Monday, June 2, 2014

"Color, Pattern, Texture, Shine"

"Color, Pattern, Texture, Shine"
     Anyone who watches "What Not to Wear" regularly knows the "rules" Stacy and Clinton go by in putting together an outfit. I am a huge fan, and watch the reruns while eating lunch every day that I am home. (I am also a bit happy they are no longer on because I would definitely be a candidate for nomination!)
     Anyway, what does this have to do with quilting, you may ask? I am working on one of my favorite techniques, which is crazy quilting on machine.        
Crazy Quilt for Kids
I love to do this because it is fun to mix and match so many fabrics, and it just feels good to use up scraps!
Right now I am making blocks using pastels for girls' quilts. I have certain rules for making each block and recently realized that these rules are pretty much the same as Stacy and Clinton's rules and now I can't get the mantra out of my head as I work on the blocks! So let me break it down-------
1. Color
My Great Grandma's quilt
It is important that each individual block blends in with the others,. You don't want a "galloping horse" anywhere. So I have a rule that each block must contain at least one piece of each of the main colors. It is especially important if using yellow or orange that a bit is in each block  In the pastels I am making now, I am  trying to include yellow, pink, white, lavender, blue and turquoise in each piece.
This one seems a little more difficult for quilting. We tend to use only 100% cotton fabrics and they are all the same texture--smooth and flat. One day I was snuggled under Great Grandma's quilt and I found myself doing what I did as a kid--rubbing the pieces of flannel that are scattered in there. I realized that the flannel has lasted over 50 years and as a kid I used to rub those pieces so why not use the flannel? I have lots of scraps of cute flannels that were used to make pajamas so now I put them in also so some other kid might find them and rub them too. My Grandma quilt also has corduroy but my corduroy is pretty thick and too heavy to use, but a soft corduroy would be good too. 
3. Pattern
After color, pattern is probably the next important thing quilters look at when choosing fabrics. In the crazy quilt blocks my basic rule is to have a variety of patterns in each block. I have solids, plaids, stripes, dots, florals, and the very important novelty prints to add fun,. They need to be balanced in each block so all the blocks will blend. I also have an obsession with fabrics with words on them that I can sneak in there and I look for them in every shop I visit. 
4. Shine
I am not really a "shiny" person but I do appreciate a bit of "special" in each quilt. I throw in fabrics with some gold or silver if I have them. Also I have a few pieces of chintz which adds a shine. 
I am throwing this one in because it applies to clothes and crazy quilt blocks too. When I am making these blocks I look at the shapes of pieces-squares,triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and try to blend them in each block.

If anyone is interested in learning how to make these machine made crazy quilt blocks, let me know and I will do a tutorial.

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