Monday, May 20, 2013

City Sampler QAL: Choosing the Fabrics

I have had Tula Pink's newest book, City Sampler, on my brain for a while.  I spotted it as an Amazon pre-order quite a while ago and I was excited.  A BIG sampler quilt with no y-seams, applique, paper piecing, or templates - sign me up! 
But still, I was hesitant.  My only other experience with a sampler produced this Hushabye quilt and I am less than thrilled with it.  I like the block patterns but my biggest mistake was my choice of fabrics.  I like the Hushabye collection but using it all together was too much pastel for me. When I look at other Blockapalooza quilts - I love them because other people made more appealing fabric choices than I did. 

I love the rainbow version of the City Sampler on the cover of the book - but I think I have had my fill of rainbows for now.  I made two rainbow quilts this past year - one with Lizzy House fabrics and another  one with Anna Maria Horner fabrics.

Am I the only modern quilter who has trouble defining my own style and preferences?  I think the issue for me is that I like SO much out there.  I love reproduction-ish fabrics like City Weekend and Hello Betty.  I always appreciate beautiful fabrics by such diverse artists as Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, Laurie Wisbrun, Tula Pink, Ann Kelle, Heather Ross, Erin McMorris and so much more.  I even like the darker/more masculine lines by Parson Gray, I love Japanese fairy tale prints, I swoon for Creative Thursday, and the newer lines by Camille Roskelley are to die for.  By naming all of these designers - I am not trying to sound like a label/brandname snob - I am just trying to share how diverse my tastes are.
Of all of the quilts that I have made so far - my favorite ones tend to have a "controlled scrappy" look.  When I make a quilt that has only one collection - it often ends up in the giveaway/"meh" category.  I am trying to stop buying full FQ bundles of one line - but if I can't avoid it - I am trying to make myself split them up. 
This quilt, made for my nephew last year, is a good example of the kind of quilt I like best.  It's very simple but I like the way I have mashed together a whole lot of prints from all different collections.

Here's another example of a "controlled scrappy" quilt that I made (with the help of 2 great bees):

SO - after attending this weekend's BMQG meeting - I came home and started to pull together a color pallette from my stash:

I know, whether consciously or subconsciously, I was influenced by seeing lots of beautiful Quilts for Boston blocks and quilt tops at the meeting- as I decided to go with a very similar color pallette.  I was also influenced by spotting this adorable new DS print (2nd from left) at Joann's following the meeting.  I love that shade of aqua and the pops of bright orange prompted me to add a bright orange to my stack.  Instead of yellow - I am aiming for more "mustard tones"- that scrap of AB Wallflower is my only piece of it (they keep reprinting old AB lines - PLEASE let them reprint that one!). 

This color pallette is a big departure for me - no pink or red - (maybe my husband will be grateful?), but I am excited.  I have thought and thought about what fabrics I would use for this QAL for weeks.  Am I the only one who gets a little paralyzed when it comes to choosing fabrics for a long-term project?  What about style?  Are you sure of yours and what you definitely do and don't like?

Sew Sweetness


Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

You read my mind! I have been staring at my copy of this book and trying to decide on a color theme for this project! So far I have studied my overflowing scrap bins, colors in my modest stash, Design Seeds palettes, rooms that need a quilt, etc. I may need to go fabric shopping for more inspiration!

Jenny said...

As long as i dont try to be too controlled with colors, im usually ok...but the minute i set up boundaries, i freak out. i really like all the navy you picked out...i keep meaning to use navy and black in my quilting more...maybe if i had your navy stash i would! :)

Jen said...

I can't wait to see this quilt come to life. I've been eyeing it, but I have too many other quilts in the works right now to start this one. I'll live vicariously through you for now.

suemac said...

I like your fabric choices. The blocks are pretty easy but those 1 inch wide rectangles are a little difficult. 1/4" seams are a must.

Erica said...

Your fabrics are lovely. I really like and appreciate the way you took the time to explain your thought process. The things you have been feeling/doing with respect to colour sound a lot like me. I think we'll both be really pleased with our projects!

Tina in Boston said...

Am loving the quilt you made for your nephew and the purple and white one that was at the BMQG/LQF. I took a picture of it! Loving the Lizzy House quilt goes without saying :)