Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nostalgia, Fabric Question and A Quilt

My youngest son Eric is a teacher and he is teaching his grade eight class how to dance in gym class. Sounds really weird to me, but whatever. He emailed me on Friday to ask me to suggest some dances and to find some youtube dance how-tos. I came across this one by Chubby Checker - the Twist. Ahhhh, what great fun it was and Chubby was so nice. (mind you, I was just a little girl when this came out.)

Remember American Bandstand where you got to see the young music artists? Of course, who could forget, there was that voting on the new tunes. "I'd give it an 8 because it was easy to dance to." 
****Sorry to all my readers who didn't grow up with American Bandstand. 

Now on to a fabric question.

Why is it that there are those times when you just NEED to have a colour of fabric and it just isn't there. Not in the stash and not in the quilt stores.
Brown has been in short supply in my stash and today, while we were out doing errands, I happened to see something that sparked an idea. It had to do with a brown background, the rest of the fabrics I had. Since we were in the neighbourhood, I decided to stop in at my closest quilt shop. It's not that big but they do have quite a variety. EXCEPT, there was no brown. I wanted something dark (close to black) and something that read solid brown. Nope, they had nothing. I struck up a conversation with the lady who was working there and we lamented the fact that colours go in waves. 
I remember years ago when I first started quilting (1980) and, because there was nothing else available, I bought a lot of polycottons. I still have them because they are solids and I love the colours. I disliked all the little floral calicoes that were available. I still prefer solids or those fabrics that read as a solid. I am not a cotton snob and mix cottons with polycottons if the fabrics work for what I am doing.
 These are some of my favourite colours. The greens vary from yellowy green to lime green and even the dark greens are not consistent in what dye colours are mixed in. Taking your fabrics and putting them all together in colours shows you that they are not all created the same.

These were the beginnings of a quilt I started last year. You will note that some of the purples have red in them and others have blue.  

I have used a lot of greens lately in what I've been working on.

 This quilt was made in 2008 and this photo is from Christmas of that year (obviously.)
I made this quilt for Maili. It was just going to be a really small mini quilt with leaves (the lower right of the quilt with the off-white leaves) but I came across some of her school work and the central panel of this quilt is a depiction (or rather my rendition) of one of her projects for her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree.
I don't think it makes much sense for a layman to try to figure out but basically, there is a water feature (pond) in the middle with seating surrounded by a walkway with grass, flowers and trees. The leaf in the upper right was a freebie paper pieced design of an aspen leaf I got from the internet and the three paper pieced leaves on the left are my own design. I had two fabrics that I auditioned for the  border and when it came time to decide on which one to use, I prevailed upon my youngest son and got his opinion (he was the only one home at the time.) He liked the one I ended up using and I admit that it was a perfect choice. The other fabric was darker and was just bland. This one added to the landscape architecture theme.


  1. Hi Dolores,

    Fabric colours do seem to go in cycles and I know what you are saying.
    Sometimes they are more fashionable at different times.
    Love the quilt you made for Maili and what a great idea incorporating her Landscape work into it.

    Hope that you are having a great weekend

  2. I'm lucky in having a really good 'Charity Shop' nearby and have bought some really good cotton mens shirts from there for less than a dollar each! There is a lot of fabric in a man's shirt!
    I got a great dark green one, perfect for applique! :o)

  3. I prefer solid colours.
    I also find it amazing to what imagination can do when a pile of beautiful fabrics can be turned into something even more beautiful.

  4. Love the landscape quilt! And I love your color sense. Absolutely beautiful! As an illustrator, I never have to worry about the colors I use being available - I mix them. But, what you've pointed out makes total sense to me. I'm very aware of it when buying clothes or furniture and find it extremely annoying. Interesting post!

  5. I remember AB! My mom used to dance to it.

    I hate when I can't find the perfect color - sometimes I resort to painting my own! I love the colors in your fabrics and Maili's quilt - fabulous.


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