Apparently, I’m all about my own quilting updates lately. This post? Same old, same old. You are, after all, visiting a blog called See How We Sew—we’ve got to show our handiwork sometimes . . . The fun part of this week’s post is that I get to invite someone along on my Kaffe Fassett ride! His U.S. publisher, TheTaunton Press, is offering a giveaway of one of Kaffe’s latest titles—see details below.
Remember my Year of Finishing posts? It turns out that my hope for a single year effort is morphing into a multi-year, multi-pronged campaign: I’m finishing UFO’s and reducing my stash. Last October, I found a fun stash-busting project at Back Porch Fabrics and decided I’d jump in with scrap fabrics. Well, as one thing inevitably leads to another, bigger thing, I also decided to tackle a foundering Kaffe Fassett project from Kaffe Fassett’s Quilt Road. I figured if I finished that one first, then I could use the excessive number of leftover strips to fund the scrappy quilt. Makes sense, right? Start a new quilt, finish two? Just means more quilted love to spread around!
I confess, scrappy, stash-busting quilts present their own particular torments to me. It’s easy to get lost and stymied by too many fabric choices. I started Kaffe’s My Fair Lady with a few themed fabrics that I adored and then proceeded to design myself into a corner with hexagons that were overwhelming with saturated color or print.
The trial layouts were so ghastly I scooped up my hexies and stuffed them in a plastic box for storage. The funny thing is that when I lifted the lid a few weeks ago to restart the project, I amazed myself by selecting some very nice strip combos for the hexagons. Well, it seems that time is a healer indeed. What’s more, I only needed to make seven strip sets to finish the quilt top!
Even armed with my redeeming hexies, I faced the challenge of getting the weirdos and the pretty ones to play together in the quilt layout. The first draft was HIDEOUS! I could not achieve an effective distribution of the strong and weak ones. I ended up with cabals of saturated colors, repeats of strong prints, and dominating stripes. Every time I walked by my living room (my quilts-in-the-making live on the floor by my sofa) I kept getting sucked into weird games of hexie tic-tac-toe.
Tired of the madness, I pulled up the hexagons; sorted them into categories by color, pattern, value; and distributed them into seven piles—i.e. the number of rows in the quilt. Bingo! That was the key to dispersing the troublemakers. I don’t know why I didn’t do that in the first place. You’d think I’d listen to my own scrappy quilt-making mantra: random acts of randomness. Gotta admit I hijacked: “practice random acts of kindness.” Yeah, well, it’s not the most eloquent adaptation, but chanting it in my head does help me when I want a scattered pattern.
Giveaway Details Check Here!
Amidst this project I discovered a new Kaffe book that re-explores past designs with brand new colorways and prints. Lo and behold, the book includes a redo of My Fair Lady! Luckily for SHWS readers, The Taunton Press would like to share that Kaffe Fassett wonderfulness with us. So, to enter the random drawing, leave me a comment answering the following question: What’s your fave Kaffe thrill? His fabric, patterns, or both? It’s another quickie contest so leave your comment by Thursday, March 21 and I will announce a winner in my upcoming Friday post. Good luck!
I’m almost finished with my version of My Fair Lady and, after a rocky start, it’s turning out to be much prettier than I expected. As a bonus, the unfinished quilt top is fun fodder for digital camera experiments. Lurid and wonderful stained glass effects resulted when I photographed the reverse side against strong natural light (and a little too much wind) using a Super Vivid camera option.