Saturday, June 3, 2017

Back to The Dark Side

Sometimes you've got an idea, but when you play around with it, you can't make it work. It's not the end of the world. Generally, the way to get it to work is to shift gears and go do something else. Doing something else gets your brain away from what isn't working and sometimes that's enough to generate new ideas.

I really liked the IDEA of a dark diamonds quilt, but no matter how much I played with it, it was just too dark. Too dark, too cold. By the time I got to this, above, I knew the bright little diamonds were too bright, and the deep dark diamonds alongside them was also too dark. In fact, those side by side little dark diamonds reminded me of the eyes you see on cartoonish space aliens, and THAT wasn't helping.

I knew I wanted the fabrics to sort of blend together, but I didn't want them to fall into the same pot and end up looking like mush. Or sludge. The big problem was that I had depleted a fair amount of my stash, and I needed to replenish it.  So I went online shopping, choosing several large Kaffe Fassett, Philip Jacobs and some other prints. When I opened the box yesterday when the fabrics arrived, I realized I had gone too heavily on more blue, but I had made a couple of out-of-the-box selections that made a big difference.  Here they are:

I picked this big Asian floral with these rust colored flowers. Rust is really a subdued orange, which is the complement (opposite) of blue, so those would immediately contrast with what I already had.

I picked this big Philip Jacobs print in a colorway that was very warm. I went back and forth when I selected this, but I'm glad I decided to go with it.

I also picked this wild Paula Nadelstern print. Fussy cut, the diamonds are quite gorgeous, and also provide a bit of color and shape contrast to the other fabrics I already had.

So I took all the smaller pieces off the design wall, leaving just the big diamonds (from the first photo.) As soon as I put just one of the Asian blocks up, I knew I was on the right track. You can see it too! Immediately the lighter values in the Asian fabric lighten up the overwhelming darkness of the others.

Here I have added more of the other fabric diamonds. I have more to cut, and a lot to rearrange, but I think I am on the right track.

I had bought some darkish blenders for the little diamonds, and I think I have to lighten some of these up as well. I don't want them too bright, but these could be a little bit too dull. At the very least I need to match the color of the Asian floral, and some of the gold, rusty orange and cranberry in the Philip Jacobs print. I've pulled some other fabrics out of my stash that will coordinate.

I should be all set after that.  For me the important thing is not to settle. I now know what I want, and I have a good idea of how to get there. As usual, things change, but that isn't a bad thing, as ideas do evolve and it's very important to let them. One thing that helped me was thinking of this as a quilt for a man. I wanted not just a DARK quilt, but a masculine one. We'll see how that works!


Nancy J said...

Your new fabrics are gorgeous, and with your eye for colour and contrast, this will be another superb stunner.

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

Very bold and beautiful and it's always interesting to read about a quilter's process!

Pat said...

Your space alien eyes comment almost made me spit coffee all over my laptop. I hadn't thought it, but once you said it, that's all I could see. lol Love the new fabrics and looking forward to seeing the new layout.

Just Ducky said...

Love the Paula Nadelstern print. It is looking lovely.

Sandra-Kay said...

Love the direction this is going in, can't wait to see it finished.