Thursday, June 10, 2010

Advice for new project?

Have you got your hands on some of Cloud9's gorgeous organic cotton? Max New, the distributors in Australia, were kind enough to send me some of the new Beyond the Sea fabric by designer Michelle Engel Bencsko last month, and it sure doesn't disappoint. The fabric is fine and silky soft and the colours vibrant - my favourite is that yellow sandpiper fabric (I don't think I'm alone). After much thinking and sketching (I think I've done about 15 sketches!) about what I want to do with this beautiful fabric, I was about to cut into it last night, but then I thought it might be fun to get your thoughts first.

I'm a bit hesitant to share my ideas before I've finished for fear that someone might copy it before I have a chance to complete the quilt. However, the more I look around, the more I see there are really no new ideas, and things I thought I'd discovered had been done before! Anyway, the following ideas are new to me.

I've recently discovered curved piecing without pins and have had so much fun with it that I wanted to design a pattern that uses freehand curved piecing. The "Beyond the Sea" fabric was perfect for a wave themed quilt - I thought. So here's my first sketch.

But then thought it might be a bit boring with the blocks and grid sashing, so what about this?

 No, I think I want to evoke a sense of waves at the beach.

Yes, that's better - I like simple - it lets the fabric shine. What about if I try making it a bit wider and have 4 blocks across?

Not sure about that. I think 3 across might be more balanced. How about if I shake it up a bit and have some blocks with 4 wavy strips and some with 3?

I think I'm nearly ready to start cutting. Now I've just got to decide if each wave block should have similar colours (on the left) or if the colours should be mixed up (on the right). I think I'm leaning towards the right picture - mixing them up.

Any thoughts or suggestions before I make the first cut? Its not the type of fabric you want to waste.

Addit: Thanks so much for all the suggestions so far. I really do appreciate it. One of the suggestions from Sarah Craig in the comments was that the dark fabric might be a bit too dark (its a dark brown, but it ties in well with the other fabrics). I was thinking of maybe just using it for the binding, but then I thought it might be nice to add a little bit of contrast to the blocks, but just not as much as the other fabrics. So my next question is - should I add a little brown, a lot of brown, or just save the brown for the binding? My husband very much appreciates your feedback, so I don't have to keep bugging him about it!

I just wanted to thank Christa, Cindy's daughter-in-law (from Live a Colorful Life) for digitally scrap booking a couple of pages for me of Sierra's forest. Its such a wonderful idea to keep a record of quilts and ideas and she's having a giveaway here!

Also, welcome to everyone who has come over from Joan's Wishes True and Kind and Heather's A La Mode Fabric. It was so much fun joining in their giveaways... thanks for all the lovely comments! Its made my week.

One last thing before I take Sarah to her swimming lesson... I'm so excited that Saffron Craig will be showing my quilts and selling my patterns at the Quilt and Craft Expo at Rosehill this Saturday. This is a trade only event, so if you're a shop owner, head over to Saffron's stand, its going to be gorgeous, and there'll be some free patterns up for grabs too!


  1. I like the idea of the blue with each wave that you are going to do and I like the idea of 4 blocks in a row. Just my thoughts though.

  2. I love that design and would love to hear more about the pinless curve piecing. Sounds right up my alley! Do you have any links?

  3. I like the last design - it does balance better to the eye somehow. I also like the color mix on the right - but to me, the dark fabric (looks solid black on my computer, but it may not be) looks out of place. It's a much denser color than the other fabrics. Could you use that as the fabric in between the blocks? Or maybe very thin lines in your blocks... As with Sara, just my thoughts. It may look very different in person. Beautiful fabric, and beautiful designs!!

  4. i love number three and mix it up....this is going to be amazing. i desperately wanted this as soon as it came out but my hubs got a little choked up when i told him how much they were....budget i guess. those sandpipers are my favorite too!!!!

  5. They are all very cool Kate but I think my favorite is either the three across or the mix of three and four across. Love the fabric and can't wait to see the finished quilt.

  6. My eye is initially drawn to the four across, but then it rests on the last one - 3 across, with some having 4 waves. I really like the right picture for your color palette. The left side seems kinda blah. I really enjoyed seeing how your design process works. I tend to have about 20 different drawings with scribbles all over them :0)

  7. You're so lucky to have that fabric in your hot little hands! I like the middle sketch (3 across) and the mixed up fabrics (on the right). Good luck - can't wait to see what you produce!

  8. Thanks for sharing your process - it is always soooo interesting to see an idea developing! I like your design pretty much, and I would just like to add my 2 cents about the fabrics. I like the combination with more contrast (the picture on the right side) better.

  9. Just love those fabrics! The color combo is great! I like number three, I think only three fabrics in each block would let you see the detail in the fabric more. Yellow sandpiper...sigh. Too wonderful.



  10. I like the colors mixed up, and the final sketch. No matter, it will be fabulous!

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning Christa and the giveaway!

  11. I'm so glad you liked the pages, Kate. Thank you for trusting me with your pictures!

  12. I love the last design - 3 across with some blocks having 4 fabrics. I love the idea of invoking water waves with this fitting! I have heard so many great things about this fabric lately. Another group of fabrics to add to my very long "I want" list!

    Your blog has been filled with such great inspiration lately. It makes me want to invest some time to go through your older posts (before I found you) to see what you've got in your archives!

  13. I think the brown is a bit much, personally, but having seen your other quilts, I am sure your eye is better than mine!

    That fabric is GORGEOUS!

  14. I love the last design too. I was just thinking that if you need a plain fabric and the brown is too strong in contrast maybe you could add in a slightly softer coral colour - like in the coral weed print. I also like the mixed colour scheme on the right.
    Whatever you choose, it's going to look gorgeous.
    XO Amelia

  15. I think your third sketch is the best - gives a feeling of and a visual of the flow and movement of the sea. Maybe you could create a seascape with the materials eg. blues for sky, ocean, waves, next level, seaweed, sand and bottom set coral and wood/debris or fish?? Just a suggestion - looks fun.

  16. What lovely fabric! I like 3 rows and 3 strips but slivers of the brown in some would make them 4. I'm also leaning left maybe because I prefer a low contrast usually. I would add slivers of the brown to some blocks so the brown binding, which I think would be cool, has a tie in.

  17. Kate, I would consider also varying the width of the stripes in the blocks; I would especially consider having one very skinny/ contrasting strip to alter or add to the rhythm. Thank you for asking.

  18. love your first's simple and will really show off that gorgeous fabric, but the others are great too! I do like the mixed up colors on the right and am leaning toward the brown just for the binding...

    ha ha my hubby gets tired of me asking his opinions over and over until he gives me the one want to hear ;0)

  19. Have you considered using a lighter brown in the blocks - more like sand at the beach or even coconut husks or palm tree bark? And then the dark brown as binding to sort of frame it all? Such beautiful prints and I really like the wavy block designs you're doing!

  20. Oh I LIKE the brown!! medium amount I think:)


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