August 30, 2016

Snowball Quilt; the Diamonds

My design wall is bursting into full bloom.

I'm well on my way to making a snowball quilt. My wall is covered with squares of Kaffe, Amy Butler and several older traditional prints from my stash. Lots and lots of cutting from lots and lots of different fabrics. Putting them up on the wall is like watching a fabric garden bloom. Love it!

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt, Springleaf Studios

Before I cut any fabric, I cut white paper squares to represent the diamonds. Then I fussy cut the blooms. See this blog post for my fussy cutting method. As more and more fabric blooms went up on the wall, I ran out of paper squares and decided not to bother with any more.

It's interesting to see the difference in the layout with and without the white diamonds. My first reaction was that the section without the white diamonds looked flat. The floral squares alone seemed incomplete. However as more and more squares went up I liked the look better and better.

Here's a section with the diamonds.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt, Springleaf Studios

And here's a section without. Which do you prefer?

I don't really think one is better than the other. It's more a matter of what you're after in a design. I actually think a really large quilt of simple squares would be quite stunning. Especially one that included several of those big blooms with the dark background. They add depth and a focal point that helps to break up the overall surface. At this point in the process I have not played with fabric placement. Only cutting squares and throwing them up on the wall. Distribution of color and fabrics will come later.

My original plan was to use white for the diamonds but before committing I tried another fabric from my stash. A small black and white dot. This quilt will be used in my guest room where I've used a lot of black and white decor. At first I didn't like the dot. The white paper stood out so much that the dot looked flat. But the more dotted squares I added, the more I liked it. It's more subtle than the white which allows the blooms to really stand out. Plus, the little tiny touch of black is just right for the room.

Kaffe Fassett, snowball quilt, Springleaf Studios

Even though I grew to like the idea of all squares, perhaps that's another quilt for another time. Right now I'm making a snowball quilt.  A snowball quilt with black and white dot diamonds. This process reminded me of how important it is to continue to fine tune and work through design issues as you go along. If I hadn't bothered with the paper diamonds I wouldn't have had a good idea what the final quilt would look like. It's good to see all the parts come together. It's also good to be flexible if those parts aren't working the way you envisioned. Be open to making changes along the way. You just might discover a whole new concept that's even better. Or at least different and equally worthy of being made into another lovely quilt.

I'll be back soon with a post on how I decided on the size of the corner squares plus how I sew them.

Love gardening with fabric. Just wish my design wall was bigger so it could hold even more
beautiful flowers.   : )