Ambivalence is a fruitful inspiration: when I sorta-like and sorta-hate something, the incongruity fidgets in my mind, and won't settle until I make something with it. Tula Pink fabric is such an inspiration for me. What I love is the creativity of the prints, the hidden critters and swirling flowers and whimsy of them. What I hate is the busy-ness. According to her website, "Tula comes from the 'more is more' school of design where there is never enough space and always room for that one last thing," while I firmly believe that detail without focus is clutter, and clutter stresses me out. Finally, there are her colors, which are bright and fun and neon... and like minor notes, just slightly off from what you might find satisfying. It's hard to match or co-ordinate with her prints, unless you work with other prints from the same collection.
My quilting mentor has been on a 3-yard-quilt kick, and recently bought the Pretty Darn Quick! book of patterns. I am drawn to Heartland; I think I can whip it up pretty easy, using the Michael Miller blue for the dark pieces. The only alteration I make is to do a churn dash instead of whatever that dark blue block is.
The 3-yard pattern yields a lap quilt, but there are also instructions for larger sizes; I double the number of blocks and get enough for a twin "topper" (new word for me, which means a bed covering that doesn't overhang the sides of the bed).
HOW DO WE SEE THE WORLD?
As my pile of churn dashes mounts, I finally put my finger on what's bugging me about these colors! They make me think of the Ishihara tests for colorblindness!
Online, I find photos manipulated to simulate the way the scenes would look if you had colorblindness, and many of the tritanopia and tritanomaly photos remind me of Tula Pink color-schemes! Tritan colorblindness, a rare type of blue-yellow colorblindness, is caused by missing or malfunctioning S-cones in your eye. It makes it hard to distinguish short-waveforms: blues look greenish, and and yellow and pink blur together. So a person with tritanomaly might see the orange Who's Your Dandy print above as an indistinguishable mess of pink. The pink and blue churn dash might come across as pink and green. I do not have colorblindness, yet the Tula Pink fabrics contain colors so close to each other, but different enough to annoy, that I feel like I do when I look at the prints too long!
The fabric illegibility isn't helped by my choice to pair them with prints instead of solids. See, there are two types of contrast to think about here, color contrast and value (or saturation) contrast. Quilters like to opine that value does the work and color takes the credit! When we take photos and switch them to black and white, we take color out of the consideration, and only see value:
Rather than undo any of my work, I decide to plough on, adding some higher contrast blocks. I use the green Riley Blake print for one block, and a Free Spirit cotton twill called Protea (SAJD037) for another:
And the final look, all together:
Hmmm... I can't say I love it, but I don't hate it either. And I'm curious what quilting will do to it! Seems like a good project to practice quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) on, since I won't be too upset if I make mistakes.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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