Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tips & Tricks

Hi fellow quilt lovers! Here's the latest on the Ocean Waves 2009/2010 Opportunity Quilt...
Except for the Bougainvillea block, all the piece and parts have been handed out to the team of volunteers. Yippee! I have received several emails regarding color choices so I wanted to write a few lines on that topic and hopefully put everyone at ease.
As you stitch on your block, the guiding principle is "Go with what you like and what is pleasing to you." Of course I think this is good advice no matter what you are stitching. Otherwise, the joy just seems to get sucked right out of a project. Now that I think about it, this probably translates to many aspects of our life. For example, I LIKE Dairy Queen Ice Cream Sundae’s (I’m lying I really LOVE them). They are definitely pleasing to me. AND, when I can’t have them it definitely sucks…you get the point.

Anyway, back to quilting. A few guidelines (the only hard rule is that there are no rules)

1. In general use “greyer” or “duller” versions of a color for shapes located furthest back from the viewer. For example, make the back petals of a flower from a duller pink fabric and make the front petals from a brighter pink fabric.

2. To add visual interest, change the value of the fabric color as you move around an element or a block. An example would be to make flowers or leaves in the center of a block darker (or lighter) in value and make the surrounding shapes lighter (or darker).

3. You do not need to use 8 completely different fabrics for a flower with 8 petals. You can use a single mottled fabric and fussy cut lighter & darker areas from it. Or, you can repeat 2 or 3 fabrics.

4. The key to a realistic flower or leaf is to stay in the same color family when selecting fabrics for each shape, i.e. either cool or warm tones. In a single flower I would not mix a blue pink with a peach pink unless that is how it occurs in nature. Even in something like a pansy which can have deep purple petals and yellow petals I would try to select a purple and a yellow that shares similar characteristics – i.e. bright & clear, OR soft & muted, OR pastel. I would NOT choose a bright & clear yellow and then a muted pastel purple.

I hope these tips help and everyone is having fun stitching!

Here are some photos my husband took of me while I was drafting the final versions of the patterns.

As you can imagine, I went through quite a few erasers! Before I knew it I had quite a pile of eraser crumbs beneath my feet. But when I quit drawing for the evening I decided I was too tired and would not sweep them up until the next day. Well, the next day I decided to iron some fabric before I sat down to draw. Do you see this coming??? Of course I knocked the hot iron on the floor, face down on the eraser crumbs. They melted instantly and stuck to the iron. Good news - I didn't have to sweep. And, viola! When the iron cooled down I just peeled melted eraser off the sole plate of the iron. If it hadn't stunk up the whole first floor of the house I would consider sending it in as a tip to Fons & Porter under the heading "how to avoid sweeping".
Until next time, happy stitching!
Mercy in Ft. Lauderdale

Aka The Savage Quilter
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