Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pour Yourself a Cup of Truth Tea

In progress: Looking Glass

My latest quilt top is something I’m testing for Cheryl Brickey, of Meadow Mist Designs. It’s her Looking Glass quilt, a charm- and layer-cake-friendly design that I’m making in the lap size for my sister for Christmas. (My sister has been sworn away from my blog for the remainder of the year. It’s not difficult for her: my family, except for my mom, stinks at keeping up with my quilty online endeavors—punks!)

I’ve sewn another of Cheryl’s designs in the past: her Candy Circle quilt. I can tell you from that experience that she’s a great pattern writer. She’s an engineer by profession. I’m married to an engineer, and engineers are hardwired to be detail oriented and methodical. These are desirable characteristics in pattern writers. These same characteristics can be a little maddening in a husband. (I guess I’ll hear it if my better half actually reads this post—ha, ha!)

So here’s my conundrum and the cause for our tête-à-tête over truth tea: I’m not digging what I’ve done so far. It’s not the design. I like the chunky feel to Looking Glass. This quilt allows the fabric to take center stage.

But my color palette is all over the place. I bought a layer cake of Bonnie Christine’s Winged from Southern Fabric and edited out those fabrics with light-colored backgrounds; they wouldn’t show up against the Kona Snow I had selected for the sashing. Then I added some coordinating solids from my stash. The result includes light teal and medium teal, deep eggplant, salmon, and pale coral. And then there’s gray and aqua and some hints of yellow.

Three selections from Bonnie Christine’s Winged

Now that I see the blocks almost done, I think it’s too much. If I could do it over, I’d start with a more cohesive palette, like what Cheryl is doing with her second Looking Glass. (Of course, I could do my project over, but I’m not willing to spend the next two weeks ripping out seams.)

Three of the five rows I have (almost) together, with 2.5” of sashing

The next step in Cheryl’s instructions is to finish the five rows and then sew them together with 2.5” sashing. An alternative that I’m toying with is presenting three rows of blocks on the quilt front and two rows of blocks on the back, all with thick strips of Kona Snow in between.

Here are two rows with a bigger chunk of Kona Snow between them

Do you have any thoughts on those two options? How about any other avenues I could take? Take a big swig of that truth tea and give it to me straight. Thanks!

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  1. Don't you dare take it out!!! This is seriously gorgeous the way it is. I know it's not your normal colors, but honestly this is working. Kind of a very "hip" updated fall thing going on. :D Because that makes so much sense.... My choice would be to do it as written with the narrower sashing. And yes, us engineers make maddening spouses. :D

    1. Help, I drowning in color! Please send me a life preserver of negative space!!! : )

  2. Here's my two cents' worth of thought: I think this is beautiful--there are enough teals and aquas to pull it all together, and the other colors keep it interesting. I like both layouts--but if you're a fan of quilting negative space, you'll probably enjoy the wider strips between. They'll give your eyes a place to rest. And you'll be well on your way to a fun finished back!

  3. I saw the first picture and thought, "oooh, I totally love this." True story. The wider sashing is yum too. I like it either way. (Which totally doesn't help you, does it?) However, I will say that I once made a quilt that pretty much everyone loved except for me. It was a fine quilt, but it wasn't me, and so I felt really weird about it, and I was happy to give it away. If you're keeping this, it sounds like you need more negative space to make it more pleasing to your eye. If you're giving it away, that's not as big of a concern.

    And goodness! Your husband's an engineer too! Aren't they a funny breed. I love my engineer husband, but sometimes I want to punch him and his engineer-y ways! I agree though, engineers are some awesome pattern writers. :)

  4. I've had my wine tonight... And I would never take apart all those seams, no way! Anyways, what about no sashing at all? Sort of a coin quilt affair. I hate when I'm not in love with the finished product, boo.

  5. When you had e-mailed me about your quilt I was expecting something totally different than your first picture. I really like all of the colors together and I think it looks awesome. It might be one of those quilts that looks busy in the middle of making it and then once it is quilted and washed everything somehow clicks.

    That said, I also like the look with the larger sashing. That version has the added bonus of getting to have a really cool backing. So I guess I am not being too helpful, but I think that the quilt will turn out wonderfully either way. You should make it the way you want to.

    I'm married to an engineer too! He is even more "engineery" than me :)

  6. My thought is the same as Heather's above - no sashing. The only thing I don't like about both quilts is the sashing. I love your blocks and think they would look great all sewn together. :). Just me.


  7. Hmm, I prefer the narrower sashing I think. Last week I tried the very same pattern, having seen it on Cheryl's blog and pinned it many moons ago, but also wasn't happy with the way it looked, so ended up making it into smaller blocks with both vertical and horizontal sashing. I don't know what it was, the colour layout I had just didn't appeal to me as much as the photo I'd seen of Cheryl's quilt. Maybe I needed more contrast in my fabrics?

  8. IMHO, I think I like the narrower sashing better. I also think once it is all sewn together you will like it a lot better than just seeing it partially sewn on the floor. I think the colors are pretty! Give it a chance. Plus you are making it as a gift, so while I know it's hard to put yourself 100% into something you don't LOVE, it also might be just right for your sister!
    If it's the way the sashing is looking against the blocks, maybe you could try a strip in between of a different color? Do a narrow white, a color, and then another white before the next round of colors? Just throwing things out there, as taking out the sashing all together has already been suggested. . .but I really do think it's pretty as it is.
    Good luck! Let us know what you decide to do!

  9. I think the colors are great - they work together really well. I like the narrower sashing, but a wider version would be great especially if you want negative space to quilt in. And I think a quilt always comes together once it's quilted! :)

  10. I like the narrow sashing and I LOVE THE COLORS. It took sewing the whole top together before mine all came together. I think it's great and love those fabrics.

  11. I'm the same as most - I love your colours and the narrow sashing. I think you are just 'in the thick of it' at the moment and once it's done and you've started quilting you'll be in love with it. Every quilt I make I hate it at about the half way mark. Then by the end, it's all okay again. Keep going, we all think it looks fab and I bet by the end you'll think so too!

  12. I think the bigger sashing will make you happier as you'll be able to give your eye a bit more breathing space, but honestly I really like this colour combination and really only looks like 3 colours which is no way over the top.

  13. I would use the wider sashing to give your eyes a resting place. The bonus is the two strips on the back would make the quilt reversible. Whatever you decide, the quilt will be beautiful when it is quilted.

  14. I like it - it works for me. If I was to chose sashing I'd go with the narrow one!

  15. Those solids really add a wonderful element to this design. And I really like the first picture best. That's what I think! But it's up to you. Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

  16. You're crazy to think that's too much color or it doesn't go...your tile pulled me in to see more...I like it! Looking forward to seeing the finished project :)

  17. I think the colors look great, so warm and inviting. The wider sashing shows off the fabrics. Can't wait to see it finished!

  18. I like the first picture best, so I guess I would say wider sashing. I think your colour palette looks cohesive, nothing seems out of place to me. Having said that, if it isn't working for you I'd finish all your rows then lay them out different ways and play until you find what pleases you best.


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