As you may recall, when my bundle of Alison Glass Indigo Handcrafted fabrics arrived, it spoke to me. It demanded to be used as the ocean in a quilt and it suggested that a seahorse might be a good idea for the foreground.
The design was always going to be large scale. I guess that the initial reason for this was that I wanted to make good use of the fabric bundle, but there was more than that. I didn't want the designs on the indigo fabrics to swamp the seahorse.
I wanted the different shades of blue to represent the many shades that can be seen when light glints in the water.
I wanted the small round and cross designs on the fabric to be like particles floating in the water.
I wanted to flying geese to mimic fishes.
I wanted the straight lines to appear like seaweed.
The question was how big could I make the design and still work with a fat quarter bundle of fabrics. I took a punt and decided to make the quilt 50" x 50". A small amount of fudging was required to make it work, but I am glad to say that I didn't need to buy any extra fabric.
When the quilt was finished I had a small pile of scraps left. Considering how much I loved the fabric, it seemed a shame to waste to them.
I decided to fly by the seat of my pants and see if I could get another block out of the fabrics. I had a small amount of oakshott cotton in rich blue colours which could come to the rescue if required (they weren't!).
My plan was to experiment and have fun so I chose to sew another seahorse, but a 14 inch one. I thought it would be a fun to see how the scale of the fabrics affected the finished result.
I'll admit that I wasn't sure how well it would turn out. I was a bit worried that the seahorse would be swamped by the designs on the indigo fabrics, but it turned out better than expected.
Each time that I make rules about fabric selection, I end up changing my
mind in the future. When I first started paper piecing, I couldn't
imagine using prints
as I thought they would interfere with the designs. Then I learnt to use
blender fabrics and now I throw all sorts of crazy fabrics in there. I
guess that this is the reason that I am reluctant to build up too a huge
fabric stash. Yes it's convenient to be able to pull any fabric that I
want at a moment's notice, but tastes change and what I like now is not
what I liked a year ago.
When it comes to fabric and colour selection, I tend to trust my gut. I generally have a rough plan, but it is never ever cut in stone and there is always a lot of wiggle room. It's definitely fair to say that I make it up as I go along.
That said, ignoring my gut can be important at times. It can lead to inspiration or it can lead to mistakes and if nothing else, I invariably learn from those mistakes.
I'll continue to use my scraps and to play and to have fun with it. Who knows what will come next!
I'm linking up with Leanne and Nicky at Scraptastic Tuesday