100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet-nating

Can you believe we’re at Volume 5 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks? That means we’ve published 500 blocks in these special issues since 2009—wow! From wondering “what if . . .”, 100 Blocks has grown beyond anything we imagined three years ago.

With 500 different blocks, that also means there are 500 different names for those blocks. When the designers submit their blocks, we ask for name suggestions. Sometimes we have to change their suggestion because it’s already been used. Sometimes we have to make up words to find one that works, like Facet-nating. Sometimes we’re as delighted by a designer’s block name as we are by the block (ok, we’re funny that way about words, but we are editors!)

Through the years the designers continue to get more clever and more creative with the blocks they submit to Quiltmaker. I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who has participated in 100 Blocks: these issues get better and better because of you—thanks for sharing your talent with us!

So let me tell you about my block in this issue. I saw two lines of fabric from Quilting Treasures that just called out to me. I love dots . . . I love florals . . . I love lime green and look how well they play together:

QuiltingTreasuresContempoDots 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

Contempo Dots by Quilting Treasures

QuiltingTreasuresFantasia 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

Fantasia by Quilting Treasures

I knew I couldn’t use all of these prints in one 12″ block, so I started by designing a two block quilt, where the blocks would create secondary designs. I picked one of the blocks and began auditioning fabric for it. Here’s the block with just a rough idea of colors.

facet nating block art 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

As I got ready to audition fabric, I looked at the overall shapes in the block at their finished sizes—I wanted to extend the green segments into adjoining blocks as triangles, so I now looked at the block as triangles in 3 sizes, a big square in the center and some strips at the outside edges.

facet nating block art21 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet natingI cut enough shapes at the finished sizes to audition the fabric without cutting each patch to its exact size. Where there are small black triangles (4) and medium gray triangles (2) in the drawing above, I cut triangles to fit the gray spaces (2), knowing I could cover them when I was trying them in the smaller black spaces (4).

fabric to audition 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

There are several key elements to successful fabric placement in a quilt.

One is value—the lightness or darkness of a fabric. The value of a fabric is relative to what’s around it: a dark fabric can make one fabric light or a medium fabric can make the same fabric look medium. The bold, graphic design of these fabrics was calling for high value contrast. Because of the blacks, whites and bright greens, it was pretty easy to get good value contrast from these fabrics. (Other times you may want low contrast, it all depends on the outcome you’re looking for.)

Another key element is scale—the size of the designs in the fabric. These fabrics have a large range in scale from tiny dots to big dots. I wanted variety in the scale to create a different kind of contrast in addition to value contrast.

Let me show you some of the options I looked at. Each photo shows one fabric change at a time. It helps to take pictures as you go through this process so you can refer back to a fabric arrangement that you liked.

QTaudition1 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

there's a lot not working well here: the scale is about the same in positions 1, 2, 3 and 4 . . . position 4 doesn't work at all, the design is cut up too much to be seen

QTaudition2 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

new fabric in position 4 is better . . . the light print in position 2 almost disappears

QTaudition3 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

new fabric in position 2--but there's still a scale problem with the flowers and dots being almost the same size in the fabrics in positions 1, 2 and 3

QTaudition4 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

new fabric in position 3 is working better--stronger value contrast between it and positions 4 and 5 . . . it's a tone-on-tone so it gives your eyes a place to rest among the variety of prints . . . let's see what I can do now about positions 1 and 2

QTaudition51 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

this is starting to work: positions 1 and 3 work well together . . . now what to do about position 2?

QTaudition6 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

small dark dots at position 2 contrast well with large light print at position 1 AND with the green tone-on-tone at position 3 . . . now positions 2 and 4 contrast in value, but are the same prints so there's little scale contrast there

QTaudition7 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

larger dark dots at position 4 AND the lighter small dots at position 5 . . . I like how this looks with strong contrast in value and scale throughout the block!

QTaudition8 border 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

now why did I cut the green patches as triangles? I want to see how they play against a border and into adjoining blocks or sashes . . . you can start to see it here, but the rest of this design is for another time.

All of that is what took me to my final block:

QM100BlocksVol5 Facet natingDudley 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

Facet-nating. Block #428., Designed by June Dudley. Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 5.


facet nating block setting 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

Facet-nating block repeated in a 5x5 setting

Now for a totally different look, here’s another line of fabric that I really like and think would play well into this design:

ReflectionsGudrunErlaRedRooster 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

Reflections by Gudrun Erla for Red Rooster Fabric

I’ll take you on another auditioning process, but this time let you study the pictures to decide what you like and don’t like. In this set of auditions the left and right side of each photo is different.

RRaudition2 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

option A: left - option B: right

RRaudition3 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating

option C: left - option D: right

Tell me which teal option you like best and please feel free to use made-up words icon smile 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet nating . . . I’ll pick a winner from the comments left by 12 midnight MST on Sunday 5/6 for a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 5 and prizes from today’s sponsors Quilting Treasures and Red Rooster Fabrics.

And the teal-errific winner is: #33 michele. Congratulations!

Update 5/7/12: The beauty of the second exercise is that there’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on which choice speaks to you–some like more yellow, others like less yellow. And there are still many more lovely combinations possible just with that fabric. That’s one reason I’ll take photos of this process so I can review the options. Sometimes it helps to take a bunch of pictures and then review them at another time with fresh eyes.


Did you know that we’ll be giving away ALL of the blocks made (and usually signed) by the designers? 25 people will each win a set of 4 randomly selected blocks. The contest opens 5/10/12 at quiltmaker.com and runs through 7/6/12.

About June Dudley

I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Quiltmaker magazine. I have enjoyed quilting for many years. And I love to collect fabric, thread, books and all things quilty. I especially like batiks, bright colors, florals, dots, stripes and anything purple or teal.
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293 Responses to 100 Blocks Volume 5: Facet-nating

  1. Dianna Trotter says:

    Do you have Farbic requirements to make a quilt with your choice of fabric in the black and green and white 5X5 block quilt?

  2. Pingback: Fussy Cutting Fabric: A Lesson | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  3. Pat Wade says:

    I like block A. I think the contrast is better, and I really like those fabric choices. Thank you for the fun blog spot hunt.

  4. Sandra McIntyre says:

    I like option C because I like the way the colors standout but still blend together. I especially like your audition process and can’t wait to try it.

  5. Julie A. B. says:

    A is Adorable, B is Blooming, C is Classic and D is Delightful. These four blocks are all lovely. I am partial to C. Oh wait ! I also like B,D&A. O.K. my mind is made up, I will select C. Thank-You.

  6. Jackie Roisler says:

    After many going up/down and left/right, my eye kept returning to “C”. So, I vote for “C” :) Thanks for the super information!

  7. Mary Gischer says:

    I like option C the best.

  8. Sandy Franz says:

    I love option A. I just love yellow and blue. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the magazine.

  9. rosa says:

    My votes goes to C,D.Great block!

  10. Mary Elizabeth says:

    What a great way to see the impact of different color arrangements. I like something about each combination and was wavering but I’ll go with C as my final answer. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. annmarie says:

    I like all the options but D is my favorite – love your color combos. Thanks for the chance to win Vol. 5

  12. Option d for sure! Love the block design.

  13. Sandy Walther says:

    Thank you for demonstrating the color/texture/value impact on a block. So many patterns published lately seem to throw all the prints from a design line into their blocks without making it look balanced. My body feels tense just looking at their cluttered design, then I relax when I see your final view. Option D appears to be the best combo to me.

  14. hafza says:

    I choose option D…love the colors combination.

  15. I love seeing your design process. I really like C.

  16. Darlene Jacolik says:

    Thank you for the tutorial on color, texture and value. I like option D the best.

  17. marci says:

    option C!!! i love the lime green by the way,,,,
    thank you

  18. Limbania says:

    Love yellow! Option A for sure :)

  19. Madeline Watson says:

    It must be “D” ….I love this block and the tutorial you gave us. Thank you for both.

  20. Carmen says:

    C is my favorite. They all look great!

  21. Debbie M says:

    Opton B on the right. The contrast is better.

  22. Michelle M says:

    Option B!

  23. TX JennyWren says:

    The first set of fabrics are my favorite. I LOVE the squiggly lime green next to the polka dot black and white – great way they play off each other.

  24. Dawn Hollingsworth says:

    I LOVE option D. For me, A and B are just too busy. C just kind of “lays there”. D has “movement” and the colors flow so nicely. I enjoyed seeing your process for fabric placement, I had not thought of doing that. I tend to color on paper which doesn’t really have the same effect as the actual fabric. Hmmmm, I may have to start buying a little extra fabric so I can audition them. Thanks for the giveaway! Good luck, Everyone!! :)

  25. Karen A says:

    My favorite is option D. I really like the teal as the outer border. It sets off the other colors.

  26. Donna says:

    I like them all, but option B is my favorite.

  27. Gina Hare says:

    I like option B. Thanks for the chance to win!

    gina in missouri

  28. after ponderin’ for about 10 minutes… i’m torn between option C ‘n D.. if i only have 1 choice 2make,then i think i’m likin’ choice D. thnx 4 tha fun,’n good luck 2 all who enter. P.S. lime green if my favorite color ‘n i like tha way it looks with black. jus sayin’!!:0) peace

  29. Billie K says:

    What a versatile block and maybe leaving the middle a plain fabric would be a good place for quilting….I really like this block.

  30. OHSue says:

    I have yo go with B. I really liked seeing the audition process.

  31. karillia says:

    I like option D

  32. Jill says:

    I like option C the best, but each one has merit.

  33. Elizabeth McDonald says:

    I like the dark teal, and also the solid (almost solid?) golden yellow. They provide a nice crisp contrast with the lighter print blocks.

  34. Anne says:

    Option C. Thank you for showing your selection process for your block

  35. Kathleen says:

    I prefer the tripendicular Option D. The softness of the light teal diamond is offset by the yellow accents and mid teal blue corners which to me is a fantabulously pleasing arrangement. I love it! Fabrigorgeous Red Rooster auditioning, June! You get my vote for most creative post of the entire 100 Blocks Blog Hop. It’s quiltilicious! :)

  36. Beth says:

    Option D I think that the blue fabric provides texture and sets the block off.

  37. Nancysue says:

    I really like Option C. The darker golden fabric allows the flowers in the inner print to fanzwangle!

  38. Pamela Oliver says:

    I like them C D combo the best. The blocks would sing teally in a quilt.

  39. Patti says:

    I like option B the best. Thanks for a chance.

  40. Nancy H says:

    You have quite a following!!! I really like dots too and seem to have quite a collection. I like the lime green and black but like the C left. Thanks for all your updates regarding your new books!!!!

  41. Pam C says:

    Oh-I like all of them. If I have to pick, I guess option c.

  42. I love watching your design process and I love the resulting block. Very clever.
    thanks for the chance to maybe win one of these magazines. I have all of the other four. I hope I can win one.

  43. Myra Sattler says:

    I would like either c or d

  44. Maureen says:

    Oh boy, it’s hard to choose….they’re all fantastic but when it comes right down to it, I would chose “C”. Thanks for the chance at the give-away.

  45. I love, love the lime green final block you showed as I am a lime green fan. As for the other blocks after some looking and relooking I like Option C the best.

  46. trillium says:

    I squinted at them and Option D was the only one in which the teals/patterns/values contrasted well. “Teal Reveries” for a title???

    trilliumcreates AT gmail DOT com

  47. Wanda Heath says:

    Option B! A and C are not nice looking at all. Option D is very nice, but with B the yellow and blue flowers ties in just nice.

  48. Angela N. says:

    I like C the best, but they all look so great id say make a quilt with all of them!! And there is no word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (i think i spelled it right)!

  49. Jamie says:

    With such tealalating choices, it can be hard to choose just one, but I believe D wins out over the the colors.

  50. Tracey Stapley says:

    Tough decision, but IMHO, Option B has it all over the other! Great fabrics and nice contrast.

  51. Carole S. says:

    I like both options A and C, but because of the colors. Options B and D look too cold to me. Options A and C have that lovely yellow warmth that counters the hard square edges of the designs.

    That’s a great block pattern!

  52. franca gabrielli says:

    mi piace il blocco e preferisco il B. spero di vincere, se così non sarà acquisterò il vol.5.
    grazie franca

  53. Bmaldonado says:

    I like option D!

  54. Toni says:

    I love blocks A & C!!

  55. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    Option D!

  56. Janet says:

    I like Option B best. I was intrigued to note that when I covered up the left or right side the piece I could see looked so much different than when I looked at the two options together.

  57. Sandra says:

    I would pick option D. It is the one that was most pleasing to my eyes.

  58. wordygirl says:

    I would choose Option B, which reminds me of Dana Point Harbor in Southern California. Bright and breezy.

  59. Anda says:

    Option c does it for me! awolk at rogers dot com

  60. Amanda E says:

    I love the lime-o-licious colors of option 1!

  61. Betty Bislow says:

    Love option D…but all are pretty! Great block pattern!

  62. ritainalaska says:

    i much prefer option D! superlicious! i admire all the blockmakers for the 100 blocks magazine … there are a jillion blocks out there and you all come up with new and exciting blocks. we do appreciate your creativity!

  63. Rev. Diane Mettam says:

    I love option D, but then I love blues – I find them very soothing and pleasing to the eye and the soul.

  64. Mary says:

    I like option C best it makes me think of the flowering golden sea! Thanks for all the color option in fabric choices.

  65. Carol says:

    My preference is Option B because I think that the contrast-i-ness of the fabrics is most pleasing in that option.

  66. Missy says:

    Love option B

  67. Kate Brown says:

    I like option D, it feels right to me. :)

  68. Tracy says:

    Auditioning is always soo much fun. I like B the best, though I would try the light blue in C & D in the tiny HST, that fabric just screams “Pick Me!!”
    Ya’ll made this blog hop fun, Thanks

  69. Lisa's Chaos says:

    I left a comment earlier but forgot to say Option B.

  70. Kaye M. says:

    I like Option A best. When thinking about scale and value I think Option A has the best contrasting values and variety of scale. Thanks for making this fun blog hop possible!

  71. LJ says:

    I like Option B best; though both are nice. You are such a sewfully creative person!

  72. vickie van dyken says:

    Option B is my favorite…..I just like it the best…no trying to figure out why, it just is my fav!! Thanks for the great giveaways….We always love to be a winner :)

  73. Shirley V says:

    Love your block. You sure made the decision difficult!! I actually LOVE all the colour options, but since I can only pick one, I choose “C”.

  74. Marcia Herath says:

    I like D best. As a new quilter I found this very interesting

  75. Mary says:

    I am facet-nated with version B. The teal-licious fabrics have a very pleasing contrastation going on. The lime-black-white versions are splendous!

  76. CelticRose says:

    I like option D best.

  77. Deb says:

    I like D….they’re all quite lovely. Love the teal.

  78. Donna Joy says:

    Option C is a very lovely combo, thanks so much, love the quilt Maker 100 blocks, so many delightful pattern to sew.

  79. Dawn says:

    I don’t know how to choose. I luv them all! I suppose that can be a good thing. :)


    Of all of the square I like option C the best but I would take the dark yellow triangle and replace it with the yellow floral triangles sitting of to the right of D. The dark yellow seems too strong and I think the blue in the yellow floral would give the punch needed without over powering the rest of the block.

  81. Madeline says:

    I like option A best, though at first glance, I actually like A and B together. Why not have the block go both ways??

  82. Option d is my choice. Enjoyed your process!

  83. Patricia A Tate says:

    I like D put maybe audition c2 in d4 place, so many possibilities. Hope hope hope.

  84. Patty Happel says:

    Thanks for the lesson on auditioning fabrics. I think I like option C

  85. Diantha Howard says:

    I like option C best – it has contrasts without being garish.
    Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

  86. Barbara says:

    I like option C best, D second choice.

  87. Linda E in AZ says:

    I like Option 3 because it has better contrast.

  88. Donna Amos says:

    Again, you have come up with a great block. Option D is my favorite, because the dark teal next to the center square really make the pattern “pop” for me.

  89. Sharon says:

    I like the colors in option C. I like the burnt orange, it makes the colors pop. Option B is my 2nd choice. Teal is one of my favorite colors, in fact I am wearing teal right now.

  90. Jannette says:

    I can’t put my finger on it, but I choose Option B – it’s the only one that stood out for me…

  91. Beth Patrick says:

    Option D is my fav. The colors complement each other so well and give each square definition.

  92. Victoria M. says:

    I like option B the best. The pale yellow with the teal is a really nice look. Thanks for the detailed look at your process for choosing fabrics….a good lesson in value and scale. And, thanks for your giveaway.

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