Tuesday, April 14

More Fabric Auditioning

Back to the quilt shop! Oh, darn. (NOT!)

I am working on a commission for my girlfriend, (see here) and we are in the the all-important fabric selection stage. Oh, and since she lives in Amsterdam, I can technically call this my first “international commission” -- cool!

The size she wants is 96” x 112” -- a bit larger than a California King. And she has requested dark blues and creams. I want to have 5 to 8 fabrics total.

The pattern we have chosen is Radiant Sunshine and Shadow, Helen Frost’s nine-patch variation of the classic Amish Sunshine and Shadow.  What gives the quilt its’ sparkle, or radiance, is the careful choice of fabrics in a gradated range.

Here is my first foray into using this pattern -– a wall-hanging I made for our house (size: 57” x 57”):


In this quilt, each square in the nine-patch blocks measures a mere 3/4” by 3/4”!  I know, I know!  Call me crazy, but the finished effect is so stunning, it’s worth it to work so small!

In the fabric selection, I am hoping to get a smooth value gradation, while not placing two busy prints right next to each other.

It seems I still have not hit on the range of values I am looking for... especially now that I see them in this photo (below). It looks like the fabric second from the left on the bottom is not the right transition between the two adjacent fabrics. Yet without a “blender”, or bridge fabric, I think the leaf print on the far left would fight with the turquoise coral motif print to the right of it. Any thoughts?


Her two favorite-est fabrics are the leaf-print on the lower far left, and the turquoise coral-print second from the left. I think the fabric on top, (the turquoise medallion print), will be a good choice for the backing fabric.

I have been to four quilt shops so far and here are the fabrics that did not pass the current audition (at least I can happily use them in another project!):

DSC_0003 (2)

The good news is that there are two quilt shops here in town that I have yet to descend upon (for this project anyway).  And then there is always eQuilter.com.  Has anyone had experience with them? I wonder about how big the difference is between how a fabric would look on my monitor versus in my hand.

1 comment:

  1. Suggestion: Make a mockup of one quarter of the design by cutting out little squares and pasting them onto a piece of paper. This way you will get a better idea of if you like the gradations you are choosing. There is a Trip Around the World book by Eleanor Burns that has a really cool way of sewing this pattern together -- might be worth trying to find that. Detailed diagrams for cutting and stripping the quilt top...Wow that is a big quilt you have been asked to make. Maybe you could do the Trip Around the world pattern as a big center motif and add cool borders to make it up to the size desired??