Monday, January 1, 2018

Resolution for 2018

Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions this year? I have not made any New Year's resolutions for a while (because the UFO ones in particular were not at all successful*), but this year I have one:

Four new, small, wall quilts


I have a few bed-sized quilts I've started, where I tried to "push the envelope" with edgy colour and fabric combinations, that are giving me a lot of trouble. In 2017 I've spent a lot of time quilting, unpicking, and requilting Picnic. And I've changed my mind about the binding several times. But the bottom line is that I've realized it's a fun, vibrant quilt that's going to be hard to live with. As a large quilt it is just overpowering. But, don't worry, I'm still finishing it!

Then also in 2017 there was Moth in the Window. Within the blocks, some combinations worked really well,

...and some didn't.

But I realized that my real problem was the pink background I'd planned:

It's warm and pretty, but I can't live with this on a bed, the energy level is just too high. I've noticed that the blocks look quite good on the solid grey background I've used for the photos, so I'm thinking some kind of grey blender (not totally solid) will be much better here.

Remember Brinton Hall? Same problem:

My plan to was to applique this centre section onto some bright blue Kona solid. I couldn't let go of that idea! But, it was going to be too, too much on the bed. (Just right this minute I've realized that a dark neutral, maybe even brown, will be the way to go here. Aha! Once again, the benefit of blogging.)

Anyway, it seems to me that the solution for the future is to try out the more energetic colour combinations in smaller quilts. That's what I did with Daydream Baskets,

...and that worked great. And even though it was a busy time of year with the holidays, it's also already a finished top.

So, I want more of that. At least four more! Some piecing, some fusing, but all are intended to meet that "non-trivial" criterion that I mentioned last spring. This resolution is really a continuation of that train of thought. With Daydream Baskets, even though it is just one block, I am satisfied that the improv piecing and the bold colours give it enough personality to hold its own on the wall. That is what I mean by non-trivial. It captures and holds your attention.

And new bed quilts will have to be somewhat calmer. I've been looking at the 2018 BOM at The Quilt Show, "The Patchwork Barn" designed by Edyta Sitar.

At first I thought that all that blue was not my taste, so I was relieved that it was off the table! But then...Barbara Black, who is going to be blogging the project all year, showed the civil war reproduction fabrics that she planned to use for the quilt. And I didn't love those either. Of course, the natural question became, what would I love? For me, that is The Most Dangerous Question. I had three ideas in quick succession:

  1. Brights on white, in the style of Lori Holt. Can you imagine the cheery red barn and bright multicoloured blocks?
  2. 30s reproductions on solid cream, a softer vintage variation of the first idea. A very very tempting idea...
  3. Then I started to think, most of the old barns around here are a lovely weathered silver grey, and wouldn't that be nice with the coloured blocks? Or...what if the whole quilt was neutrals, similar to Kyle's elegant version of the 2017 BOM, Halo Medallion? Grey and taupe on white, with a small hint of green and gold...a real challenge to get it right, and it could be really beautiful. Ack! Sold.

So, between the four arty wall quilts, my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts, this new BOM and all my UFOs*, the year is looking pretty full. I have no schedule, and I don't mind if I get behind on the BOM (sometimes that works better). Once I get Picnic out of the way there are several other flimsies that I'm raring to get sandwiched and quilted. But the four small quilts will be the top priority. It's going to be an exciting year!

*Oh, and yes, I've come up with an 18 in 2018 UFO list too! That'll be on Wednesday.


  1. I tried working smaller last year and it was MUCH more fun. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  2. I understand about the challenge of choosing a suitable background and sashing. I have so much difficulty there. That is why I usually go along with the original colours. No stress there.

  3. I'm working through the same issues with bed quilts. And I have several wall quilts I want to work on. Good luck with yours.

  4. I've had to give myself permission to make smaller quilts too. And there are definitely some quilts I've finished where the color combo is not something I'll appreciate laying across my bed! Oh well, much easier to give those away. I think the key is, not to quit playing with those intriguing colors though. Then we'll just get stagnant!

  5. Gosh, I loved hearing what you have planned or are thinking about for the new year. I get excited with the planning stages and even auditioning possibilities. Your use of the bright colors is delightful. I loved hearing your color ideas for the BOM. Ooooo, which directions will you go?!?

  6. Great minds again...I was thinking of a gray palette as well for the TQS BOM. I really like the quilt and the blocks are traditional piecing and not hard. I have collected quite a few Japanese taupe fabrics that need to come out and play. There is a range of color in them, albeit subtle. There are pinks, greens, and blues in addition to taupes, grays, and browns. Hmmmm.....just maybe. Right now, though, I am on a mission to finish En Provence from Bonnie's 2016 mystery. Seems a shame not to as all the parts and pieces for each clue are done.

    By the way, I love all your work and personally don't think there is too much color. You are right about Moth in the Window as sometimes the definition disappears if the values are close and there is a lot of pattern going on with the fabric. You have a good eye, though,and can self edit. Not everyone can.

  7. I’ve been drooling over that Patchwork Barn quilt, too. But it won’t be happening for me unless I clone myself, so once again I’ll enjoy the process vicariously through you! xo

  8. This sounds like a plan! I especially like your idea of a neutral/grey version of the BOM; it should look very classy, and you will have the wall quilts in full technicolour to balance it out.

  9. Seems to fit with your previous year’s division of artistic and utilitarian quilts ( not sure I’m using your terminology). One of he joys of blogging is being able to trace the learning curve.


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