Auditioning From The Scrap Bag

I’m starting a new larger piece, aiming to submit to Quilt National. Entries have been open for months, but I’ve only just focused in the past few days. Most of the times I have been selected for QN, I’ve made my entries in the last few weeks before closing, so I’m more or less on my accustomed schedule 😉 With the book club and my mahjong group in recess for the duration, there’s little social activity to interfere with it !!

Auditioning from the scrap bag

Late last week I began dabbling with samples and fabrics, but for one reason and another, none of these urged me to continue in this vein.

Left – strips of pieced stripes; Upper right: what can I say; Lower right: segments oversewn with (a) cream and (b) flourescent red – too much wrong with this idea.

At first I thought cream background with cream thread would be great … but the result is quite blah, though it took me 3 different samples to be convinced. I do think that would look lovely in greys or gentle sunset/sunrise colours, even though ‘soft colours’ aren’t my thing. Never say never. Slices of pieced strips aren’t ‘it’ this time, either, though I sewed one piece with cream, another with gold and the third with light silver/gold. Metallic threads definitely need a dark background to literally shine. Finally, the upper right hand sample needs more experimenting: there’s no drama, although there could be, and this idea needs more work, which would take time I don’t have.

Late on Sunday afternoon, I found some marvellous overdyed fabric that I thought a whole lot of red and purple/darkish shapes would look great on. I assembled the reds, called it a day and was all set to start stitching today. But in the shower early this morning, a different image came to mind; one with serious meaning and an apt title. The result was I felt I had to totally change my fabric ideas again, for the third time. I think this might be the first time I have ever had a title for a quilt before the quilt is actually under way.

The fact that I found some fabric I’d completely forgotten about, and by sheer fortune had a reel of matching thread, convinced me I had done the right thing by changing the fabrics/thread combo yet again. It took several hours to put the previous lots of fabric away, and then turn out the scrap bag to pull pieces of the things I now needed: hand dyed fabrics in warm earthy colours, with no commercial prints and, interestingly, no commercial plains this time- they just won’t work, even though I normally mix them all. However, I found lots of scraps of hand dyed fabrics plus some yardage of several colours, so now I have plenty of ironed fabrics gathered ready to do a sort of mosaic type of design using the oversewn technique that I’ve recently found so agreeable.

This quilt has a dark theme, one to do with this dreadful pandemic, so there will be no clear bright colours, and nothing with any white in the fabric. It’s not that I’ve become stricken with depression or anything, it just wouldn’t be appropriate, given the title and imagery.

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2 Responses to “Auditioning From The Scrap Bag”

  1. kathy loomis says:

    So glad you finally figured out what to do. I got a laugh out of you saying you’ve almost never had the title for a quilt before it’s finished. I almost never start a quilt without having the title first!! (wouldn’t it be boring if we all worked the same way?)

  2. Barbara M Hilford says:

    Totally agree with Kathy. I start with the title …and I have to admit, sometimes a draft Artist Statement….as few words as possible. Good fortune with your work, I also make quilts with meanings. 😁

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