Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Fabric Experiment

I don't know what I'd do without my design wall. I really enjoy "playing" around with and auditioning different fabrics for quilts, and without the wall, I'm sure I'd no sooner lay something out on the bed or the floor than Spike would be rolling around all over it.

Yesterday I showed you this small topper:


I mentioned I'd be making a second one and I wasn't sure if it would be the same or not. Well, it's not. Here's the second one:


Of course, both quilts have the same center blocks but just a different border treatment. I'm always fascinated by the different "feel" that results from using different fabrics! I'm curious to know which one appeals to you most?

Then, here's mine. I showed my class this setting as an option if anyone wanted to make just five hearts instead of the 13 in the center of the class sample.


This one will be a tabletopper for my table. My kitchen has a lot of blue, so I pulled the blue from the Mary Engelbreit border fabric to use as cornerstones and an inner border. Again, a very different look from the setting in the smaller quilts.

Here you can compare the three versions a little better on the Wall O'Hearts:


I have one little heart block left, and I want to make a small wallhanging for my desk. I'm not sure how I'll set that one or what fabrics I'll use, but I'm sure I'll have fun finding something I like!

We were talking in class the other day about whether we buy fabric with a specific project in mind or whether we buy fabric just because we like it. I'm definitely in the second group of quilters who buy fabric they like and figure out how to use it later. Some years back, a friend asked the same sort of question and I told her I see my array of fabrics as an artist would see an array of paint colors. It's what I use to create. How about you? What kind of fabric "collector" are you?

39 comments:

quiltdolls said...

hi kim,

i like all 3 but it depends what you like? I am more primitive so the pink one appeals to me?
I buy fabric for certain projects. But if I find a good deal I will buy it for stash.

kim

Anonymous said...

HI Kim,I like the pink and green one the best. I am not into the dark black printed fabrics.I buy fabrics I like and must have.Have fun teaching your classes. Bonnie in Tx.

Gran said...

I like all the versions. I could see them each in different places and around our home. Gosh you are good at seeing and working with your design wall. I picked up a cheap flannel backed tablecloth at the 99 cent store and will figure out where to put it or how to best to use it.

Well done!

Jane said...

Why do we buy fabric? The truth is, I usually buy it because I like it. Eventually I'll figure out what to do with it. Or not. There are fabrics in my stash that I know I'll never use, I just want to own them. Mostly I consider myself a collector, just pick up bits and pieces here and there and eventually a pattern or an idea turns up that pulls it all together. Always grab the black and whites, especially if they are positive/negative prints. And I do love polka dots...most of us do, don't we? And I'm a real sucker for novelty prints, the weirder the better. And Mary Engelbreit, and food prints and... you know.
Sooner or later, they turn into something though. For a long time I collected fabrics that suggested California; surfboards, oranges, cows, and so forth. The last piece I found looked like tagging on a brick wall and the California quilt came together.
I think the fact that it makes us happy is reason enough to bring it home.

Vickie E said...

Well I really like the pink one. All of your settings are fabulous and I wish I was that creative. I want to join Tall Grass Studios Improv piecing challenge...to go without a pattern. That will be tough for me. Fabric-wise I buy fabric because I like it. I like to feel fabric and fold it and look at it until it inspires me to make something with it. Lately I have been drawn to the trendier larger prints by Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner...but I have yet to make anything with them.

Vickie E said...

Well I really like the pink one. All of your settings are fabulous and I wish I was that creative. I want to join Tall Grass Studios Improv piecing challenge...to go without a pattern. That will be tough for me. Fabric-wise I buy fabric because I like it. I like to feel fabric and fold it and look at it until it inspires me to make something with it. Lately I have been drawn to the trendier larger prints by Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner...but I have yet to make anything with them.

Lorraine said...

I think I like the first one best with the darker border.....I buy fabric because I can...no I buy it because I like it....hardly ever for a specific project...I find I am buying more patterns, books and kits now than fabric though........the room is overflowing!! LOL

The Southern Mom said...

I really like all of them, but having to choose, I like the one with the black border best.

On buying fabric...I never have a project in mind when I buy. Never! It drives my bf crazy, she never buys unless she's ready to start something. I'm always adding to my stash. I love bright, bold fabrics...she loves traditional, quiet ones. I think that's why we're best friends, we balance each other out!

Nancy said...

I only buy fabrics for specific projects unless I find a polka dot that I MUST have....

The table toppers are cute. I don't like hearts of any kind so none of them appeal to me although I like the second colors better.

sheddy said...

I like the top left the best and I definitely buy fabric because I like it, not for a specific project. Then I have trouble cutting it up because I love it too much. Go figure!

Carol said...

I like the quilt with the stripe border the best. I'm in the same category as you as far as purchasing fabric. If I like a fabric I just buy it, sometimes I know what I want to use it for and sometimes I don't.

Kathie said...

I love all 3 of them
the first one with the words is wonderful, love the way you did that.
the pink with the stripes is the one that appeals to me the most for our home though.
just really pretty!
I buy reproduction fabrics all the time cause I collect them for future projects and I just love them.
LATELY though I am on a plaid and solid fabric kick so have been buying those but truly mostly using what I have and swap with my friends.
Love how you showed the 3 different quilts
so nice to have ateacher that does that...gives choices on projects and to see then in person is awesome

Nancy said...

My preference is the one with the lighter, striped border. It just looks so bright and cheery in the dark and cold of winter.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the pink and green one please. I usually buy fabric for a specific project, but I love using up the leftover fabric for something scrappy!
Pjn

Julia said...

I love them all, but if I have to choose, I would say the border with the words is my favorite!

I generally buy fabric because I like it, not really knowing what I will be making with it. I love the colors, the textures, the feel, the new possibilities. I just love everything about this hobby! :~)

PunkiePie said...

Pink stripy one for me. Love it! I'm right in the middle when it comes to fabric... if I have a project in mind, I go and buy the fabric since my stash is so small. If I really a fabric I see, I buy it and hold on to it to use later but I never know how much fabric to buy to stash away. 1/2 yard? 1 yard? Two? If it comes in fat quarters or something else pre-cut, I usually pick those up. Already coordinated for me and I'm sure I have a pattern for it.

Wow. Long comment! Sorry about that!

Sandy said...

My choice is the the first one, the one with the Heart*Home border. Over the years I have built up my stash with fabrics I liked.

MichelleB said...

I like the Heart Home one - with the black border.

I buy fabric because I like it, and for specific projects. However, the specific projects ones don't always get made!

Amanda said...

I like all three of them, but if I had to choose I would choose the one with the black border with the ME words.

I usually buy fabric because I like it. However, I have been trying to use things that I already have in my stash, so here lately I haven't been buying on an impulse. I have a room full of impulse buying. If I need something to finish a project I'll buy it. It's not as fun being that way, but I really need to use up some of my stash!

Your comment about your fabrics being an array of colors like an artist with paint colors made me laugh out loud. A few years ago I was chairing a quilt show. A TV reporter came to our set-up day and caught be off guard when she wanted to do an interview. She asked me about color and fabrics and I told her that I "paint" quilts much like an artist paints pictures, but my paint is my fabric. My kids saw it on TV and they were so embarrassed! Oh well. It's true! We are artists!

Tamara said...

All three are great, but my Fav has to be the pink one. I used to buy fabric for a specific pattern. Then decided it was more fun to buy fabric and more fabric this way what ever pattern I choose I should have something that works ;) One cannot have to much fabric so buy what you like and then a little more.

Tamara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruby said...

I love both the ME border and the pink and green one!
I buy fabric that I love! Sometimes it gets used sometimes not.

Judy said...

Oh a question to answer...well not simple. I like all three for different reasons. If I HAD to choose one, I would pick the ME words in black border because of the contrast in the black/white/red...very striking!

Well I collect like almost everyone else, but I'd say 90% gets bought to collect more and 10% for a specific project. Of course I always buy enough for that project and left overs for other unknown stuff that comes up later!

anne bebbington said...

My favourite is definitely the one with the pinky stripy borders - as for fabrics I just buy things I like and never ever have a specific project in mind for any of them

Candace said...

Kim, all three have their own certain charm! If I had to choose one, then I would choose the pink - only because I have a pink bathroom and it would look so cute in there - LOL!
I'm afraid I fall in both categories of fabric buying - and maybe right now I lean a little more toward buying fabric for a certain project. But once charm packs, fat quarters, layers cakes, etc came on the scene - it made it much easier to buy those, put them away and see what they might become later on!
Cheers!

Julia from Thimbleberries said...

Kim,

Love both wallhangings. Can you win both of them--Go to Lindy's open house and then enter on the blog. I know, my greed knows no bounds!

I am working on my hearts so I can create a completely different look.
You will be forcing me to learn how to email my pictures.

MARCIE said...

Your creativity knows no bounds! I love the one with the ME lettering all around! Wonderful use of fabric!

Winona said...

Kim,
I love all three of them, but if I had to pick I would choose the one with the dark borders and words. I very seldom have a project in mind when I buy fabric. I buy it because I like it, then try to come up with a way to use it. LOL
Winona

Anonymous said...

I love the one with the dark, word boarders. I buy fabric on impulse, and see what it becomes later! Hugs, Cathy Trumble

Lynne in Hawaii said...

I like the pink one best...just more Valentinesy to me. I buy fabric because I like it. Occasionally I will buy fabric to finish out or go with a project I have already started.

Greenmare said...

I am totally a buy it because I like it girl. funny you should compare it to paint, because that's how I always thought of fabric too because I paint also. I'm not sure which one I like best they each have a different mood, tonight the pink and green appeals to me, could be because it looks more like spring and us Wisconsin people have a loooooooooooooooong way to go til then.

quiltmom said...

Hi Kim,
I really like the wallhanging with the black border but each one has its own unique charms- I think it is so interesting how each design one makes, can look so different with different fabrics.

I am a "buy fabric because I like it kind of girl"- I also like to collect fabric and quilt books. I am especially fond of batiks and florals, though I have come to love tone on tone fabrics. I also love fabrics that have some unique sort of quality that strikes my fancy. I have a collection of speciality fabrics of stars and sunflowers because I love both. Sometimes, I buy fabric with a specific quilt in mind, but mostly I choose a pattern that I like, and then I visit my stash. Sometimes I even have to visit the local quilt store to find a missing piece for that particular quilt.:D)
As for your last heart block-What if you set your single heart on point or placed it in a circular design- I am sure you will find a great setting for the block. I look forward to seeing your heart wallhanging for your office.
Happy fabric collecting and quilting,
Anna

ratherbquilting said...

I'm definitely with you in the second camp of quilters. I also like the darker version much better - I'm not as big on pink, plus I like the words in the border on that ME fabric.

Appalachian Quilts said...

I love the stripe border! I tend to gravitate more toward those lighter colors for Valentine's....

kimquiltz said...

I buy fabric in 1/3 yard pieces. I usually have a budget of one yard per store (I visit 2 to 3 stores per week) and choose whatever strikes my fancy or choose to replace colors I have used up that week from my stash.

I have some sort of "block" when it comes to cutting into yardage...it's too pretty whole, I guess. But with my 1/3 yard cuts, I cut from the selvage end (the 12 inch width) as I need it and all my pretty colors fold perfectly into the same size (a little OCD, yes? ha!)

Nan said...

I like them all, but my favorite is the top one with the words in the border fabric. Perfect use for that fabric!
I am a collector of what I love most of the time. If a fabric slaps me up the side of the head, and says "take me", I'm buyin' it! Other times, I am on a search for certain colors or designs to put in a quilt. I am a professed fabricholic, so I don't know that I really need a reason to purchase any and all fabric!

Tudy said...

I like the one with the pink borders. You have a very nice blog.

Patti said...

Exactly like you - I buy what I like, then shop my stash when I'm making a quilt.

Sandy Culbertson said...

I collect a variety of fabrics. I have thimbleberries, 1800s, 30s, asian, and whatever strikes my fancy. A lot depends on how it feels. If it feels good and I like it I will usually buy it. I like the feel of material. It is the same as buying clothes. If it feels good and looks good on me I will buy it. I don't try anything on that doesn't feel good.