Monday, July 16, 2018

Controlled Scrappiness Versus Hot Mess Scrappiness

I've been spending long days at Camp Oda May, working on my summer quiltalong project. Join us over at the Moda Bakeshop! I am just thrilled with how the Color Cuts are working out in my quilts. The grays add enough contrast to the low volumes without overwhelming the softness of the lighter fabrics.

I love the look of scrap quilts, but I always strive for "controlled scrappiness" and try to avoid what I call "hot mess scrappiness." Controlled scrappiness, as the term suggests, involves some planning and thought, not just reaching into the scrap bin and pulling out whatever happens to be in there. If you have a defined style, controlled scrappiness can be easy to achieve, but for those of us who work with lots of different types of fabric, some editing is required to avoid the hot mess look.

Here are some of my tips for controlled scrappiness:

Consider your color palette. You don't necessarily have to limit yourself to three or four colors, but you should decide what look you're aiming for (muted? bright? specific colors?). It's okay to have some variety within that palette--that is, every green you use should not be exactly the same shade. In fact, visual interest is increased with some variety in tone. But throwing in a random color may look jarring. If you use all pastels and then add a lime green fabric, it's going to look out of place.

Think of your fabrics as families, and consider what families will work together best in the project. There is some wiggle room here, as fabric styles overlap a good bit (and good neutrals and background fabrics nearly always can work), but you probably don't want to mix Civil War prints and uber modern prints. They likely won't jive well together.

Consider outliers carefully. If you use all tone on tone prints, and then throw in one multi-colored print, the viewer's eye will go right to that multi-colored print. If that's your goal, great. But, if not, reconsider that multi-colored print. Other examples of outliers would be one fabric with a gray background when the rest have cream backgrounds. You can also address outliers by adding fabrics in the same category as the outlier so that it's no longer all by its lonesome in the quilt.

Definitely mix scales. You should have large, small and medium scale prints in your project. 

Don't get too matchy-matchy. Scrappy quilts benefit from some variation. If your prints are too similar, your project will look too sterile.

More is more. When in doubt, add some fabrics. After all, the goal is scrappy!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Heading to Camp

I never had the opportunity to go to summer camp when I was young. I think it would have been a blast! This summer, I get the joy of being a camp counselor at what might be the most awesome summer camp of all time--Camp Oda May! I've been working behind the scenes with some other talented designers to plan a summer quiltalong for Moda's Bakeshop. We had such fun planning the project and being part of such a collaborative effort was a joy.

Camp has just kicked off, so there is still plenty of time to join in the fun. Start here, and pack your bags for Camp Oda May!

My quilt is going to be done in grays and low volume fabrics, mostly from Moda's Color Cuts, a fun curated selection of fabrics from their most recent lines. I love low volumes, and I'm excited to play with such a fun mix of fabrics. I threw in some fat quarters from my stash to make the quilt extra scrappy. Happy sewing, campers!