Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Lesson in Value, Part 1

I learned a valuable lesson (pun intended) as I got started on a version of the Road Trip Redux Quilt (more on this pattern later). I chose to pair a handful of solids with my favorite Essex linen in black and a fun black and white polka dot print.
I wondered if the two corals were too close in value, but since they were both in my stash, I wanted to make it work. I made a test HST block and thought the difference in value would probably be alright.

However, when I put some of the blocks on the design wall, I found the difference in value was not great enough to make the design pop. The two corals are so similar, they muddy the layout somewhat - not what I had in mind.
Here is my rough color sketch to give you an idea of what I want the design to look like. I had already changde my mind about the pale yellow, opting for mustard for more of an edge.
A quick trip to my local fabric shop, and I think I have a solution. The bottom coral will replace the medium coral in the middle that I used previously. It has a noticeably lower value than the darkest coral, which I think will create the contrast the design needs. Watch this space.
No block will be wasted however, as a quirk in the pattern (okay, maybe user error - again, more on that in a subsequent post) led me to cut far more pieces than I need, so another Road Trip Redux Quilt is likely in my future, perhaps with other colors added too.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Lines in the Sand Placemats

This set of eight placemats was meant to be a Christmas gift. I'm only a couple of weeks late, so it still counts, right?
I used Alissa Haight Carlton's Lines in the Sand pattern. You can download it for free here. They are really quick to sew up, but a hint if you'd like a fast finish - don't quilt them the way I did. Straight lines, a quarter inch apart, for the quilting took some time. Of course the benefit of dense quilting is amazing texture and a placemat with some body to it. I used grey Aurifil thread on the black Essex linen background and a light green Aurifil thread for the stripes.
I used the same linen for the binding, which was a bit thicker than I'd prefer. I do like the way it lets the stripes shine, though. A gorgeous green Carolyn Friedlander print is perfect for the backs.
After binding all eight by hand, I feel like I've bound a queen sized quilt. I haven't done the math, but the perimeters together might come close. I finally wrapped up that hand sewing late last night. Oh well, being late just means I have any early first finish of the new year!