If at first….

Sometimes when I start to make one quilt, I wind up with two.

auditioning fabrics

Does this happen to anyone else? I think it occurs for me when I have an idea about using certain fabrics together and it becomes obvious over the course of time that they just don’t go. I like juxtaposing fabrics that might not go at first glance but sometimes at second, third, and fourth glance…. But when they don’t meld, it really doesn’t work.

For instance, I had picked up some gorgeous hand-painted Japanese-inspired fabrics at last year’s Denver National. I just loved them. They warmed my heart.

And I wanted to combine them with some large floral designer prints. Natch. I love those too. And that kind of worked. And then I added some panels of very large koi prints. And whoa! That was a bad idea. A mega bad idea.

Removing the koi, I still wasn’t getting an image of what the quilt should be. Normally I pull fabric, audition it on my design wall, and I just know what I should do. It cries out for the blocks I should use.

But the remaining fabric was not doing that. I think part of the problem was that I didn’t want to cut the hand-painted fabrics up too much. Some – okay. But not into little pieces.

Meanwhile the rest of the fabric was screaming, nine patch with interior windowpaning. Noisy though that was, I could see it was indeed the right thing.

trying to combine two

And the hand-painted fabrics were saying SIMPLE BLOCK. Maybe even a very simple version of the bear’s paw, if you eliminate all of the little triangles. Ah yes, I could see that.

So I started combining painted fabric with large prints to get the faux bear’s paw blocks. And big florals with busy little florals to do the nine patch. I liked what I was getting. I figured I would alternate nine-patch and faux bear’s paw, and have quite an interesting quilt.

Well, that didn’t work. At all. Too much to look at, is my guess. Which is when I realized I was making two quilts. Okay well then I needed to do something to make the individual blocks in each quilt stand out. This is why there’s windowpaning, right?

corner grey w paning

But even that proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. Initially I wanted to use a simple print to unify the tops. I chose some grays and auditioned them. Boy did they take the tone of the quilt down. Huge mistake.

Then I decided to piece windowpaning, creating a crazy patchwork to do between the blocks. This I LOVED for the nine-patch. And it destroyed the faux bear’s paw.

I finally realized that the bear’s paw formed its own fake windowpaning with the long stripes at two of the edges. So I took advantage of this. No windowpaning – just the appearance of same.

The two came together pretty quickly. To my deep delight and chagrined pleasure. I mean, the fabric knows. I just have to keep listening to it. The nine-patch became Jubilation! She loves me again! And the faux bear’s paw: Meet me at the corner.jubilationcorner