Summer Bloom quilt in progress with Alison Glass fabric and cross weave solids
Quilting Interest, Work in progress

Sewing, Photos, and Deep Thoughts

Summer Bloom quilt in progress with Alison Glass fabric and cross weave solids

The past couple of weeks there has been a photo hop on Instagram, sponsored by @houseofpinheiro called #sewphotohop . Each day is a new theme, and although it is geared toward garment sewists, I have been crashing the party a bit by participating.

It is fun to think about each day’s prompt and how I apply it in my sewing life, so I thought I would share some of my photos and thoughts on a few here as well.

Texture. I started another version (above) of my Summer Bloom quilt using Alison Glass and Hoffman fabrics batiks as well cross weaves by Moda. I love the texture of  fabrics with a big, visible weave or variegated color. This can add a cool dimension to a quilt, rather than using completely solid colors. The batiks also have a unique visual and tactile character that contrasts nicely with the cross weaves. I am really enjoying this project as an experiment in consciously adding texture to a quilt.

Blue quilt blocks, half square triangles

Solids or Prints? If you know me, it is pretty easy to answer that question: Prints all the way! Solids are definitely useful and a safe choice for maintaining contrast and emphasizing a pattern within your patchwork. I certainly use solids often, but I have never been able to  make an all solids quilt. I really like others’ quilts with solids, I just can’t do it!

I have heard people say it is so hard to create an effective design (with intricate piecing especially) without using solids to break up the prints. It can also be tricky to mix a lot of print without getting over powered and losing the look you want. On the other hand, classic scrappy quilts are most effective because of their “kitchen sink” approach.

The trick is landing somewhere in the middle: what we all love about a scrappy quilt, but without losing the design or getting crazy busy. That is pretty much my #quiltgoals every day.

Jewel Box quilt pattern with Jen Kingwell fabrics by Moda fabrics easy quilt pattern

I have had my share of fails by following my “more is more” tendency…and usually the reason is contrast. Too much print without enough contrast or a place for the eye to rest can be overwhelming.

You can certainly pull off an intricately pieced design without using a single solid, but you have to pay close attention to contrast and also the scale of the prints. Use a variety of light and dark, or colors that are completely different (blue and orange, for example). I think my best example of an all-print success is my Ring Around quilt.

There is so much to consider when making a quilt…I try not to over-think my process, but it is sometimes fun to stop and consider what and why I am doing what I do. Hope you like these ideas!



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