Taupe is not everyone's favorite color. In fact, some quilters wouldn't consider it a color at all. But for the last few years I've been collecting taupe fabrics - mostly Japanese - and studying the photos in Japanese quilt magazines to learn the subtleties of using taupe effectively. My first attempt consisted of these 6-inch Sawtooth Star blocks, made from a combination of taupe prints, plaids, textured and embroidered fabrics, and a couple batiks thrown in. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to make scrap quilts. Each block is unique but hopefully harmonizes with its neighbor. Most of the blocks are rotary cut, though some I fussy cut with templates. Contrary to most quilt book instructions, I pressed the last two seams (joining the rows) of each block open to make it flat and precise.