Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quilt-along: Decisions, Decisions

The Quilt-along has officially been in effect for 18 days now…and so far, it's a lot of fun!

No, I haven't actually made any progress on an actual quilt, but other people have! Elise has been cutting away, making a triangle masterpiece, and Katie picked some cute fabrics for her nephew.

It's been exciting to see what everyone has been cooking up, and the peer pressure of knowing that other people have gotten started, made me get my act together and at least start formulating my idea. 

The act of making the quilt is going to be hard enough, but I'm overwhelmed already just trying to choose what I want to do. I've been searching and pinning and have a general direction, but I'm still really torn on what buy and how to piece it. I thought maybe it would be helpful to share my options and see what you all think. warning…It's a little all over the place. And little is an understatement. 

The one thing I've settled on for sure, is that I'm making my quilt for the living room, for us to cuddle under while we watch TV. It's going to be roughly twin sized (maybe smaller by the time I mess it all up). It's not crucial that it matches anything really...It won't be a design centerpiece in the room- I just want it to be something that makes me happy every time we pull it out. Easier said than done.

First decision: Quilt design

There are no shortage of things out there that I love…it's actually the exact opposite problem. But I did manage to narrow it down to a few ideas. 

Option A: Deconstructed chevron

I kind of love this. It doesn't look terribly hard, basically making big strips made up of several diagonal pieces. And the semi random nature of it means I wouldn't have to stress about lining things up perfectly (or at all…) Still, since my last quilt had about 3 pieces total, this would be a considerable step up in the skill department. Not 100% sure I'm ready for that. 

Option B: Bar Graph

I'm trying to keep in simple, and after seeing a few plain horizontal stripe options, I imagined something like a bar graph, and googled to find an example. It seems like it would be pretty simple (minus all that crazy quilt stitching…) And it's a pretty modern look, which I like. 

But then I found this fabric I'm kind of obsessed with, and am now debating if I should use this as my inspiration. We'll call it: 

Option C: Variegated stripes

Cool right? I like the off center placement, and the different thicknesses of the stripes. 
Here's another example of how it might look as an actual quilt (you know…if I was good at this…)

And just to further complicate things…I have one more idea in the mix. 
Option D: Hexagon

More stripes, but I really like the hexagon design shown in the upper right corner, and how it morphs into stripes, rather than being a regular all over design. Downside? This would require a lot more effort- such as measuring, cutting, lining up, and sewing things with more than just a pinch of precision (which is all I'm afraid I'll be able to muster…)

So it's narrowed down, but still wide open. Let's move on and see if the next phase helps dictate a design direction. 

Second decision: Fabric selection

The idea I have in my head, is large scale traditional floral with bold colors, and bit of a modern edge and maybe a watercolor feel. After much searching (MUCH searching, and a cry for help to the #stitchittogether crew) I found a designer I love: Martha Negley. She's got some really beautiful prints, and there are quite a few that fit in with the look I have in mind.

Here are five favs from her collection- and a sixth from a different designer. 

I'm really digging the leaves, and like the green, pink and aqua versions. 

I know they look a little grandma-chic (and I'm maybe being a little generous on the "chic" part…but it is a matter of personal taste), but my idea is to pair it with a deep charcoal for the front, use a stripe for the back to make it more modern, and finish it all in a pop color binding. 

Love this stripe. Because of course I do.

Deep grey, and a fun pop color. 

So I thought Martha was the answer to all my problems, but then I found this beauty...

Social Climber in Gold- is that name perfect or what?

...And kind of fell in love. I'm not totally sure I'd still go with dark grey if I chose this one (I worry the orange and black might look a little too bumble-bee, or steelers-esque for my taste), but I love how rich the colors are. I do worry that the linear pattern of the roses might not work with the quilting ideas I chose, but then again, maybe it would be perfect. I genuinely have no idea at this point.

If I go with one of the Martha fabrics- or even several of them- I'm just having a had time choosing from all the options she has. And things only get more complicated from here: 

Third decision: Details

I played around with laying it out on the computer, which is helping, but still has me pretty overwhelmed.

Let's start with the side I'm loving: The back.

Cool, right? Simple. Modern. Easy. The part where the vertical lines are shifted in the middle was an accident from trying to tile two images together, but I actually kind of love that too, and might keep it as a part of the end design.

Now for the hard part: The front.
So far I've only played around with Option B (the bar graph). But I could easily shift it more centered to be more like option C, and I've messed around a little bit with adding hexagons like option D.

Originally I thought I would only use two fabrics for the front, one solid, and one print. I thought all of my stripes could be out of the print, and I would just cut them up so the flowers didn't line up, so you still got the effect of pieces, it would just be more subtle.

Option 1: All one fabric: 
(you have to use your imagination a little because I'm tiling one little snippet of the fabric as a mock up...the real pattern would be more varied, and less stamped since the repeat wouldn't be so tight.)

But I wasn't 100% sold, so I tried using a few different fabrics, all in the same tone (with a little pop color stripe near the bottom.

Option 2: All one color fabric:

But I kinda missed the flower idea, so I tried mixing them all together:

Option 3: All different fabrics

I like this one (though the green stripe in the center, and the grey one at the top aren't blending with the others as well as I'd like. I could skip those for the real quilt, or if the stripes were different thicknesses I'd use them more sparingly).

But I'm scared teh whole thing is looking a little too Vera Bradley/Sorority girl. Not that there's anything wrong with that...It's just the Green/Pink/Grey/Floral thing turned out a bit more preppy than I pictured. I was hoping for something a little more edgy and modern. I think the fabrics could still give me the look I want, I'm just not sure how to combine it all to make it feel funky and different.

I even tried the hexagon thing- merging it with the bar graph idea. I sort of like it, but I'm not sure it works as well as this hybrid as it did in the inspiration design. And even if it does, I'm really not sure I can make it in real life! (and it might be insane with all prints, and no solids?)

So what do you think? It's a lot to take in, and there are a million other things to think about, like binding color and/or pattern, and let's not even get into the stitching pattern yet (I put a simple diamond pattern on the mockups just to try it, but I'm not sold.) but if you have an opinion, I'm all ears. Check out the polls below, and weigh in. And if you've got other ideas, tips, or thoughts on why it's not quite coming together yet, please comment!

Which quilt design do you prefer?

Which details should I choose?

Which fabric(s) do you like?

All sources can be found on my pinterest boards: Fabric, Quilt and Quiltalong.
Follow along with the rest of the Quilt-along crew by searching #stitchittogether on social media.


  1. ok ok I'm giving in and joining! Too late to be added? Woo!

  2. oh wow. i have no idea. building up to a quilt post very soon. ;-)