Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help)

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog on SchnauzerSnips, for her latest musings…


BRIGHT COLOR!!!

One of my blogging-buddies, Laura @ Create Art Every Day, recently asked me in response to my comment on one of her post:

Have you ever done a quilt with lots of white or neutral (back)ground mixed with really bright brights?

Her timing on this question is amazing as I just returned from a four-day quilt retreat with some of my Quilting Sisters and some new quilting friends I met at the retreat. While at the retreat I worked on free-form piecing of log cabin blocks (“log jamming”).

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First round of scrappy log-jam batik blocks

These blocks started as bag of colorful batik fabric scraps:

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The bag of batik scraps that started it all

I trimmed each block to a 6″ x 6″ block and I have scraps left over from trimming the blocks and I am going to use those “trimming scraps” and the rest of the scrap back to make more blocks.

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The leftovers from trimming the blocks

Now here is where I need your help – I am trying to decide what background color to set the blocks into and what layout. I would appreciate input from crafters and non crafters – I want to know what you find most aesthetically pleasing:

OPTION 1A – Float the blocks individually in a neutral background:

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OPTION 1BGroup the blocks together and then float the whole grouping in a neutral background:

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OPTION 2A – Float the blocks individually in a gray background:

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OPTION 2B Group the blocks together and then float the whole grouping in a gray background:

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This dilemma is actually the fault of Laura @ Create Art Every Day (ha!) as originally I had purchased the gray fabric during the quilt retreat to float the blocks. Then I was inspired by Laura’s comment to float the blocks in a neutral background!

I am stuck and would appreciate your vote and any comments you want to make regarding your rationale. THANK YOU!

In my next post I will share what the other quilters were working on at the quilt retreat I recently attended and some cool fabric finds (in addition to the one mentioned in “Postscript”). 


POSTSCRIPT

Frivolous Purchase

Speaking of “Bright Color“, while at the retreat, I bought a frivolous but cool piece of fabric – a panel by Hoffman Fabrics of their entire Hand-Dyed Batik Watercolor Palette:

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It is now hanging in my studio.

I do love bright colors and here are the quilts I keep on the chair in my studio. The two on the left are made by my Quilting Sisters (Judy D. and Kathy R.) and I was rotating them as wallhangings in my studio prior to getting the Hoffman Batik panel. The one on the right is my first experiment with creating Half-Square Triangles with charm squares using a Batik charm back I bought in the early 2000s (I made this quilt around 2003).

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A Blog Recommendation

I follow many wonderful blogs by other crafters, quilters, painters and other artists. I also follow inspirational blogs by non-crafters. Please see my “Blogs of Follow” list section of my Home page.

I was fortunate to discover (I think by a comment on one of my blog posts) a blog by a Nigerian quilter – Sola, called Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co. Her blog is very interesting to read from a quilter’s perspective outside the US. I have also come across various wonderful Australian and UK quilter blogs.

I love how quilting connects us across the globe!

In Sola’s latest post, she has a wonderfully researched (with lots of links to resources) post on:

The Quilting Process: Basting your Quilt

Thanks to my fellow bloggers for their engaging blogs I love following; and thanks to the tierneycreates readers/followers (extra thanks to those who take the time to comment on posts). I feel very blessed! (huge smile).

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: Rediscovering My “Charms”

If you would like to see what is on my design wall in regards to new pieces for The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection, check out the post In Progress on The Wardrobe Meets the Wall blog.  To stay up to date on Sassy the highly opinionated miniature schnauzer’s check out her page Schnauzer Snips

CHARM PACKS

If you are quilter you know exactly what I am talking about – those addicting little charm packs. If you are not a quilter – charm packs are collections of precut 5 x 5 in. squares in coordinating fabrics. They are a great way to sample a new fabric collection – they usually come in packs of 40 squares and have at least one of each fabric in a collection. They can also come in solid fabric collections.

I fortunately or unfortunately have acquired quite a stash of charm packs over the years.

You go into a quilt shop and see a new fabric collection and daydream of a yard of each of the new 20 fabrics. Then you remember you need to eat and keep a roof over your head so you don’t give into the temptation of such a glorious shopping spree. Walking away from the collection you were coveting, you spy over in the corner the charm packs sets for the new fabric collection! You now think – “Yes! I can have a taste of the new collection (and still be able to pay my mortgage)!”

You bring them home, with no particular plans in mind for them and put them with the rest of your impulse buy charm packs…

Examples of 5 inch charm packs
Examples of 5 inch charm packs

A year ago I decided to stop hoarding charm packs and to actually use them. There are many wonderful books with charm pack specific patterns – patterns designed to start with 5 in. squares and go from there.  I made a couple quilts from these pattern books, but quickly burned out of this structured traditional quilt making. So I put the rest of the charm packs back in their display (gather dust) area and forgot them.

I was reorganizing my fabric a week ago and came across my stash of charm packs again and thought: Why do I have to use a pattern? Why can’t I just do something initiative and “modern quilting” style? So I took two charm packs of collections of various solid color batik fabrics and randomly sliced each 5 x 5 in. square into three sections. Then I reassembled this huge pile of charm pack sections into random columns. I experimented and sliced up one of the columns to make thinner columns and alternated the columns.

I am still experimenting and plan to create table runners out of these columns. Below are photos of “playtime” on my my design wall.

I think they are on their way to becoming quite CHARMING. I am glad I rediscovered my CHARMS!