Saturday, January 14, 2012

Newby Quilting Bee - Class 1 Follow Up

We had a great time yesterday, meeting everyone and getting started on our first blocks!

Block by Brenda

We will be learning a new block next class and revisiting some of the elements from our first two blocks.  

Some of you want to know exactly how much fabric we will need for the entire quilt.  I purposely did not put that information out at the beginning of this class because I don't want you all running out, buying tons of fabric, coming to class and deciding...hmmm...maybe, quilting isn't for me...and now you've gone and spent good money on material you won't use.  AND...your first blocks are experiments in quilting, you may want some flexibility in the direction you go with your fabric selection after you try things out.  So that is why I tell people just bring a couple fat quarters...that way you have only invested $5.00 in your project.

 Block by Sandy

So let's talk about fabric for a second.  I passed out some catalogs at our class, in them you will see lots of finished quilts, lots of color combinations, and groupings of fabrics.  Color Theory in quilting is something that we will explore in class can be a little overwhelming for a beginner so let's make fabric selection easy for this project.  If you look at the quilt  we are making which is located at the top of this blog on the will notice that the background fabric is white, the dominant fabric is grey and the accents are colored.  There is enough contrast between dark and light to make the quilt interesting.  If you look at the quilt squares in our Flickr here to go there:
you will see that picking a dark and a light fabric will give you contrast and your design will pop can also see, that if you do not have dark and light, if your fabrics are close in "value", you will not have as crisp an effect. You can see an example of this with the purple block that I put up and the blocks on either side of it.  You don't really notice the star in the purple block because all of the fabrics are so close in color and value.  We'll talk some more about this in class but I want you to be thinking about dark and light fabrics for your blocks when you are making your selections.  That high contrast will make your blocks pop.  Brenda's Red Star at the top is a good example of good contrast in fabrics, as is Sandy's Block.  Each of their stars pop and you clearly see them.

We talked about utilizing the strip on the selvage of a focus fabric that you love, using those color dots can help you select fabrics that will coordinate in a pleasing way.

First of all...those fabrics you love are designed by smartsy artsy people...they know from color!  Take their que, they have done all the hard work for you.   You can pick the most outlandish fabric that you might never use in a quilt, but you just love the colors and the way they are combined, that fabric sings to you.  I want you to do this exercise before our next class.  Go to your fabric store if you have the opportunity...if not you can do it online.  Select a wild fabric that you love and study it for a moment.  Write down on a piece of paper the feelings that it evokes for you.  Exciting, calming, happy, funny, makes me think of the ocean, the mountains, the desert...what ever...just write as much as you can about your feelings when you look at those colors and that design.

When you are done with that, I want you to notice what colors are in the fabric and in what quantities.  Is it mostly blue, with a little orange and gold or is it mostly orange with a little blue and gold?   Now, without thinking about design (dots, stripes, flowers, animals, etc) just focus on color....I want you to grab fabrics off the shelf that are the same color as those dots on the side of the selvage of your wild focus fabric.  I want you to pick at least one fabric for each dot and lay them on the counter at the fabric store.  (they won't care, I do it all the time!)  When you have all your fabrics pulled, squint at them and you may notice that you like the way that looks....hmmm.  Make a take those fabrics that you pulled and start swapping out in the same color for a fabric you love.  Put them all on the counter and squint like?  Hmmmm.   

Do this exercise a few times....maybe look in your own fabric stash if you have one already and do the same.  You will be an expert at putting fabric together in pleasing color combinations no time and with very little effort or consternation!  

Again, think about what you want to evoke in your finished quilt.  Maybe you are a traditionalist...maybe you like those civil war fabrics, maybe you like those 1930's fabrics, maybe you like a very modern look, or an oriental theme, there is no limit except your imagination... you will see as we finish our quilts together, there will be many different interpretations of color and design in the finished quilts.  Maybe you like all batiks, maybe all solids, maybe hand dyed, maybe tiny chintz, maybe bold patterns, maybe polka dots, maybe florals...this is your quilt, a projection of what you love, your creation!  I give you permission to go for it!  We will explore color and fabric combinations at each of our classes.

Please make sure to visit the blog for hints and tips, links and fun exercises.  If you make extra blocks for practice and want to donate them, we will put them together in charity quilts...there is no obligation to do this...just putting it out there for those that might enjoy this and want the opportunity to practice their blocks.

The next meeting will be on Friday, February 10th. 
9am to noon or beyond!

If you want to bring a sack lunch, stay longer and sew together, that is fine with me.  I will make myself available.  My husband will be there to help set up the room, so if any of you ladies need help getting your machines in, he will be delighted to carry them for you.  Don't dress up for us...come in your sweats, be comfortable and enjoy yourself!

Please Upload your finished blocks to our Flickr sight so we can all enjoy your work, click here to go there.

E-mail me with any questions, comments or critiques and I will be happy to respond. 

No comments:

Post a Comment