Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project 11 - Inlaid Table Runner - Fabric Mock-Ups

I've been having a little trouble envisioning my finished quilt top in my chosen fabrics.  I see the fabrics, I see the design, but putting the two together still gives me a surprise at the finish.  Sometimes the surprise is not a pleasant one.

Making mock-ups certainly helps, but so far, I've been missing something.  I gave it another shot with this design, and am much closer to 'getting it'.

Using the pattern picture as a guide, I make an initial fabric selection. Next, I need to see the design.

Colouring in the blocks and laying them out, shows up the design.

What I see here, is that there is no dominant pattern - the intensity of the colour determines which part of the design 'pops' out.  Colour and pattern selection is going to be critical here.

I am more comfortable with tones than with mixed patterns on fabric.  While the main fabric I select has a pattern or theme, I prefer to choose tonals or subtle patterns to co-ordinate.  The times I haven't done this have been less than successful.  Check out my versions of Woodland Winter, Triple Rail Fence & Country Lanes to see what I mean.  Maybe I will get braver and better as I get more experience.

Next comes the difficult part of choosing the colours.  I also need to keep in mind the values of the fabrics.  I do this by taking a black & white photocopy of the mock-up blocks.

Here are several colourways from my 5 fabric selections.  I am liking the yellow/blue/mustard/green combo, also the one without the blue.

Turning the blocks around, gives a different look to the design.

Next I made fabric mock-ups to give me a better idea of how the pattern and fabrics work together.

I am concerned over using 2 patterned fabrics - the sunflowers and the green leaves.  Putting them together, I find that as the leaves are a tone-on-tone pattern, it doesn't dominate and also adds a bit of texture to the selection. I find the dark brown fabric, although it co-ordinates really well, and gives the colour a richness and depth, it over-dominates the pattern.  I think this must be the one to go. 

I am still working on values.  The values of the sunflower, blue, mustard & green, looks to me like light, dark and 2 mediums.  I am conflicted on whether the green is a dark or a medium.

Putting the whole lot together, the fabrics, the design mock up and the fabric mock up, gives me a really clear idea of what my finished top will look like. 

I like this but I am still considering replacing the blue with the dark brown, although by doing that I will lose my contrast colour. 

I think the sunflower gives the focus, the mustard blends, the blue gives contrast and adds punch and the green provides texture.  I have a co-ordinating border fabric (which I'll decide on whether to use when the time comes) and can use the dark brown as binding, and/or possibly a narrow framing border.

I hope I got this right.  Doing mock-ups is time consuming and it's tempting to skip it.  I don't always do them, particularly when I can clearly see the pattern in the design.  Using the method above, doing design mock ups as well as fabric ones, really helps to see the complete picture.

All the fabrics were purchased from chocolate-coated.com

Serenity Sunflower main & border RJR Fabrics
Green Leaves from Kona Bay
Fabric Fusions Blueberry by Robert Kaufman
Fabric Fusions Mustard by Robert Kaufman
Moda Marbles Mink

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