zaterdag 2 april 2016

The Splendid Sampler™ 14 - Flying High

Although the design of this Splendid Sampler™ block is fairly simple, I had a hard time picking fabrics. My fabrics are quite bright and a lot of them have a busy and quite large pattern, which makes it hard to use them for small appliqué motives: the outline of the figure tends to get lost in the busyness of the pattern. I also hesitated to use one fabric as a background. I was afraid the pattern might distract from the gulls. I considered using just white and pink solids, but I thought that might make the block too graphic compared to all my other blocks, so it would stand out like a sore thumb in the final quilt. I took a look at Janet Clare's work on her blog to inspire me, and found this image I really like:

Charming Gulls, by Janet Clare
I decided I would try and copy the effect of the gulls being dark against a light backdrop and white against a dark backdrop. I remember trips to my grandparents' seaside apartment as a kid, and watching the seagulls rise and fall from the large living room window on the third floor. I was fascinated by how one bird would seem bright white against the dark grey of the North Sea, and a moment later soar up into the sky and become almost black against the white clouds. I loved drawing and often wondered how you would draw a flock of gulls, all white, but somehow some white and others black. Of course, the palette for my quilt is not at all "North Sea-esque". It even seems garish against Janet Clare's subtle shades of sand, sea foam and stormy skies.But I tried to recreate the game of light and dark with my fabrics.

My first attempt, got 47 votes, and came in third.
 I pieced a background like in my inspiration piece, but used the pinks, purples and blues of my palette. I like the colors, but not that the top bird gets lost in the background. So then I tested some other schemes, and put pictures of them, and my first version, on Facebook, asking fellow Splendid Samplists for their honest opinion.

20 votes.

57 votes, second place.

100 votes, a clear winner!

21 votes.

So I'll guess I'll be appliqueing the white birds this evening! I also bought batting yesterday. I was out in Leuven on Friday evening, since the kids were at my in-laws. So we went to buy trekking shoes (the Azores in September!) and batting. I had to laugh at an article I read about choosing batting. When I go to my quilt store and ask for batting they hand me a bag of queen sized PolyDown, because that's the only batting they have. Yesterday that surprised me by asking what size I wanted: queen or king! I live in Belgium, where quilting is not a big thing like in the US, so my 'quilting store' is really just a tiny, stuffed shop which stocks quilting, sewing, knitting and embroidery supplies in one. Although it's not a specialized quilt store and the stock is very limited compared to what I see on the internet in the US, I still love it. It's like stepping into Aladdin's cave, with all the colors, and textures and sewing goodies. And when you see how tiny it is (about the size of my living room), you can't believe how they get verything in there AND know where to find it when you ask for it! So today I started on the sashing , I can't wait to start putting my top together!

Blocks for the first row.

The top left block has sashing! The four blocks on the bottom right will find a home in one of the following rows, and the one on the bottom is a reject (too small)

Tallying the score for my Flying High blocks, and a Tiny Ticker Tape block I made for the sampler!

And here is the final block, all finished and ready to join it's friends in the Splendid Sampler!

Flying High!

In the basket, with my other finished, unsashed blocks.

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