Potent Ansonia Quilt

Three Thoughts on a Saturday (actually four)

As I was rocking my baby back to sleep in the dark bedroom last night I had three thoughts.  Well, it started with one thought and then moved on to the next, which brought me to the third. 

First of all,

People are so nice.   I was thinking this after publishing my first quilt pattern this last week, and how many folks said such kind encouraging things.  I am constantly humbled by the goodness and generosity of others.  I want to be half so good!  And also remember to compliment others on their lovely work, because I'm always blown away by the amazing quilts I see, but how often do I take the extra minute to mention them?

Which in a roundabout way brought me to my second thought,

Putting my work out there to sell is a very. terrifying. thing.  A free tutorial?  Not a big deal, if someone complains, well, it was free, what can they say!  This though, puts a whole new level of responsibility on a person.  Really it's not so different than selling a quilt, I guess.  It's just that I've been doing that for quite a few years and I've never had a bad experience. 

and then my third thought, which was more directly related to my second thought...

I totally should not put this on my blog, because...  well, just because I shouldn't.

and then I decided once again that I must go back to my original reason for blogging when it was just so much fun!  I must pretend that my only reader is my mom.  Meanwhile, I am so happy for you, any of you reading.  I just must not think of each one of you, and what you might personally think about my lack of grammer, or my run on sentences or need for validation:)  I will not worry about one single should for blogging.

lastly I realize that really there was a fourth thought closely connected to the third thought

which is my musing that something similar is the reason for the death of blogging.  because when you've blogged for a few years you naturally amass a fair few readers.  While this can be so exciting, you might find yourself at a place of pressure, where blogging becomes work, it becomes political.  It's no longer a journal/friendly conversation, but almost a bit too much like work!

Anyways, I've declared a war with myself and am taking back my blog!  I will envision all my readers merging into only one reader.  A kindly lady who loves quilts and could talk about them for hours.  One who sits at my table and happily peruses my latest quilt finish.  (Funny, this lady does look kinda like my mom)

Curious if anyone can relate to this mumbo jumbo?

Also, I seem to have used a few italics in this post.  Makes me think of Emily of New Moon.  I think it was her who used too many italics in her writing!  (one of my favorite book series of all time)

Fabric Selection for Mexico Quilt: Color, Value and Pattern

 As you will notice in the photos above, the pattern includes this nifty black and white drawing of the quilt design.  I suggest that you photocopy a few of these and then you can color and play with different combos to find the one you like best.

Also, this post may not make much sense if you have not purchased the pattern.  I wanted to have these resources for the pattern here on my blog so that I can keep adding to them.  Pattern can be found through the SHOP link on the top of my blog.

Today I'm talking about fabric choices to maximize the impact of this quilt pattern.

When choosing fabrics for your Mexico Quilt, there are three things you will want to consider.

Color, Value, and Pattern.

Let's start with Color (or hue)

When you saw this pattern, did you have a mental image of the colors you wanted to use?  Have you had a color scheme grab your attention lately, one that's just been waiting on the back of your mental shelf?  If so, your job is easy!

Sometimes though, the dizzying array of choices can be overwhelming.  There are so many places you can begin.  Browse your Pinterest boards for color combos.  Or go to your fabric shelf and look for a fabric that speaks to you.

With this pattern, you can simplify the process by thinking in terms of four different fabric colors you will choose.  You will have your focus fabric (Color #1)  For my original quilt, I knew I was going to use black.  I wanted it to really stand out.  I also knew that Color #2 would be white.  You should think of this one as being a background fabric.  It should be a definite different color than Color #1.  To start out, think of this color as being some kind of a neutral.  Of course, as you start pulling your fabrics together, you may decide to get more adventurous and exchange the neutral for another color.

Your last two colors (Colots #3 and #4) will be where you will add more fun and contrasting colors.  My favorite part of this quilt is the unexpected color that pops out in Color #4.  It only appears on the left hand side of the quilt, and I think it adds a fun and whimsical touch to make it a completely different color than the rest of the quilt.

Now we'll go on to Value.

Value, in very simple terms, is the lightness or darkness of a fabric.  So if you had a stack of fabrics, in an array of colors, and took a black and white photo, the different shades of grey would indicate the value of each fabric.  Value is equally as important as color when choosing the fabrics for your quilt.  Most of the time, its not the actual value of the fabric that matters, but how it compares in value to the other fabrics you've chosen for your quilt.

In my quilt, Color #1 and Color #2, in black and white, are as opposite as you can get.  This obviously makes the design stand out very well.  When choosing your Color #1, you will want to make sure that it is a distinctly different value than your other fabrics.

Color #3 and #4 are medium values.  They are secondary patterns.  You don't want them to be quite as noticeable as your main strip.  The difference in the value of these two fabrics may not be noticeable.  I wanted my Color #4 to be slightly lighter value in this quilt, and I think I may have accomplished that, but again it wasn't super important.  You just want to be sure that either the value or the color are different, so that these two rows will contrast each other somewhat.

In the middle photo above, you can see how I've played with completely changing the values around.  Obviously the sky is the limit!  If you want a softer muted quilt, you could go with similar values for all your Colors.

Finally, we'll talk Pattern.

What is pattern?  I think of florals, geometrics, stripes and polka dots.  Solids are also patterns, or rather lack of patterns.

In this quilt, my original vision included all solids.  It's a clean graphic design, and solids work very well for this type of quilt.  I have a hard time sticking with this though, since there are too many patterned fabrics that I am in love with.  So I find that a bit of pattern, even in a graphic quilt like this, softens it and makes it more interesting.  I used a black floral for my black print in this quilt (originally because I didn't have enough solid black, but in the end I like it much better than a solid)

I also made a scrappy version of this quilt which is full of pattern!  In this case, the overall design of the quilt takes second place to the patterns of the fabric.  (I'll talk more about making scrappy versions in another post.)

I hope this has given you a bit of help in choosing fabrics for your Mexico quilt! 

How Hard Can This Be...

Dear friends, my heart is beating a little bit faster than normal, in a nervous sort of way!  I just hit publish in my Etsy shop and now this pattern is available for sale.

I have been coming up with excuses for awhile now why I shouldn't finish this pattern and offer it for sale.

Here's a few of my crazy fears/reasons.

1.  Some one will sue me because of a mistake in the pattern which makes them waste a bunch of fabric.

2.  People will be unable to follow my directions and will call me many terrible names in mean emails and vow to never buy another pattern from me.

3.  Everyone will laugh at the notion that I could consider this pattern worthy of selling.

I had to write these down to help myself see how they are slightly ridiculous.  First of all, nobody sues someone over a bit of wasted fabric, and I honestly don't think there's any mistakes.  (or at least nothing major, knock on wood!)  If someone hates the pattern, I can always just send them a refund.  Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me, right?!

All that craziness aside, I feel good about this pattern.  I believe it will help you to make this quilt smoothly.  It does not fulfill my dream of having quilt patterns with professional layout and stunning artwork.  I think I've realized that one must take a first step before one can run a race...

I had originally written a couple pages about fabric selection and values for this pattern.  How to make the most impact with your fabrics, tips on how to make a scrappy version, etc.  I've decided to rather put those in a couple of blog posts over the next week or so.  That way I can keep adding updated info here and label it "Mexico Quilt"  and anyone can find it!

All this to say, the pattern can be found here in my Etsy shop

Doggy Quilt

Quilt Sale and a Summery Bundle

I managed to baste my massive Moda Building Blocks quilt this last week (and used up every single safety pin in the house)!  While I'm slogging away at quilting it, I added some more quilts to my Etsy shop, and marked some down for a pretty good sale price.  I know you my dear readers are mostly quilters yourselves, so not in the market for quilts to buy.  All the same, I mention it here because I always get the new year "Clean Out the House" feeling and that includes the quilts in my shop.

Then on another topic completely, I mentioned awhile back that I was putting together a bundle for Fabric Sparks as part of their monthly subscription.  January was my month and here's the bundle I put together!  So if you are subscribed to this fabric extravaganza, you will have a received a bundle just like this.  If you make something with it, I'd love to see it!  My stack is sitting above my sewing machine waiting for the perfect inspiration.

This exact club is sold out, but visit Fabric Spark for similar options.  I believe she has another subscription with monthly fabric bundles.