Iowa State Fair Block

When I got back from vacation two weeks ago I found these fabrics in the stack-o-mail.  They are the fabrics for the 9" Quilt Block competition at the Iowa State Fair.  This is my third year entering (see my other entries here and here) and I have to say that these were the most challenging fabrics to work with so far.

The first year's fabrics weren't my favorite, but there was a good distribution of color and value.  The second year they used some of Vanessa Christensen's fabric (loved them!) but this year.... Well... None of the fabrics is bad by itself.  I actually really like the orange dot.  The green is a nice basic and the others...well, I wouldn't buy them, but they aren't yucky by any means, but all together they were really hard to work with.

Because the values were similar it was hard to decide on a block pattern that would look good.  The orange and the dark green didn't have enough contrast and the stripe blended with all of the other fabrics.  And if I cut the leaf fabric too small the dark orange leaves blended with the orange dot fabric.  Ugh!  After looking through tons of block patterns trying to find one that would look good with the fabrics and look decently challenging without being too hard to make I came up with this foundation paper pieced block:

Nothing fancy, but the best of all the options.  (The chartreuse around the center is the stripe - fussy cut to add more interest.)  Unfortunately, I have forgotten how to blog this summer and didn't take a picture of the actual block before turning it in.  Don't worry, you aren't missing much.  ;)   But I will for sure take a picture of it when we go to the fair in two weeks.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer.  Only three more weeks until school starts here.  I can't decide if I should put multiple exclamation points after that sentence or a frowny face.  Being a mom is such a mixed bag.  :)