Friday, June 17, 2011

On sticking with your instincts

When I first picked the fabrics for my Kitchen Windows quilt, I was drawn to using a light blue fabric for the sashing.  I had planned on purchasing it at a local quilt store, but they didn't actually have any (one of the many LQS conundrums* I have found recently).  So I bought another light blue fabric with a darker texture to it. When I got it home, I pretty much hated it.  The textured look of the fabric totally threw off the balance of the quilt, and the darker shade was anything but right in this context.

I eventually settled on Kona Solids light blue, but from the moment I paid for it, I felt fairly unsettled about it.  I really wanted this to be a soft palette with the pinks and grays and pop of red, and I wasn't sure if the blue would interfere with that.  I let the fabric and blocks sit for a couple months while I finished many other projects.

Last week I decided it was time to go for it.  I cut all the sashing, but the whole time I still wasn't sure if it would produce a quilt I would be crazy about or one that would make me crazy.  Well, last night I all but finished the quilt top, and

I am crazy about this quilt.  The blue was so right.  Even in this photo, the "big picture" feel is missing but hopefully you can see why I am so glad that I stuck with my instincts on this one.  Keep in mind that the binding is a pink/gray combo to tie that palette back in all the way around so as not to allow the blue to overpower everything.  I don't know if this follows color rules or not, but in my mind it totally does! 

In case you missed it, the Kitchen Windows quilt is one of the many patterns found in Elizabeth Hartman's book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.

*About those conundrums...why would a quilt shop not have a simple light blue fabric or even a charcoal gray or solid black, for crying out loud??  Both of our local shops are totally lacking in the solids department.
And another thing I don't my quest for an alternative to doing the quilting on my machine (see here or here if you're a new reader), I have found that [our] local quilt shops don't actually have a way for you to make a quilt.  They can give you names of people to do the quilting for you with a long arm machine--for which you'll pay with one of your limbs--but forget about having resources to actually enable the quilter to do the quilting.
Sewing machine accessories?  Yet another thing missing from the local shops. 
Sewing machines? nada.
OK, enough whining.  But really, do your local shops have any of these options?  Are my expectations way out of line??  Does someone want to start a LQS with me that carries solids and machines and allows quilters to do their own quilting should their machine fail them?

***UPDATED*** OK, so there actually is such a thing as a long arm rental!  I finally found a local "sewing center" that rents its long arm machine for a much more affordable price than having someone else do it (and you can still have the satisfaction of making your own quilt).  So, I have scheduled a time to take the class to learn to use the machine and I've schedule TWO days of quilting.  So now I really do have to finish all three quilts by next month in order to get them all quilted before baby comes.  Eep! I am so excited about this! ***consider this quilting drama over for now.  I'll spare you for a while.***

I need to get on with my day.  Happy Friday!!



  1. AWESOME! I need some more pictures! Please! :-) Just curious, but how much is it to rent?

  2. Just in case any one else is interested (I already emailed Sara a response), the cost at the sewing center to rent the machine is $20/hour, but you have to take a class before you can rent it. The class is 2.5 hours long and costs $35. So it isn't a cheap option, but with three quilts in the works, it will still cost a lot less than sending them all off to a pro (and more importantly will be much more gratifying)!

  3. Truly beautiful, Kelly! Can't wait to see it when it's totally finished. :)

  4. That is really pretty - I may have to grab that book.


Thanks for reading Irene Design! I try to reply to every comment, and if you have a specific question please be sure you include your email or have it enabled on your Blogger profile. Happy Sewing!