Friday, November 19, 2010

The value of graph paper

I said yesterday that I was going to cut into my Flea Market Fancy fabric last night. Instead, I ended up going to my LQS holiday open house. Then I came home and started plotting the best way to use FMF fabric. My big question is: how has this fabric come to have such an iconic status? Sure, the colors are great. Sure, the designs are wonderful. But great and wonderful fabric hits the shelves on a weekly basis. So it's just puzzling to me. But I would love to know why personally I am willing to spend way over market value for a fat quarter!  And why can I give away literally yards of fabric that I know I won't use, and then freak out feel a bit apprehensive when I see this little scrap on the floor that could inadvertently be thrown away? Is therapy in order? (And please don't suggest fabric therapy as I think we all know what that means...)

When I was clearing out my sewing room, I went through stacks of old quilting books. I quickly thumbed through them, and then most of them went into the donation pile. There were a couple of patterns that looked interesting enough to make a copy for future reference. One of them was this one, based on an old vintage quilt. The designer called it "Mama's pop beads." Anyone old enough to remember pop beads?

While the fabrics in this quilt did nothing to draw me in, I really was intrigued by the design. With a few change-ups. In the original quilt, all the "beads" were small-scale blue prints in the same value, and the connectors were different colors. My original thought was to also strip piece the beads. Each bead would be the same color family of FMF, but it would have a good variety of fabric in the bead, probably including some that were not part of the FMF fancy line.

But then I got out my graph paper and colored pencils so I could check color placement. And that's when I had a much better idea of making each bead out of one single FMF fabric, and all the connectors will be a brown fabric from the FMF line, all against a background of Kona snow. Much less sewing, it will show off the fabric, and it will have the clean and modern look that I'm going for.

So what do you all think? Is it time to make the first cut?


05 08
Grandma G said... #

Looks good to me! (But what do I know about quilt designs? ;) )

I DO know pop beads, though. In fact, Courtney was playing with some of our kids's here last Sunday. :)

DianeY said... #

I'd say go for it. And to be quite frank, I'm not sure why there was such buzz about FMF either. I had (& still do) a few pieces that I really liked, but overall, there's a lot of other fabrics I like better. But I do think I it best all used together, so your quilt should be beautiful!
Pop beads? I think my mother had them in every color! And I wore them, too! I even have some saved for when I need a dose of nostalgia (not to wear though-horrors!)

Andrea said... #

Yes, that pattern looks like it will be perfect for your fmf's!

Unknown said... #

Cut! Cut! Cut! - that pattern is fantastic, I love it!

Funny about FMF's hold on us - I just did a post on it a couple of days ago, and my regrets at not having any! -

anyway, I think yr design is great and I Can't Wait to see the progress

Lisa said... #

I say, cut away! It's going to be very cool. Fabric sitting on a shelf is not much use to anyone, right? (That coming from a lady with miles of fabric sitting on shelves... LOL!)

I don't quite get the FMF thing, but I would absolutely kill for some more Swell from Moda. Loved that one. I mean, I like some of the FMF, but like some other stuff more.

~Niki~ said... #

I feel the same way about nice fabrics. I say go for it!
I wanted to thank you AGAIN for the wonderful box you sent me. Let me tell you, it's going to good use. I have a doctor I work with that goes to Africa to help the children infected with AIDS and other horrible diseases. I am making (personally) kids quilts with the fabric you sent. So if you ever have extra to send my way, you'll know it's going to a great cause. If you know anyone who wants to donate quilts for this cause, that is well-appreciated too. Her next trip to Africa is after the holidays I believe :) niki

Candy said... #

I absolutely LOVE the way you are going to do that quilt. I am thinking I would like to do one myself.

Anonymous said... #

I like it! I know what you mean about FMF. I think I'm afraid to use mine just because it is so popular and I'm afraid I'll make a mess of it. I actually just cut into it though (what I have) because I've decided that fabric doesn't do me any good unless I use it!

Jen said... #

Love it! This quilt will be great!

And I remember pop beads. And my 6 year old has a set that I bought her last year. She loves playing with them.

The Luedtke Family said... #

If you by chance have that tiny scrap left, use it in one of your lovely postcards. Instead of making the pattterned side all one piece, just sew fabric around the scrap with a final size of 4 x 6. Then turn it into a postcard. Send it on it's way!

Anne at Film and Thread said... #

Go for it! It is kind of like the first scratch on a new car. Once you've gotten that, you can relax. That pattern will be a beautiful display for the fabric which I always like once I see it made up, but is not one that I would pick up in a store if I didn't hear so much about it.

Kris said... #

Ooh, I love that design! Go for it!!

pinsandneedles said... #

Love the pattern! It will look wonderful with FMF so go ahead and make the cut.
As for pop beads, I do remember them and one of my favorites scenes from Julie & Julia is when her husband gives her real pearls for her birthday and she pops off her 'pop bead' pearls.

Cathy H. said... #

I remember pop beads!! I love your idea, so yes make that cut and I can't wait until you post some progress!

felicity said... #

That's a GREAT pattern and of course I say cut. Cut, cut, cut. Make something out of it and truly enjoy it.

I don't quite get the FMF obsession either, to be truthful, but I do know it will look beautiful showcased in your design.

p.s. CUT!!

Cheryl Arkison said... #

That is going to be fun!