Wednesday, August 16, 2017

summer rainbows

I've been in finish-it-up mode in both my yarn and fabric pursuits trying to get works in progress cleared out of the queue. That makes it sound more formal than reality - there is no 'queue' but there is certainly mental and physical occupied space. That said, I've done a really good job of it the first half of this year, which I will continue to write about in the coming weeks, and am happy to be back at the point where I can let myself think on new things.

After the great quilting finishes of 2015 (six!), especially the Christmas marathon of three, I slowed down on the quilts and worked on some smaller sewn items and mostly worked on whittling down my yarn stash last year. Finishing my Retro Granny has given me the space I needed to start thinking about my next quilt.

I think for Christmas, but in any case as a gift, my mom got me a book on French Braid Quilts. It's an interesting construction technique, somewhat related to the log cabin block, that the author provides a general tutorial on and then showcases variations on a theme across the rest of the book. 

The really satisfying part is playing with fabrics and coming up with just the right 'run' of colors that work nicely together. I didn't realize this at first because I started out thinking I'd work with just one collection of fabrics that I'd gotten myself some time ago (Mustang by Melody Miller for the curious) and jump right in. Once I started arranging things though, I quickly realized that all the tidbits in the tutorial were totally true - smaller prints are better than big prints, directional prints only work in some cases, and the choice of order is important in making the whole thing look cohesive. 

Scrapping my original plan, I went back into my stash and brought out some of the Indie prints I have as well as some purple batik. I didn't start with the intention of a rainbow run, but in the end I think I've got a bit of a slant rhyme to a traditional rainbow that works out quite well. It will be staggered across the quilt in the pattern that I chose, so hopefully won't end up looking too predictable or on the other hand too muddy and mixed up. I'm sure with some more careful fabric choices for the rest of the elements it will end up looking pretty cool. I'm happy with the initial half braids I have so far!

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