Saturday, August 20, 2011

Selecting Fabrics for A New Project... My Process

Hello Everyone,

Over the past few days I have been selecting fabrics for a new project. In less than a month, I will be attending a Judy Niemeyer Retreat in Montana and I will be starting one of her newer patterns, Summer Solstice. (Pssst... there are only 2 still in stock)

Of course, I needed to do this one bright and with Kaffe Fassett Fabrics. But I really wasn't sure what or how I wanted it to look. So, I called on my friend Pam to come over.

We pulled many fabrics off my shop's shelves and played. This is the stack that we narrowed it down to in the end.

However, these weren't the first choices. So I thought I might tell you about what went on in my head. I hope you don't get too bored.

For the Lone Star portion of the quilt I decided that I wanted the rainbow effect or ROYGBIV. The Lone Star had to have that wonderful color burst. We were able to gather all the fabrics that I thought would do the trick. But then we had to do the NY Beauty blocks. Not too difficult, we chose reds and greens.

But then the road block, the first, second, and third border. Initially we had picked a bright sunny yellow for the first border, repeated the deepest darkest purple for the skinny second border, and then repeated the reds in the pieced border. I, at first liked the idea. But after stepping away from it all, it kept bothering me. I thought "this is just going to be way too much in your face BRIGHT"

What say you... too bright for me? Yep, that is right! So out came the colored pencils. Do you do this too?

In Judy's patterns she gives you a black and white rendition of the pattern. I made four copies and started penciling in what was in my head. The Lone Star has the rainbow effect that I wanted. I also like the NY Beauties.

But I felt that the Lone Star needed to be set against black to really make it the centerpiece of the whole quilt. I felt that if I had used the bright yellow, it just would have been too much.

Then I decided to repeat the green in the skinny border and have the red in the pieced outer border. I am happy with the penciled in result, but feel that Kaffe's fabrics will make this one really shine. What do you think of this rendition?

Here is the original sheet from Judy's pattern. She has spaces where you can place snippets of your fabrics to keep track. Out came the glue pen and tape and I affixed them all. It really is a great system.

Here you see the cover quilt, totally different colors, my penciled mock up, and my fabric cheat sheet.

This photo show you the fabrics for the pieced border, the skinny inner border and the black border. I do find it appealing to my eye. Although the order and amount of the red fabric may change slightly. What do you think?

On the left is the Lone Star line up of fabrics, on the right the NY Beauty line up and the black batik is what they will all rest against. This batik was one that I had purchased years ago and just pulled from my stash. But all the others came straight from my shop!

What do you think of the colors? Do they make you smile like they are making me smile? How do you go about choosing fabrics for a new project? Is it random, or planned? Does it change along the way?

Speaking of color... please stop by Rachel's fabulous blog, Stitched in Color. I am one of her newest sponsors and she did a fabulous post about me... I am blushing, honored, and humbled. While you are there, browse around a little, such a fun place and tons of inspiration!!

Until Next Time...



Archie The Wonder Dog said...

What a great post - I love reading about the process other people go through to get to the finished quilt, it makes seeing the final 'ta dah' shot so much more interesting! I really like the fabrics you've chosen and the black batik background will allow the other fabrics shine. I tend to start with either a fabric to use as my inspiration (it doesn't always make the final cut but it's good to have a starting point) or I'll have a colour in mind and I'll find something that speaks to me. I find it hardest to choose when I haven't got either of those two and find myself wandering round my LQS/online with three or four piles of fabrics doing a mental 'eenie meenie minie moe'). Looking forward to seeing more of this project!

Elisa Black said...

Hi Jackie-- I enjoyed seeing your "process" for selecting fabrics. I've never done the thing with the colored pencils, but its a great idea. I usually just make a complete and utter mess pulling out all my fabrics! I love how the red in the center is repeated in the pieced border. And I love the green (Kaffe?) you chose for the thin border. The only concern that I had: is the purple you selected for the star "purple" enough? Or does it have too much blue? Looks like its going to be beautiful-- I'll be watching to see how it evolves!

Colleen said...

I love using colored pencils too and always audition fabrics until I am happy with the overall values of my chosen colors. Thanks for sharing your process in pics! I will be looking forward to following your progress!

Nedra said...

I like it already!
My friend Jan just got back from a week in Montana with Judy. She said it was a GREAT experience and she is now trained to teach JN's techniques at her local quilt shop.

♥Duff said...

wow! yours will be the Belle of the Ball (again!) Definitely makes me smile!!

Victoria said...

Hearing other peoples process is always interesting, and yours is no exception! Looks like this is going to be another beauty!

Jean said...

This will be one gorgeous quilt!

Chris Daly said...

Fun seeing your process. I love using my colored pencils for inspiration and design. How cool to have a blank slate to use for your design work. Love the colors. This is going to be amazing!

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

I loved reading about your process. If I have a specific idea I like to sketch it out and color with colored pencils too. If I'm just having fun I will grab some fabrics and sew. Then lay audition other fabrics for the next step. I keep going like that until the quilt is done. Most times I don't even know the size of the quilt until I am finished.

Kim said...

I really wonder how you have time to do all your projects!
You are one busy lady!
This one will be exceptional Jackie.
If I were turned lose in your shop I don't think I could possibly ever narrow it down because of so many delicious choices.
I do love the way black works in a quilt to give it more life.this will be a stunner!

Happy Sewing

pasqueflower said...

A helpful and inspiring post! It will be fun to see your finished ROYGBIV Solstice quilt.

Michele said...

Catch me, I'm swooning! That's going to be one awesome quilt. It's fun to see your process.

Pat / Silver Thimble Quilt Co. said...

What a fabulous choice of fabrics. I love that you went with the ROYGBIV idea! Csn't wait to see how this develops.

Retrogirl said...

Jackie, your fabric choices are superb {as always!!}. LOVE the Kaffes, it will be yet another beautiful project.

I usually have a pretty good idea going in but leave some wiggle room just in case another fabulous print or five happen to catch my eye. I doodle/color as I go and let things the peak into your planning process!

Happy Sewing,

bountiful quilter said...

I love the combination of Kaffe fabrics and batiks. I can't wait to see it finished.

Sally Anderson said...

This is just great! I loved reading about your process and especially loved what you settled on. In fact, I think it will be much prettier than the one on the cover of the pattern!

Jean(ie) said...

Thanks for sharing your process. I can't wait to see the end piece! It's gonna be gorgeous!

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