Saturday, June 20, 2015

Back in Time

When I first started on this blog journey, I had lots of ideas about what I wanted to discuss.  The posts came fast and quick.  But as you can tell given my limited posts since February, I'm slowing down.  So I thought I'd revisit a few more of my early quilts. Some turned out well, others just didn't.  I know the kiddos loved them anyway, but it's helpful for me to think about why some things work better than others.

In the following two quilts I really wrestling with integrating novelty fabrics into a chosen design.  I hadn't really figured out yet what patterns worked well with the novelty fabrics.  On this pink quilt with flying geese and rail fence blocks, the overall effect feels a little awkward.  I hadn't gotten comfortable with contrast or value and I think that's part of why it feels unsatisfying when I look at it now.  Also the novelty fabrics feel like an afterthought, rather than an integrated part of the design.  I remember struggling with fitting the novelty pictures in the geese (not many small scale prints in my stash at that point).
Fly Away Home pattern by Touchwood Quilt Design
 This quilt has a similar problem, the novelty fabrics fight with the pinwheels.  I think it would have worked better with black and white pinwheels.  Something about the very bright blue and yellow doesn't play well with the novelty fabrics.  Viewing the quilt on screen it's difficult to even see the pattern.  There is too much going on and no focus.

Inspired by sample from Cabbage Rose Quilts, Fort Worth, TX
This modified BQ2 quilt works much better with the novelty fabrics.  There is better contrast and you can get a sense of the pattern/design.  The background fabrics support the novelties.  They stay "in the background" and I think that and the contrast are why this one works so well.  The diagonal secondary design gives it a lot of movement too.  Sometimes it's a balancing act when using novelties, between the various novelties and the design of the quilt pattern itself.  I have to admit, this one was a happy surprise.
Modified BQ2 (Maple Island Quilts)
This drunkards path quilt was very fun except for turning all the little turtle heads and tails.  It's a nice idea to make them 3 dimensional but if I ever do this pattern again, they will definitely be machine appliqué.  I also wish I had stuck with a more neutral background.  I remember I had purchased the purple hoping it would be neutral enough but then struggled with where to use it.  I haven't tried a purple background again.
Speedy by Kelly Davis

This spools quilt was made about the same time as the turtles and I think the white background works much better.  I still struggle today with good backgrounds, trying to vary from white or black, but with so many colors in the novelties, black or white are usually the best choice.  The spool pattern worked very well using small scale novelties.  I need to put this one on my "make again" list (when I run out of other ideas). 
Traditional Spools Pattern

Another lesson I've learned.  Don't ask Mom what colors to put in the quilt.  That pink one at the top of this post was a result of that.  I've heard that it matched the nursery very well, but I just didn't enjoy making it, partly because of the constraint of that pink. 
Here is another where mom requested a specific color that I struggled with.  It needed to be green for a boy (his older brothers are twins and their colors are red and blue).  I tried to find a boyish green but was never happy with what I finally chose.  I think it is the main reason I was never happy with the quilt.  I later made the little boy (a cousin) another one and disregarded the green request.  The result was a very happy quilt that I'll talk about at another time (that one needs it's own post).

from Fons & Porter Love of Quilting Magazine
I have to confess.  I have trouble remembering what I've talked about before and which quilts I've posted before.  So early in this blogging process I marked all the quilts in my scrap books with post-it flags.  As I post a picture of a quilt, I remove the flag.  Remember I'm a little obsessively organized sometimes.  This post includes early quilts that just haven't fit into earlier discussions easily.   I don't want to leave any out after all.   There's always something to be learned, even from less than A+ results.  

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