my original pull is much smaller, but over the two years i've been working on the project, i've added and added pieces that seem right to me.
there are dozens of beautiful gypsy wife quilts out there, each with a unique feel and/or theme to it. over the next few weeks, i plan to introduce you to some of them. there is no right or wrong way to go here. i've seen gypsy wifes (wives?) that were all solids, all low-volume, all one designer, or all scrap stash and completely random. mainly, just pick a theme or mood and get pulling fabric. this is certainly a quilt that can take a huge spectrum of variety or would look great with a pared down palette, too.
for me, when i began gathering fabrics, i was looking for things that said "gypsy" to me. instinctively, i know what this means. putting it into words is a little harder. but here goes!
admittedly, my idea of "gypsy" is personal and completely romanticized. when i think "gypsy" i think rich euorpean fabrics that represent their wanderings over the continent, a motley collection of scraps patched together out of thrift and necessity, bohemian style, rich colors. the image of the gypsy caravan, with it's outdoor camping lifestyle is conjured, so there's a certain element of "picnic" woven into my theme. and maybe a tiny bit of "circus" with trained animals because i think of gypsies as travelling performers.
as far as my color palette goes, when i first saw the quilt pattern, it seemed to me there was a predominance of red (my favorite!) and that appealed to me a lot. so i have tried to incorporate a lot of red in many tints, tones, and shades, which means a variety of pinks, too. yellow, blue, and green also feature strongly as supporting colors. orange and purple are not present, except maybe a few strokes included in some very colorful prints. if you look at the pattern cover, the original gypsy wife has lots of bright colors interspersed with many greys. i like the way they play off each other in that quilt. however, i haven't used many neutrals other than whites and creams in my own palette.
the pattern fabric requirements are pretty vague, and for good reason. this is a scrappy quilt. the designer, ms. kingwell, is of the opinion "the more fabrics the better." and i agree. you won't need very much of any one fabric at all.
i started out by pulling from stash and then buying 1/4yd cuts of the fabrics i thought would compliment what i had gathered. because this quilt consists of many long strips, i think traditionally cut 1/4 yds are more versatile than fat quarters. but don't throw out the fat quarters if you already have them! this is just a tip for buying.
and while we're on the topic of strips, i need to say the info on the back of the pattern is confusing, or at least misleading.
the fabric requirements on the back of the pattern call for several 4" x wof strips and a few 2" x wof strips. however, the strips actually used in the pattern are 1.5" cut (1" finished) and 1" cut (1/2" finished). you could certainly cut your needed strips from those called for if you already had those sizes on hand. just don't cut your strips at those widths on purpose because you will be cutting again and wasting a lot of fabric.
i hope this has helped you think about what your gypsy wife will be.
next month we will have a link party for sharing fabric selections. in the meantime, please ask questions.
we're on instagram at #GypsyWifeQuiltAlong2016