Friday, April 15, 2011

weekend project

Resurrecting yet another OLDIE Quilt top! (old posts here)
This was a quilt I put together from two stacks of layer cakes of Kaffe prints... 
when I originally did it, i thought... Who on earth made this quilt, it's so not me!
Well, I did, and I ran out of black, so into the BOX of forgotten quilt tops 
waiting for more black to arrive...

I think I've gone through 8 yards of black in the meantime...
I was still not happy with this quilt, and thought long and hard about 
what I could do to make it ZINGY!  I finally put the outer 6 inch border
of black around, and once I did that I knew what had to be done. 

There was plenty of MEDIUM tones, and the nice bright yellow to pop,
and it just needed a DARKEST DARK amongst the patterns to make it all POP.

Do you know what people mean when they say LIGHT MEDIUMS AND DARKS?
Look at this quilt in Black and white...
Lights mediums and darks does not mean, 
PINKS, lighter tones of color.
And DARKS can be anything that has a strong VALUE of color.
It might be a red, or blue or purple or brown or orange...
it always totally depends on what fabrics you are using..
Do you see how all the red, purple, and even the black floral prints,
when you turn the image black and white, all those colors go gray?
I thought it was a big muddy mess when I looked at it before
I even looked at it in black and white.

Even though I had BLACK in it, it wasn't enough.
By adding a SOLID black, and more of it,
it now reads as the darkest VALUE of the quilt. 
The PINKS AND YELLOWS are reading as the whites...
and all of the other colors, red, orange, green, purple pink etc all read as mediums...

VALUE = is how light or dark a color is
Does this make sense?  I get asked questions about this quite a lot...
If any of you took photography in high school and developed
prints the "old fashioned" way... with chemicals,
you know in printing a black and white photograph you look for your
brightest white and your darkest BLACK to make a good photo.  
You then have a whole long range of colors that make up the gray tones...

Same sort of idea.
Now with the Aplpique, I am singnig a new tune over this quilt. 
It finally has that 
"ZOWIE!" feel to it! 
Boy what a difference that made!

So I sit here now with a KING size quilt in my lap trying to applique these bits on....

 Including my BELT from MY SWEATER! LOL!
Girl needs a hoop over here!

Have a fabulous weekend!


  1. One of my guidelines for deciding if a photo is "great" in my mind is to turn it B&W to see if I still think it's a winner...I need to remember to do this more often with quilty projects! And even I'm not so young that I didn't enjoy developing B&W photos in HS photography class - that was SOOOOO relaxing! (and in spite of the stinky chemicals)

  2. great explanation, but the last pic is priceless! i have appliqued quilts to my blue jeans before...

  3. Zowie is right. I thought it a beauty before, but with the applique you will have a Great Beauty! Love it. Thanks for sharing it, and for the value reminder.
    And a wonderful weekend to you, too!

  4. It's beautiful! Thanks for the helpful info.

  5. I'm shy on lights and darks in my stash. I guess I'm a medium! Sometimes we don't know what a quilt needs and then the light bulb goes on! Another beauty. Have a great weekend.

  6. Wow! That quilt is absolutely gorgeous eye candy. The applique is a wonderful addition. Great lesson too! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Ha ha ha! I quilted my skirt to a section of a quilt I was doing once! The black flowers have really pulled it together, it's gorgeous!

  8. You are amazing. The applique just absolutely pops this! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow, talk about transformation with a simple added element! You are right it was pretty but missing something and you nailed it! Just goes to show it doesn't take much to reah a design "tipping point".

    Thanks for that tip about photoing in black & white. What another good "distancing" technique when you are not sure what's bothering you about a design.

    Another great one!

  10. I liked it before, but now it's spectacular...not sure about the belt though!

  11. Zowie indeed! What a spectacular finish. I just love it.

    I use a little gadget that is like a reverse telescope to see how my colors are balanced. I'll have to try the black and white photo trick.

    And I too have sew things to my jeans! Have a great weekend.

  12. I love the last photo! So fun when the light bulb goes off and we just know what comes next.

  13. What a difference the black makes. I love using black, it gives a nice contrast to most colors.


  14. I often like to use that trick of turning the photo into black and white. And now in the age of digital it is easier than ever. The quilt is just gorgeous! Hurry and finish, I can't wait to see it in person... wink, wink... oh minus the belt from your sweater though.

  15. Fantastic idea.
    Very ZINGY!!!
    Andi x

  16. FANTASTIC! I think I have to go look at some of my old quilts.

  17. The applique makes it perfect! I absolutely love it!

  18. Love the applique details, they take the quilt to a whole new level.

    The thrill of thos "pow" moments is one reason love quiltmaking (in spite of all the other moments that lead to use of the seam-ripper).

  19. Yes! Black is fabulous like that. I just wish my eyes could see to see it more easily. For me hand sewing blck is best done outside in natural light.

  20. Sewing your sweater into your quilt reminds me of the time I was cutting paper snowflakes in my nightie....ended up with a peek-a-boo gown...but it was cool!

  21. What a cute idea V, it ties it all together. I just love it!

  22. I think it is most amazing to take a good quilt and do something simple like you did and make it great. I need to look at my own quiltmaking and think about this.


  23. LOL. And I started in high school. I appliqued my Home Ec project to my flannel night gown. Brought the whole think in to class for a grade.

    Still do it from time to time. And now I sometimes sew random items to the bottom of the quilt on the machine and don't find it until everything is finished.


  24. reading the comments glade other people sew their clothes to their quilt! that was great to show the difference and what a change it makes me look at my current quilt differently it is missing something and I will try this :-)

  25. Way to go to make it how you like it. I think I sometimes just call it good enough and quit even though I may not be completely happy with it. I guess I really need to go the extra mile!

  26. Woohoo! You really got it all goin' on here, girl!

  27. you took beautiful to the next level!!

  28. Wow V, you are a genius - the black applique is the cherry on the sundae (everything relates to ice cream, right?), fabulous! And I agree, not having light-lights or dark-darks in a quilt is a common aspect of many ho-hum quilts. I use a reducing glass, but I love the black and white photo idea, can't wait to try it - thanks!

  29. Lovely! Adding the black border and applique just makes the whole quilt look so crisp!

  30. Outstanding quilt. Don't remember reading about it on your blog. And your links to the "older posts" don't seem to be working. Do you remember the pattern or is it an original? TIA.

  31. I enjoyed this post a lot. I do a lot of critical "editing" of my quilts mid-stream. I probably wouldn't have finished the quilt top in the first place if I were disappointed with the emerging results. This gives a great idea for a "rescue, and motivation to push through, even on those quilts that don't feel like masterpieces.

  32. I really enjoyed your explanation, and the pics that went along with it. I have visual perceptual and reflex issues. The thing the black applique did for me was give my eyes a place to focus, to rest. I am very succeptable to my eyes jumping around...tracking disorder. The applique, in the picture, and I'd think in person also, gave a focus to all of the business of the fabrics. I do love busy fabrics and have the same problem when making quilts.

    I love reading your insites. Thanks for blogging :o)

  33. sooooooooo love the black flowers!!!! That might be what I need for a top that needs SOMETHING... BIG top too... in ORANGE... well other colors too

    ps... I'm playing...and I should be making a quilt for my area at quilt market...but I"m not.. wink!

  34. Oh yeah that black really makes it all pop and come together.....I have appliqued quilts to my pants before......Honestly I just feel like cutting out the patch from the pants and leaving them in place to remind me not to do it again! but we all know I'll do it again!

    You've been a busy lady!

    Happy sewing

  35. Thank you for a great lesson on value and creating interest in a quilt. The black petals gave such a great sense of direction, and I think that focus helps you see the fabrics better.

    I always like your posts and your color sense. They are inspiring.


  36. You just made a beautiful quilt fabulous! Love what you did with this one!!!!

  37. I have many moons of quilting under my belt but when I look at your site I am still learning .
    I love this quilt with a passion . --cottonreel

  38. I loved this quilt without the applique, but WOW!! Did that spice it up even more. Now it really is a keeper. Great job.

  39. The black enhanced the beauty of the fabrics and your design in the quilt....who wouldn't treasure that lovely quilt on their bed or somewhere where everyone could see it! Loved this post....very good.

  40. Since I was away last week I am way behind in my blog reading. I'm speeding through my reader but I had to stop here and tell you that the quilt is fabulous! But you know that already. :)

  41. Favorite novelty print?
    Muffintops ~for today…
    Plan to buy next? It’s so cute I’ll buy more to make pillowcases for family (gals) and need to find something for the guys too.
    Chocolate cupcakes for my sons’ birthday Saturday.
    LOVE that black appliqué on the bright colors!

  42. hi! I'm wondering what pattern you based your quilt on? This is the floral prints with the black pieces you are appliquing on top?

  43. Hi Becky,
    You are a no reply comment so i am replying here.
    I don't use patterns, I make them up as I go... I started making the middle square piece and it just grew... if you look at the OLD posts, there is pics of how this quilt emerged... happy sewing!

  44. My goodness what a beautiful quilt! And you are totally on with the black added to just sings out now! I could look at this quilt all day........I have never used the black and white photo technique before, but will be using it in the future......thanks for the tip....


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