Everyone knows I love scrap quilting. By the way, my second book is out. It’s now available at the shop or wherever you buy books. It’s called “Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers”.
Today, I am busily making step out pieces for the filming of an episode of Nancy Zieman’s show Sewing with Nancy, on PBS. I will be a guest on her show and it’s a two part series. It’s all about my new book. You can’t talk about my new book without mentioning the first one which this one definitely builds on. But, you also cannot mention scrap quilting without mentioning scraps. Scraps are the main and essential ingredient of a scrap quilt. If scrap quilts were a food, then scraps would be listed first.
But just which scraps we choose are just as important as the process of cutting and sewing. I don’t mean it just from a color perspective. Most people know that there are important factors involved when selecting fabrics and making choices from your bins. I define those as Color, Intensity and Spacing. Notice that I did not include scale. It’s important too, but that is further down the road. It will also happen naturally, using scale that is, when you are gathering your fabrics according to color.
Let me explain this a little further. Scraps need to be interesting. Let’s look at this as if it were the old fashioned food pyramid.
You’ve got your basic bread and potatoes at the bottom. That would be color. That is the first and largest decision that you have to make. Do you want your quilt to have a color scheme? If you do, then decide what kind you want. Do you want monochromatic? Do you want multi-colored? Second tier up would be intensity. Intensity is often times more important than color, but color is the largest overall decision that you have to make. Sometimes it’s actually paralyzing. That’s why I break it down the way that I do in my book. I break it down so much so that it’s actually easy to make the decision. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.
Third tier up: Spacing. I also explain this concept in both books. Spacing of color and intensity is as important as the other two, but it’s not as big of a decision–initially.
Now, for the point of this blog post–interest. I think that judges at a quilt show have a lot on their shoulders. But, one of the categories that is not in existence at shows is interest. How long did someone stop and actually look at the quilt? We’re saturated with quilts. We see them on blog posts. We see them on Pinterest. We see them on fabric web sites. We see them at quilt shows and at quilt shops. We can’t get enough. Yet we do get enough. But, how long do you spend looking at any one quilt? Interest. That’s what I want people to say about my quilts. They generate interest.
How do you get to that top of the pyramid? How do you get people to say that the color is right, the intensity and spacing are right, but is there interest? I want people to stop and stare at my quilts. Well one way of doing it is to add those quirky, odd ball pieces. But placement of quirk is important. Read on in my book. There are lots of ways of getting people to stop, look, and look some more. Don’t stick with a predictable palate. Be dynamic. Be interesting.
Check out this quilt in the book, I’ll bet you will find some interest here (and a little bit of quirk).