May 7, 2013

ABC Quilt Progress - Choosing My Fabrics

So, the last time I wrote about my ABC Quilt progress, I set a few goals for myself. By the weekend, I wanted to:
  1. Have my alphabet designs all sketched out
  2. Have my quilt layout finalized
  3. Have my fabric purchased
Well, my weekend deadline came and went, and I succeeded in one of the three. It's sad, but that's not bad for me, Ms. Procrastinator. But, as usual, I have excuses for not completing them! One good excuse was an influx of orders in the shop for custom patterns and stitched items. The other excuses are discussed below.  :)

#1: All Alphabet Designs Sketched Out - In Progress
I was on track for finishing all my alphabet designs by the end of the week, but as I was sketching out Letter L, I realized that I hadn't left enough blank space around the edges of my block. After measuring and re-measuring, I confirmed that if I kept the current margins, my quilting stitches would go over my embroidery, which isn't what I want.

I spent a lot of Friday tweaking my block layout, trying to make all the text look even and leave space for the quilting stitches. After getting it all worked out, I decided that I needed to reprint all of my blocks and check to make sure the sketches I've already done will fit inside the new blocks. I plan to do this today. Originally, I wanted to have everything drawn out before I started stitching, but I realized that it's not really necessary. I can sketch the new designs as I go. Whew! It's nice to give myself a break sometimes.

#2: Quilt Layout Finalized - In Progress
I started out by sketching in a notebook and eventually graduated to the computer. I made a couple of mock ups for quilt layouts. Although I thought I knew what I wanted before started to put my layout together, I couldn't decide what I want to do with the border portion of the quilt. I was really stressing about having a "finalized" layout so I could calculate how much of each fabric I would need, but I decided to give myself another break here. I have a tendency to plan, plan, plan each little detail and that feeds into my procrastination - "I can't possibly start making X because I haven't planned out every possible detail in the project yet!"

I realized that this is crazy and the biggest reason why it takes me so long to finish (or ever start) my projects. To solve the problem of not knowing what to do about my borders, I decided to buy a little extra of each fabric so I can figure it out later. The extra fabric won't go to waste; I'll use it to make Little Man a matching pillow case. Damn! The decision to make the planning freak in me relax a bit felt so good!

Initial Layout Scribbles
Possible Layout

#3: Fabric Purchased - DONE!  :)
Before our house was our house, the old owners painted what would eventually be Little Man's room green and blue (two walls of each). When we found out we were having a boy, we decided to keep the colors. We like dark wood, so all of his furniture is espresso stained. When picking all our "baby stuff," we went with the colors that were already going to be in his room: green, blue, and brown. I still really like these colors, so I knew I wanted the same color scheme for LM's quilt. Colors, done.

I do not understand how to pick fabrics for a quilt - color value, scale of print, saturation of color, etc. - The thought of picking "the right fabrics" was starting to stress me out. I spent some time looking at pictures of quilts with similar colors to see if I could get some ideas, but I didn't really find anything. I went back through the quilts I've pinned to my quilting board on Pinterest, and I realized that I am really drawn to modern quilts. I love solid colors with bold stitching. After this realization, picking my fabric was easy. I decided that I would get solids. It took me a while at the store, but I eventually found the right colors. LM even helped pick them! He insisted on the blue I chose, and that led me to the one print I bought for the binding. I'm hoping the solid fabrics will let the embroidery be the star while still being interesting.

ABC Quilt Fabrics
I have a lot of work to do on this quilt to get it done in time; there are only 17 days left between now and his birthday party! Having the fabrics purchased really makes the whole project feel more "real" and takes away some of the excuses I could have for delaying more. My next progress post should include some actual stitching. If not, please yell at me!


  1. so fun to see how your quilt is coming along with all these in progress posts. good job on sticking to process pledge that you spoke about before :)

    1. Thanks, Juni!

      Writing about the process has been a lot of fun.


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