Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The trouble with prints...

I'm pretty into solids. I like working with them. I like thinking about how to make them interesting.

I'm generally not that into using printed fabrics. I like them, and I like seeing quilts made with prints, but I'm usually not inspired to create with them.

It's for a variety of reasons, and one of which is that I think it's more complicated to use printed fabrics. You don't just have to worry about matching a few colors to each other, it can turn into matching several colors in various intensities, as well as worrying about the interaction of the scale of the prints.

For me, it's like moving from 2-D to 3-D. It's a whole new level of stuff to worry about. I'm generally happy just to stick to the relative simplicity of solids!

The quilt I'm working on now was originally intended to be a solid color quilt.

I may still make the pattern out of solids, as I really like that look, but for now I am enjoying stretching myself by using prints.

It hasn't been smooth sailing though.

I find myself pretty dissatisfied with the block on the bottom. I really like both the prints that went into it, but they don't work together the way I want them to. The shapes are to similar in size, and the colors aren't different enough to really define the shapes in the block. The pattern is very clear in other combos, and it become almost unrecognizable in the bottom block.

I like the block on top though, quite a bit, even though I'm not a huge fan of the printed fabric on an individual level.

I think if I worked with prints more, it would get easier, or more natural to pick things that went well together. I'm not saying that I'll never work with prints again, but it will probably be awhile. I'm anxious to get back to solid fabric.

The block itself, came from a sketch I made, and then discarded for my sampler quilt, Hey Cherri.

This was the sketch.

It's the right-most sketch second from the bottom. Here it is in computer form.

A lot of the blocks for the sampler were explorations of repeating patterns, like taking 4-patch to a 16-patch, and others were explorations of what it was to combine various shapes. I'd had a snowball block, and a 4 patch snowball, and I wanted to see what else I could do with the snowball idea. Connecting two of them seemed like a good move.

(I also like the look of just half of the block, I think it looks like a skeleton key)

The connected snowball idea was to small for a 4 inch block, or rather it was to frustrating at the time. I tried it once, messed up my measurements and moved on. I didn't forget that block though, because I thought it had potential. Fooling around with it for awhile led to the quilt I'm working on now.

Disclaimer: While I did not reference any particular block that I had seen to create this block, it's a small world out there, and it is likely that someone, somewhere has made this too. I am in no way claiming that I invented this block, but gosh, wouldn't that be fun.


Suz said...

Interestingly enough, I have always enjoyed the "you can never have enough prints" style of quilting... and haven't ever wanted to create with solids... but just over the last few months have secretly started accumulating an ever so small collection of solids... so one day in a parallel universe, I shall be in the same boat. I don't know... solids seem so much more scary than a collection of prints.

smazoochie said...

Personally, I really like your work with the patterns. I think when you put them all together, they will click into place. Sometimes, it is those weak links that make the quilt work as a whole.
What I meant to ask last time -- though the iPad 'auto-corrected' to make NO sense at all -- was did you design the block. Sounds like you may have, new to you anyway!