Friday, June 19, 2009

Fabrics for land and sky

Back in March I posted about making fabric grass... today’s post is about choosing fabrics for the rest of the landscape. This project will be code-named LIQ for now since it’s not yet the time to get too specific about it. It will consist of a series of whimsical quilted scenes with various characters running around, such as Jenny. Below is a simple mockup of three fabrics intended to convey grass and sky.
I like the look of this overall... bright colors, interesting but not overwhelming patterns. But it is also clear that it would be ever so dull to use the same fabrics and grass colors over and over in each quilt. In a comment about the fabric grass post, reader Margaret had suggested using orange or red embroidery floss for grass, and that got me thinking about also using tones of yellow, gold, etc. to represent grass, farm fields, and wildflowers. It naturally has provided an excellent excuse to go into fabric acquisition mode, as evidenced below:
You will also notice in the sample (top) that the sky is not blue, but is a white tone-on-tone fabric. In the bird samples shown here, the sky is a turquoise blue. While I love blue, it seems to darken the whole image too much, while the white sky makes a nice contrast to the land colors. Of course plain white seems a tad, well... plain, so I’m also looking for white fabrics with a pattern either in white or a fairly pale pastel as shown below. It’s difficult to see the pattern on the white ones, but putting a blue or lavender fabric underneath will bring it out, hopefully.Notice to fabric manufacturers: Where are the white fabrics with pastel patterns? They’ve been very hard to find so far, but next week we’re making a trek to the largest quilt store in Florida, Rainbow’s End. They have over 20,000 bolts, so there should be some options available there(!)

As you can see by the photo to the left, my stash contains a good selection of various other colors to work with, just need to fill in a few gaps. In general the fabrics for this project are quite different than what I had been buying for my other art quilts, which are not
especially whimsical. What LIQ requires are geometrics and graphic patterns with clear colors, not painterly or natural patterns with an “artsy” look, for lack of a better term. Hey, I’m just doing what the art tells me, you know?


6 comments:

Diane J. Evans said...

Loreen -- WHERE did you ever find such an incredible collection of greens and yellows??? I would LOVE to add fabrics like these to my stash, but I can't find them anywhere. Can you enlighten me? Many thanks!

Diane

Sherry Rogers said...

When I get more time I want to go back and explore you blog more to see if you have posted some of your fabric projects. I love fabric. Nothing better than going into the fabric store and running your hands all over the fabrics. . .

Takes so much patience to quilt.

Your collection of fabrics is truly delightful.

Loreen Leedy said...

Most of the greens and yellows are from The Quilt Place in Rockledge, Florida (www.thequiltplace.com). They have an online catalog, but I doubt most of them are on there. A few of them are from the 1910 House Quilt Shop in Hogansville, GA.

I agree it's difficult to find good greens and yellows. They seem to be too harshly bright or too subdued much of the time.

Beena said...

One thing you may want to try if you can't find the lighter fabrics you are looking for, is to look at the backs of different fabrics. When doing a watercolor quilt where value is everything, some of the backs of fabrics have that "bleached out summer sky quality" that works well. There are more midtones and darks, and brights available on the market. Flip those over, and the backs may be just the thing you're looking for.

I have been to Rainbow's End. A very fun and fine quilt shop. Although I think Byrd's Nest right here in Ormond Beach Florida is just as big, and has an equally monstrous amount of fabrics! Have a ball at Rainbow's End, Loreen! And if you ever get over to this part of Florida...

Beena said...

I bought a bundle of those greens and yellows from that Rockledge quilt store, too ! The owner was a vendor at a show over this way! Too funny!

Loreen Leedy said...

Byrd’s Nest is great... went there about 6 months ago. They claim to have 6,000 bolts on their web site. Haven’t been to their Flagler shop. I also like The Quilt Shop of Deland and Fireside Quilts in Sanford. In any case, what is fun about all these quilt shops is they all seem to have different fabrics. The variety is pretty incredible, really.