Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Hey, everybody, I found my word for the year! Dither! Kidding. I don't pick a word for the year. But if I did, it would definitely be "Dither!" this year. Because that's what I've been doing. I've always been indecisive. This happens with everything--clothing, paint colors, furnishings, quilt designs, fabrics, you name it. I could go on and on. I usually say something like this: "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it." And when I like something, I like it forever. The problem is that when I don't "see it," I spend lots of time trying to make up my mind about what to do. Dithering. 

Which takes us to today.

I started a new quilt this week from a fat quarter bundle of fabric I won in a Hawthorne Threads giveaway quite awhile ago (plus a few other fat quarters). If you look at this picture, you see the Paperie line by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics. Part of the reason I love this line is because there are no repeating patterns. The extras are the dark coral and darker aqua (Hazel line by Cluck Cluck Sew for Windham Fabrics), and the lighter aqua/white and a little leaf print, which are both mysteries to me because I didn't have the printed selvages. Anyway, I thought I'd add those extras in to add a pop of color to a light palette. I loved them all, especially the coral fabric.

I knew when I got the bundle that I wanted to make a hexagon quilt, not English paper pieced, but machine sewn. I wanted the hexagons to be large enough to make the best use of the fat quarters without much waste. I drew the size I wanted, then took my pattern to my local window/screen repair place and asked the owner to cut a template for me from acrylic. He seemed a little hesitant about making such precise cuts, but he did agree to do it. It turned out fine and made it easy for me to rotary cut the hexagons. 

If you look closely, you can see the clear template on top of the fabric. It's a little over 8 inches on one diameter and about 9 1/4 on the longer diameter. I was able to cut four from each fat quarter. 

Then it was time to figure out how to lay out the hexies. I didn't want to spend hours at the design wall, so I printed out some hexie grid paper and brainstormed options. I have a huge box of colored pencils, but was really surprised to find that I didn't have coral or aqua ones. Weird! So I dug up some old crayons leftover from my kids' school days. I kind of wanted an unplanned asymmetrical look, although you see I did try out a symmetrical one in the lower right corner. Here are some of of my ideas:

Eventually I chose two possible designs and started putting up the fabrics on the wall. (I've cropped the photos here so you can see how the quilt would look with the trimmed hexies along the edges.)

It quickly became apparent to me that the darker coral wasn't going to work at all. I was bummed because it was one of my favorite fabric pieces. I thought it would sort of pop with some of the other fabrics, which had a bit of the same color in them. Instead, it looked garish. Not what I wanted in a delicate little quilt. In addition, I did not like how it looked with the darker aqua because they had the same print, which grabbed all of the attention from the sweet little prints in the Paperie line. Not only that, but the little leaf print just didn't fit in. I tried it both right side up and wrong side up, but it just wasn't working. 

It looked fine to my eye, but when I took pictures, it really stood out. I finally rejected it. I'm not going to show you all the variations I tried with these fabrics. But I can say that I was seriously bummed that I wasn't "seeing it" when I laid out all my lovely fabrics.

I spent hours throwing hexies up on the wall, dithering all the while. So much for saving time by coloring the grid paper. I finally did keep the two extra aquas, but otherwise used only fabrics from the Paperie line. So. What to do. I've decided to show you what I came up with and see which you like better. I'm sorry about the quality of these photos. The weather's been grayer than gray here, and it's dark in the house. I tried photos with my phone, my Ipad and my husband's camera with the flash, but none of them turned out sharp. The color is pretty true though. Which do you think might appeal to someone more? (This quilt will be a donation quilt that will be given to a young woman.) This?

Or this?

Oh, and while I was writing this, I suddenly decided that I needed to give the more symmetrical arrangement a fair try, too, with a few tweaks:

As I said, I've always been a ditherer. But lately when it comes to quilt-making, I'm a champion ditherer. I think it might be partly because I don't have the ability right now to easily change things while sewing when they don't work out the way I hoped. 

So help me out here. What do you all think?? Any other suggestions?

I'm linking up this week with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation for their linky parties. The buttons are on the right side bar. 

See you next week, hopefully with some sewing done and much better photos. Have a good quilting week, and please, try not to dither as much as I do.


Valerie Reynolds said...

I LIKE the darker coral. Andddd I like the original layout (fifth picture) Sorry I'm of no help. I like the scrappy, non-symmetrical....LOL!! Maybe your original instincts are when I dither I OFTEN get myself IN a dither!! LOL!! Anyway you decide though...the colors are wonderful together.

Gina said...

Such pretty fabrics. Having looked through the pictures my favourite layout is the one with the darks in a line ( or that's whet it looks like), the third pic from the bottom of the post. Hope this helps xxx

Cathy Melancon said...

I love your jumbo hexies!! The color combination of coral, mint, grey, and the low volumes fabrics with these colors is one of my current faves! I like the layout with the more scattered look. Really, any way you make it, it will be gorgeous!! I found you from Sew Fresh Quilts!

patricia ludwiczak said...

I really like the middle version - the colors and pattern really work. I so understand what you mean about dithering. When it doesn't hit you as right it feels so off. I am making a graduated braid quilt and must have bought 15 fabrics that didn't work. I finally just had to subtract one, and voila, it worked!

patricia ludwiczak said...

The middle choice of the last three, that is!

Frieda said...

I love the middle one of the last three, though it will be pretty in any of the layouts.

Janice Holton said...

Seriously, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices. There is always going to be someone that loves each one of them. My personal favorite is the 2nd to last picture but that's just me. Go with the one you LIKE the best.

Kaja said...

This is a great post. I love the idea and palette you started off with and found it really fascinating to follow your thinking. I actually rather like picture no.2, but understand that you started with something specific you were aiming for and that this didn't fit. I like version 2 of the second round, and also version 3. Whatever you settle on will be very pretty with such lovely delicate colours.

Linda said...

I love the second photo from the bottom, but (since I'm a ditherer too) any of them will make a beautiful quilt, including the versions with the darker coral! So I'm not much help. ;)
I'm still blown away by your having a template made to your specifications. How clever!

Sandra Walker said...

You and I are sisters of dithering! I drive my husband CRAZY as he is a decision-maker and sticker-to and don't-look-back or second-guess-yourself guy! However, I knew instantly which of the 3 layouts I like, and I have purposely not looked at any comments except the one just above the box here. (others' opinions can cause me to dither) I like the first one best! It's so unexpected to see the darker ones lined up on the left, and thus, gives it a 'modern' flair, fit for a young woman, I'd say! Love the Paperie line, and pretty much anything Art Gallery puts out. :-) Great idea on the acrylic template; my former guild did that once: after we had an instructor come in to teach us a 3D wallhanging class, we had a local hardware place cut the diamond shaped templates needed and people who wanted to ordered them.

Nancy said...

I can completely identify with dithering. It is my general mode of operation and I think it's why I get so little done! Your fabric choices are gorgeous and I know you quilt will be beautiful no matter how you decide to arrange the hexagons.