Dress Rehearsal: It’s Why We Audition Fabric

I’m going to tell you this story in photos . . . there’s no tidy ending (yet). Many months ago, my quilting/dining group took on a group project for no particular reason other than we were giddy from finally managing to gather together at a quilt shop. The new quilting titles, the fabric, you know . . . we were intoxicated by all the colorful wonderfulness.

One of our crew fell in love with “The Seasons,” a quilt from Material Obsession 2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke (her website), two fabulous Aussie quilters with a huge international following. Our biggest conceptual problem was that we had five quilters and four seasons to divvy up–we improvised a solution and grabbed a couple of focus fabrics as guides for our palette. We had the best of intentions, really, but we were vastly ambitious and seriously under-coordinated. In retrospect, we needed a group leader. Next time.

Click cover image to visit http://www.materialobsession.com

It took us forever, but we finally delivered the blocks last month. Sorting the collection into groups of four turned out to be HUGELY difficult because we’d gone off in different directions.

Starting from left: early summer, late summer (day/night), fall, winter, spring.
No your eyes aren’t cloudy, it’s the iPhone photo.

Cyndy Rymer was the first one to assemble a quilt top. The focus fabric, Jenaveve by Valori Wells for Free Spirit, a sumptuously wonderful botanical print, was great as a color guide for our collaboration, but it overwhelmed Cyndy’s first-draft layout.

I thought my quartet could tame Jenaveve, especially when I added a striped print from Westminster that coordinated wonderfully with all the elements.

First rehearsal: I’m jazzed by the design potential of the Kaffe Fassett stripe–interesting color play with careful placement.

Yeah, well, I’m on the fence now that I’ve sewn the botanical print to the quartet of trees. Dress rehearsal! Maybe there’s another design answer out there for me; I just don’t know it yet.

Maybe yes, maybe no? The lovely Jenaveve is a little loud.

Check out Cyndy’s redo.  I think she’s handled the design challenge wonderfully. As for the rest of the crew, time will tell.

Direct from Cyndy Rymer’s design wall: a much-improved rendition of “The Seasons.”

In theater lore, a poor dress rehearsal bodes well for opening night. I’m keeping that in mind as I work through my design challenge. Break a leg! (Not literally, just in theater speak.)

p.s. Quilting in the Garden is coming up in late September.  Join us!



5 thoughts on “Dress Rehearsal: It’s Why We Audition Fabric

  1. Love your choices. Especially the Kaffe stripe and it goes so well with the outside border too. I think it’s a keeper just the way you rehearsed!


    1. Hey Annette, thanks for the input–I may indeed keep it just the way it is. I’ve got it in mind to give it to a friend and I think she’d like the floral border the best.


  2. I loved this blog! I always always enjoy seeing how several people approach a project with different colorways and different ideas as to how it should be laid out. I find it very inspiring and motivates me to get out of the same old rut – blue! blue! blue!


    1. Thanks for the comment Sue–blue ruts aren’t so heinous. I love blue! Indeed it’s wonderful sharing a project and watching what results.


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