Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WIP Wednesday: A Lesson in Contrast

When I feel antsy about work, personal life, and deadlines, it helps to work on a selfish project. I have several long-standing works-in-progress that I've been chipping away at for these very occasions. After all, sewing is often my job now but it's also remained my therapy.

I actually took THE ENTIRE WEEKEND to piece some of my Mod Corsage quilt little by little. It was stress relieving, time-consuming, and wonderful. I took this class at QuiltCon 2015 with Anna Maria Horner, and my excitement about the quilt hasn't waned. The main goal is to create lots and lots of flowers!

I started sewing more of the blocks together on the low volume background. So far, I'm piecing only; I'll be appliqueing some of the more unique shapes later on. This kind of improvisational piecing is like a puzzle; it whisks me away to a pleasant place where other problems don't matter. Just: where does this piece fit next? How much fabric should I cut here?

This quilt is a great example of a design element I needed to changed, mid-process. On Saturday, I started piecing the flowers together and adding a couple more flowers to my original layout. The bottom right flower is brand new. I loved the outer cathedral window fabric to pieces (no pun intended); I thought it would bring out the orange in other parts of the quilt. However, when I stepped back to take the above picture for Instagram, I realized the contrast was WAY too much. It's just too dark! That one measly border makes your eyes snap right to it. I want the focus to be all the flowers, not just one.

Here, I pinned back the border. This was much better, but I still felt that flower needed to be larger. So, I went searching through my AMH fabric.

Aha! Now, I added a new border to that bottom right flower: a brighter, more coral colored fabric from the Folk Song fabric line. Now only does it reflect the middle of the flower, but it also echoes the other coral parts of the quilt. Plus, there's still orange in there. The contrast is now not so much that it detracts from the whole design (at least, in my opinion - you may think differently, and that's a-okay!). You can see I also took down the future to-be-appliqued flowers, in preparation for piecing together the rest of the low volume background.

When you are piecing improvisationally, it's important to reflect on your process. One little change can make all the difference in achieving your vision!


  1. Oooh this is coming along! I do like the new border on that flower. I forget about mine until I come across it while looking for something else...and think about getting it out to work on but step 1 is ripping out a bunch of applique think I'll go work on something else ;-)

  2. Cool to hear quilter analysing and discussing their fabric choices and process. Good luck on making more progress.

  3. Your blocks are inspiring - love, love, love your use of colour! Can't wait to see more!

  4. It's looking so good and it's amazing what changing one single element will do for the feel of the entire piece. I think you have the color balance just right with the border change!

  5. I love it. I love flowers and bright shiny things too, hahaha
    This is marvelous, perfect cold wintery project


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