Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spice Blend

This is a technique that I first used for some exhibition quilts nearly ten years ago. Why oh why, when I enjoyed making those quilts so much, did I wait so very long before using it again? Heaven only knows! But I did have fun making this quilt. And now I would like to dedicate some time to making more quilts this way. The first quilts that I made were from fabrics that I really didn't like. Ugly dogs of fabrics that I cut into one inch-ish strips. The strips are then sewn string-quilt style directly onto batting. The resulting fabric is cut into pieces, rearranged and the pieces zig-zagged together. I very deliberately don't trim any threads or neaten anything at all - the mess and tangles all add something to the finished quilt. I was surprised to see awful fabrics changed into quilts that I actually really liked! The fabrics for this quilt were more selectively chosen and I tried very hard to keep to the palette - not an easy task because...

...this is not a palette that naturally excites me, I will admit. I'm not a big fan of spice colours alone, however, I do enjoy them very much when they sit beside jacaranda blues, wisteria and lavenders. At first my plan for this quilt included little fragments of those colours scattered throughout. However, once I had pieced the spice fabrics together, there was no need to add more blue/purple - the Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I had used already have just the right amount of those colours in them. I think more blue/purple would have been superfluous and possibly distracting.

I still can't quite believe how much I enjoyed making this one (having left it until the Eleventh Hour, as usual!)!

13 comments:

Gerrie said...

I love the movement of the darker colors to the lighter. The colors you chose are perfect. I am loving the saffron yellows. I would wear this. These are my colors, when I am not wearing blue!!

Diane said...

This not only sounds like it was really fun to make, it LOOKS really fun and is a delightful abstraction of blending spices. Makes me want to go dig out 1 inch strips and play with this! Very fun (and I don't see a single dog fabric in there but maybe that's the beauty of this!)

JB said...

I have a feeling a lot of us will be trying the technique you described. All the fabrics play well together to make a very vibrant whole.

Karen said...

You are right about the litle bits of contrast, it works so well. This quilt is really fun to look at, there is a lot more going on than what you see at first glance.

Deborah Boschert said...

Those are TINY pieces! I am thinking about the measurements and figuring that each of those bars is barely bigger than a quarter of an inch! Yowza! This quilt could easily be 48x48. The movement of color, the fabrics, the texture of the loose threads... it's all so dynamic!

Kristin L said...

I love any opportunity to use Kaffe fabrics and you have picked the perfect one! Those prints add just the right amount of spark to the palette. Love it!

Françoise said...

Love this piece Kirsty. And now, I know why I was keeping all those tiny little fabric scraps. Thank you!

Brenda Gael Smith said...

Delectable!

PS: At first I thought this was a Nikki creation! Maybe sometime we should post anonymously and keep everyone guessing.

Carol said...

I caught a quick glimpse of this 'in the flesh' yesterday and was blown away! It's fantastic Kirsten.

Terry said...

The colors are GORGEOUS in this piece. The saffron yellow is perfect. I love the feeling of texture and movement. It loves woven and quite 3-dimensional.

nicolette said...

I really love this piece, it’s so rich of colours and since I’m a Kaffe fabric addict of short, I love to see those fragments!

I sure want to try the technique you used!

Terri Stegmiller said...

This is a fun and lively quilt and it looks like a design technique that I'd love to try. I love the idea of leaving the threads and bits for added interest.

Renate said...

I love the joy of this piece; the joy in the technique, in the fabric selection and in the placement of each piece.