Friday, January 1, 2010
New Year and a New Quilt
I know I left you in the middle of the 12 relaxing days of Christmas and I'm very sorry! Between the Gingerbread House parties, cooking, visiting friends and playing games with the kids, time just flew by. Hope you all had a very merry relaxing holiday!
We've had tons of snow and the day after Christmas I pulled everyone away from all electronic gadgets and told them to get the sleds....we were going to hit the sledding hill. What fun...rosy cheeks and a bit of exercise and laughter....although I'm paying for it now! The snow was a bit bumpy....and I fell off a couple of times.
Today Barb and I are beginning a new quilt. We talked on the phone about all the projects we want to finish in the next month. A new spring quilt book with the Kansas City Star, cross stitch market and an engagement calender are all on our list.
We are picking out the prints and colors for our new quilt today. Hopefully we will get a block finished. We each do one quilt pattern, but we choose different color ways. It's the agony and ecstasy for me. Hard to pick the prints without seeing the whole picture but great when it all works out!
This process made me think of a shop owner I talked to at quilt market. She shared with me that she was exhausted. Her customers only wanted to purchase kits of quilts they had seen at her shop. So, she had to choose a quilt pattern, make it, figure out how much fabric needed for the kits and then cut and package the kits. It changed how she purchased fabric for her shop also. She now purchases great quantities of certain prints for the kits...but reduces purchases of prints that she won't be kitting up. She said in the "olden" days customers would come in and purchase pieces of fabric and plan their own projects.
I remember going to my local shop and purchasing pieces of fabric that I loved, coming home and planning the quilt myself....but I'm guilty of the kit thing myself.
My niece was coming for a visit and I went into my local shop to find something I thought she might like to make with me. I saw a quilt by Tula Pink on the wall and thought...."I've got to get to the grocery store, visit my son, do dinner and it's 4:30pm." Finding all the fabric for this project almost felt overwhelming. Lucky for me, the shop owner had a kit. I relieved to say the least! In and out of the shop in record time....and the kit was packaged in a cute way too. So I understand the appeal of kits myself. No mistakes....you know it's going to work out because you have seen the quilt on the wall. Fabric is expensive and I've made some fabric mistakes. I have several UFO's in my closet because of poor fabric choices.
Here are two tools that I use to make fabric choices a bit easier.
The small tool on the right is a "door peep." You can find them at the hardware store. It's the eye level insert in your front door, that you look through and see your visitor before opening the door. It's a small reducing glass. My friend Cherie's husband took the metal peep and lathed a wooden spool to go around it. Makes it so cute! But the regular one at the store will work great. Looking at your fabric through the reducing glass makes you see your fabric as it will look from a distance. Sometime when working with fabric, we choose those prints that look great close-up. The problem is that when you walk away from the quilt those cute close-up prints can read as a solid and you loose the dynamics you might have with a larger scale print.
The red plastic piece was cut from a folder sold at an office supply store. When looking through this piece you are able to determine the value of the fabric.
Look at the fabrics above. Can you pick the darkest to lightest prints?
I valued them left to right....darkest at the left and lightest at the right. When I began to post the pictures on the blog....I noticed that really the green print was a bit darker in value than the pink.
This red plastic tool really helps. It takes the color away from the fabric and lets you see the value of the print.
Try these and see if they help you!
Let me know what works for you. Today I can use all the help I can get!
Wishing you a very prosperous New Year.