Tuesday, May 6, 2014

starting the rainbow

Now I don't know about you, but I find it hard to make a quilt based on one I have previously made. Sure I have already done some thinking about the quilt so you might think it would just be a case of finding the fabrics I used the last time and just using them in the quilt. It should just go together quickly--almost like a kit--right?

Well, for me it isn't so simple. First each quilt I make takes on its own personality. I can't really describe it but I have to get into that zone. Let the quilt speak with me. Then of course I am using so many different fabrics that if I don't have just one fabric, I have to rethink every thing else. Of course.
Finally there is the internal pressure I feel to make it just right. After all, I want to give the customer the very best quilt I can. I do feel this obligation.

In this case the quilt is rainbows of the dawn which I made a year ago. You may remember it. The colors flow and roll in lovely blues and purples with just that tiny accent of yellow that holds it together.

rainbows of the dawn--45x45"--quilt--Ann Brauer

This quilt has a happy home. But it wouldn't have worked for the customer anyway. She needs a smaller quilt. More horizontal than square.  OK--I have to rethink that. It is also a quilt that I do not remember how I made. The colors just sort of flowed as I pieced it. And I am clueless as to how that happened. Ah, the magic of art.

This will be a challenge. But I know she wants the quilt. So I tell myself to start with the yellow. Shouldn't be that hard, right?  I cut out some of the yellows that I have and start sewing.

Not bad. But is it yellow enough?  A little too cool a color, maybe? Don't I need just a bit more warmth here? So I test some fabric.

Too red and busy isn't it? That will just dominate in a way that I don't have the space for. The yellow row will be just a hint in this smaller quilt. Each piece counts for so much more in a condensed quilt.

That works on that side doesn't it? Just a hint of warmth and pattern that cuts through the pale lemon yellow of the first wedges and highlights the greenish overtones of the swirling piece.

Yes, much more subtle isn't that? So I sew it together. And keep adding. One block at a time. Each one different but also based on the similar theme.

Yes, that will work. Enough bits of light to add sparkle. Enough warmth to help tie the quilt together. Time to start the next row. At least I have started. It does feel like such a long road ahead. But I tell myself--one block at a time. Here's hoping that it works.

How do you start? Do you find it hard to make a quilt based on another one.

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