April 7, 2013

Over the rainbow

It's all about colour! Early on in my quilting journey, I read that a good guide when making a quilt is to use no more than four colours in any one project.  I have found that to be quite a good recommendation. Here is my Gifts of Grace quilt with four colours - pink, yellow, blue and green applique and embroidery:

I also learned by experience about choosing threads for my stitcheries.  In my early excitement, I selected gorgeous threads in colours, that all worked together beautifully.  The finished stitchery looked wonderful, but then I had to find fabric to tie in with it, and that's where everything collapsed. It is so difficult to find just the right fabric, matching the shades, tints, values and scale in the right proportions.

I was a quick learner and I soon realised that I was doing things 'back to front'.  First things first - select the FABRIC!  It is SO much easier to match threads to the fabric, than vice versa. With the quilt above, I started with that lovely floral fabric, then found pink and green to match to use for the sashings. A dig through the 'small bits' boxes and I soon found suitable fabrics for the appliques. Then it was an easy task to lay the floral fabric along my Stranded Thread colour chart and select matching threads:

 A couple of years ago, one of our daughters gave me two sets of bright fat quarters - 56 of them. I don't normally gravitate to bright fabrics but I could see the potential in these. Some of them turned into the "Making Daisy Chains" bag:

Quite a few more went into making the "Peak-a-boo" Puzzle quilt for toddlers:

What if I combined a whole lot of different colours - like a rainbow?  It's a long time since 1939 when Judy Garland first sang "Somewhere, over the rainbow" in the all-time classic movie "The Wizard of Oz". The song has been ranked as 'the greatest movie song of all time' and is number one on the 'Songs of the Century' list, so of course I had no other option than to use the title for my bright, colourful "Over the Rainbow"  travel bags!:

One of the reasons this project works, in spite of having so many colours, is the fact that they are all tone-on-tone fabrics with no contrasting prints.  When I was auditioning fabrics for this, I was also looking for colours that blended well together. There were quite a lot of rejects before I came up with this combination.

The pattern for these ever so practical bags can be found in the latest edition of Patchwork & Stitching, Vol 14:2.

I love rainbows. My most moving experience with rainbows was on the day my husband was to have major heart surgery. I was very anxious and prayerful that morning.  I stepped out of the building where I was staying and there, right across the sky, was a magnificent rainbow.  I knew it was another evidence of God's love and assurance to me that He was in control and He would be faithful as He had always been.  And He was!  and is!

One final word before I finish.  My friend, Jenny, has relaunched her E-zine.  It's a delightful read, with lovely patterns to stitch, all for a very reasonable price.  You will love it - read about it here.

Happy stitching.


boysmum2 said...

That quilt is gorgeaous well done, beautiful

quilterliz said...

G'day Val. Your Gifts of Grace quilt is just stunning. Your fabric choice is beautiful. All of your other work is also a pleasure to view. Take care. Liz...

Melody said...

Lovely projects. Your gifts of Grace was one of the first things I stitched when I became a blogger. Love your new bright bags too.

Allie said...

Your projects are always a delight to the eye, Val - you are a marvelous designer!!!! Love the story of the rainbow.

Ondrea said...

I had to laugh when I read what you said about picking the fabric first. I have a box full of stitcheries that are BOMs for various quilts. Why are they in the box? Because I can't seem to find the right fabrics! I finally realised my mistake a few weeks ago. It has only taken me years!! Dah! I am pleased to know I am not the only one.

Christine M said...

Gorgeous projects Val. I love the bright laundry and shoe bags.

Kate said...

As always, your projects are beautiful! I enjoyed your rainbow story and learned a thing or two from reading you today - thank you for that.:)

Susan In Texas said...

The Grace quilt is just beautiful, Val. And congratulations on getting your rainbow bags published. Wonderful!

Take care,
Susan in Texas

Quilt Kitty said...

Very good point Val. After having a few problems like you did matching fabric to my threads I finally did it the other way around in the stitchery I started Friday night. It makes the process a whole lot more orderly & calm. xx

Marie said...

Toujours aussi beaux,ce mini quilt est magnifique avec ces belles roses autour.
AmitiƩes MC