March 9, 2011

maybe this blue?

In the top photo, I'm trying out a darker blue for the flowers--still not as dark as the leaves and stems, but dark. The second photo is the same as in my previous post--flowers are a medium blue, but a little too grayed out for my taste.

A detail of the dark plus darker blues:

I will let this sit for a while. I think I'll still try to find another medium blue, but if I can't find something, I think this dark blue will work.

Appliqué decisions

Here's the decision I made about the colors for the narrow inner border and the applique, incorporating helpful suggestions from Cookie and from Mary Beth. I knew I wanted to include more red/orange somewhere, and kept trying it in the applique flowers, but Mary Beth's idea to go more monochromatic in the applique (so as not to compete with the center of the quilt) led me to move the red to the inner border (Cookie's preference). I wanted more variation than all dark blue for the applique border, so tried out medium blue flowers with everything else darker blue. I'm happy with this. Except that even with visits to two quilt stores, I didn't find a medium blue that I'm entirely satisfied with; I only have a few scraps of the fabric from the one medium blue block. I think I will hold off on cutting the shapes until I have a chance to try another store or two. This will hold things up, but I'd rather wait and get the color right. Oh, the other helpful suggestion from Mary Beth: "Is it for yourself? If so, please yourself!" Yes, I've decided to keep this for myself, and choosing so that I like it is, indeed, easier than choosing "what is best."

When putting the blocks together for the quilt, I had a couple of extra blocks. One I was happy to just put aside, as it wasn't a very interesting or appealing pattern. But the one below didn't belong for a different reason--the pattern was too different in style. But definitely a keeper. So, I decided to make it into a small wall-hanging, just adding a narrow inner border and a wider grey border.

I think I'll hand-quilt this, as well as the larger quilt. If you like this pattern, check out Garden City Gateworks--it's one of theirs.

March 6, 2011

And some knitting too

I made a decision on the colors for the inner border for the appliqué quilt (red/orange) and for the colors within the border (medium blue and dark blue)—thanks to Mary Beth for helping me figure this out! I'll put up a photo once I've gotten some of the appliqué basted on the border. I didn't have enough of the red/orange and medium blue batik, so I went over to Peoria yesterday to get some more fabric. The quilt store in Morton is next door to an excellent yarn shop, Ewe-Nique yarns. I went in just to look around, but ended up spending an hour there and came out with two new projects. This store has a lot of samples knitted up, so you can see how things will come out, which is really helpful. I've knit since I was a child, and always have something on needles, but I stopped knitting garments (other than sweaters for babies) a while back, as I was so often disappointed with the final results. The sweater might look just like the pattern, but it didn't look good on me. I hadn't though of knitting a scarf, since I have plenty of good ones for winter, but they had a sample in the store like the one above. It's just 5" wide, and meant as an accessory—like one would wear a silk scarf—rather than to be worn with a coat. The yarn is lovely—50% silk and 50% mohair, Silk Rhapsody by Art Yarns. The lace pattern is simple enough that I was able knit it when watching a movie with subtitles last night.

I also was able to try on the sweater made from this pattern, and bought some black tweed yarn for it.

So, I've now gotten myself into the same situation with knitting that I have with quilting—multiple projects in the works at once. For knitting, the multiplicity is handled mainly by situation/location. A simple garter stitch baby blanket during meetings at work, a complicated afghan pattern for train rides, and now the lacy scarf for watching movies, or to pass 5 minutes of time here and there. I won't start the sweater pattern until I finish the scarf--or at least that is my current intention. . .

March 1, 2011

Applique trials for border

I found a pattern in a book about stenciling that I think will work well in the border of this quilt--it is similar to some of the shapes in the applique, but doesn't duplicate any of them exactly. But what colors to use? My first trial is above, all in dark blue. I'd like to get in some of the other colors, though--rusty red, lighter blue, dark green. I spent the morning today cutting out shapes in various colors and trying them out. Here are a couple of options with a view of the whole quilt; then I'll show some close-ups.
This one alternates red and blue in the flower shapes and uses green for the leafy shapes on the outside.
This one puts the red flowers on the outside and blue in the center. I also tried out a solid curvy line down the middle rather than the broken line, which was determined by the stencil-nature of the original pattern. I think the broken line works better for the quilt as well.

There's also the question of the color of the inner border. On all the photos above, you can see a dark blue inner border at the top and a red/orange border at the bottom. I haven't made a choice yet.

I also don't have to have the colors in the applique panels the same for each iteration; it could be a more random scatter. There are many, many, possibilities. It's good to do trials like this, but it would be helpful if I could figure out a choice by using design principles. It's the multitude of choices like this that led me to the FunQuilts Design Camp in 2005.

Beyond the colors, there will be one more decision. Will I center just one of these panels in each of the four borders, or will I repeat the panel a number of times on each side? Three panels would fit on a side, so I may just start with one in the middle and see what I think when that's done.

Here are closer shots of a number of trials. I'm going to wait a while to decide. If you have a preference--or you can help me with thinking it through in terms of design principle--do let me know! (Sorry for the long "list" of photos--I need to learn how to make a table in Blogger so I can show things like this side by side.)