Saturday, January 8, 2011

stumped--the refrigerator chronicles

Guess what? I was stumped. I had been making a wall hanging for a lovely couple for their anniversary gift to each other. The room is light and airy but intimate. There is a lovely piece of glass on the coffee table--ivory and lavender. Shades of pink and plum. Rich colors that sweep and swirl. The brown and rust quilt I took down looked perfect but brown is not the husband's favorite color. As I wrote in my last blog post, I made one quilt--gorgeous piece but I think it is too brown, too dark for the space. Ugh!!!

What to do? The anniversary is coming up soon. I want to get it done. I have lots of other orders to do. I remember that they also liked my quilt rainbows of summer. Obviously it is too bright for the location. The blues don't work in that room at all. It needs more browns and gold, more reds and plum. There is a soft Oriental carpet in the space. I review the pictures I took of the space.

Hmm. Time for a trip to The Textile Company, even though their sale doesn't begin for a week or two. I pull out so many fabrics I have to apologize to the staff--of course they don't really mind. Carol says she has never seen me so puzzled about a quilt. There are a few fabrics that are the right color--some of the reproduction fabrics are in very interesting combinations. Taupe and gold. Wonderful mauves. There are some wonderful new fabrics with great swirls of color.  I buy anything that I think will work. Keep looking and find a few more bolts that will do. Still not sure exactly how I will make the quilt.

When I'm stumped  I tell myself--make what I know. I know the yellow. Actually the couple wants it a bit more gold. A little less intense. This I can do. Then the next row. I cut lots of fabric and start piecing. I don't want it too bright. Try to avoid the blue lavenders. I listen to The Splendid Table on the radio--a fun show that I enjoy. They have a frequent challenge--list five things in your refrigerator and see if the hostess--Lynne Rossetto Kasper--can create a dish that you would actually want to eat.

Yes, this is what the answer is. I will go through all of my fabric--pull out anything that might work. The refrigerator challenge. A bit of gold, a little pink. Hints of mauve and taupe. What does it look like?

I come in early. Barely eat lunch. Get the colors for a row together--spend time on getting that palette right and then I sew.  Of course I have to look through almost all my fabric piles to get the ones I want. Go through the tiny strips I have previously cut--will this one work? What about this one? Check out the drawers of browns. The piles of reds. Even go through the blues.  This seems to take forever. Then I sew--this is the quick part. Keep going and repeat until finished. Now it just needs the green at the bottom. There is a bit of green in the room. A bright green plant. I don't want to be that bright. I pin up pieces of fabric, step back, squint.

Keep sewing. Try to include lots of colors in the green. Some browns, hints of rust. Remember this quilt is for a space above a sofa. It will be viewed from up close as well as a distance. I want it to be interesting.

Wow--I love the colors. They do almost glow. Up close so many different fabrics. Several used only once. Now to sew it together. Oh not my favorite part. Lots of seams. Long rows. Sometimes I fool myself. As I sew I think--what five items from my refrigerator would I try to stump Lynne with--peas, eggs, lemon, yoghurt and orange juice. Parmesan, bacon, bread, milk and humus. What about the orange marmalade? Lynne said that cooking schools use this approach to get students out of the ruts we all tend to get into. I like this concept.

And you--what do you do when you get stumped? How do you make the quilt? And if you had to choose five items to stump Lynne Rossetto Kasper what would you choose?


  1. The green at the bottom just makes this quilt, doesn't it? Let's hope the husband agrees!

    What do I do when I get stumped when making a quilt?....hmmm....doodle, sketching out some other patterns using the colours I have originally chosen, maybe grab another completely random colour out of my stash to see if it enhances the quilt better, or if all else fails, take a small break and go do something else - usually putting some paint down on one of my watercolours.

    Now, for Lynne: shredded coconut, balsamic vinegar, anchovies, tangerines, & rye bread.

  2. I agree the green really does tie it together. And as for your refrigerator selection--they would definitely be a challenge.