Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Inspiration and Choosing Fabric

This is Tonya and this is the quilt I've chosen as my inspiration. It's an Ocean Waves circa 1920, made in Holmes County, Ohio.  Click on the pic and you can see it BIG.
Image from Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown ( plate 51 (page 100). Big thank you to Pomegranate for letting me have an excellent copy of the photo so that I could use it as a teaching example. 

I love the tiny sparkly look of this quilt. When I look at it in the thumbnail version on the Browns' webpage it shimmers (it's number 065).

So what I want to capture from this quilt -- my inspiration -- is the interplay of the colors in small triangles. I may end up doing an Ocean Waves design or it could go a completely different direction. 

On another day I'll talk about the pattern, but for this post I wanted to focus on the color. I think this is my favorite part of making a quilt. I spent several hours sorting (and fondling) my fabric. I want to use a similar color scheme to the quilt, so I'm using reds, pinks, blues, purples, grays, beiges, creams, rusts, and blacks. I'm leaving out turquoise although I may add it in later if the quilt needs it. Here's what I've pulled:
I'm almost embarrassed at how much fabric I have here. But hey, I've been collecting solids since 1987! I have no idea if these are the actual colors in the quilt but they have the right feel to me. 

Okay, yes, there is a lot of duplication. I don't know how many of you have read Roberta Horton's book An Amish Adventure but it was one of my early quilting books. Roberta explained how if you looked at Amish quilts you'd often find that there was never just one blue fabric or black. There might be several, all slightly different: lighter, darker, grayer, brighter. That's a lesson I haven't forgotten.
So there is some of that going on, plus I'm trying to minimize using my expensive hand-dyes - when I have almost the exact same color in a solid I'll use more of that. Did that make sense?

I'm going to cut strips of these and then individual triangles using the Easy Angle ruler. I know that goes against the whole make quilts fast with strip piecing but I LOVE choosing each individual pair. And sure there are Thangles too and other ways to improve your precision making triangles, but I don't care about that a bit. 

I got some cutting to do. I think it's pretty clear this is not going to be a fast quilt for me to make.

Oh, I've put a link in the sidebar to the online store Fabric Shack. I've had good luck with them - the solids are really inexpensive AND they let you buy small amounts AND just charge what it costs to ship. Your experience may vary. (Isn't that what they always say in the commercials? Lose 50 pounds! Results not typical.)

Once you've picked out a quilt, I'd love to hear WHY you've chosen it. Please indicate the title/pattern of the quilt plate/page number or link to it on the website. Of course you can always change your mind after you've started or pull inspiration from more than one quilt...  I'm a big believer in starting a quilt and letting it go where it leads you.

p.s. eeek, Blogger lets you pick an extra-large option for posting pics and then cuts it in half when you actually post it. Do a PREVIEW and if the photo is chopped up, then you need to pick a smaller size. 


Notjustnat said...

I love your choice of quilt, of course you have plenty of fabrics to work with. I have not look through my fabrics stash. I know I have hardly anything in Amish, but no fear I will get some. Have fun cutting - Hugs Nat

Jewel said...

You are so much more brave than I am. I can't even imagine making all of those tiny triangles :)

Exuberant Color said...

If you are using 2.5" strips for your Easy Angle cutting, you may want to look into the "Strip Off @ 45degrees" ruler by Creative Grids. It has a bunch of the triangles in a row to cut off a strip. I really like it.