Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Workshop in Progress (WIP)

One of my favorite quilt retreats, Quilting in the Pines, is coming up next month. Each year we get 1/2 yard of a "challenge" fabric to make a quilt. When we arrive, the quilts are hung around the room and then everyone gets a chance to vote on their favorite, with the grand prize being a $100 gift certificate to our local quilt shop.

It's a "blind" contest so it's always a lot of fun to try to figure out which quilt your friends have made.

Here is this year's "challenge" fabric, Larkspur Meadow by Alexander Henry.

Even before I received the fabric, I had an idea in my head so I was just hoping the fabric would cooperate. Whew. Totally perfect for my idea.

Yesterday I sketched out my plans. Don't worry. The friends I'm attending with aren't faithful readers (and I should probably talk to them about that...) so I'm not giving any secrets away.

The challenge fabric will probably be used as a border. My plan for the body of the quilt is to make spool blocks in different sizes. Each square is 2" so the quilt without the borders will be 30" by 30". This was my first sketch, but the placement of the largest spool, down in the right-hand corner, was kind of bothering me. It seemed to draw the eye right down to that corner.

So I moved it around and put it more in the middle.

What do you think? Does that make for better visual flow?

I have two different values of "woodgrain" fabric, a medium tan and a darker brown. Originally I had thought of making spools light and some dark,  but then I thought with all the different colors of "thread," that might be too chaotic. Any thoughts on that? Should the spools all be the same "wood"?

Any "threads" of thought you may have will be greatly appreciated. Cheryl at Naptime Quilter started up Workshop in Progress again so I'll be linking up there for some further feedback.

There is still time to give me your thoughts on fabric donation and enter the polka dot giveaway here.


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Carla said... #

Love the idea and the focus fabric! I'm thinking that if there's not a big of variation in the two colors of tan/brown it would add interest but not busyness. Can you make up a mock drawing and use the colors of fabric that you have to get a better feel?

Angie said... #

If I'm seeing your challenge fabric correctly...there are two shades of brown in that fabric? If so, I would use both browns for my spools because antique spools also appeared to be different shades of brown to me. I LOVE that challenge fabric! Are you going to make your spool centers solid, or a mixture of the same colors? Just a thought, I cannot wait to see your end result!

felicity said... #

That's a good point that Angie makes - there *are* two different browns in the challenge fabric. I would do the two colours of spools, and I would move the larger horizontal spool up as you have in your second sketch.

elle said... #

I rather like the larger spool bumped up from the bottom. Two shades of brown would be realistic. It'll be good.

Julia said... #

I like the second placement of the larger spool moved up into the center area like you did. I think I would make dark and light spools as long as the colors were not wildly different. That is just how spools are but I understand that you want the focus on the colored thread area. I decided to write my comment before I read the others so I wouldn't be influenced by other comments. Now I see we all have similar ideas. Even still I never know what I'm going to like until I try it. The focus fabric is sweet.That is a good thing!

Anne at Film and Thread said... #

I like the bottom sketch the best!

Cathy H. said... #

I like the second sketch better and I would also go with the two browns. Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

JHNickodemus said... #

That is a super super super cute quilt idea. I like where you moved the big one. I think I vote for the two browns....thought I havent seen them so my opinion has a disclaimer :)

Annie Crow said... #

Same as the others... move the larger spool up and use both colors of brown.

What a fun retreat idea!

Kris said... #

This is a really fun project. I love the inspiration fabric. I like the idea of using both colors of brown and I think I actually like the big spool at the bottom. It's kind of like it tipped early on and everything got stacked on top of it. Maybe it would be less distracting if it wasn't yellow?

randi said... #

i can't wait to see this finished! have fun sewing! :)

CityHouseStudio said... #

I like the second spool sketch best - it's going to be a beautiful quilt!

Terriaw said... #

Looks like a fun challenge! I love the focus fabric. YOu could tie in so many colors with that one. I do like the second sketch better, since it's more assymetrical, making it more balanced, if that makes sense.

If you want this quilt to have a scrappy look, you could do the spools in different colors. All the same color might give it a more modern look. Depends on the look you're going for.

Beatriz said... #

I´m not qualified enough to be taken seriously. I´ll declare my vote, anyway! lol
Second sketch / 2 browns

Marit said... #

This sketch is lovely! I think I would try out both wood grain fabrics and see. If you are not happy, remove the one you don't like. (Got a very general advice from a Kaffe Fassett workshop - just do it and see if you like it, if not , just change it. Sounds simple, and it works for me ; ) )

Andrea said... #

Two shades of tan - if they're pretty close. And I like that larger spool in the 2nd sketch best. On the first sketch, my eye sits at that spool on the bottom of the quilt, rather than moving around.

Cheryl Arkison said... #

That second sketch is perfect! My vote is for lighter spools. Make the thread part pop and have the spools recede. It doesn't matter whether you have different fabrics, as long as their value is the same.