Saturday, April 7, 2018

Two Hours Thirty-Seven Minutes and 32 Pictures

It's no secret I wasn't happy with the latest iteration of the diamonds quilt for Julie. At first I thought it needed more darks. After I got out of the shower on Friday morning I went over to look at it while I dried my hair. A big pink print sitting in my stash taunted me. So I put my towel down and cut a big diamond and stuck it on the wall. 

Then I spied a big orange and yellow print. It was a fat quarter. I cut two diamonds and put them up on the wall.  It was a light bulb moment. The big diamonds demand LARGE SCALE prints. These make up the backbone of the quilt, and they need to be strong enough to do that. A busy print won't work.

After dinner that night I called Julie. About half an hour into our conversation I drifted into the studio and we talked about the quilt. Suddenly this large print (the backing for Ola Pola) caught my attention.  "Oh Julie, look at THIS!" I snapped a photo and sent it to her.

I put the phone on speaker, set it down and cut a big diamond. Then another...

We both loved it.

Over the next hour I cut diamonds, moved them around on the design wall, and took pictures to send to Julie.

The only things we moved around were the large diamonds.

We talked for two hours and thirty seven minutes and I sent 32 pictures. We decided what to move, made suggestions, and changed our minds over and over.

An hour later, we were happy with it. "Now I'll have to take the medium diamonds and the four patches down so I can put them back up properly," I told Julie.

 "Show me!" Julie said.

 We spent the better part of the next forty minutes fine tuning them. Making sure there weren't too many darks in one spot. Making sure the colors weren't clumped together. Making sure the same fabric wasn't duplicated in the same row or column (like a Sudoku puzzle). Making sure the flowers weren't all facing the same direction.

This is the final layout, and both Julie and I are happy with it. We started with 13 prints, and six of the original 13 remained. We added seven more from my stash. We had not originally included much orange or yellow in our selection. We had also avoided pink. As you can see, all three of those are in this final version.

"This isn't the kind of quilt you can make just from your stash," Julie observed, "and you can't plan it out on paper either."

You have to have a design wall to work this out, and you have to be willing to sacrifice what isn't working, no matter how much you love it.

"So," I asked Julie as we were saying our good byes. "Is it still Glorious?"

"Oh, absolutely!" she replied.

(A reminder that you can click the photos, and then double click to see lots more detail.)


Quiltdivajulie said...

A truly excellent way to create a truly COLLABORATIVE quilt when we live 1200 miles apart (a killer commute to be sure). Really happy with what we accomplished.

Millie said...

This from my friend Mary,

What's amazing is the balance between extrovert and introvert fabrics. There are 7 diamonds in each horizontal row, but only 2 or 3 of these are extroverts. More than half the fabrics in the big diamonds are quiet and well-behaved.

This is not a quilt focusing solely on plants and there are butterflies, dragonflies, birds in the bushes, and waterfowl in the water. This is a nature preserve that's better than nature! Glorious! 👏

I can hardly wait to see the next chapter. Good luck on pulling yourself away long enough to deal with real-world activities in the rest of your life.

Millie said...

I forgot the first line of Mary's note:

Yes! Yes! Yes! You ladies have done it!

Just Ducky said...

I think you also found a name for this quilt "Glorious".

Rebecca said...

You Wrote: "The big diamonds demand LARGE SCALE prints. These make up the backbone of the quilt, and they need to be strong enough to do that. A busy print won't work"
Is that true of every quilt like this you have made or just particularly true of this one?
Love watching how you create.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Hey, Ducky - check out my blog post of March 26 - - you'll see that great minds obviously think alike since I named the quilt GLORIOUS in that post.

Kaja said...

Just popped over from Julie's to follow your progress on this- I'm fascinated by how you are managing to collaborate so effectively despite the distance. The large-scale prints were a moment of inspiration!