AKA: Pastels are for weaklings
That ice dyed fabric looked vibrant in its photo, taken while it was still wet.
But, after it dried, it was much lighter. Too light, really. The reds were a hot pink and it was mostly pastel all over. I don’t like pastels much and find the best way for me to use them is with a lot of black and dark gray, or other strong, bold colors. Thus this quilt was born.
The last two quilts I made (Don’t Let Your Mind Wander and the Green and Black Patchwork quilts) were done in an improvisational style. Meaning, I didn’t have a plan for what they’d look like, how I’d get to the end product, or even what size they would be. The Green and Black was only started with the idea of using black, green with a lime highlight, and squares. My end quilt was a direct result of those limits, but I still love the finished product. This quilt, which I’ve named Summer Pinwheels, was started with the guide of having three color schemes and using strips. This worked out well because there were three main colors in that dyed fabric, pink, blue, and some green. I chose some old (I think I bought them almost 10 years ago) crazy colored crowded prints that are best described as juvenile, and some solids, along with my second favorite neutral of Charcoal. I haphazardly cut strips of all widths, stitching them together alternately, then slicing, realigning, slicing, inserting and generally making it up each minute. When I got some large pieces done, I trimmed them to the same sizes and stuck them all together. This is what happened.
Summer Pinwheels. The colors make me think of summer. The pink screams Kool-Aid and popsicles, while the blue is the same as my favorite (now completely worn out) sundresses that only remain in a few squares of scrap fabric. Everything is too bright for me to be comfortable, the same way I don’t like summer. The pinwheels come in from the purple corner slashes I added to the blocks. They echo the purple, metallic color Mylar of pinwheels on plastic sticks. All very aestival, to me.
The binding is a scrappy one, again because I like the look and because I had plenty of scraps left and wanted to use them up (I am tired of seeing these colors). I stitched it by machine, which I am not too happy with. It is okay, but I think I will stay away from it and do them by hand when I can. Hand stitching looks better to me. Although, this violet spark of color in the dark gray pleases me. Perhaps my next quilt will be darker. I’d like darker.
The back is a simple arrangement of the remaining strips. For some reason I like how orphaned they look floating here. They don’t have a pattern or arrangement, they’re hanging out.
This is the most true color representation, albeit dim. It was cloudy this morning and threw all the pictures off. The quilting is good. It took a while to do it right, but right is better. Done is not ALWAYS better than perfect. Plus, I don’t think this quilt would ever be perfect, by my opinion. It is good, for what it is, as it is.
Do I like it? Not really. I don’t hate it, I don’t think I even dislike it, I just don’t LIKE it. I wouldn’t choose it over any of the other quilts I’ve made. Maybe that Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt – those two are equal for me, equally at the bottom of the list. This was not a waste; it is always good to use uncomfortable colors or restrictions and make something your style out of it.
So, this is another quilt on the stack. Seeing my stack of quilts grow pleases me. I am a quilt dragon.
Maker Talk: Advanced mode
Why don’t I LIKE this quilt? One is the colors. That pastel and busy combo doesn’t appeal to me. It isn’t bad, but I don’t enjoy these colors together. Part of it is the contrast. The fabrics I added to go with the ice dyed ones don’t have enough contrast, or too much. They should either be essentially the same, or have more contrast for a dramatic stripe. Stripes were the second problem, specifically the lack thereof. I made the first stripe fabric, then recut & stitched it into squares. I should have left it a stripe. The squares looked confusing when I further cut them into quarters. The solid dark gray was a good choice – good amount of contrast and counterpoint to the swirly and busy color blocks. Also, cutting the ice dyed fabric into little pieces took away any interest the fabric had from the dying process. The scrappy binding is good, the layout is good. I like the balance; the symmetry is comforting, right, echt. The quilting is perfect, even if I didn’t get good close up shots of it. The pictures are not great – I should just retake them completely. That cloudy sky threw the colors off irreparably and that doesn’t help my assessment.
end Maker Talk.
I have updated the severely neglected page of Quilts I’ve Made. I look forward to any comments, general or insightful, on this or any other of my works.