8/7/09

socks, blocks and some good advice

As promised, here's a pic of my socks. What looks pink here is really an orangey red. Not sure how they came out with the stripes matched. I certainly didn't do that on purpose, but they could not have matched better, could they? I think these are going to require a dark green polo and khaki's. Maybe I'll wear them on the plane in a couple of weeks. They're nice and heavy and will be great for lots of walking around in airports.



And, I just realized that I said blocks, but I only have one to post. I still haven't finished the angel for the cmas quilt. She lacks her stars, and, this one isn't really finished. It needs blanket stitching around the stars and buttons in their centers, but I liked the star shaped buttons she used in the pattern and I don't have any, so I'll have to stop somewhere and pic them up. Don't be surprised if you see this one again when it's really finished. The little flag was a fussy cut from a patriotic print I picked up at an estate sale. That little flag already made the whole yard worth the price.



And, some good basic advice I promised a friend about selecting color for my quilts. Wish I could take credit for it, but it's not mine and I can't remember where I read it. I think it's one of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a quilter.

Fabric designers are pros at matching colors to create those beautiful prints we love. And, they get lots of chances. When they design a line of fabric, they can have it printed in several different color and shade combinations before choosing which to use on the fabric, so it looks just right. If we take a print that we like and choose our fabric colors and shades out of it, and use those in the same proportion the fabric designer did, we're almost guaranteed to end up with a quilt we like. I personally like the flowery chintz prints that are famous in English country decorating. But, I don't use them in decorating or quilting. If I find one I like, I'll buy a small piece to use for color matching. If they use a yellow/gold background, I'll add lots of yellow and or gold to start my fabric pile. And, if they lay green leaves and vines on that, I'll add lots of shades of green, like they did. If they add a red rose, I'll add a red or two to my pile. A lavendar and purple mum and I'll add those colors. A little pink around the rose buds, and I'll find a pink in the same shade and know that I only need a small amount. A blue dot sprinkled here and there and I'll find a small piece of blue for the pile. And, I have all the fabrics I'll need for my quilt right there and I can put that piece of flowery print back in its box, or a donate pile. I won't quilt with it unless I cut it into tiny pieces and add it in a scrap quilt. Other people use the print as their border. Either way, you've let a professional do all the color selection work. You can use your own color combinations, but I've found that doing so means experimenting and learning from mistakes. For me, it's better (and cheaper) to let the designers learn from their mistakes on the prints they make than for me to end up with an ugly quilt that took tons of time. Next, I'll look for a pattern that takes about that many fabrics, has a lot of background color, and doesn't use all the colors in the same amount, or where I can combine two or more small amounts of different colors to represent one, as in using a combination of blue, pink and lavendar to be one of the pattern designer's colors. If I stick to similar shades of those three, they'll probably substitute nicely. Use that plan, make a block and see how it works. I haven't had one turn out bad yet.

Y'all take care. It's Friday. The weekend is nigh and I have stitching in my mind...and gardening, a little furniture repair, and some heavy cleaning on my to do list...hmmm, maybe I should just stay at work. Lane

4 comments:

Shirleymac said...

Oh my, so much in one post! I really love your socks. That must be the wool that automatically turns into stripes? The little lamb on the christmas block is adoreable... okay it's a sheep, but I like to say lamb. I always choose the print for my quilt first and pull the colours from that but to do it with the same proportions is interesting. I'll have to play around with that.

Becky said...

Fabulous socks. Amazing that the stripes matched! Very good. I am a sheep lover and collector so that block is a hit with me. Thanks for sharing your design formula....sounds like a sound one. Have a great weekend!

Coloradolady said...

I love your socks, and love your advice. I purchased fabrics today for another quilt, took the picture and let the wonderful Leo help chose the fabrics. I had in my head what you said in this post and watched him work his magic. Much like how you said to do it. Some of his choices, I did not like and changed. But when I left the store, I was really excited to start this new project...as soon as I finish the ones I need to finish first!!

You know, the funny thing is I tend to want to do exactly the opposite of what you talk about here. I find a fabric I love, and try to work the fabrics into that print. I have discovered, that really does not work. I recently purchased fabric, and now I know that will be one ugly quilt if I ever do decide to use it...basically a waste of money, I doubt I ever use it. Sigh.....

Thanks for sharing this tip. I will remember that from now on.

Have fun sewing this weekend.....

Vesuviusmama said...

Great socks, great blocks, great advice!