I’m working on another quilt top (because I don’t already have enough half done quilt tops or quilt projects!). THis time I’m working with Moda’s Oh Deer! fabric collection. I bought 3 charm packs (which were on sale, w00t!), some yardage of the fabric that’s brown with birds (Sparrow in Bark), and some yardage of, which matches very closely to the green (Bella Solid in Chartreuse). The Sparrow in Bark will be the backing and the solid green will be the binding (I opted for simplicity, this time – I just want a border that doesn’t distract too much from the fabrics).
The first thing I always do with pre-cuts is sort everything by print (in charms packs and such there are often multiples of at least a few of the fabrics), then colour and/or pattern. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s worth it, because you can see what your working with, or, if you want to do a random quilt, make sure everything is more or less randomly distributed.
In doing this, I realized that I hada pretty good collection of 6 main colours: brown, green, blue, red, pink, and orange. I was tempted to just use those, but I wanted to add at least the florals. I was undecided abotu the stripes.
If I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do by this point, or if I want to do something a bit complicated, I usually sketch it out (sometimes with colour, though my experience has been that you still need to lay things out to test ideas, especially when working with patterns). I always come up with great ideas, but they don’t always translate very well (especially when working with a collection of various patterns – it can be really hard to see patterns, like stripes, when each block is a slightly different variation of more or less the same colour).
This is the first idea. It’s pretty standard, a little boring, and not what I really wanted. Also, at this point, I decided that I definitely didn’t want to include the stripes. Their nice, but they don’t really match the rest, which are more “organic” by virtue of being animals and flowers (except for the dots, which I think only work because they’re round).
So, I axed the stripes, and tried doing a bit of a floral burst in the middle, surrounded by (sort of) stripes of the colours. I definitely like the segregation of the blue/green/brown from the red/pink/orange, but you really can’t see the stripes. It just looks like I did a bad job of mixing the colours. (Oh, man, this is a bad picture!)
I love the floral burst and decided to keep it. Then I realized that I just needed to keep it simple: blobs of colour. I removed on of the prints I had in the brown collection (because it had to much blue, which made the blobs a bit confusing) and tried to payout the fabrics so things were random (which was a bit difficult, as I had so much of the print with the deers and only 15 pieces for each colour – less for the brown as I had removed the bluer ones).
I decided that I really love this last one. You get a good feel of the fun fabrics and the colours. It’s also relatively simple, but not too typical (like the first one). So, I quickly gathered up the fabrics by row and I’m now ready to start sewing.