Friday, December 7, 2012

What Would P. Do?

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. –Scott Adams

Have you met P.? She's one of my favorite bloggers. She's down to earth, has a fun sense of humor and great taste in music. One of the things that I especially admire is her sense of style when it comes to quilting. She's equal parts vintage and modern, classic and contemporary. She does amazing things with fabric. I love the combinations she comes up with. She has a way of finding beauty in a diamond in the rough and really making it shine.

So when I set out to make a quilt that was a little out of my calico comfort zone, I tried to channel P. Over a year ago, I'd set aside a number of fabrics with sort of an Asian feel to them to make a Sudoku quilt. Most of them came from a friend's stash. There were some really great fabrics in the bunch. Like this one.

And this one.

I really, really love this one.

I usually don't buy more than 1 yard of any given fabric unless it is for a specific project. The fabric I picked for the border and back of this quilt is some I bought for another project that was scrapped { :lol: I love a good pun}, so it became stash fabric and turned out to be just the right amount for this quilt. I was looking forward to making this work because using nothing but stash fabrics for an entire quilt is a first for me. Well, except the dark blue with gold leaves on it, which I bought specifically for this quilt to use in the sashing. But since it's sat in a drawer for a over a year, it totally counts as stash fabric now. Excited about the prospect of spending nothing on a quilt {because everybody knows that once it hits your stash it didn't cost anything} I cut the fabrics up and laid them out. I intended to give the quilt to my brother, who is getting married next Saturday, and his fiancée as a shower gift {for a shower that was four weeks ago}. I laid it all out and was completely underwhelmed.

It is practically impossible to go wrong with fabric choices for a Sudoku quilt. But the lyrics from that song that Mrs. Banks sings in Mary Poppins , though we adore [them] individually / we agree that as a group they're rather stupid, came to mind while looking at the fabrics after I'd laid them out. It was quite a let-down. I'd spent some time auditioning fabrics trying to find the right combination to make something spectacular. I even pieced this fabric so I would have enough blocks in this print {F.Y.I. a fat eighth is not enough to make nine - 4½" squares}.

I left the fabrics laying on my living room floor up on my design wall for entire week, hoping that one day I would wake up and like it. Or at the very least, it wouldn't be as bad as I remembered it.

About day three, I decided that it wasn't necessarily the fabrics that I didn't like, but that the look and feel of this particular quilt were all wrong for the happy couple. So I went in a completely different direction.

Those are my soon-to-be sister-in-law's favorite colors. Some of the fabrics I had in my stash. One of them was even from that same friend who sent me all the Asian fabrics. And I might have channeled P. a little with the pink and green vintage-ish floral, which may be more like 80's vintage than the awesome 60's and 70's vintage stuff that P. does. But hey, I think this quilt works a lot better than the other one, at least for my brother and his almost-wife. Let's hope I get the quilting done this weekend.

I think I'm still going to make the first quilt, which have I decided to call Fusion, because I think perhaps it is not so bad, after all. The possibility of making a successful {ie, not totally ugly} quilt entirely from my stash is just too tempting. I will probably lay it out a little differently. I'm entertaining the idea of switching out one of the fabrics for some of the red that is in the borders and back. There are about sixty zillion possibilities when you lay out a Sudoku quilt, so I might like it better if certain of the prints are never next to certain others. If I have time {and that's a big if; after I finish quilting and binding the pink and green quilt I still have to make blouses and skirts for LadyBug and me for the wedding and then I think I need a nap for a week}, I'm going to make it for my other brother and give it to him for Christmas. I think it fits him a little more.

4 comments:

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

The first quilt doesn't look too bad, I would replace the yellow squares with something that blends more with the other asian type of fabrics. From the pic, that is the only one that looks like it doesn't belong. Now the pink n green one, Looks fantastic!!! I hope you get it quilted, and then get the other one done for your brother for Christmas too.

Angie said...

I agree that P. would like the pink and green one, maybe not so much the first one.

With the Asian fabric, what if you used something that reads solid and light in the sashing, maybe that would make it less busy and then you would like it more. I think the fabrics in the blocks are great for Sudoku it's the sashing that doesn't play well. What about a solid black?

P. said...

Well, I am flattered all to bits! You are so kind.

When I saw those first three fabrics at the top of the post, I gasped, they are so pretty! Especially that fan-shaped floral print (swoon). I think maybe the yellow is throwing things off in the blocks. My eye is drawn to it first and the other pretty fabrics secondarily. I wonder what effect the introduction of a green would make instead? You have greens in most of your other prints. Although I like that blue print, I think it maybe competes a bit in the sashing with the blocks. Maybe either a solid or a tone-on-tone for a little dimension without stealing the show? Oh, I wish I could be there to see your stash!

If it's any consolation, I agonized over the fabrics I pulled for the Sudoku quilt I made. I played musical swatches for hours, and I even had a bundle I was working with, so it should have felt more coordinated from the get-go. But adding one thing shifted the rest of the equation.

The second quilt is delightful! Pink and green perfection! Hey, you know what? See that dark, almost olive green in your second quilt? How would that work in the first? There is another green with sort of a triangular pattern in there too. How about that?

Stopping now before I write a book. Good luck!

Shay said...

I like the first quilt fabrics but I agree with you - it's a much better choice for a bloke.

Sometimes I pull fabrics that I think will be beautiful and when they're all sitting there - I think what was I thinking?

Love the end product on the second quilt- much more my colours and very soothing to the eye.