Having Said That…

I fully stand behind every word I wrote about using multitudes of fabrics from various collections when sewing, to really revel in the color and the chaos, but having said that, today I’ve been working with this:

It’s the new Sherbet Pips line from Moda, due out in April.  I grabbed an advance bundle at Quilt Market and have loved the whimsy and the lightheartedess of the illustration.  I’m also totally nuts about red and pink color combinations right now, and I love that this line puts them together in a way that’s not too saccharine–I think it’s the pops of mustard and cloudy grey that offset the sweetness enough to make it less juvenile.  So for all that I harped about working outside of a single fabric collection, I’ve been using just this one for the day.

And I may have proved my point.

I began by working on a pattern of Ashley‘s: her bento box design. I love the vibrancy and the excitement that the mix of colors provides, and I was totally digging on the irregularities and surprise of the layout.  I figured it’d be a great choice for this collection, with its tight color palette, to let the patchwork design itself be the star.

I began by putting together the initial frames:

Cute, right?  I assumed, with a somewhat smug spoken-only-to-self attitude, that the bento combinations would be stronger, and was excited to see the difference when I laid these squares out again after quartering them and mixing up the design.  It turned out like this:

I don’t hate it but, somehow…meh.  It doesn’t move me.  I actually like the first version better, and think it does a stronger job of showcasing those central prints and framing them up.  I like the strong repetition of the few colors in this collection, and think that’s too broken up in the bento design.  At the very least, it’s nowhere near as strong as this, Ashley’s original:

Somehow the chaos is more full-fledged in her color combinations, and despite the fact that I was very nearly totally random in my fabric selections–only editing when I was putting two pieces of the same color next to one another–the lack of variety really seems to take the spice out of this piece, and I don’t feel nearly so smug now as I did while I was working on it.

Just goes to show that I was right all along: any time you begin to suffer from hubris at the sewing machine, any time you start to think, “This is going really well–I am awesome, and will totally finish early!”, it’s time to STEP AWAY FROM THE MACHINE, because things are about to go really, really wrong.  No worries.  This was really just an experiment, not particularly a test of my desire to work outside of one collection exclusively, but a little R & D to play around with fabric and ideas.  It has given me permission to be really, really crazy next, and I’m pretty much completely looking forward to that.

Happy experimenting, y’all!

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  • Rachel at Stitched in Color
    November 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Thank-you for sharing this with us. It is so helpful to see the before and after. P.S. I LOVE that new line. Can’t wait to plan a project with it =)

    Oh, and a question: If one is going to be experimental with using a variety of collections in one project, don’t you think that necessitates a fabric stash? You can’t really plan ahead for these things. And you need lots to work with, don’t you think? Is there a recipe for a well-balanced fabric stash that would support this kind of approach?

  • Rachel at Stitched in Color
    November 12, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    P.P.S. I still haven’t managed to take a look at your book. Hoping the library stocks it eventually =) I’ve recommended it to a new-to-sewing friend and she’s getting it for Christmas.

  • Janimal
    November 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    “Well-balanced stash” she said. Ohhhh, those sound like magic words! I have a loose set of rules at the moment to try and keep my stash from getting out of control. I have basically two rules, nothing comes in unless something else comes out, OR nothing in unless it has a specific project in mind. This is harder than it seems!

    I made an online order from Whipstitch last night! I justified them like this: First some that are for planned projects: Three home dec fabrics to make Frenchy Bags as holiday gifts (can’t resist that Innocent Crush by AMH). A couple knit fabrics to make tops for myself that coordinate with some skirts I am making.

    And – I am making a skirt using 3 different fabrics, so I justify replacing with 3 more fabrics back to my stash, so that freed me to buy a couple prints of Innocent Crush velveteen and a cotton lawn by Alexander Henry.

    Now, if I fall in love with the velveteens or the lawn, I can buy more of THOSE, and that doesn’t count, because it’s just more yardage of the same thing!

    I’d love to hear Deborah’s thoughts on managing a stash (and still be a good customer of course!)

  • liveacolorfullife
    November 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    First, I can hardly wait for sherbet pips but april seems like a long way off. Second, I think I like your first blocks better as well. Ashley’s had a lot of white. Do you think you would have liked it better with some solids? Just curious on your thoughts.

    • Deborah
      November 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      I thought of that–especially since I’m really into solids most of the time. On the whole, it’s that the central print is too broken up for me, though, and I’m not sure solids can fix that!

  • dana
    November 16, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Oooo, I love it! Yes, that pale turquoise is just lovely with the red. All of this is making me want to actually make a quilt….does that mean I’m want to be nesting? that I want to get pregnant? hmmm…..
    Beautiful work Deb!