Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chinese Coin Color Study

Flotsam and jetsam. Did you know they mean different things? Flotsam is marine debris accidentally lost overboard while jetsam is tossed when the ship and crew are in peril - usually to lighten the load.

Sorting and clearing my stash located lots of flotsam - stuff I hadn't deliberately tucked away but was too small to find easily. It took going through the fabrics individually to bring them to the surface. And much of it needs to be jettisoned. It weighs me down. As a quilter, however; it's very hard to let the “precious” pieces go. It all becomes precious quickly - even when I've tossed it out of the box. {Gollum, gollum.}

Projects like Scrap Vortex and these darling Christmas balls make me feel terrible for not using everything myself... even though I'll never get through it all... even though it weighs me down physically and psychically. Currently my largest section is solids {which I collected for last year's workshops.} Of course there's a huge pile of printed scraps. The solids are large pieces so more difficult to discard {although I could cut each in half and not miss it.} But scraps dance in my dreams.

I decided to make a very quick one-block quilt that might resemble Chinese Coins {because it's very hard it is to actually discard/sell/give away fabric.} Just four tiny coins from each...


Pairing solids with prints - all from the discard pile. I wish I could say this was all the discards but it's barely a dent.

Coins cut and paired

Once I started sewing many of the pairs didn't work out. Each time one looked uninspiring, I left it out as I sewed the next sets so I could see if the pattern and solid paired better with something else. I wanted both continuity and contrast but wasn’t sure how to define that.

Here’s the first finished {sewn} combinations.

Simple color study block mixing a print and a solid fabric

Moving the blocks around led to this...


Simple color study block mixing a print and a solid fabric
Which cried for another column. Back to the never-ending scrap bag.


Simple color study block mixing a print and a solid fabric
The sewn top emerged by the end of the day. .

Color Study Chinese Coin quilt top

This mix of solids and prints reflects ‘me’ more than all solids. It’s simply a one-block quilt that looks like a Chinese Coin variation even though it's made from blocks. That's a good thing because my guild demonstration is rescheduled for mid-September.

Just as I queued this up for posting I saw Cynthia’s version here. Interesting differences when sashing is added. Doubly interesting that we had such similar ideas independently.

Enjoy the day, Ann

38 comments:

  1. I love how the colors flow throughout this piece...beautiful work--thanks for sharing the process..looks like a fun piece to try...hugs, Julierose

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    1. Thanks Julie Rose. It was quick and easy. I need some qyults for gifting although this one may be a keeper.

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  2. Now this is wonderful and it looks like fun.

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  3. The top turned out beautiful! I always wondered how many quilts I could make from just my scraps. I have bins and bins of scraps. The fabric has to be pretty small or a piece of low quality before I will pitch it. Otherwise there are so many memories of using the fabrics that I just can't throw them away. I have been good not to have bought much fabric this year so far and I did use quite a few yards when I made all those boxy pouches.

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    1. I try to keep my scraps down by limiting myself to one bag. And I try to have a leader/ender project of the scraps constantly going. This might be a good one to use fora while.
      It's silly to toss this stuff but I need to reduce the stash.

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  4. What a beautiful use of colour.

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  5. That is beautiful! It glows!!

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    1. I worked to get that glow. Thanks, Pam.

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  6. Terrific use of scraps (flotsam or jetsam). We cannot possibly use ALL of our scraps - I wish we didn't have to feel so guilty about it. I plan to take a big pile of scraps to pass along as soon as I get them all in one place. For some reason, I always find scraps from others more inspiring than my own -- so I hope mine will inspire those who take them home.

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    1. That sounds like a good idea. Sometimes we simply need to use slightly different material.

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  7. love it really like how it makes your eye move

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    1. Thanks, Changing the original parings helped make the movement work.

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  8. Oh, I think this may be my fav coin quilt of yours. I'd be interested in which pairs you found didn't work and why. And if I was making it I probably would have stopped at the first layout (since moving things about is not what I like to do most of the time because I'm never satisfied) but I can see that playing around some sure has its advantages. It absolutely glows.

    I can't throw away scraps since that's actually how I began making quilts...quilts were the end of the fabric food chain. I didn't know people actually bought fabric to make a quilt. Most of my life I've been very poor so learned not to waste, make do and be frugal which kind of became a way of life. Some of my flower garden paths are scrappy. Great use for the tiniest of scraps! The smallest strings tie up tomatoes and flowers to the trellis and birds carry them away for their nests. And this year I've been making a variety of crumb blocks just to see how many donation quilts I can make.

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    1. Originally I paired very similar colors in close value. You can see it in the first photo. It made things very static with no way for the colors to move from one block to the next. The final arrangement paired fabrics close in value as well as many with more contrast. Moving the blocks around on the design wall also helped.
      I rarely gave these bits away; that’s where my scrappiest quilts come from... just like you. I also notice I work from the scraps first rather than the stash. But I’m trying to clear out some space. I love your idea of tying the tomatoes with strings. Now if I could just grow them. And I’ve tried crumb blocks many times but never like my results although yours are always lovely.

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  9. I usually mix the blocks up randomly, but I really like how you have done here. I am definitely going to try doing this. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. The first arrangement was fairly random. It was hard to take it all down, resort, and try another layout but I’m glad I did. The final top looks so much better.

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  10. repetition is your friend here. The final product lets color repeat and cross rows, creating interesting color pattern/line. Thanks for sharing this idea. I bet you really like it too, and are happy to make something artistic from the little pieces. Hope I can sew again soon. It's a jumbled mess in the studio spaces now.

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    1. Yes, changing the value pairings created a lot more movement than I expected. This layout also blends the varied print sizes well. I am pleased with a colorful, quick quilt. I hope you get your studio put to rights soon. It’s hard to move; so many things to sort and arrange. But it feels more like home every day, doesn’t it?

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  11. Such a simple idea and such a strategic placement of colors. It all works out.

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    1. It’s such an easy quilt; all that matters is color placement. Thanks, Robin.

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  12. Yes, this definitely feels like an 'Ann' quilt: scrappy but purposeful. Fiddling around with this was worthwhile, since the final version has a lovely glow to it. I love that it seems to have grown from the Chinese Coins quilts, even if technically these are not Coins.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. I’m amazed how much it improved by moving the blocks around and changing out a few. It’s such a simple design but I liked the idea of “double columns” of colors. It just seemed a variation of Coins.

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  13. You have such a gift of pairing fabrics into exciting combinations and designs that move your eye around. I really love this new top as it just sparkles and sings!!

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    1. That’s a lovely compliment from you, Mel. You work is so exciting. It was fun to make this easy top and great to use scraps.

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  14. Simple lines, but beautifully, beautifully saturated colors! I love the way your final version just sort of glows! As I was looking at your quilt I realized what it reminded me of. Don't know if you follow 'http://kleinmeisjequilts.blogspot.com/', but she has a series of maybe 8 or 9, maybe more? wonderful looking quilts with a recurring theme. All the blocks that make up each quilt are made in pairings of a solid and a printed fabric! It's a fantastic element that might need more thinking on.:)

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    1. It’s amazing how that glow appeared once I moved the blocks around. I’ve looked at the website you mentioned. What wonderful work she has. The little barns would be another way to try this approach. I was trying to mix solid and print pulse get a “double column” of color. Thanks, Audrey.

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  15. Wow...a totally fun project...I suffer like that too..I am swamped with a fabric collection of 50 years...I cannot part with the itsy bitsy...a sad and sorry thing...But, then...I LOVE my fabric...so there...:) Or, so I tell myself

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    1. It was fun and quick. Plus it used up some of the scraps. I need to keep them moving. I’m glad you like it, too.

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  16. Lovely... it really does glow! I like how you paired up prints with solids for this, I've tried a few times but never been happy with result!

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    1. I have trouble mixing solids with prints, too. This was an attempt to get over that and it worked out well. Thanks, Linda.

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  17. Oh, my goodness! It’s absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I’m glad you like it, too.

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  18. A stunner Ann!! The colours are just glorious!

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    1. I wonder how your large-scale prints would look with solids. I should get some and try that.

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  19. You set out with a simple mission - use up scraps. And what has resulted is nothing short of spectacular, especially the color wash effect. Kudos to you!!! I know you were having a difficult time parting with the scraps. How will you part with this beauty :-)

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    1. Moving the units made a huge difference to the quilt. And yes, I want to keep them all but I also have many family and friends. If I don't keep it I can still visit. 😁

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