I just wanted to make sure the quilt would look good when I’m done. FYI my blender fabric is a medium blue. I’m excited to get our next clue.

  • Mary
    February 15, 2015

    Sorry for giving you a hard time about pleasing but random. I laughingly refer to it semi-organized random. It’s hard to give up control and rely on 100 percent random. Great explanation.

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      February 16, 2015

      Oh, don’t be sorry! It was good fun! And besides, it gave me a great post to explain how to put stuff together. Thanks for the op!

  • Heather Roby
    February 24, 2015

    I’m enjoying making the blocks and wondering when I need to be ready for the next clue and maybe what I can do to prepare 🙂

    • Charlotte Hawkes
      February 27, 2015

      Hi Heather, The next clue will be March 10 at 7pm EST. Actually Daylight savings time starts on March 8 so I don’t know…..is that still EST? If you have all your pieces cut and all the squares done for clue #2 there is nothing else you need to do until the next clue comes out. I’m glad you are enjoying the mystery! Happy Quilting!

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