Friday, February 9, 2018

The Replacements

Before I start telling you about the replacement four patch diamonds I've been making, I need to remind you of something.

The quilt I am making - the PINK one - my idea for it was that it would be overwhelmingly PINK. I wanted it to "read" as PINK, not Pink With Other Colors, but MOSTLY PINK. And for this particular quilt, I really don't want the individual fabrics to stand out and sing on their own. I want the fabrics to sing in a chorus. After that sinks in, I want the quilt to slowly reveal its true fabrics, and the underlying design.

That IDEA, is my IDEA, and my interpretation of that IDEA is the thing I have been comparing the quilt that is ACTUALLY in development on my design wall against.

These pink on creams "read" as a light pink and I like the way they look.

What happens on my design wall has not necessarily been BAD or even MEDIOCRE. Many of the iterations of the quilt I have been working on are perfectly FINE, but they do not match the IDEA I have in my head so that's why I have been pushing things around.

I say this because I don't want any of you to think there is only ONE way out of a particular problem or puzzle you set for yourself. Very often there are NO Wrong Answers, and you simply have to choose the one that sings for you.

I live for problems like this. Oscar Wilde said once about creativity, "Oh, the anxiety. I hope it lasts forever."  That's just it. I just LOVE cracking the nut. I LOVE pushing an idea around to reveal that extra something that was hidden. I LOVE finding the way something can be JUST THAT MUCH BETTER. My friend Julie says, "You play for keeps."  Hell yeah.



What I didn't like about the cream fabrics in the little four patch diamonds was the way they commanded your attention. They were the lightest light in the whole quilt, so they popped forward (Light areas pop forward, dark areas sink back. That's not just me blabbering. That is a Design Rule.)

I didn't want them to be so prominent, so I had to do something to them to tone them down and push them back visually. So they had to be a darker value. Since this quilt was to be PINK, they should "read" as pink. We had a snowstorm the other day, so I stayed home to sew. Couldn't go fabric shopping so I had to shop in my stash.


I found two pink on creams, and three other pinky fabrics that were pale enough for me, and got to work.


The colors here are pretty much the same ones I selected in this post, except where I ran out of fabric and had to substitute something else or if I thought there wasn't enough contrast between the pink "background" fabric of the four patches and the pink of the colored diamonds.



This is sorta what I am looking for. The light isn't great and only the giant diamonds will stay where they are, but I think this photo gives you an idea where I am headed, and now the background little diamonds do not look like six million white butterflies arranged like a marching band on top of my quilt. (and hey, if I WANTED it to look like white butterflies in a marching band, guess what? I know how to do that! LOL)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks for all comments, all the time, everyone. You always make me think, and that's good, but I did want to respond to the comments in yesterday's post.


1. Elaine, I have family in LA. Hell yeah I'd love to give a class when I visit. Email me privately and we can work it out. I like to visit twice a year.

2. Melody, like I said above, there is more than one correct answer. I have a requirement, so I want this quilt to meet it. Hey, I could be dead wrong. If so, I'll change it up.

3. Swooze, hell no, I won't dye them. Not only is dyeing NOT my forte, but one of my core beliefs is to use fabric the way I find it. I actually prefer to work within that big limitation. It makes things more interesting, more challenging, and allows me to feel much more virtuous satisfied when I pull it off.

4. Karen, yeah, making quilts on the fly results in a lot of orphans, but sometimes great stuff happens with those leftover bits. The quilt that lives on my bed (and has since 2011) was made by my best friend Julie out of a box of my leftover odds and ends. It's called "Magic Happens." Read about that quilt here.

5. Julie (the best friend I talked about in # 4) Yes! Yes! Yes! Read about Magic Happens here too.

6. Glen, THANKS! It's always fun to write about something I am working on and have somebody tell me they get it too!

7. Sharon, it's actually better with the visual effect of somebody slapping their foreHEAD, which is how I finally "got it".

8. Audrey, thank you. Being a little loose with an idea creatively leads to many more options, and as far as I am concerned, much more interesting and lively quilts.

9. Robby, thank you and welcome. How did I get the eye to put fabrics together? Sorry, I have absolutely no clue. HOWEVER... I have written a tutorial that may help you. It is called "Making Your Fabric Work For You," and you can get it here, in my Etsy shop. It's an instant download, so you can get it right away.

10. And to Sewgirl, from Wednesday's post, who thanked me for sharing the ups and downs of my process, you are most welcome. I really don't think seeing only the end result is much help to quilters who are struggling to find their own voice. We all learn more from our mistakes than our successes, and my strongest reason to blog is to SHARE my process with everyone.


I'm going to be teaching a Barns class at Quilted Threads on Saturday and won't get back into the sewing studio until Sunday, if then, so this blog will be quiet for a few days. I still have six more strip pairs to sew up into four patch diamonds before I can design the quilt in earnest, but don't worry, I'll bring you along every step of the way. Enjoy your weekend.

3 comments:

Frog Quilter said...

I totally agree with your process. I love the experimentation, the what if.

QuiltSwissy said...

Yay #6

suzanprincess said...

I love seeing the process in your quilts, and reading your explanations of that. I was liking your pink quilt until I saw the exchanges you made for the cream "marching butterflies" and now I'm falling in love. Though eager to see the finish, I'm really enjoying the ride-along. Thanks so much for sharing it.