Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Watercolors in fabric

I needed fabric therapy one day this week.
I turned to the magic box of fabric candy...
As I am digging through scraps for projects I come across small squares and cut them to 2". Not 2.5, because my very first watercolor class used 2" and I had some left so that's the size I cut after that.
That little box probably holds thousands of little cotton squares.
Seeing this it looks like a fat quarter doesn't it?

Wouldn't you like a fat quarter of this?
It's one reason why I love fabric... all the possibilities in one print.

it's actually one of these...

I arranged, and moved, and played around til I did a tree, summer sky and wild flower covered ground.
I plan to hang a rope swing from that branch. The picture is before sewing the little squares together. It's a flash project once you start, a speedy tutorial on my tute's page.
Look as some of the prints...

I use these based on color, or the light to dark scale.
I admit, sometimes I use them for the cuteness factor, such as the cows....

After I pieced the center,
 made up of 99 2" squares

The decision of whether to border or not surfaced.

Let the auditions begin...
Rejects.  Not quite right.
 And the whole drawer unit?
No...not right....

while some of these might "do" none of them gave the effect I want. When we create art, we are not satisfied with what might do. We want the whole thing to be exciting!

And I don't know exactly the effect I want either.
 That complicates things.
I have made an improv winter quilt, an improv Fall quilt, and a Spring quilt. I want something that sings summer.

I know it will have lots of thread work. Hand embroidery and beads. Surface embellishments. But the borders???

Next post I will show what I chose, and what new question came next.


  1. So do you cut up all of your scraps into the 1" squares as you're working on other projects? I admire the discipline of those who manage their scraps that way. Mine just get shoved in bins. It's interesting how the individual patterns of the various fabrics blend and complement one another so well when viewed from a distance. So much more than just the sum of its parts!

    1. oh no, I use my scraps for so many projects. I only cut up squares that look to be about 2 inches for this box. The odd shaped scraps go into curvy improv and paper piecing. LeeAnna

  2. Gorgeous mix of Summer! Colour!
    Let the embelishing begin!

  3. i love that part of creative intuitive fabric manipulation and that each solution sets up another batch of possibilities.

  4. Looking good so far! I definitely "feel" a tree and flowers.

  5. Ohhhh! Interesting......A poodle in there, mayhaps?

  6. You inspire me so much! Today I felt like designing a quilt top. Four sheets of graph paper later I may have a hit.
    But now I am looking at your box of two inch squares and it makes me want to go cut up some two and a half inch squares. (Cuz that's how I do mine)
    I am just happy that I have moved past my slumpadump and have started to create again! I even sat still yesterday for five or so minutes and colored part of a picture I had printed out for just that purpose!
    Thank you for your posts, I have been encouraged!!!

  7. Beautiful--this sings of Summertime ..."and the livin' is easy..." now that song will be in my you come up with the best ideas..can't wait to see how the embellishments go...hugs, Julierose

  8. I have seen some beautiful, huge watercolor quilts, but been daunted by the sheer size and numbers of tiny squares. I like your mini take on it, and your idea to use it for a background for more. Also love the freedom with which you approach this art. This is off to a great start!

  9. Wonderful improv piece - I totally see the tree, the sky, and the flowers, and ah-hum, recognize some of the same fabrics that are in my stash. Guess I need some fabric therapy! Thanks for linking up at Midweek Makers
    Susan @ quiltfabrication

  10. You have such a great eye for color! I really enjoy seeing what you come up with next and how you approach the quilting craft. Thanks for sharing what you do and how you do it.

  11. Despite my lousy efforts at the medium, you had me at 'watercolor.' ღ

  12. I love it when you do these and this will be a perfect background for all the additions you have planned.

  13. And thanks for sharing it on AHIQ too.

  14. I often don't know the effect I'm after till I get the right combination of colours, fabrics, etc. Love how you've arranged the 2" squares to make the tree and flowers.

  15. I should get myself one of these candies boxes too! Sometimes we need a "just pull squares together" project to distract us from more complicated piecing projects! I love your careful placement of fabric, it creates a very beautiful piece!! Thanks for sharing!!

  16. Your 2 inch square box is brilliant! I love what you did with it, while in need of fabric therapy! Looking forward to see how it progresses.

  17. A project with a lot of "wow" factor. Hope you found your perfect border fabric.

  18. It never ceases to amaze me what gorgeous creations come out of all those scrap bits.

  19. This is lovely - borders are always the hardest thing to choose and get just right! Thanks for participating in the 2016 FAL on behalf of the global hosts :)