Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fabric on my mind

Or to be more precise, the combination of patterned and solid fabrics and squishy batting into a quilted object. I've been reading The Modern Quilt Workshop over and over, and leafing through Denyse Schmidt Quilts at the bookstore. I would love to make a quilt, but find it rather intimidating. Not the sewing and quilting part, though I'm sure I'll complain if I ever get that far. I'm just having a really hard time in choosing colors and patterns that look good together. I've been collecting pictures of fantastic quilts I found on the internet and just marvel at how beautifully they work. My favorite has to be the verb quilt by Jane. This surprised me as I always think of myself prefering subtle colors, but the simple squares and the vibrant combination of the red and soft blues takes my breath away. It's beautiful. Very different, yet equally stunning to me are these wool& cotton quilts on Denyse Schmidt's website. They remind me of some of Mark Rothko's paintings.
Whenever I get into something new I often make it hard on myself by starting out with something difficult, which in the end gets tossed into a corner for lack of success. I'm getting tired of these sad ufo's taking up space and decided on starting with a small object. Man, I think I'm growing up! My hot-water bottle needed a cover, I'm sure some of the funny dreams I have come from my toes touching the cold wobbly rubber in the middle of the night. I got some cheapy cotton fabrics at Joann's, all in pink and aqua (my current obsession), made a pattern by tracing the outline of the bottle and added three or so inches on each side. It's a bit misshapen. But here you see my dilemma with the fabrics. It's too bland. I think it's the fault of the top print, because its background is the same pink as the solid on the bottom. What do you think?
WaterBottleCover
Let's not even talk about the quilting. At that point, I just wanted to have a one-night project, hence the boring squares.

19 comments:

yuki said...

I'm the same way-- I tend to start with a difficult project, even on my first venture into a new craft. I took a quilting class back in my first year of college and am *still* working on the project I started then... that was almost ten years ago! It may be my first and only quilt.

Have you seen the book, "Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts" by Jinny Beyer? The quilt on the cover is amazing!

BTW, I enjoy reading your blog-- thought I'd finally come out & say hello!

yahaira said...

you finally made your waterbottle cover!

Im with you, I think you need a little more contrast in there. maybe break up the pinks

Anonymous said...

I fell victim to the too-complicated 1st quilt. It's been sitting in my sewing basket for years and it makes me angry everytime I look at it. I think that starting off with the water bottle is a *very* wise move!

By the way, I came across your blog the other day and have to let you know how much I enjoy it! A bit of sewing and a bit of knitting...and your FO galleries are awesome. (I think I'm now going to add Aimee to my project list as well as some knee socks for the fall).

Areli said...

I think it's pretty cute. I read somewhere that you need to have a light, a medium and a dark color. And a small, a medium sized and a large sized print. I always thought if I ever made a quilt that would be a good starting point.

Angela said...

Cute! I need to make one of those for my mom. Do you still want to try to hang out this weekend?

erin said...

I can identify with so much that you're saying today. I have been thinking of quilts too and got a copy of Denise Scmidt. It will take me a long time to work out which pattern, colours and the how-tos.
Your bottle cover is cute. Maybe what you're looking for is to pick something along the lines of the turquoisey blue to give it a bit of contrasting zing.

valentina said...

I'm afraid it does look washed out. But hey, it's useful and gave you an idea how quilting is done.

Anonymous said...

Well I think your water bottle cover is quite in keeping with the Denyse Schmidt quilts. But then, I find them bland and lacking in contrast.

There's no comparision to the intense tones in the verb quilt. She's used mutliple shades of red and even the soft blue gets intense in parts. You just can't get that much variety in a small area like a water bottle cover.

That said, I do like your hot water bottle cover and I think it looks comforting and cozy.

LaurieM

Nadia said...

Fast projects rock!

Balwearie said...

Kaffe Fasset is the colour king. That said, the little red square in the middle of your hwb cover ads a bit of contrast. If you really want to jazz it up (not that you'd remake it because it's just fine the way it is) you could make the red more intense or use something like brown or orange.

BTW, absolutely love the Weekender bag!

Stacey said...

If you can do the weekender bag, you can so do a quilt! Just start with a simple block and maybe 2 fabrics/colors - keep it simple to start! The fabric choices can be so overwhelming!

Amelie said...

I agree with stacey: your weekender bag looks so great, you can certainly make a quilt! I started sewing/quilting about 1.5 years ago, and I still haven't finished the quilt... but actually only the binding is missing and I currently lack the time to do it. After getting there eventually (...), I'd like to do something similar to the projects from the Modern Quilt Workshop -- I love that book!

Shelina said...

That is a nice cover. The red does add contrast. I saw a fabric selection article in a magazine recently where they were trying to limit the contrast. So it is what you like. If you want more pizzazz, you can applique something - or just sew on some buttons or ribbon or something. I think it is fine as it is for a water bottle cover.
I too was terrified about starting quilts because I was afraid I would select fabrics that wouldn't work right. I found that asking for advice from everyone I knew helped. I picked some fabrics, then asked people what worked and what didn't. Just throw them on the floor, and look at them from a distance, like it is a quilt rumpled on a bed. The quilt will look different, because of the varying amount of fabrics, but will give you an idea.
The best solution is to make lots of quilts, so you aren't limited to any one fabric selection. Start lots of new quilts.

bekka said...

despite the lack of contrast, it's still a lovely water bottle cover.

start with a lap quilt and then work your way up to one to fit your bed. or a baby quilt, those are so daunting, though i haven't finished the one i started... just too much knitting going on with me.

Becky said...

It's a damn sight better than the red rubber! How about some snazzy embroidery to spice it up?

KnittenKnots said...

You say bland, I say soothing...very calm color combo - great for a hot-waterbottle cover if you ask me.

Dana said...

Mir gefällt die Hülle. Das kleine pinkfarbene Stück in der Mitte ist ein guter Kontrast und bringt Spannung in die zarteren Farben.

Und nach deiner umwerfenden Weekender Bag kannst du wahrscheinlich alles nähen, was du willst - sie ist so perferkt, dass mir hier vor dem Bildschirm regelrecht der Atem stockte. Trotzdem verstehe ich deine Zweifel was das Anfangen von neuen Dingen betrifft. Mir fehlt immer die Lust, etwas länger zu üben, ich will gleich beim ersten Mal Perfektion, und das ist nicht gerade eine realistische Vorstellung. Denn man lernt doch immer wieder Neues und denkt plötzlich an Details, die einem vorher entgangen sind. Insofern war die Wärmflaschenhülle doch ein guter Start!

Stephanie said...

Ah quilting. I'm going to venture in to the world of quilting very soon. I've quilted a bit before (quite awhile ago now that I think about it) and am in love w/ one of the beginner quilts in The Modern Quilt Workshop. But, I'm with you - very scared about choosing fabrics. We have a good quilt shop in town, so I think I'll throw myself on their mercy and hope for the best. As for the waterbottle cover - it's great. Maybe a fabric with pink as the accent color would have made you happier, but it is a successful, quick project!

blossom said...

i'd love to make a quilt one day, and i do want to acquire that book as well. the comtemporary quilts in the book are so tempting. your bottle cover looks great, very homey, really. i think that's what water bottle suppose to make you feel.