Monday, October 17, 2011

How about this?

Oooh, that was FUN! You all had so many great ideas for rescuing my fabrics that weren't playing nicely.

my fabric mix

Here's a little summary of your advice:

**Ditch the large Anna Maria Horner floral, which was the brown and orange oversized print showing up tallest in the photo.  This print is too brown to combine with the blacks and grays.  It "muddies" it up.
**Add solids
**Not enough contrast in values.  Add darker and lighter fabrics.
**Too busy/Conflicting prints.  With this many prints and colors, the patterns need a bit more unity.  This mix includes vintage-inspired florals, modern florals, text prints, simple and complex geometrics.  Yowzers.
**Try removing florals
**There are too many dots
**Try removing all the grays
**Add more turquoise or another bright color like chartreuse green.
**The black doesn't work, Rachel.  You've got to get over it (just kidding, you were nice ;). 

The most common overall suggestion was to drop the brown/orange Anna Maria Horner (AMH) print.  You guys!  Do you know that you're totally siding with Brandon?  I asked my husband what was going wrong on day 1 and he immediately identified that print.  I thought, "Heck, what does he know?"  Apparently, a lot.

The argument I gave him was the same as Tamara's comment: "If they are going to be in 1 1/2 in squares the AMH fabric is going to give you some pops of blue and the burnt orange.  It wont appear like it does there. It will appear as 3 or 4 different fabrics and all of them work."  He didn't buy it.  And, I don't think most of you would either.  The trouble is it's very hard to predict how a large floral like that will read when cut up into small pieces. Will it look like anything?  Will it look like mush?  And, am I really going to be happy with the brown-ish background parts?  Probably not.

After getting a very delicious dose of your comments, last night I set out to rework the group.  I started with my inspiration fabric again.  Guided by Emma's suggestion to make sure the prints I chose fit with the simple aesthetic of the two-dimensional inspiration print.   I looked for "flat", simple florals only.  I also decided to drop the gray, but I held onto that black.  Quite stubbornly.

the improved mix

In this improved mix, you'll notice I switched out the old turquoise/gray prints for a simpler dandelion print.  I changed the vintage-inspired yellow/blue floral for a simple yellow stripe.  To enhance the light dimension, I added two prints on white backgrounds (the white measuring tape and multi-colored animals).  And, to enhance the dark dimension, I added solid dark green (Kona Avocado) and solid dark orange-red (Kona Paprika).  And, lastly, to brighten the mood I added a brilliant shade of solid green in the top row. 

Altogether this is LESS fabrics than my first group, plus it includes three solids.  That combined with the simpler prints makes a group that doesn't feel busy.  I like that it has a strong color message, while still incorporating that black and white feel that I'm enjoying lately.  Yep, I love it!

Only, I'm not sure what I'll do with it.

You see, I was way too impatient after sleeping on it that first night to wait any longer to start my 1.5" square patchwork project.  Since I couldn't get the first group to work, I put together a completely different palette based on the realization that I really wanted to work with turquoise and gray.

what I used

A limited color palette is more of a stretch for me than just about anything else.  But I do agree that when you limit the palette you gain the freedom to throw in a greater variety of prints, which creates that scrapalicious vibe that I was feeling for this project.

just a peak

Here's a sneak peak of the fabrics I chose to work with.  Mmmmmm.... 

Now, you won't see the rest of this anytime soon because it's actually a sample project for my imaginary book.  This is the ho-hum, ordinary part.  I best keep the rest under wraps!  I'm guessing that if you're still reading, you're a regular reader of my blog and may know that I've been working towards a book for the greater part of this year.  I'm now in the phase of fielding questions from publishers interested in my book proposal.  It's really amazing to see that people are actually interested! 

I'm likely to make a few more samples this month and then... then I hope I'll be signing a contract to start working on the real, final book project versions.  So, if you hear me jabbering about making something (like 1.5" square patchwork) but never see it, just assume I'm prevented under threat of death from sharing the actual project, and believe that I'm not all talk and no action.  All shall be revealed in the end.  Book or no book.  I promise.

37 comments:

  1. Your new choices look great - thanks for sharing the process behind it! Love the look of your small squares and the limited palette is lovely!

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  2. Love the color choices and changes! Thanks for sharing the reasons behind the color choices and also a bit of your creative process. I love learning how other people work through their creative issues. Good luck with the book - I can't wait to see all of these hinted projects finished and bound together :)

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  3. The new palette is great, it's amazing how much thought ant time it takes to make something look simpler, isn't it??

    The aqua and grey is wonderful too - can't wait to see more :)

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  4. I'm loving both of the new mixes. And I'm so excited for you getting to work on these secret projects for your book!

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  5. Loving both of those color palettes! Now I'm feeling much less like doing chores when I've finished this cup of tea and a whole lot more like playing with fabric. Oh dear!

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  6. What alot of thought goes into your fabric choices - wow. Wish you the best towards a book deal!

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  7. It's so funny how the new group just works no second guessing they just pull together perfectly! I do like the changes you made to the first group of fabric though so now you have those in the wings.
    So exciting you are getting closer to a potential book Congratulations!

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  8. Love the new mixes! And definitely a fan of the tiny patchwork :) Can't wait to see the result in your book!

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  9. Oh fun! Would love to talk about publishers with you on the phone some time!

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  10. I love the second color set! So pretty! :)

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  11. Great choices for fabrics. I really like the revised palette. I also totally love the palette for the second group. Fantastic!

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  12. Rachel I love the grey, turquoise and mustard together... such a classic and a favourite of mine (as most palettes are!)... I love your choice of prints too and the sneaky peek is just divine... :)
    So glad you found some inspiration in the end too... :)
    Emma, x

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  13. Both of these new pallets are wonderful. Good going!
    And I am completely confidant that in the not to distant future, your dreams will become reality, and I will be seeing your book on the shelves of my local book store!

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  14. I love the two groups you came up with! The quilt you began looks wonderful.

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  15. I love both of your new palettes! Great job.

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  16. I didn't get a chance to comment before, but I definitely like the changes you made. Even moreso, I love the new mix!! And what cute little patchwork. I can't wait to find out more about your book -- I am really excited for you!

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  17. Ha! Hilarious that most of us confirmed what your husband told you. How funny! I love your yellow and turquoise mix, but you should definitely use that modified mix for something else!

    And yay for moving forward with the book projects!

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  18. Oooh totally love the sneak peak. It's perfect. And congrats on the book interest! Some day.......

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  19. oh, that sneak peak sure is pretty! I'd buy the books just to find out what you're making!

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  20. Oh yes, the new selection looks fab (even if you did have to admit somewhere in public that your husband might have been right about soemthing ;o) )

    Love selection #2 too, now I'm curious to see what it'll become, so let's hope a publisher seizes it soon!

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  21. I love your turquoise and gray grouping! VERY striking!

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  22. The little patchwork is so beautiful!

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  23. Beautiful final palette - good luck with the schmoozing. x

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  24. Hmm, I think it looks better, but I do wonder about the white tape measure print and the yellow and white newsprint (second from left, top row). It is really hard to tell though if they would conflict at all once you cut and piece. I really like the turquoise and gray palette and I think it works well because you are really only dealing with two colors (turquoise and yellow) plus the neutral gray. Even though you have different values and slightly different warm/cool shades of these colors, they are all related in terms of intensity and general hue. (This post has really gotten me thinking very intently about color!) I think that whatever you decide will end up working beautifully since you are so adept at this!

    I was wondering what the blue and green Alexander Henry floral print (from your turquoise and gray palette) is called if you happen to know. I really love it!

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  25. Love your sneak peak -- can't wait for you to finish your book :-)

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  26. love the new choices!!! great colors

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  27. I love both palettes and especially love the redo of the first one. this will be a book worth waiting for!

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  28. Love the new color palette, it just pops!! For the record, I'm glad you kept the black. ;)

    The aqua and grey came out very pretty as well. :)

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  29. LOVE what you came up with. I'm spying a couple of prints in there that I need to add to my stash. :) Really LOVE it! (Maybe because your inspiration print is one of my favs, too!)

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  30. I am in love with that color combo. It is awesome. I have been hoarding fabrics with those colors so I can hopefully make something soon.

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  31. Thank-you all for your very sweet comments! Jenelle - That print is Dasha. I love it too!

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  32. Rachel, you are cracking me up! That part about the feedback agreeing with your hubby! I will just say, I love how both these color pallettes worked up. Can't wait to see the final project, but I can be patient until your book is published :)

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  33. Love the new fabric group. Don't tell my husband but he always has fantastic ideas about what fabrics to put together when we head to the quilt shop.

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  34. I love the ruler fabrics! They are really cute/manly and would be great for a quilt for my husband. Who makes them?

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  35. The rulers are by Cosmo Cricket. The collection is discontinued, so it may be hard to find, but try Etsy!

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