I decided to take a step away from the wonderfully bold improv quilts that I’ve been working on and start a replacement for the decade-old patchwork quilt on our bed.
I want to completely switch style gears and work into a softer, calmer palette. The last few projects have been high-contrast graphic projects such as this and this and this so it’s time to keep things creatively interesting by going to a low contrast, paler palette and use prints that create the movement that I love.
Here we go!
- Size: the total overall size will be approximately 96″ x 96″ (queen.) The flat top dimension is 60″ x 80″ and I want at least a 16″ drop on 3 sides.
- I want the blocks to be fairly large – a minimum of 10″ – and relatively simple so that I can finish it while I’m still young enough to enjoy it.
- I want to try to use up some of my stash of Kaffe Fassett prints so I can clear the dern things out. They are usually interesting enough to use in larger blocks and still give plenty of dimension.
I’ve written about my doomed love affair with Kaffe Fassett (KF) prints before. I really don’t like high-contrast prints at all – except there’s just something special about KF prints. No other floral (florals! Me? Like florals?) makes my heart soften quite the way his do (even in pastels! and I hate pastels!) His prints are charming, unstructured, free and luscious.
And, frustratingly, no other print goes with KF prints quite the way that another KF print does. It is annoying beyond belief how poorly KF prints play with prints from other lines.
So, here I sit with a stash of KF prints that I never use. My practical side stopped me from purchasing enough to do anything substantial with, so I have a lot of not very much. And since no other prints quite stand up to them, it’s practically impossible for me to be satisfied mixing them with my other fabrics. I buy them (just a few!), pet them, collect them – and they taunt me every time I open my bins. “Get rid of me and see if you’re really any happier without me!” they scream. “I dare you!”
Yes, it’s a little sad that I can write this way about my emotional attachments to fabric. Anyone else out there with me on this? It’s pitiful.
I want a block that is fairly uncomplicated that will allow the prints to flow together and mash up. After looking through some of my quilt books and browsing through lots and lots online, I settle on a simple “X” block with a center post.
Now it’s time to put together some of my stash fabrics.
So here’s my first pull:
I’ve found that it’s really important to pull out waaaay more than I think I’ll need, so I kept going (and it keeps the taunting voices at bay – just wait! You’ll see! I CAN say goodbye!)Hmmm. Those yellows . . . not so sure about those. I want it to be very soft colored and very low contrast, and those don’t seem to be cooperating. It is still pretty early in the process.Anything that remotely fits my color constraints – and some that don’t – because ya just never know who is going to start playing nice.
I usually think of my fabric choices as guests at a party. I want enough similarity to have them mingle well together, but enough contrast so the party is interesting. This time is different though because of the low-contrast look I’m aiming for.
I’m starting to see a little problem with value. What I’m trying to achieve is a mashed up color party – nothing is really distinctive, but a flow from one block to the next. I want the change in color/texture/print size to be subtle so it happens without realizing that it’s happened. Obviously, all may not be well in my low-contrast paradise -
But hear this, my little KF friends: I will use you up. There is a second, scrappier quilt accumulating steam that will use ALL of you uncooperative little gems so that you’re gone – GONE, I say – from my stash! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!
All the best – Chris