19 October 2016

I Need a Bit of a Rant

I just went to my first quilt guild meeting ever last night (I'm back in the US and have a local quilt guild! Eeeee!) and we were making donation quilts, which was pretty fun and took some of the awkwardness out of it being my first time. I had a ton of fun and got more sewing done that night than I've done for a while (more on that later). But the fabric we were making the quilts out of...was obviously donation fabric. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to be the first to donate my favorite fabric and keep my ugly/old stuff for my own use if I'm donating fabric. But there were some OLD fabrics in there. 1980s calicos and florals old, with a few newer pieces.

The design we were doing was supposed to have 3 values - there were white squares, darks, and lights. The fabrics we had weren't the easiest to divide up into lights/darks - a lot of them were medium tones, which would've been fine as long as we were consistent with using them as either a light or dark...but people were using them as both and, in one strip set I was handed to use, two fabrics with the exact same background color were sewn together with the only difference being that one strip had navy colored snowflakes on its pale blue background and the other was just a solid.

My mom's been telling me lately that she loves my eye for color, as she calls it. I'll be the first to admit that some of my earliest quilts are no longer my favorites - I used a lot of bright colors without much neutral to give the eye a place to rest. I still love scrappy quilts and make them all the time, but those quilts last night...they looked ugly to me.

I'm trying to figure out why I think they looked ugly (I had to leave early so I didn't get any pictures of them) since I love scrappy quilts and enjoy putting fun fabrics next to each other. Floral next to a plaid? As long as the values are right, sure! But something about those quilts just wasn't right for me. I think it's a combination of how the values weren't separated right and the total lack of a color palette. I'm all for rainbow quilts and using all kinds of colors, especially with a neutral like the white squares in our design last night. But there was no thought put into whether the fabrics everyone donated would work well together at all. A lot of the colors were very dated and the blocks just didn't flow well. Add to that the fact that a lot of the "dark" fabrics weren't dark (or that some blocks had the dark and light portions sewn in reverse) and the quilt's design just didn't come out.

I think if they'd stuck to a color scheme - everyone donate fabrics in these three or four colors - and then used those fabrics to still make a fun scrappy quilt but in a slightly controlled color scheme it would have worked a lot better. Or if they'd done a better job being consistent with darks/lights and had them divided up better within the anything goes color scheme (or cut everything into smaller pieces)...maybe.

Anyways. Enough ranting. I've got a lot of blogging to catch up on!

Last post I showed Niece Quiche's quilt. This post will feature Niece Egg's quilt! The pattern is Sister's Choice by Bonnie Hunter, though I added sashings and didn't do the borders.

This couch has been the setting of many quilt photos.
I quilted each square differently, but I'm not going to post twenty pictures to show each quilting motif. Here are a few of my favorites:

Squared off stipple sewn with a walking foot
Backing, label, and binding
I backed it with Winnie the Pooh fabric to coordinate with their nursery. The binding is more of the sashing fabric, which actually is one of little Egg's dad's old shirts. She and her family definitely appreciated the quilt and the personal touch the shirt added.

I'll end this here for now, more updates later (if anyone still reads this thing).

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