…In Which I Create a Monster

It seemed such a good idea at the time.  I was in need of a decent-sized quick-ish quilt for a gift (…because when aren’t I, apparently?), and I saw a great pattern in the QuiltNow quilting magazine I’d picked up as lunch-break entertainment the other week.  Generally I am not a follower of patterns, but I liked the look of one in particular – Loominous by Lynne Goldsworthy.  Importantly, it looked straightforward and quick to assemble.  (It was.  It is a nice pattern!  Lynne did a great job!)  A note in the margin suggested using shot cottons instead of the prints used in the original.  I read the requirements list.  25 FQs?  Ah-ha!  I have 25 FQs of shot cottons, I thought to myself.  Perfect!  15 of them were a bundle bought a while ago, I think they’re by Rowan.  The other 10 were the stripey ones I picked up more recently from Calico Kate.  Since they were all end-of-bolt pieces, I have no idea who they’re by.

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I started off feeling fairly positive about my plan.  Having played around with the FQs as a collective, I knew that I could group them into fairly pleasing colour families, so I got out the rotary cutter and set to cutting.  It wasn’t until I got to piecing that the doubt started to creep in.  The pattern appeared to rely on having a good distribution of prints and colours, and with the extremely broad colour distribution – everything between (almost) white and (probably) black, that was going to be… interesting.  Regardless, I ploughed on, hoping that I was wrong and that this would be one of those “hate it now, love it later” projects.

Uhmmm.

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Oh dear.  No.  Very No.  🙁  Too many colours.  Far too many.  Just… argh.  The bright pastels (is that a Thing?) just can’t stop fighting against the murkier darks, and the whole thing is an eyewatering mess.  Some individual colours might be fine, but some of them are really quite weird, especially en masse.  I’m cross with myself because it’s a waste of fabric (the stripey ones, anyway; the possibly-Rowan solids were not actually very nice quality at all – we’re not talking Oakshott here by any stretch of the imagination!), it’s damaged my self-concept of being usually fairly good at colour use, and I *still* don’t have something ready as a present.  🙁

Shortly after I took this photo, the whole lot fell off the wall, possibly under the weight of all the Fail.  (It has convinced me that I *NEED* a proper design wall, though.  I am so over trying to arrange blocks and assess designs on the floor – it just doesn’t cut it.)

So, what now?  Well, I don’t want to completely waste all the fabric and effort in this, so I’m going to try splitting the blocks into smaller, more coordinated groups, to see if that improves things.  If it works out, I shall donate the resulting quilts to Project Linus; I know they’re always in need!  If it doesn’t work…. back to the drawing board, I guess?

4 thoughts on “…In Which I Create a Monster”

  1. Hmm…I see your point about the colors, but I kind of like them together, actually. One thing I do notice is that the top of the picture has a higher % of big dark squares while the bottom is lighter. What if you redistribute them? Or go for a dark to light feeling, then maybe having the darks next to the lights won’t be as bad?

    1. Thank you Amanda! Interestingly, I shared this on a forum as well and someone else also mentioned the dark/light thing, so it clearly does need a poke in that department. I think I may have nixxed my options for doing a proper gradient, thanks to the overly relaxed attitude to colour placement while I was piecing, but I can give it a go. (“Random” seems to work out so much better for me when it’s planned, ironically!) I’m also considering some sashing, too – I have a nice dark navy from Moda that might do the trick and calm down the bickering! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it! 🙂

  2. There’s actually quite a bit in here that I like, but I do understand what you mean about it getting a tad lost with so much contrast. I’d definitely be interested to see how a gradient works, even with the pieced randomness.
    I hate the feeling of putting in all that work and not liking the resulting quilt. But unfortunately that’s how learning your own style works!
    If you ever feel like doing this pattern again, it’d be interesting to do a version with the solids more similar in color and then the stripey bits would get all the attention. 🙂 But that’s what I like, not necessarily what you like!

    1. Thanks Anne! Everyone’s been so helpful with this, and encouraged me not to view it as a write-off just yet. 🙂 It’s currently tidied away in a pile while I work on something else that has a tight deadline, but I hope to return to it soon. You’re absolutely right about the “learning your style” thing – I’m still fumbling around a bit in that department! I kind of want to give this pattern a go again at some point – it’s certainly super-quick to assemble – but I probably ought to salvage this one first. 🙂

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