Friday, November 20, 2015

Ready for Allietare!

For several years now I've watched other quilters around the blogosphere sew one of Bonnie Hunter's yearly mystery quilts. I always say, "oh, that is too much sewing for me!" Plus, it is very, very, very hard for me to give up creative control like that.

But this fall I've been feeling like it's time to get over this idea that everything I make has to take forever. Many people finish one of Bonnie's detailed, bed-sized quilts in the allotted six weeks. It's time to break through my hang ups and finish something fast!

Bonnie's hotel room view in Italy

Plus, I was immediately inspired by the above photo from Bonnie's introduction to this year's mystery, "Allietare!" I love the yellow ochre walls! I remembered that Kaffe Fassett was also very inspired by those Mediterranean colours. In particular, I remembered this photo...


...from Kaffe's first book, Glorious Knitting. I've always wanted to make this sweater, but I look terrible in gold. So here's my chance to use the colour in a quilt instead! I have plenty of gold and ochre Kaffe fabrics.

Bonnie's mystery quilt colours will be gold, red, black, white and grey. All the colours can be made up from scraps except the grey, which she says should be a single 1.5 yard piece of fabric. I had everything except the grey in my stash.

So, if I'm going to make one change to personalize the project, the grey is the obvious place to make it. Since it's a mystery, I can only guess about the function of the grey in the quilt. If it's going to be a black/grey/white gradient, then I'm in trouble. I'm hoping that it's going to work something like the grout around tiles, a shadow to highlight the bright colours.

Thinking of the two photos above, and using a little colour theory, I thought that something between the blue sky and purple stars might work instead. I bought a blue/purple/grey batik, and a blue/purple print by Kaffe's partner Brandon Mably.

Now, which one is best?


Use your hand to cover one side at a time. Interesting, eh? To my eye, the batik on the left makes the reds and golds seem brighter, while the rings on the right seem to make them faded and dull.

In real life the batik is a little more green, and the rings are more purple. Before I laid them both out, I really thought the purple-y rings were going to be the right fabric, because shadows tend to be purple. But, if the purpose of this fabric is to lift the reds and golds, then the batik is definitely the winner!

I think there are two reasons. First, the rings have more contrast, so they catch the eye first and compete with the other fabrics. Second, the rings are flat, solid colours, so they seem on the same level as the red and gold prints. The mottled and shaded batik, on the other hand, looks much further away than the prints. So hopefully, more depth and contrast between the fabrics will create more drama in the finished piece!

Now I'm dying to see how it works out. One week to go!

10 comments:

  1. Enjoy! And post your progress frequently. I love yellow and mustard but like you, don't look good in those colors. Your fabrics glow. What a challenge mystery quilts can be.

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    1. I forwarded your previous post to my quilting sister (who doesn't blog.) She was delighted you like her Hawaiian prints. We both love your ginghams.

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  2. I definitely like the batik best! I am going to try to sew along with Boniie's mystery, even if I just make a few blocks for now. I did not have any gray and had to order some.

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  3. Mysteries can be so challenging. I tend to cheat and stay a few weeks behind so don't have any real surprises or disappointments. Quilts cost too much $ and too much time. I'm really not a party pooper, just cautious. So back to your fabrics, I like the batik best. It lets the other fabrics be the stars.

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  4. This mystery quilt is very inviting, especially using the Mediterranean colour palette as inspiration. There are pros of using either of those blues as the background fabric, and I find it hard to decide which one would work best without knowing what the pattern will be. I guess that's the intriguing bit of a "mystery" quilt. It will be fun to see how this all progresses.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I'm hoping that curiosity about how it will work out will keep me motivated through all the sewing! And it will help that I already love the colours and fabrics. :D

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  5. I thought much the same thing about your blues. The batik makes the other colors glow and doesn't compete as much. It's going to be gorgeous no matter!

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  6. best of luck with your mystery quilt, I am in 2 minds re the fabric, both work for me the blues are subdued but the Faffe fabric matches more, but it is difficult not knowing what the design will be

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  7. I'm for the batik - pretty much for the reasons you outline. It also captures some of the harmony of your original Mediterranean pattern. Good luck with the challenge.

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! Right now I'm trying to decide what I can finish before it starts, and what I need to push back into the New Year. But, I'm determined to stick with it!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

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