Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Ocean Blues

Ocean Blues
74" x 74"

I have finally finished my two sided pixel ocean quilt! It was delayed during quilting by my broken sewing machine. And it was such a wonderful feeling to have it finished at last! It is one of my favorites and is happily hanging on my wall now.
My intent was to create a wall of blue, evocative of the ocean. I began by selecting a color palette. Since it is impossible to pick accurate colors from a monitor, I have been collecting sample packets of solid colors from different manufactures.  
Here are three of them.  Moda Bella is on the table, along with a page of RJR Cotton Supremes.  I just got the Kona card standing up in the back. PS. These samples are a little expensive, and not available year round, which can be frustrating. Also, you may notice that some of the fabric swatches have been ripped off the cards. That is because colors are very fickle, they can look different in different surroundings. I pull off a little swatch, and then attach a sticker on the back with the name of the color.  Then, if I want to get some, I still know what it is.  The Kona is permanently welded to the page.  I have no idea how to separate those colors from each other, perhaps an exacto knife?

Moda Bella samples, with labels added

Next I kind of swoosh them around to see how they look next to each other. Once I am satisfied, I try to find these exact colors from quilt stores.  That is not an easy task!  For this project I think I shopped at 6 different stores to find my fabrics, and was unable to find 2 of them.  Some stores require a minimum purchase of a yard of fabric, which is more than I need.  So, it is inherently inefficient, and especially so when adding up all the shipping costs.  However, no one carries all the colors. What is up with that??? Ha!

Here is a stack of some of the new fabrics mixed in with the ones I already had.

Once I had my fabrics, I wasn't sure which idea I wanted to pursue on a large scale, so I made some little sample quilts first.  Perhaps you remember them from earlier posts in April and May of this year?

These are all so lovely, and I had other ideas I hadn't tried yet, but I knew I wanted to try the pixel one in a large quilt.  The stripey one I tried in two other slightly larger versions here and here

Let the rotary cutting begin! This part can be a bit tedious and led to repetitive use injuries.  I try to do it slowly with stretching in between.  It is FUN to see the different colors stacking up and ready for placement!
After I had a LOT of squares cut, I started putting them up on my design wall. I thought it would be fun and easy. And, it was fun, but it was not easy.  My original idea had more brown and greens and less blue. Like this:
It would seem that too much thinking sometimes gets in the way of making art. So, I took a lot of this down and rearranged it more than once, and kept trying.  I knew I was getting close when I had mostly blue. 

Next week I will post about the back of this quilt, because this is another one that has turned into a two-sided quilt! 

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