Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Day in Paradise

Is that a bit of an exaggeration? Perhaps. What I mean to say is that I spent the day in the Sweat Shop and it was good. Better than good. Maybe not Hawaii, but it was better than good. And what did I do there? Well, I worked on the Cindy Lou Who quilt top a good part of the day, but unfortunately the extra fabric for the border didn't come, so I wasn't able to get the top finished. I DID get these two tuffets done to add to the collection. More about them in a minute.


In yesterday's comments about the Cindy Lou Who quilt, a couple of readers complimented my ability to put colors together. While I had some fabric out and handy for photographing, I thought I'd pass on a couple color tips. This one makes picking colors really simple--it's almost cheating! If you can find a border fabric you like, take a look at the selvage edge. See those colored and numbered dots in the photo below?


To pick fabrics for your quilt, try to match the colors in those dots. Make sure you get a nice contrast--in other words, pick colors that match light, medium, and dark dots. Note also that the dots are usually kind of arranged that way, with the darkest dots on one end and the lightest on the other, although they also arrange them by color, so they're not in a strict dark-to-light progression.

Here are more--this is my border fabric for Cindy Lou Who:


By the way, when I picked fabric for this project, I actually stayed kind of close to the colors in the original pattern. I substituted pink for the red in the pattern; a light yellow for the deeper gold in the pattern, and a light blue instead of the green in the pattern. Similar colors, but in each case, lighter than the pattern model.

My second tip has to do with neutrals. Quilts usually have a neutral colored fabric, and most often it's white or cream, depending on the tone of the other colors. Black can also act as a neutral, and it looks best with brights (like red) or light but saturated colors. It's also very dramatic. When putting colors together, consider black as a possible neutral. Keep in mind that it probably won't work as well if there's too much white/cream in your other prints. It will also act to draw the eye rather than recede into the background, so be careful what you use it for.

Now, about those tuffets. Yesterday when I was working on the snowball blocks for Cindy Lou Who, I sewed a second seam on the corner pieces, and when I cut off the excess, I had extra half square triangles.


Do you ever save yours? Sometimes I save them from flying geese blocks too. I'm conflicted though--part of me thinks it's a waste of time and a bother, but the other part of me kind of likes having these little pieces to play with. With this project, I liked the black, light blue, and pink fabrics so much that I decided to take the time to make these half square triangles. Now I have a HUGE pile that need trimming.


Most of the time, I'm able to trim these little guys to 1-1/4". I have no idea what I'll do with all of these, but they'll provide me endless hours of amusement, I'm sure. And they're perfect for the tuffets!

Tomorrow's plans? More of the same sort of fun, I think, although I'm not sure what project I'll work on. Hubby has plans to go to a movie with his brother and I suspect there might be football on, so that leaves my day free for sewing!

16 comments:

Eileen said...

Very good lesson in selecting colors. Never thought of it that way. But we all know you are special.

Kim said...

Thanks for the lesson. I have been working on choosing my own fabric--I usually have help from the ladies at the shop, but I'm trying to get the hang of it. I'm curious how long you've been quilting, and if you grew up around quilting?

Cara said...

Yes more football is to be had. So much football...
I love your idea about choosing colours. I was shown to do something similar, but instead of be smart and looking at the dots, I just looked at the fabric. Your way much easier, and smarter.
I keep all those little bits too...but after I either burn my fingers, or find it too tedious to trim I invariable end up tossing them, unless they can measure over 1.5, then I'll fool with them. Though they are so much fun I wish I did it more often.

kimland said...

ahhh... As the light comes on. That was a very helpful lesson, Kim your a very generous person. It is very much appreciated that your willing to share your talents and knowledge!

Ruthie said...

What a fun weekend you're having and I so want to go make some chicken soup. Love the tuffets!

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh I tell ya....those little dots on the selvage are kind of like the Giranimals (is that how you spell it?) Anyway, I think you know what I mean! I could use a coding system for my husband's wardrobe! Hee!!! Your quilts as always tickle my fancy and delight me!

dianne said...

those little hsts are how i ended up with gigantic trees on either side of my brother's quilt - i had almost 100 of them (from making bigger trees) and they became the ends of big branches ... AND when i'm making the second seam, i can collect my thoughts and solve the world's problems cuz they are kinda no-brainer seams - the line is already there

the border fabric for Cindy Lou Who is SWEET! and so are the little tuffets - good gosh i love those tuffets!!!

Heidi said...

Thank you for the color selection tips! I can really use this. I always just assumed that those dots where just colors used in the fabric itself.. never thought to use them to select other fabrics. I will use this for sure!

And to answer your question you left for me.. YES.. I did eat a pickled egg during the sew-in. It was my first one from the batch and it was GOOD!!! LOL.

(your blog makes me laugh)

Anonymous said...

I love those little tuffets, could you give their dimensions. Not sure how big they are. Would love to make a few.

Thank you
Pam B

Tammy said...

wonderful tips on colors, thank you, i think i do a pretty good job, but from now on i will pay more attention to the dots as well for added support. i have a question for you, what do you stuff your tuffets with??? i noticed the pattern maker uses walnut shells, where you get those i've no idea, so i'm curious what you use.

Gran said...

So that is what you use the little dots on the side of the fabric for - who knew! With you I am always learning, learning, learning sung to the sound of of Rawhide. Going to ride on into my day, learning, learning, learning.
Hugs
PS and I am going to head to the freezer right now and get some chicken breast simmering.

Jen in NY said...

You know, when I took a quilting class, the teacher gave me the same hint about the selvedge dots...a very good idea. I still stand by my assertion that you have a gift for it...it can't be all colored dots! :-)

I MUST get that tuffets pattern. Must!

Rhonda said...

Those DOTS on the selvage are the ticket......a female thought of that....right.....LOL. Most of the time I use them but every so often, I get wild.
Take care.

kcenya1950 said...

Of course I do that and save the stacks of little half square triangles. How could you not. I will have to keep an eye on you to see what you do with yours. Other than stuff baskets of course...
You certainly have been inspired by Valentine's day to produce some great quilts!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Great color tips! And I do like to save my little left over triangles. They will be used somewhere, some day :-)

Purple Pam said...

I sew up my little cast off triangles. too. I have a basket of them from my Carolina Christmas quilt. I am making pinwheels which I will sew into blocks, whenever I have some spare time!