You have an idea, you pick out a pattern, but the making of a quilt doesn't truly begin until you start pulling and auditioning fabric. And while I'd been going about my business, I realized that in the back of my mind, I was sorting through my stash, trying out different fabrics from different collections (yes, I have what I consider collections that are other than the usual commercial prints, batiks and hand-dyes I've put in a centralized storage system, sorted by color). Not getting in the studio and actually looking at fabrics, but working from memory in my head! Well, time to start pulling for real.
Once I'd charted the design and worked out dimensions of individual pieces, I could quickly figure how much background fabric I'd need, which in turn would determine what colors and kinds of fabrics I might use for the rest. I've been trying to figure out a home for that floral fabric underneath all the rest ever since I finished a commissioned quilt for my niece-in-law's baby back in 2014. It was the lone colorful thing about the quilt, used for the backing and binding, and as it had been hard to track down, I just took what was left on the bolt, leaving a good yard extra when I was done. To be honest, it's not very me, not a print I would normally gravitate to even though it has colors that I really like, so it's been hard to convince myself to use it in anything. But suddenly, seeing it in a stack on the floor, I realized that if there was enough, this might be the best way to use it up. There is ample, and it may be the case that once cut into strips, I will be just fine with it. That's been the age old wisdom of quilt teachers - if you find a fabric ugly (or not to your liking) just cut it up (preferably small) and work it in with the rest. Well, these won't be small pieces, but they will be pieces all the same and the print has given me a palette to work with. I don't have as many teal green fabrics as I thought but plenty of the orangy and pink ones. I'll have to get cutting so I can experiment with mixing the two together in a lozenge or making each lozenge a single color. Fun soon to commence.
Because that green is perhaps my favorite color, even my signature color as it were, I tend to put these fabrics back in the stash when looking for candidates. You know, "saving" them for something special or just right. I had that slight stutter when I pulled them out, then carried on. I've had these for so long, I'm making fewer quilts than ever these days, and I felt that feeling of their preciousness fall away. For Pete's sake, what's more precious than this new baby, and why shouldn't his quilt have my most precious fabric in it?