Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moldy Oldies or History?

I don't know why, but I've never really liked stuff that's old but not too old. Especially now, since I'm also old but not too old. Mid-century modern? Nope, been there when it was NEW, and it's just not that exciting now. Harvest gold? Avocado green? Burnt orange? Gag. Early rock and roll? 80s hair bands? Nope. Liked it all when it was new, but now it's old and tired.

HISTORY, though--well, that's cool! Stuff that's older than me. Antiques. I admire quite a lot of them! And modern things that are based on history? Excellent. Stuff like civil war repro fabrics, archaeology, historic documentaries, Steam Punk--all quite nice, as far as I'm concerned.

I mentioned the other day that working with this Freebird line by Momo was a bit out of my comfort zone, but when I said that, I couldn't have explained why. I just knew the fabrics were different from the type that normally appealed to me. I finally "got" it though--this line is sort of retro 50s/60s. Which, of course, puts it in the moldy oldie category!

As with most things, I guess there are exceptions to the rule. Although I don't usually enjoy working with modern reproduction fabrics (i.e., 30s fabrics and newer), there's something about Momo's designs that draws me, and I really had some fun working with Freebird on the Schnibbles Four Corners pattern. Here's how it turned out:

Originally, I thought I wanted plain sashing between the blocks, but in the end, I opted to use Sharyn Craig's Twist and Turn "sashing," alternating between red and white. Once I used that treatment on the blocks, I kept wanting to add plain sashing as well, but everything I "auditioned" just seemed to detract from the blocks, so I finally gave up. I made one last attempt to add a small, plain inner border, but that also seemed to detract from the blocks, so in the end, I added the pieced border and called it done.

As I was working on this, I thought I'd like to embellish the quilt with rick rack, but now I'm not sure where I'd put it, so maybe not. I suppose I could use baby rick rack to outline the blocks, but I have a feeling the quilt is so busy, it would just be a waste of rick rack. Or it might be fun to get some large buttons to match one of the brighter colors and place them at the intersections of the blocks--where the red and white pieces come together. I like that idea!

One of the things I want to talk to my students about in Saturday's Schnibbles class is how they can make simple changes to patterns and settings to end up with a quilt that's just a bit different from all the others, and that includes ways to embellish quilts. If you've been following the Year of Schnibbles parades each month, you've probably seen many examples of quilters doing just that. If you have any other embellishment suggestions for this Four Corners quilt, please leave me a comment--I'd love more ideas to discuss with my students.

It seems to me that many of our younger quilters are drawn to Momo and other new designers whose lines are reminiscent of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but maybe that's just my imagination. Of the "categories" of fabrics on the market now, which appeal to you most and what's your general age bracket?

Up until the past few years (which would put me in my 40s), my favorite fabrics have been Thimbleberries, 1800s reproductions, and homespun/country/primitives, but in the last couple of years (which would put me now into my 50s), I've grown slightly tired of the darker colors and have been more attracted to the brighter fabrics, like those designed by Quilt Soup, Mary Engelbreit, and Sweetwater--I don't know what category to put those in but I suspect you know what I mean. So how about you? What gets your creative juices flowing?


Heckety said...

What I've been wondering recently is how much we as quilters are influence in our colour choices by 'trends' even if we don't actually go and buy the exact fabric for a quilt pattern? I'd like to think that the more experienced one is (that's you and me babe!) the more we go with our own opinions, but recently I'n not so sure.

I think you've hit da nail on da head regarding why 50s 60s 70s 80s repro everything leaves me cold, or yuck, though I couldn't have explained it in words. And I'm only 45 (or is it 46? I never can remember). But Civil war and 30s feedsack? Love'em, and huge cabbage roses, and everything cherry red coloured, and toile de jouey, though I've never found any on sale that I could try use in patchwork!!

Shelley said...

Love the setting you used for the quilt...it just dances!LOL! Buttons would be fun! Ditto on the fabric analysis..food for thought..why
AM I attracted to the new fresh and funky that are different from the country/homespun/1800's? I haven't bought any of the newer lines I am drawn to, yet, but they certainly catch my eye. I am going to have to think about this one and try to figure it out! Thanks for the great post..love posts that make me think and grow!

Eileen said...

I, like you, have slipped away from the Thimbleberries, Kansas Troubles, etc. and I have fallen in love with all things "MODA" especially precuts!

Eileen C

PunkiePie said...

First thought... 80s hair bands ROCK! I'm a child from that decade and I had the big hair and everything. Sigh. I miss those days sometimes. LOL! I also like the idea of the big buttons to use as embellishments on the quilt. Great idea. Lastly, I really, really like any fabric bright and fun! Love the Quilt Soup lines. They are just so cheery. The look of "traditional" fabrics are just not me. And I'm going to be 37 this year. :)

Suzanne Kistler said...

Right now the colors and patterns available are bleah. I'm glad I have a ridiculously abundant stash, because the only things that currently catch my eye are basic blenders. This, from a woman who thought she wouldn't meet a fabric she didn't like.

On another note, you say you like things historical, and I know you like to read. I just finished two books that I LOVED. "These is My Words," and "Sarah's Quilt" by Nancy E. Turner. They take place in the Arizona Territory around 1900. LOVED them, and highly recommend them!! (The first book was a bit slow to adjust to, but it picks up quickly and I didn't want to put it down.)

Cara said...

I don't really do the darker fabrics, I'm definatly drawn to the brighter fabrics, but for what really appeals to me, and I know I will stay in love with is the slightly muted, slightly grey undertoned fabrics.

julieQ said...

I really get a lot of inspiration from antique quilts...1850-1900 variety, and I have a ton of books about these quilts. Love your new schnibble!

Jan said...

Another gorgeous creation Kim! It looks great. What about some yo-yo's at those corners??? I'm a big yo-yo fan, which is why I'm throwing that idea out there. Of course, some buttons on top of those yo-yo's would be better yet.

I've never really followed "lines" of fabric ... always just pick what catches my eye color and pattern wise. I'd say in my 40's, my eye went more towards the pastels ... now that the 50's have rolled around, I've noticed somewhat of a change, as I seem to be drawn to the brighter options. I'll be curious to know what appeals to me in the 60's, but I'm not that anxious to find out (LOL). The one thing that hasn't changed is my continued fondness to the repros from the 30's. Interesting topic, which kinda leads into our "stash" that I've got an awful lot of from my 40's!

Rhonda said...

Kim, this is a great post. When I started my little hobby of quilting in the 80s...Aunt Gracie's was the bomb....but I didn't like it at all and still don't. I wasn't into any specific line and tended to buy what appealed to me. As the years have wizzed by, I find myself purchasing Civil War, Thimbleberry (loving known to me as Thimble War...because those to lines blend so well)....I like most Moda fabrics, Tone-on-tones, small prints, large prints....you see my angle.....LOL

Orcsmom said...

The quilt turned out adorable! You have such a knack on tweeking patterns, and I hope you share that with us Saturday! See ya then, Hugs!!


Jen in NY said...

Hi Kim....love this quilt and the one from the last post! You definitely make your quilts really special. I love 30s repros but civil wars bore me. Ditto with batiks...never my thing. They remind me of 80s decorating for some reason. Cute little prints and big romantic florals are my favorites, from any line!

Sinta Renee said...

Great Schnibble quilt! I love the setting idea also... I took a class from Sharon C. before. She's really good! Last month I did a major clearing out of fabric from my sewing room and just for those reasons. I started out with batiks and I'm over that phase. I threw out anything purple in my stash. Flannels-gone now. Cutesie/gone. I couldn't bear to part with my folk art/Blackbird type fabrics- I still like those... but I am very into the Shabby Chic & Quilt Soup/happy fabrics now, the retro/American Jane & also Heather Bailey type of retro. Oh, Fig Tree? Yeah that has been a constant!

Sherri said...

Love your quilt...I've got a layer cake of Freebird that I can't wait to sew with!

ratherbquilting said...

Love the setting and LOVE the button idea! I also like the idea of ribbon bows at the intersections, but buttons would probably be neater-looking.
Age...50's. Fabric...Civil War repros and other 'home-y' looking fabrics, like Kansas Troubles, Buggy Barn, etc.
I'm with you on the Moldy Oldies. I didn't like most of that stuff when it was NEW!

Julie in the Barn said...

I have an ancient stash since I started quilting back in the late 70's. In those days there was no such thing as "designer lines" of fabric. Most of that old stuff is very greyed in tone, think mauve, burgandy, sage and the ubiquitous "country blue." Lots of browns as well. Little busy prints. I was otherwise occupied for several years and only recently got back to quilting. My goodness, how fabrics have changed. I sorta missed the Thimbleberries craze as well as the batiks. I lean toward civil war repros and the darker colors. I gotta say, I love the clear colors and wild prints of the Kaffe Fassett stuff but never buy it. AND...I'm eligable for social security. No way would I make anything with avacado, coppertone or harvest gold. Or wear bellbottoms. Ugly then, still ugly. But I still listen to folk music. Peace!(with fingers in a V)

txag80 said...

Hi Kim - loving all your schnibble production! Wow - do you sleep ever? I am scrounging around in the couch to find the coin to join your Saturday class - wish us luck. Met you at the Monthly Tea and you made me smile.

Carol said...

I like how you tilted your blocks. I too am tiring of darker fabrics. I think I should get a flat rate box and give away some of my dark KT fabric.

quiltmom said...

Hi Kim,
I never did get into primitives or Thimbleberries - have always loved florals and batiks and continue to do so. I did have some calicos from when I started quilting in the 80's though I have only really been stash collecting since around 2000. I love color and have bought more tone on tone fabrics. I still don't collect lines of fabrics.
I do really like lots of Robert Kaufman fabrics and have begun to collect Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Mostly I love color and playing with color. I am not so much into using solids - tone on tone is as close as I get.
Your new quilt is very fun- a really lovely design. Some day I am going to try a Schnibbles pattern- I have been debating about the book she has written. I like making larger quilts( at least a large lap or twin size).
I hope your surgery goes very well- I am sure the recovery will at times be tedious but I know some people that have had the surgery and it has been a great relief for them.
Keep playing Kim- you make wonderful quilts.
Warmest regards,