cf Mini QAL #7: Making Friends, Mixing Genres.
The fussy-cut/directional challenge from last week made me want to play with directional fabrics and a lot of stripes.
Originally, I’d planned a toned-down palette with plenty of paleness but also a punch of acid lime. In the end, I went even softer than that and didn’t use any acid lime. The punchier bits are from deeper browns and greys.
The directional theme I was going for was to have vertical stripes in most of the sets.
When you’re going fussy, you draw the line on how fussy you want to me. For me, I wasn’t necessarily drawn to complete perfection in all ways, but like in the block above, I wanted the roof stripes to be perfectly vertical and relative to each other. It was a complete surprise and accident when they almost line up at the seam on the left. Yay for accidents!
I like this group of four and went ahead and sewed them together. I’m still tossing around the idea of sewing all of my minis into one bigger quilt, but there’s something about these guys that I might end up leaving them on their own. They’re just so cute together.
This next challenge is another one that I hope you’ll have a lot of fun with. It’s all about making friends and mixing genres. What does that mean?
There are many different genres and styles of fabric out there. We have solids, basics, batiks, various reproductions, modern, contemporary, etc, as well as loads of designer prints that have their own look as well. Sticking to one category or designer can make things easy as they can easily work together without too much thinking. But sometimes it’s fun to mix it up, and that’s what the challenge this week is all about!
Like all of the previous challenges, this too can mean a lot of things, but to get you started I’ll show you in an example of my own, and walk you through a mixed-genre fabric pull.
Like any fabric pull, it’s good to start with something that speaks to you. Anna Graham’s latest collection, Forage, for Robert Kaufman is such a fun one and where I wanted to start.
I grabbed one of the floral prints from the collection and added a couple of pieces from my scrap bin–a bright tangerine (from Botanics) and a grey (from Architextures). While these colors do coordinate nicely with colors already in the print, they also pack a little more punch and take it in a slightly new direction. This is a good start and an easy way to stretch what’s already there.
To do something different, you don’t necessarily need to find the most different thing for the sake of being different. Instead you can think of colors that aren’t already used and can bring a new spirit to it.
Acid lime! It didn’t make it in last week, but it might be great in this next group. I’ve also added a pink gingham that plays well too.
Since I like where that’s going, the next step is to explore building it out a bit more. I’ve added more yellows, another grey and the tangerine from earlier.
What’s important–to me at least–is laying them out and grouping them in ways as I pull. This makes it so easy to see how everything is shaping up and how it might work together.
If you feel like you’ve gone too far–or want to zoom in on something nice you’re seeing, you can always pull back. I could decide to take the tangerine bits out and focus more on the yellows and wasabis.
Or, you can clear it away and start again with another idea–for the sake of another push.
I just LOVE these guys together. The print mix is really enticing and there’s something good about the coloring too.
As before, you can start figuring out how to build the idea out more–not forgetting about things you may have already used.
And a little more…
And already I have a lot of options! I may have too many, which means I definitely need to start sewing before I feel too overwhelmed and can’t make a decision. This is such an important step–get sewing!
+ What makes good friends? Connect your own dots between genres through similar colors, values or whatever make sense to you.
+ Scrap-pile sewing can be an excellent way to source some surprise combinations. Many of my favorite pairings have been the result of accidental findings. For a challenge like this, I love hitting my scrap bin for ideas.
+ Take pictures along the way. You can often work in good ideas from early in the pull later in your project–or into another project. It’s good to have these ideas on hand.
+ Have fun with the pull, but don’t let it stop you from sewing! Give yourself a time limit and get going.