17 March 2012

Revisiting the art of fabric selection

I wish I could say that the title of this post offers any instructive tips. Perhaps one of these days I'll play around with that concept, but today this refers only to a specific journey.

In this mad dash to tear through my UFOs, I've come across a project which is proving quite a challenge!

I think I have gotten accustomed to working from my own designs, relatively simple at that, and allowing my fabric selections to dictate the piecing of the quilt. A couple of years ago I came across one of the patterns in this book, "focus on florals" by Terry Martin. The quilt pattern entitled "Black Beauty" is a medallion quilt that incorporates a blended print technique for absolutely gorgeous, subtle transitions from one section to the next. But using those techniques and working from a rather precise pattern is something I have not tried in quite a while!

When I first abandoned this project I had only the center block together. So I have had to pick up from there.

And I had a very timely run-in the other day with a local fabric sales rep. with whom I have become acquainted over the years of being employed at quilt shops in the area. This man is the epitome of the old-school gentleman sales guy who knows his community, knows his customers and conducts business in the most positive way - no hard sells, pressure or baiting. Great guy! Oh, and has the gift of a good memory, which I am sure also influences his ability at his job. In a short chat he asked if I am still working with Kaffe fabrics, and it made me think... about this quilt I've recently unearthed. I am focusing on the Rowan family of fabrics, though in a couple of places have thrown in another manufacturer. I think that one of the things that held me up initially was needing to order more of the dusty pink Kaffe Fassett Roman Glass fabric, which I KNEW had to be used in the next round. So I guess I knew where to pick up initially...

And honestly the first border divider jumped out at me as a MUST
(I've honestly been looking for the right way to use this stunning print!)

But from that point on it's been hard work! I do love the fabric auditioning process, but c'mon, this is just ridiculous!!

I think I spent at least two hours choosing just the right 4 fabrics for a round of rail fence blocks

which didn't actually get pieced until the following day. And then there was another hour or two AT LEAST to figure out which fabrics to use NEXT... trying to get the right amount of blendy but still make those prints pop.

Still feeling like I'm on the right track, but only time will tell!

And this puppy WILL take time, I can tell that already!


  1. auditioning fabric and making all of the bazillion choices in the process is what draws me to it but I can totally relate, I call it my quilting time warp.

    thanks for sharing your journey. mine rarely ends where I think I am headed.

  2. This is great... I always think of a quilt in 3 separate artistic pieces: 1. fabric choice 2. pattern choice 3. quilting choice... and my favorite part is picking fabrics. This will be a fun quilt to watch in progress!