How do you pick fabrics?

Is it anything like this?


First, I have to limit myself down to a half dozen choices.  Too many choices and I’ll never be able to decide.  It helps me limit my choices when I need a good bit of fabric because I just don’t have that many large pieces for things like sashing and borders. 

Then, I lay them in the floor.  Sorry the picture is so dark.  But, laying them down and walking away is a good thing.  It lets my mind clear and then, I can walk back in the room and see the choices with fresh eyes. 

Sometimes it doesn’t work.  Sometimes, I pick up all the choices and try again.  Sometimes, I try a new set and then return to one of the originals.  It’s hard making decisions, even unimportant ones, about quilting.

In this case, there was a pretty obvious choice. 


The gold background pulls from the gold flower centers.  And, the greens and reds are a close enough color match. 

The lavender won’t work as the flower centers, though, like I thought it might yesterday.  So, I’ve picked another red…something similar, but not too similar. 

I didn’t intend for this quilt to take this long.  I need to put it aside and work on something else for a little while.  I didn’t intend to make another holiday quilt.  I have two others started already.  I’d rather finish one of them for this year’s quilt. 

But, next time I come back to this satin stitch applique project, these decisions will have been made and I can proceed at a faster pace. 

Or, I’ll change my mind and start over.  You never know.  Hey, I am a quilter, after all.  I get to change my mind. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  We’re ordering a class ring this week.  Sydney was focused on the wrong stuff, so I’ve tasked her with making a presentation…a sales pitch…to us for the ring she wants, including cost saving alternatives.  She needs to be able to make a case, and while she looked at me like I’d just asked her to lay an egg when I brought it up, she’s really studying and preparing to sell us on a ring.  Hopefully, she’ll have it by Christmas and a whole bunch of my shopping will be taken care of with a single check.




lw said...

When I'm choosing fabrics, I do the same thing, but I set the candidates up and then leave for a while. When I come back, the fabric is obvious, like it was for your pick.

Changing your mind is part of the creative process. Now that you have mastered nearly all of the skills you need, it's only a matter of time before you produce patterns instead of follow them, and then start teaching us how to successfully break the rules.

karrarist said...

I have recently put up a bit of flannel and use it as a desin wall, i have found i see the fabric far better this way, as i have to stand quite a ways back, you can see me in my studio walking backwards away from the design wall and then slowly moving closer, i have not counted my record yet of how many times i can go back and forth while staring at the wall...Maybe its a good thing there are no windows down there... I have been shocked to find that the thing that gets me so excited- the fabric selection is also the thing that has challenged me most, this was what i had taken for granted and expected myself to do well, naturally. I am learning, as you know the fabric choices can really make or break the design, and I have struggled with figuring out what i like and then struggled with making the things i like work, i have found that often it is the prints and colors i am less fond of or drawn to that are needed to make my original choices work, my taste has really changed and evolved since i started a couple years ago. I love your fabric choices, is it always that obvious for you, i mean, in what direction you will lean regarding fabrics you choose?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The Class ring....oy vey...went through the same thing a few years ago. Talked me into the more expensive ring...wore it 3 or 4 times...graduation pictures, capping and senior day/night. Now sits in her dresser in the box it came in. :)


lindaroo said...

Does anyone wear their high school ring past high school? (Not many!) Still, it's a significant marker of a significant time. Get the ring; nothing will make her happier. I say, get a ring that she'll love wearing, and that you'll be happy to put in a display or keepsake box.

Suzanne said...

"Asked her to lay an egg" - hahaha!

Barb H said...

Just thought I'd pass on how we handled the class ring thing with our 3 kids. We pointed out that very few people wear their high school rings after they graduate. We offered each kid the option of getting a ring of their choice from the jewelry store instead of the class ring. My son chose the onyx ring that his dad had gotten as a teen, and both girls chose rings with semi-precious stones. All 3 wear these rings these 20+ years later.