It's all about colour! Early on in my quilting journey, I read that a good guide when making a quilt is to use no more than four colours in any one project. I have found that to be quite a good recommendation. Here is my Gifts of Grace quilt with four colours - pink, yellow, blue and green applique and embroidery:
I also learned by experience about choosing threads for my stitcheries. In my early excitement, I selected gorgeous threads in colours, that all worked together beautifully. The finished stitchery looked wonderful, but then I had to find fabric to tie in with it, and that's where everything collapsed. It is so difficult to find just the right fabric, matching the shades, tints, values and scale in the right proportions.
I was a quick learner and I soon realised that I was doing things 'back to front'. First things first - select the FABRIC! It is SO much easier to match threads to the fabric, than vice versa. With the quilt above, I started with that lovely floral fabric, then found pink and green to match to use for the sashings. A dig through the 'small bits' boxes and I soon found suitable fabrics for the appliques. Then it was an easy task to lay the floral fabric along my Stranded Thread colour chart and select matching threads:
A couple of years ago, one of our daughters gave me two sets of bright fat quarters - 56 of them. I don't normally gravitate to bright fabrics but I could see the potential in these. Some of them turned into the "Making Daisy Chains" bag:
Quite a few more went into making the "Peak-a-boo" Puzzle quilt for toddlers:
What if I combined a whole lot of different colours - like a rainbow? It's a long time since 1939 when Judy Garland first sang "Somewhere, over the rainbow" in the all-time classic movie "The Wizard of Oz". The song has been ranked as 'the greatest movie song of all time' and is number one on the 'Songs of the Century' list, so of course I had no other option than to use the title for my bright, colourful "Over the Rainbow" travel bags!:
One of the reasons this project works, in spite of having so many colours, is the fact that they are all tone-on-tone fabrics with no contrasting prints. When I was auditioning fabrics for this, I was also looking for colours that blended well together. There were quite a lot of rejects before I came up with this combination.
The pattern for these ever so practical bags can be found in the latest edition of Patchwork & Stitching, Vol 14:2.
I love rainbows. My most moving experience with rainbows was on the day my husband was to have major heart surgery. I was very anxious and prayerful that morning. I stepped out of the building where I was staying and there, right across the sky, was a magnificent rainbow. I knew it was another evidence of God's love and assurance to me that He was in control and He would be faithful as He had always been. And He was! and is!
One final word before I finish. My friend, Jenny, has relaunched her E-zine. It's a delightful read, with lovely patterns to stitch, all for a very reasonable price. You will love it - read about it here.