Remember this quilt I designed for Lecien's booth at Quilt Market last October?
Well, I've been asked to design & make another one (... or two) for Quilt Market in Kansas City next month.
I know. I can't believe it either! I'm still pinching myself.
This set of FQs from their "Quilter's First Collection" arrived in the mail last week.
I opened the package like a kid on Christmas morning.
Check this out ... there's a pleasing combination of teeny dots,
checks in my preferred size ... bitty ... ;)
light florals (LOVE those tiny little dots in the background!),
pokey-dotty stripes that remind me of grosgrain ribbon,
small florals on a very subtle diagonal pinstripe that will give texture and movement to any quilt,
and the cutest ever teensy weensy calicos that say "sweet" but not "sacharin" ... (squeal!)
Colorwise, this collection has a versatile & complimentary mix of reds,
and even pinks
& a few (dotted) whites.
The funny thing - at least to me - is that they don't necessarily read as a "fabric line". The colors and prints have been selected so cleverly that they look more like a fabulous collection of vintage scraps, like someone raided Grandma's basket of precious leftover bits from shirts and dresses and such.
But then I sorta scratched my head. Hmmm. Wasn't sure what to do! You have to agree that these colors don't exactly look like my stash, right?
If left to my own devices, I'd probably only ever make pink and white quilts. And then I'd get so bored I'd want to shoot myself. Plus I'm often (too) quick to turn up my nose at things that don't fit my narrow-minded taste. When I walk thru a quilt store I take milliseconds to decide if I like something and even less time to decide if I DON'T. Not necessarily a quality that leads to creative satisfaction.
However, if there's one thing I learned sewing samples for a quilt shop for six years is that working with fabrics that fall outside my ... er ... prejudicial preferences ... makes me a better designer, a more satisfied quilter and a girl with broadened horizons. All good things.
My point (and yes, I have one) is that my foolish narrow-mindedness would have prevented me from buying this beautiful fabric that is absolutely FULL of character, texture, subtlety, tradition and dynamic color tension.
That said, when I first laid my hands on them I was totally stumped in terms of what to make. But the creative process always takes me by surprise. I never know what will inspire me or how I will overcome self-imposed mental blocks.
One of my favorite tricks - and you've seen me do this so often with my Farmer's Wife blocks and even with my Embroidery Sampler - is to find an emotional or sentimental connection with the fabric/design. With this fabric I saw "Little House on the Prairie", the dresses worn by Laura & Mary which were made by Mrs Ingalls with calicos bought from that mean old Mrs Oleson.
Another trick of late is to take a stack of fabric to the tv room, spread them all out on the ottoman which sits between the couch and the tv, and then just quietly wait for the fabric to start talking to me ... no pressure ... I'm not staring at them constantly ... I'm just letting them be and waiting for my subconcious to connect with them. Watching my new favorite show "AWAKE" with my husband also seems to help. (LOVE this show! Can't get over that he's Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter!)
This trick worked like a charm because by the 3rd commercial break I found myself wanting to pair up the FQ into dark & light color sets, like this.
Seems my OCD personality craves order.
Sorting these prints into pairs was so much fun for me ...
... it's how I get my jollies.
Admit it ... you've got fabric idiosyncracies too!
Sixteen pairs in total - a very nice number of blocks to work with.
Then I totally got butterflies in my tummy knowing a quilt design was being born.
These few leftovers didn't seem to want to cooperate with the picture growing in my mind ...
so I just set them aside ... for now.
The reveal tomorrow or Thursday ... depending on how fast I can get it done!