Saturday, March 26, 2011

Guest Blogger, BONNIE


I have always loved scrap quilts whether old or new. The one's I love the best have a balance
between harmony and tension.  The harmony makes you look and the tension draws you closer.
Too much harmony and the quilt is only pretty and too much tension and the quilt makes your 
eyes jump around in you head.  

During the 30's quilters wanted pretty to offset the tense times, quilters in the 90's wanted 
tension to offset the good economic times.  Each era will make quilts easier to date in the future. 
But about today there are tons of pretty fabrics and a trend away from black as the overriding 
neutral. Fabics that are black and white or white and black, whichever you prefer, jump right 
in your face. If your separate them you have harmony (white/light neutrals) and tension (black, 
dark gray).
Whether you pick a pattern or make your own, whether you do traditional or improvsational 
piecing, or some of both  you probably want your quilt to be you.  So the first choice is pattern 
which is made up of lines and shapes. Too many of either and the tension mounts up and too 
little can lead to monotony.  The balance between harmony and tension will mean you won't get 
bored half thru and put in the WIP pile. Besides do you need to prove you can make a thousand 
point mariner's compass except to impress others.
 Then come choosing the fabric (eek! color).  You can use only one fabric collection (harmony) 
but your quilt may look like it was made by the fabric designer.  You can use a thousand 
different fabrics (tension) but be so busy you can't look at it for more than 2 seconds. Again 
harmony and tension.  Use some fabrics from a favorite designer and some unexpected fabrics...
plaids or stripes,  colors not found in your main choice, i.e. orange and green with purple, 
magenta with dark blue, gray with orange, another designers fabrics especially if they have a 
different design perspective.  Use fabrics to emphasize the pattern. 
Actually the most important part of a scrap quilt is in the process (tension) of making it and 
the end result (harmony).  Just as our lives have too much of one or the other at times, we 
would like to live in the balance of harmony and tension (stress).

Your quilts, and eye for color inspire me daily. 
Your color choices, your willingness to try new ideas, makes for 
amazing unique "BONNIE" quilts!

 I should be home today! Maybe I can skip down to the Empire guild Show later!
if not today, then for sure Sunday! and MONDAY to the RED AND WHITE QUILT SHOW!


  1. Great insights - lots to think about!

  2. Lovely quilts!!! I love the last one very much with the dotty background and the plaid border...beautiful!!!

  3. Bonnie, I love your description of fabric choices and quilt making. Harmony and tension, what a great way to describe. Plus, I agree at how true this really is when looking at any quilt!

  4. You are so right about the harmont v tension! I really love the picture of the partly completed quilt, 8 point stars and circular stars. Is that one of yours? It will be a show stopper!

  5. You put is so well! I have never thought of it this way, but I know I like some "tension" in quilts. It draws my interest. Your quilts are really unique and beautiful--like you! I had a great time being your retreat neighbor. I hope we get to do it again!

  6. Amazing quilts! Hope you enjoy the Red and White Quilt Show!

  7. These scrap quilts are beee-U-tee-FULL! My scrap quilts... well...they usually turn out scrappy MINUS the beginning "S"!


  8. Yes, you are right about scrap quilts needing both harmony and tension just as music, Jazz in particular, needs tension and resolution. Your scrap quilts sing! Thanks for sharing your secret of success.

  9. I love the quilt at the top. It is a beautiful illustration of a good balance between harmony and tension.


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