Thursday, January 23, 2014
fabric selections and a word about ds
this quilt started with some leftover strips of riley blake's superstar collection. there were the paisleys, a few solids, some dots, those large stars. the paisleys had a definite cowboy vibe to me, so i opted to aim for a subtle western theme in this quilt meant for a baby named Weston, after his great grandfather, my husband's grandfather. but i wanted to keep it modern-ish and not too cutesy.
the colors in the original strips i started with from the line were faded navy, orange, yellow, deep tan, pale grey. but i wanted to add the turquoise/deep teal stars strip in because 1) it had stars and looked mod western, 2) i liked the dimension the color added, 3) it's a favorite print right now that i love to use whenever i can (from riley blake's sasparilla collection).
here's the deal with me and denyse - i realize that she is hugely popular, almost to a cult level, among quilters, but i never see her designs as an entire line and think "i have to have that!" usually, there are one or two prints that i like, but i don't get giddy over her the way i do about a few other designers (SH, JD, HB, AMH, AB). now i realize i just committed some sort of quilter/fabric lover sacrilege with that statement, but - and there is a but here - but whenever i approach her fabrics with a specific project in mind, i almost always find the perfect print or two which really bring that project together. apparently i just like her mixed in with everything else and not as one great whole. really, she's brilliant for that in my work. (my work? like i'm some sort of professional or real artist here? ha, ha, that's funny! i'm just a girl playing with fabric for kicks.)
even after finding the great ds prints, i sort of wanted to see if i could locate one really cool retro western novelty print to slip in the mix. thus, when i was at my local scrapbook and quilt store (double deadly temptation) for some project life supplies, i looked for a cowboy print. i did find one print in just the right colors from sasparilla, but it had girls in it, too. i got a fat quarter with the intention of fussy cutting a few horses or saddles out of it. after putting all the other strips up together, though, i don't think it has the right feel for the project, so it's stashed instead. i also located four more prints that had just the right feel and colors that would round out the quilt.
the whole time i was at the cutting counter, i kept thinking, "after my public fast declaration, i'm going to have to confess to this purchase, even though it's allowable. i have to be honest about this." ugh. i am really happy with these additions to the quilt, but also feeling the guilt of making some purchases. despite the fact that i gave myself permission to buy specifically for projects in progress, i really had hoped to go the whole six months, or at least a couple of months, before spending on fabric. if i'd quit starting something new and stick to my pile of wips maybe i'd do that! what i can say for myself is that these purchases were very intentional, not in excess, and i did not get sucked in to any "gotta have" item of the moment. this is certainly more responsible than my previous purchasing habits. it's a step in the right direction, for sure.
i'm finding that as huge as my stash is, because the majority of it was impulse buying before i had actually quilted much, it has several holes in it when it comes to color, variety of style, low-volumes, and blender fabrics. it's not very useful for the way i actually quilt or how my quilting is evolving. i have a whole lot of fabric, just not a whole lot of the "right" fabrics. for this reason, it's going to take me some time to work through the stash. this is teaching me about how to purchase in a mindful way.
i guess i could have either not made this last minute baby quilt or just made it up with what i had. however, as one fellow faster said, "i'm not going to make ugly quilts just to use up what i have." ditto. i quilt because i enjoy it and i want anything i make to be enjoyable to me. especially if i'm going to gift it. i'm not going to gift a quilt i don't like just to give away a quilt. i could buy something else instead. really, the aim of fasting was to find ways to use what i had (which i did with those leftover strips here) and stop impulse buying exciting new fabrics or sale items. perhaps what i'm really doing is more akin to "fabric dieting".
also, i've realized i really prefer to work with 1/4 or 1/2 yd cuts. they are so much more manageable when it comes to cutting than anything bigger. i despise trying to square off big cuts! however, i find working with smaller cuts has improved my accuracy and my attitude about cutting, too. thus, lately i usually only purchase 1/4 or 1/2 yards, unless it's for a backing or it's a versatile or favorite print i know i will be using a whole lot.