Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Jacks & Using Your Fabrics

Happy Jacks - yesterday at show & tell for quilt group. Today it has the missing border attached and is now 58" X 76". See...

I'm happy with it. I was going to add 2 rows of bricks as final borders, but you know... I think I will use those bricks for a different quilt. They are all cut out - so that is a good headstart on a new quilt and it also means that this one is, gasp, finished! Or at least the piecing part is!
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This could be the ugly duckling turned swan quilt. I used all kinds of odds and ends of fabrics... some very dated. I picked "fall" colors (lights and darks) and didn't eliminate anything that ended up in the pile. So, I have large prints, batiks, small calicos, stripes, florals - you name it - it is there. And when I ran out of cream prints even a few pastel pinks and light greens found their way into this top but interestingly enough - they read as cream. I had to make 4 blocks reverse contrast (1 star) just because of the fabric I had/didn't have. So there you go - I used what I had! Once I started piecing lots of blocks and started to arrange them, I would realize that maybe I needed another 2 red blocks to make a star or something like that - and I would rummage around through my fabric again to find more to add. 48 blocks made 12 bigger star blocks when arranged the way I did it.
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My quilt group really liked this top (me too!). Some people ask me how I pick my colors.
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Don't be afraid to use your "ugly" fabric. Don't be afraid to use fabric you think is too big of a print. I wasn't sure about that big green leaf print on the dark brown, but I used it and it is ok. I mean really, how long do you let a fabric sit on the shelf? Don't be afraid of using a fabric that you think is the wrong color if the value is correct (I used pastel pinks and greens in place of some of the creams). And maybe some of my fabric choices weren't "perfect", but I think that just adds character to my top. Having said that - I still try to "match" my fabrics. This quilt I consider a fall colored quilt so I wouldn't just throw in a "spring" color just for the sake of using another fabric. This quilt has definite contrasts (or at least I think it does). It takes time to make a quilt and I want the end result to be something that I am going to like! I am not going to just "slap" together a quilt with odds and ends of fabric to USE my fabric. I paid for that fabric. It has a value even if I am no longer 1000% in love with it anymore (but certainly 100% in love with it now that it is pieced into a top, but maybe just maybe I only loved it 5% when I was actually sewing it together... the love will grow, trust me!). And my time, energy, effort and knowledge is worth something too. So - I do try to co-ordinate what I have on hand and I think I purchased the border fabric to tie it altogether (I can't remember if that border came from my stash or not). I don't think I have anymore of that border fabric though... so maybe I should save those extra bricks and make a co-ordinating binding with. Well, that is how I picked my fabrics for this quilt anyway.
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Here are 2 close-up shots of the variety of fabrics.




12 comments:

floribunda said...

It's really interesting to see the close-up photos of the fabrics; they all blend so well when you look at the quilt as a whole that it's surprising how varied the individual fabrics are! Very nice...

Mary said...

It looks great! I just love scrap quilts and I agree with you that they're great places to use fabrics that you don't love.

Joyce said...

I just goes to show that you can't go wrong if you use enough different fabrics. I love how it turned out. It must be interesting to see it close up. I agree that using the stash is a good idea. I've gotten over hoarding fabric for a "good" quilt. THey are all worthy.

Brenda said...

I think that top glows!! You have made a top that you should, and are! proud of!! You did a great job of making the fabrics work together, and it just shows the more fabrics the more magic there can be. You did a great job putting it together - it looks fantastic. I keep going back to the picture and seeing how it 'moves'.

dot said...

I like this quilt. It is stunning. Your quilts are always so nice. Thanks for sharing.

Lindah said...

Love this quilt! Many different fabrics make such a rich design.

Becca said...

Beautiful! The pop of the other colors mixed in with the greens just makes the top sing!

Lori in South Dakota said...

Great Post!! Use your fabrics "carefully" and you can pull them all together into something quite beautiful! And it's FUN to make something using your stash, after all, I loved that fabric enough at one time to buy it, so I should love it enuf to use it--eventually, even though sometimes the thought "what was I THINKING when I bought this" is there!

Amy said...

the quilt is beautiful!!

Sherry said...

Your quilt is beautiful. It always amazes me how simple patterns can look so intricate depending on the fabrics used.

katie z said...

It looks fabulous!

SueR said...

Scrap quilts always seem to look good no matter what you put in them--it all works! And isn't it nice to get rid of some of the old stuff in your stash? Good job stashbusting!