Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pink and Green

My son and daughter-in-law are expecting a second daughter in May and I have started a quilt for her. I asked my daughter-in-law if she had a color preference in mind and she said "pink and green". The girls will be sharing a room eventually so that is the color theme. Here is the first daughter's quilt, created in response to a request for "green and brown with enough pink to know it's girl". I named the quilt Paisley Pearl (February 8, 2014). I wanted the second daughter's quilt to be distinguishable but set the same sort of quasi-modern mood.

I must confess, in an odd niggling sort of way that I cannot explain, I'd envisioned working on a turquoise quilt. To me turquoise is a girl color, where as true blue speaks "boy" to me. You will notice I snuck a bit of turquoise into the first daughter's quilt in some corner diagonals and the border. The second daughter's knitted blanket (3/21/16 post) had a bit of blue in it, also. But I dutifully went to my stash and started pulling pinks and greens for the second daughter's quilt. I love this stage of starting a new project. My sewing room looks like a fabric cyclone hit it while I am playing, but I love this stage.

I came across this piece of Tula Pink paisley owl fabric that I'd been saving for something special. I wonder if I subconsciously was thinking about it and it influenced my preconceived color inclination. The paisley swirls of it echo the swirls of the feature fabric of Paisley Pearl, but it is predominantly turquoiseOn closer inspection, it does have pinks, greens, and browns in it, though so "Bingo"! I pulled the subtle ombre stripe too just because it seemed to blend well.

I started pulling pinks and greens from my stash using the Tula Pink fabric as my inspiration and jumping off point. Here are the fat quarter pairings I pulled. In the bottom row, the pale pink with turquoise dots may be a bit weak and the broad stripe has all the right colors but the wide bands may be too strong. Nevertheless, I have not removed them from the mix just yet. That green in the upper right is just the perfect green but when I opened it up, alas, it was only a partial fat quarter.

I had used part of it, ironically on a pillow for the two little girls' daddy, my son. It was the background for a 14"x14" deer pillow (December 30, 2015) commemorating his first hunting experience. I am trying to find alternate greens and so far I am not completely satisfied. They need to be brownishly-olive in tone and not too brashly yellow. I am exploring some brownish greens and greenish browns. The rightmost brown shows promise, a good tone but perhaps too dark. The middle green is the right hue but somehow the plaid, even though tiny, just seems too masculine. The stripe is a good bridge fabric with the right colors but it may be too graphic and distracting. The taupe and beige on the far left do not excite me but neither do they clash.

The pattern I am using as a starting point is made from pairs of fat quarters so the ones I pulled are an experiment. I will make up the blocks from several of these pairings and omit the blocks that are too weak, too distracting, too graphic, or yes, too turquoise. Stitching up two fat quarters is not a lot to sacrifice, neither in time nor fabric, and sometimes I just need to see things made up to be decisive. I have shown a sample of some blocks stitched up and posted on my design wall. I do not want to reveal the entire pattern just yet - especially because I do not know how much I am going to deviate from it. I plan to feature that large scale print paisley owl fabric, fussy cut in some fashion, embedded amongst mostly pinks and greens as requested. That strong pink swirl tone-on-tone definitely needs to be in the quilt because it is a statement pink and goes real well with the paisley owl. I am curious to see how it all comes together.

In making those square within a square blocks, the pattern calls for an array of various sized rectangles. To keep them straight I use two notions called Alphabitties and Clover Wonder Clips.
I found that yes, I could make my own labels from paper, but these little sturdy plastic squares are reusable and show up on light or dark fabric. They are great to use in conjunction with the wonder clips to stack and keep organized various similarly sized pieces. I just clip my fabric pieces together with the defining letter on top.

I have discovered a small time saving tip when using these Alphabitties and clips. I used to store the clips in one container and then alphabetize, stack, and store the Alphabitties in another container. I then realized the Alphabitties are harder to pick up and stick together when stored in a stack. I now leave a clip on each one and store the clip/letter pair that way. When scattered on the table top or cutting board it is far easier to spot the letter desired and pick it up. Those are the individual letters with a pink clip. The blue clips still hold a stack that is pre-sorted and clipped together in numerical or alphabetical order. If you do not have them yet, these, stacking, interlocking, Lock-Up containers (see 8/23/13 post for more info) are great. I buy mine at the Container Store.

That is enough ramblings for now. I will link up with Let's Bee Social #118.


  1. Exciting! Baby Girl Chambers #2 and the rest of us are excited to see the finished product!

    1. There is always a honeymoon phase when I first start a quilt. So far I am still in it!

  2. Wow - I had a hard time envisioning this at first, but it's defintely pretty now that it's starting to come together. I need to find my alphabitties and try them (I think you gave me some as a gift?) and also get going on *my* quilt for this little one (which, sadly, isn't even a gleam in my eye yet).

    1. I am stalling at incorporating the owl paisley fabric. I do not want to mess up because I want to save some for the backing. I really should just relax because if I use a bit too much on the front I can always piece the back with an ombre strip in either blues or greens. Do try your alphabitties. I love mine and have used them on several projects. Even if your pattern pieces are not lettered you can assign them a letter and write it on your instructions. Alphabitties are one of those well-designed items that just feel right in your hand.