This contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. To find out if you won, click here: WINNERS
Welcome to the Connecting Threads stop of the Modern Mix Blog Tour! I was very excited when this book came through our office because I have been admiring all the quilts I’ve been seeing lately that incorporate solids, but I was feeling a bit intimidated on how to go about doing that in my own projects. You can read the entirety of my review of Jessica’s book here. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to ask Jessica a few questions about the book–so cool! Read on for our mini interview to learn more, and then don’t miss the giveaway directions at the bottom. We always like to throw in a little extra giveaway on these book tours, so don’t miss that!
CT: I absolutely love the way you pair solid colors with the prints in the book in sometimes unexpected ways. It’s easy for me to pick solids out of a multi-colored focal fabric to pair with the design, but I find it challenging to pick contrasting solids that will have the “wow” factor you seem to achieve. I’m referring specifically to the Pebble Road, Twin String Quilts, Stripe of Strips Pillow, and Quilted Camera Case designs in the book. How do you go about choosing contrasting solids? Color theory? Inspiration from a photo? Some other genius method?
JL: Mostly it’s basic color theory. I do discuss it some in the design section of the book. I start by determining how much contrast I want and that tells me where to look on the color wheel as well as how light/dark of a color I want. If I want maximum contrast I would look on the opposite side of the color wheel and go with the opposite value of a color. I tend to find that colors which aren’t total opposites but still do have a lot of contrast (like a light turqouise and dark magenta) often appeal to my eye. The really great thing about using solids in this way is that you have a ton of choices for colors and values and you can easily “audition” choices. In the store or at home you can simply hold the solids up to the prints and go with one that you like the most.
CT: I find myself loving solids mixed in projects lately, but I don’t seem to stash solids because they seem boring to buy. Do you have any tips for overcoming the impulse for only buying prints? What comes first in a project for you: The print fabrics or the solids?
JL: I totally understand that prints can be much more alluring. I initially shopped online and just decided one day to bite the bullet and buy a stash of only solids. I bought 1/2 yards of several dozen colors that appealed to me. This was a good base to start with, however I think until you know what specific colors you like, its a good idea to buy them in an actual shop because many were not as I had envisioned. Then, you can get a “color card” for several of the solid fabric manufacturers which is little swatches of the actual fabric and that can help you shop as you go forward. I do most often start with the print fabric first. It’s much easier that way and of course most of us are passionate about our prints. The only exception is when I have a specific color or color combination in mind. I might know I want a predominantly grey quilt and start there and add contrasting prints (like the cover quilt). Or I might want to use purple and green together and after I choose the solids, sprinkle a few prints in.
CT: In the beautiful photos of your projects in the book, I couldn’t help but notice some amazing quilting and how much it accentuated the design. Did you quilt your own projects, or do you have a long arm quilter hero who you trust to make them awesome? Any tips for choosing quilting designs with solids?
JL: I do have a quilting hero, Angela Walters. And considering the projects in this book were the first time I had ever sent out a quilt to anyone, that’s saying a lot. Angela and I worked together to come up with the designs for this book. Obviously when you’re working with solids (especially in large quantities) the quilting can show even more so it’s doubly important. When choosing a design, you need to think of the quilt as a whole and make sure the design complements the overall feel. All of mine had a contemporary feel and, I hope, emphasized the design. For example the Frame Up quilt is very boxy and I wanted that echoed in the quilting so it’s very linear with lots of right angles. The Diamond Strands quilt is all about showcasing the large prints so each print stripe got it’s own unique quilting pattern. And for the Pebble Road quilt on the cover, the quilting actually came first and the bright print circles were inspired by it. Actually Angela has a book coming out with Stash Books in the spring that covers quilting on modern quilts. Keep your eye out!
A modern quilting book–excellent! I’m sure we’ll all be keeping our eyes out for Angela’s book next spring. Thanks, Jessica, for all your great advice on working with solids!
Now on to the giveaways… If you would like to win a copy of the Modern Mix book by Jessica Levitt from C&T Publishing, simply leave a comment telling us where you use solids the most in your quilting projects (U.S. residents will win a hard copy of the book, International will win an e-book copy.) Here at Connecting Threads we like to have more than one winner, and I want to help someone build their solid stash, so we’re throwing in 2 yards of our solid fabric as a prize, cut up in any configuration as small as FQs (so that could be 2 yards of one color, or 8 different fat quarters, or any other combination you like!) To enter the contest for the solid fabrics (U.S. addresses only), simply tell us what you would order if you win. (You can shop our solids here in a new window, and then come back to comment.) If you want to enter to win both prizes, just leave two separate comments–it increases your chance of winning one (but we won’t pick the same person for both).
We will pick our two lucky winners on Monday, October 24. This is almost the end of the blog tour, but if you want one more chance to win, check out the last stop of the tour tomorrow on the Keepsake Quilting Blog.
Rules: No purchase necessary. Two different entries per person. Must provide a valid email address so that we can contact you if you win.