Monday, August 9, 2010

Oooh's and Aaahs!

I've been studying the beautiful blocks & quilts on this blog for many hours/days and been absolutely blown away by the incredible work--and stunned to realize how fast you all are!

Feeling guilty about being a lurker, I've asked to participate. I've been slow to decide, realizing this is a major commitment, and I have a tendency to jump from one unfinished project to another. But this one (I tell myself) will enable me to be more social in the evenings with my husband, appliquing nearer him instead of sewing away in the back bedroom. And this project will be just for me. I haven't yet decided which quilt I will make--currently vacilating between the Roseville and the new one coming out in September. I plan to use a brighter color palette, but that will also depend on what I find for my background.
I do have one question to ask. I would love to have some pointers as to fabric selection. Which fabrics do you find work the best (styles or patterns or whatever) or which do not work well for the individual pieces or even for the background. Are there any tricks or other pointers you've learned thus far that would be helpful in the fabric selection area? Any specific fabrics you use and think are "necessities"? Any other supplies you recommend as being must haves? I haven't appliqued in years, and it seems like there are so many new products and fabrics on the market.

Hopefully I'll have my fabric picked out and be making progress in September--until then I will be watching with deep appreciation and many ooh's and aahs. Thanks for including me!


  1. Hi there, Donna!!! Welcome. : ) We're glad to have you join us. I must say that something about Kim's designs cause me to sew with fabrics that I LOVE, but hadn't previously cut into.

    For my first project, Flower Pots, I eagerly pulled my stash of Kaffe and Amy Butler fabrics down from their shelves. And, cutting into them was AWESOME. I looked at the applique shapes needed for each block and would often choose fabrics with similar shapes to fussy cut - leaves, interesting circles and such... The large scale fabric patterns and bold colors felt 'just right' to me, and I loved making every cut and taking every stitch!!! ; )

    For my current, Roseville Album project, I am cutting into my collection of Oakshott and hand dyed fabrics. I have felt a bit intrepid about this. More because these fabrics aren't readily available to me or no longer being produced.

    So, my recommendation is to choose fabrics you LOVE!!! Kim's designs are a big commitment. It seems important to me to sew with fabrics that make your heart sing.

    I do needle turn applique, but with a tooth pick instead. I know that seems weird. I just don't have the fine dexterity to manipulate that thin pointy needle! On my Piecefully blog, I have some tutorials that you may find interesting of helpful regarding notions and such.

    Most of all - have FUN and enjoy your journey while stitching up a Kim McLean design. ; )

  2. Hi Donna,

    So glad you're joining the group! Love to see what you're going to do. I agree with Pam, use the fabrics that you love and everything else will fall into place.
    For backgrounds, because the Kaffe are such bright clear fabrics, the background easiest to use are the ones that are equally clear. If you go to the Gloriouscolor website, you'll find a heading called " backgrounds" and I love the offwhite with dots in various colours. I've used the sprouts one and it worked really well, but it would be the same with the pinks, aquas etc. When I did the Princess Feather, I used a shirting that I thought was pretty white. Then when I was putting the Kaffe prints on it, it was not the easiest background to use, it dulled the prints a lot. I was very tempted to change the background except that I've cut up the pieces and it was an awful lot of background fabric!
    Have you seen Liza's Lollypop done on the dark background? That looks great too. Pam is doing her Roseville on a dark background and it is looking really lovely.
    I've found that repros work best with repros and those brights work best with brights - but don't take my word for it, everybody is different, go with your instinct. The main thing is that you enjoy it. I think it does help by putting your work on a blog like this, more eyes? its like doing a project in class, sharing in a blog, I just love seeing what everyone is doing! cheers, Kim McLean

  3. I'm so glad you joined Donna! I think you'll find lots of information here as we work on our own quilts. We all have colour sense and once you get started it'll kick in. I can't wait to see what you do.
    I like to start with one fabric I love and add to it bit by bit. I do like to have a little balance in my blocks and some value change otherwise it's what looks good to my eye and pleases me. Someimes I go for bright pastels, sometimes it might be dark and moody or ocean colours. It all seems to work together when there are lots of fabrics because more is better.

  4. Welcome Donna, I'm sure you will love getting back into applique, I find it is my therapy at the end of a long day. I don't really have any further hints for you, we can all pick up so much just by doing this together. Glad you can join us.

  5. Welcome Donna. You're in for a fun project!
    I agree with the others..use fabrics that make your heart sing.
    I used a white with orange dots for the Princess Feather, and if I were to do it over again I would have chosen something a little more creamy? I think it would have made the fabrics look a bit richer?
    A bias tape maker is good to have, good sharp needles, good quality thread too. Be sure to have some little scissors that are sharp all the way to the point for snipping into seam allowances for curves, etc.
    Several of the ladies here like glue to baste their pieces in place for stitching, while I prefer pins. I have some real short ones that are great for stems. We all have our favorite way of doing things..I'm sure everything will fall into place for you once you start.
    Have fun!