I had the hardest time coming up with anything good for the Value Added quilt-along (which starts Monday - hurray!). The idea to work with color value (using placement of dark, light and medium fabrics as a key part of quilt design) was Leila's. It sounded like a good, healthy challenge... and it was. I did lots of sketching on my trip to the beach, and then I came across this quilt by Caitlin at Salty Oat...
Hello, value! Caitlin's gingham quilt (inspired by Amanda Jean's) is made up of solids. It's the perfect value primer. 1. Because it's easy to see value in black and white, with no distracting colors. and 2. Because the regular placement of value is what defines this quilt (and gingham prints too).
Ok, I'll admit it! I was tempted to take the easy road and make a gingham quilt full of color, but still just gingham. I knew I'd have to use really dark darks and really light lights to make that read at all. I figured I'd use charm size squares and it'd be the quilt-along quilt that was perfect for beginners!
Well, I couldn't do it. I felt like I wouldn't be bringing much to the quilt along, especially after seeing the fabulous designs that my co-leaders had landed on (which mostly just made me want to make their quilts!). I decided instead to incorporate gingham in the border of my quilt. Happy compromise? Hmm...
On my table today is my project for the Value Added quilt-along, in the binding stage. The gingham border so didn't work out. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until I had made the entire border (lots of cutting and piecing!) and finally decided to lay it out around the quilt before sewing it in. Sadly, the gingham border was a big fat "no go". It was busy. Too predictable.
Now I have all this gingham, full of pretty Flea Market Fancy gray seeds, cool text prints and one of my favorite prints from Chicopee. What to do? What to do? I've considered piecing it together like gingham, but the blocks are joined in such a way that I'd have to cut more fabric to make that happen. So, more work and I'm not feeling all that inspired. It'd be small too. I could border it? Sigh.
I designed the gingham to border a quilt, so it'd be easiest to use it this way. I like how it makes little plus signs around, when used as a border. Today I pulled out this Far Far Away II Sleeping Beauty print that's been bugging me (just never gets used). Perhaps a baby girl quilt? What do you think?
I wonder, would you have wanted to make a gingham quilt? If you're new
to quilting (or even have never quilted before), I do recommend this to you.
You could participate in the quilt-along by making any value quilt. It doesn't have to be one of the four we'll be teaching. This simple style is a perfect beginner's! However, don't try to mix colors. I tried that. It's super hard with this simple square layout to preserve the value relationship if color muddies the waters. Instead, use all one color fabrics
(all blue, all orange, etc.) to simplify your fabric choices. Find really dark fabrics in your color and really light ones. You can use solids too, to help define your values.
Ever since my gingham border bombed, I've been thinking an all-purple gingham baby quilt would really be nice. Mmm.... so nice. See, it's attack of the baby quilt ideas! I've got it bad.