Friday, February 22, 2008

Pastel Challenge

SNOW is a 4 letter word.
TWO HOUR DELAY is a more welcome term. While I do enjoy curling up on the sofa with my morning coffee, watching the alphabetical list of schools scroll by to jumping out of bed and into the shower, the novelty is wearing off.

It isn’t really the snow or even the lack of business that bugs me. It’s the canceling, rescheduling, salting, sweeping, crud all over your car, wet shoes, lost glove, sweep, shovel, salt, sloppy mess that is wearing a little thin. Although I complain about it, I secretly need it. It’s February in Pittsburgh that allows me to truly appreciate May through October. I lived in Florida for 7 years. Believe it or not 80 degrees and sunny gets a little boring.

Yucky days are best spent inside sewing. No problem there. I spent all day yesterday and I do mean ALL DAY, struggling with the selection of the fabrics for a pastel quilt for Timeless. I should say “positioning” the fabrics; the selection had already been limited to 12 – 15 pieces. I laid out a project on the design wall and sent a quick digital photo to New York. Isn’t technology wonderful? I thought so too, until they saw the photo and decided it was “too square”. After some give-and -take they finally agreed to a Kaleidoscope project, tons more work than my original idea, but I have to agree, it’s more interesting. The project requirements are that I must use all pastels. I must use a minimum of 12 but not more than 16 fabrics. It should be “large” and naturally they want it to be a show stopper.

These formula projects are always a challenge. I spend hours designing and calculating to their needs, making sure that the fabric requirements work into normal size cuts, estimating yardage, analyzing the project from both the shop owner (their customers) and the consumer (my customers) point of view so that it works for everyone involved. Then I send a photo or design idea and the people that do not quilt or in most cases even own a sewing machine say things like “It’s a little too square looking”.

Let the challenge begin…… It’s why I love my job. These situations, because I refuse to give up, force me to be more creative. The silly demands insist that I think outside the box (or should I say square?) and create something beautiful that I would have sworn was not possible. Like a knock your socks off pastel quilt with little or no contrast.
I've decided to share the progress of this project with you from start to finish. That way you will get to share the joy and frustrations along with me. Let's start with the working photos. Those are cut pieces stuck to the design wall that were rearranged in each photo. The peach fabric is way too intense in the first one. The yellow is overpowering in the second. After hours of struggling with the exact placement of the blues and greens, I decided to literally scrap all of them, cut the pieces and let them fall where they may. I like that one best! I've made the yardage requests, once the real fabrics arrive we can get started. Did I mention we have a deadline to meet?


Kathie said...

Oh I remember those days! I like your quilt up on the wall !
Hope that Kaleidoscope quilt is worth it after all that piecing! the fabrics are so blendy wonder if it will really show off the fabrics...and design!
will be watching your progress!

banjo795 said...

If 80 and sunny is boring, I could do with some boring! Bring it on! After having lived my whole life in the grey city of Pittsburgh, you'd think I'd be used to winter by now. After all, they say that we have 4 seasons - almost winter, winter, still winter and potholes!

You should explain to Timeless that some people LIKE squares! They are easy, go together quickly and usually match up well at the corners. I think the pastel squares you had on the design wall looks great! Sometimes you just need a project that is quick to put together and looks great.

Pam said...

I feel your winter pain and share your longing for warm weather! I can heartily recommend a band-aid of sorts...having just spent the entire weekend listening to nonstop Jimmy Buffet and steel drums...and drinking pina coladas....I MIGHT make it until spring.