Oh those splashy, trendy large-scale fabrics, you know how they are. They call you over with their sultry voices from across the the quilt shop or through the computer screen. They romance you and promise you the moon. Your quilts will look cool and modern. You’ll never tire of their fun and fresh prints. Little do you know the trouble they’ll cause with the old friends in your stash. Suddenly they remind you of that high-maintenance girlfriend who can’t get along with anyone.
One of the most popular workshops we lead is one in which the students bring all of the beautiful large-scale prints that they love but they aren’t sure how to use. Knowing the difficulty that some quilters experience combining large-scale prints, we designed Fashion District for our upcoming book Quilts Made Modern.
Bill and I have found that the secret to using multicolored, large-scale prints is using them in conjunction with other medium- and smaller-scale prints in the same color family. The important thing is being able to see the edge of the piece or block. If there isn’t enough contrast, either in scale, value or hue, between the pieces the quilt can just become a jumbled mess. We’ve also noticed that one large print in a quilt can dominate it while that same print looks like less of a visual bully when combined with three or four similarly powerful prints.
And then there’s the poodle, Cori. Cori is owned by our friend Jean. I asked Jean if Cori would model for us because I knew that his beautifully coifed head would look so good in the lovely home of our friend Marion, where this photo was shot. Cori was a champ, posing and being repositioned for 45 minutes. I was so happy to be able to include Cori in the shot, not just because he’s such a handsome dog but because we wanted the show that these quilts are for real people who have kids and pets so they can go in the washing machine if you quilt carefully.
You’ll notice in the photos of the quilts in the book that we shot the book in three homes built in three very different eras. Our hope is that you’ll come to see that timeless design looks as good in our 1914 Arts and Crafts bunglaow as it does here in our friend’s Mid-Century Modern interior. Good design never goes out of style.