Monday, September 12, 2011

Dealing with a large scale print

So all of you quilters out there know the siren allure of a striking large scale print fabric in the quilt fabric shop and then the inevitable crushing confusion of "now what the hell do I do with this??" when you get home and start to plan/sew. Hah! I have succumbed to this too many times to say. I'm particularly fond of the designs of Jane Sassaman and Kaffe Fasset. Love those large, unusual florals! And the bright vibrant colors! Man, its just addictive. I can't help myself--just gotta have'em.
I have a couple of strategies that seem to work pretty well.  What I do is make a large border with it or focus in on the individual motifs and use them in the center of your blocks. I've used both of these strategies in this traditional quilt. A huge Gerbera daisy head is in the center of some of the blocks, just left whole and unpieced. The border is a lovely chard leaf print and is also left whole and unpieced. I call this one Tropical Floral Sunset Major and it currently lives in the somewhere in the Tampa area.

Here's another quilt with large scale prints. One in the center of the round insets in the of the blocks, and a couple more in between the blocks and then another surrounding the blocks. This one is called Solar Mandala and is quite large (like, about 7 feet across or so). In fact, it grew so large that its the only quilt that I've had to send out and have quilted for me. It was just too big to manage for my regular sewing machine (needed a long-arm).

So, currently I'm working on something a trifle smaller and easier to deal with--8 small wall hangings with a large Gerbera daisy in the center of the single blocks. No, not the same Gerbera print as above. But, yes, obviously I love Gerbera daisies. They are so sunlike and happy. The cool (and challenging) thing about this print was that these flowers were on a black background. And you know how I feel about brights and black, right? right? Its AWESOME! What's not to love?? So here it is in all of its glory. Great. Lovely. what the hell do I do with it?
Keeping this one simple and relatively small--I've trimmed out individual daisies and framed them with strips of bright matching or contrasting funky fabrics. Then a frame of black and then strips above and below in a random sequence.

Unfortunately, the colors didn't reproduce well. Sorry! But you can see the progress. I'm chugging away at these. And since I'm just sewing on straight strips on top and below, its pretty easy to sit down and do some pinning or sewing for short quick periods of time. I'll post again when I'm finished with the tops. I'm thinking they will look striking in a groups. And with 8 to choose from, there will be a lot of ways to combine them.

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