Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fabric or design? (A "the chicken or the egg?" question.)

Which inspires you first - the fabric or the design?  Do you fall in love with a fabric and then have to figure out what to do with it, or do you canvass the shops with a design in hand?

 I just bought a fat quarter collection that prompted me to ponder this thought.  I was prowling Ebay in search of a Moda fabric from a couple of years ago when I came across a 34 piece fat quarter group of Moda's Morris Tapestry by Barbara Brackman.  Now, I haven't been actively looking at the online stores because I was trying to cut down my fabric purchases.  The only reason I was searching for the original Moda piece was because I didn't have enough in my stash to finish a project. But there they were, 34 lovelies just begging me to buy, beautiful blues and purples and greens, accented with a bit of aqua and gold.

But I couldn't splurge without a project in mind.  I simply couldn't let myself buy more fabric to join the already burgeoning shelves in my sewing room without a plan in place.  So I fired up EQ, downloaded the swatches from Moda (by the way, a GREAT thing, to be able to import images of all the fabrics in a collection) and started fiddling around. 

I remembered a design from a Carrie Nelson book I have that I always thought was pretty but didn't like her choice of fabrics.  So I grabbed that book, sketched out the blocks and started coloring in the patches.  It didn't take long before I had a color scheme figured out.  And here it is:

Of course, that necessitated buying more yardage for the border and binding!  The outer border is wonky because I'm trying to decide whether to put the ribbon design fabric lengthwise or crosswise.  Usually I would orient the design along the length of the border but I may get crazy and do it the other way.

All these blues, purples and greens look so fresh after the autumn and Christmas colors in my last projects.  Almost spring-like.  Too bad that it's not spring!  It's a strange combination of summer and early fall outside.  It's still 100 degrees (103 two days ago) but leaves are starting to drop from sheer heat exhaustion and drought.  The word from the weatherman is that our fall won't be as pretty because of the dryness of the summer.  It hasn't rained at my house in 30 days.  But in my sewing room, there will be flowers blooming. 

3 comments:

BJ in TX said...

Love, love, love your color choices in the EQ7 quilt. )I have that program too - isn't it great?) I take it you bought the fat quarter assortment?

Linda said...

I too love your fabrics and I think the pattern is perfect.

I guess I do both, but I usually fall in love with a fabric I see, then figure out the pattern later.

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