Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Study of Pink

A few posts back I mentioned the Rouenneries fabric line that came out in October and posted a picture of the charm pack and some of my "stash" fabrics that I thought might work with it.

Well, I have been playing with it quite a lot lately; in fact, as painters have done studies of objects or styles in their paintings, I have been doing a study of this fabric line. It has some unusual colourways in it - a very different, and what I think, very old-style European pink we have not seen much of here in North America. At least I haven't! And may I mention the taupes...

And through all this I have discovered what I think is the best use of a Charm Pack yet; to learn about a particular colour or print-style you may not be familiar with. Of course it does have it's limitations, size being one of them, but that isn't much of a negative if you ask me. What they do best is provide a variety of prints in colourways and combinations you may not have tried before and in playing around with them on small projects you can learn a lot about what a fabric will and won't do before investing in yardage. Fabrics you would have discounted on the bolt for one reason or another have a better chance of being used when presented in a Charm pack. So far I have discovered two prints in this line that I didn't like before but are now my new favourites - everywhere I try to place them, they sing.

I love fabrics that do that! Whenever I use them, whatever I make is wonderful and I salvage every scrap of the leftovers.

One of my all time favourite fabrics is one that looks like lace. I have used both the front side and the back in several projects over the years; this fabric also dates back to about 1995 and as I am now getting down to the dregs, have become very judicious in it's use- but it never disappoints.

When I started playing around with the Rouenneries fabrics I decided simple was best and since I had to come up with a project for a friend that involved no measuring, I kept the charm squares whole. Perfect I thought - this really would be a study of colour and print - no quilt pattern to interfere.

And it was fun! And here it is...

My treasured fabric is the narrow inner border - everything else is from Rouenneries.

I learnt a lot about grey and taupe from this and armed with that I am venturing into my own stash and doing what quilter's do - adding a little of this and a little of that to make it my own.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What is Your Colour?

Colour is a fascinating subject for me.

I have pondered it, played with it, taught it and cursed it!

Colour seems to be a real stumbling block for a lot of quilters and often you will hear the old lament " I am no good with colour!" in any given corner of any given quilt shop in any given town - well, you get the idea.

This morning I was doing my usual blog reading (I like writing mine but I love reading others) and my favourite, hands down, is Bunny Tales at Bunny Hill Designs. I like it for a number of reasons, most of all, that Anne posts so regularly! She writes well and has great photos but it is the regularity that is key I think.

Anyway, this morning she had a post about Colour Horoscopes and provided a link to a website that was very interesting. Being a horoscope junkie I had to check it out - my colour was not at all unexpected - in fact, oddly enough, several new articles of clothing are in exactly the shade of smoky lilac/plum that was depicted. How cool is that?

Anyway, here is the link to Anne's post http://bunnyhill.blogspot.com/2009/11/i-love-that-color.html and from that you can hop on to the Colour Horoscope site - who knows, it may open up your very own rainbow of colour!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pen & Ink

Sometimes when I want to make something I have a pattern in mind and often times, I know exactly what fabric will lead the way. Other times the fabric is all I know!
This is one of those times.

The fabric below is one I have looked and looked at, unrolled a length and then rolled it back up again without making a purchase. I'm drawn to the images encased in the circles - they are like little "snapshot" drawings within the whole and the fabric has an almost "painterly" feel to it.

What has held me back is the amount of light background showing through. Fabrics like that can be a bit tricky, depending on what you do with them. And I never had a plan.

But now I do!

I want to do something that can incorporate more of the little drawings, but as nothing is available to purchase, I will have to come up with my own. I am thinking I will need to use freezer paper as a stabilizer and I have a good selection of Pigma pens in various sizes and colours so I think I am ready to begin.

No clear-cut plan in mind but a willingness to let the design lead me.

That last line sounds good, probably reads well, but if the truth be told, it's hogwash!

If I have an idea in mind, I will stubbornly fight to preserve it, regardless of where any of the designing process wants to take me. I have a heap on the floor of my sewing room that is testament to that stubbornness. I tell myself that I am leaving them be while I think things through a bit and will come back to them when I have figured it out. Really though, they aren't turning out the way I want and I am still seeing them for what they aren't, rather than what they are. It seems I am still too attached to the outcome to just sit back and "let the design lead me"!

What about you - open-minded, or stubborn?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In the Pink!

Today I am seeing pink!

In all my digging into old fabrics these past few days I came across this treasure. I purchased it from Wineberry Fabrics in Vancouver long before we left the Yukon (which makes it at least 15 years old). It is a linen cotton blend and it grabbed me right away! I had no idea what to do with it so I bought .3 of a metre - thank heavens it's 60" wide! The main reason it hasn't been cut into thus far is that it has never really gone with anything else.

But I am a sucker for fabrics that are faded and look worn from the get-go.

And now I have the perfect thing to go with it! Beautiful grey, taupe, pinkish, sage coloured fabrics with soft muted patterns of florals and paisleys. They can be a bit dull on their own but this fabric seems to brighten things up without being harsh.

And I really like it!
And I've been waiting to use it for a really long time!

The first cut was the hardest - with something special it always is - but now I am happily whacking up into squares and triangles, content in the confidence that
it is being used in the best possible way and so glad to know
that should anything untoward happen to me, it won't land in a garage sale
and get made into a Hallowe'en costume!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I've been playing with fabric lately. Not really an unusual thing for me to be caught doing, but the fabrics are a bit different from what you would normally find me pawing, patting or petting.

I am inspired by all things French these days. After all, it is a lovely country and full of inspirational items. But what is really inspiring is the new fabric line from French General, "Rouenneries". It is full of red, pink, grey and beige so in a sense, it is a monochromatic fabric line. Not a typical thing for Moda to do, but nonetheless a beautiful range of fabrics. And what to put with it, you ask? Why toile, of course!

And that is what I have been playing with.

These are just a few of the toile-type fabrics I have in my cupboard - there are many, many more I need to dig for. I have been collecting them for years, never quite sure of what I would do with them but that didn't hold me back - or my wallet! And I have seen a few lately that I may need to go back for...

Below is a piece of the linen-cotton blend from the Rouenneries line, as well as the charm pack. I have a few ideas and have done a sketch or two.

I have also dug out some beautiful antique carved mother-of-pearl flower buttons from Paris that will need to be taken into account in any design ideas. The colour of them is perfect with this fabric and my mind is whirling with ideas.

I can't wait to get started!