Thursday, May 08, 2014

Collaborating with Hilary

Yes, I am returning to quilting, finally! Here's the latest collaboration email. I have taken the liberty of editing for space.

Dear Melody,
It's 20 years since I first saw a picture of one of your quilts, that left a lasting impression.   It was the radiant glow of those colors that stayed with me.  Two of your quilts that I've seen in person that most strongly leave me with the same impression are Technique Rebellion and Moonstruck; 

 Each features a strong image on a luminous background and they also have a balance between the warm and cool colors on the color wheel.  And I think that's the feeling I'm looking for in this collaboration.  In TR it's neat that one side of the "#" is warm on cool and the other is cool on warm.  The other quilt that really left an impression when I saw it at Quilt National is Streetdance, which is different in terms of design but still has that glow. 
 Even if these quilts aren't moving images there is a dynamism to them: I can sense the Moonstruck cat breathing as it sits in contemplation, and there's something pulsating in the TR image.  

In the quilts I've just seen online, here are my faves and why:
     Bradford Copse- the brightness of the center-right section contrasted to the outer bands and the rounded shapes of the trees and hills.

     Fuschias and Fuschias for Ann - again, there's a glow in the center, the flowers look like they're about to flutter in the breeze, a warm/cool color balance, the variety of values in the greens and reds and the painterly look of the background pieces.

     Details of larger quilts from your Flickr pages - from Mykonos (the sections with the pastel colors and rounded shapes), from Sydney (the parts with the color-changing squiggly lines).

Now for the list.

1. size: 32", please, or thereabouts (that's the budget I had in mind, plus postage, when I asked to be added to the list - and I'm prepared for hefty postage to Canada!)

2. orientation: probably horizontal, but if your design develops into something more like a square that's fine.

3. color scheme: not earthy or murky, though some dark values are fine, e.g., dark green, blue, red, purple, etc. as opposed to olive or khaki.  Pastels are fine, vivids and brights are good.  A range of values.  The contrast may come from value or hue.  I know all of those won't fit into one design but it's a collaboration and I rely on your call.  Just one caveat: please no, or minimal, orange or red orange.  A modicum of light yellow-orange, light pinky-orange, burnt orange would be fine, but while I like it in fresh fruits and veg I'd have a hard time living with orange on my wall.  Hope that won't put a damper on luminosity.

4. surface treatment: I like your machine quilting, but mainly your choice of what surface treatment suits the design.

6. fused or pieced: whichever you think works best for the design.

5. imagery: here's where I've been having trouble focusing so I've left it for last, and it's where I'm looking for your inspiration.  Something with a strong central image, whether that's something figurative like Technique Rebellion or something more realistic such as in Moonstruck and Fuschias.  Or else something scenic that includes a background glow as in Bradford Copse or Red Light (without the orange!).

Certainly all those parameters won't fit into one quilt, and if some thoughts about imagery come to mind as you're gardening I'd love to hear your general ideas.

My "gardening" is usually more like yardwork.  This afternoon (it's just after 12:00 here on the west coast) I have to uproot dandelions and mow the lawn, which is challenging on a lot with a steepish slope and a long electric cord.  Good luck with your new garden.  And thanks again for this wonderful opportunity for collaboration!

All the best,



  1. Hilary, I think you like orange and just don't realize it since every quilt mentioned with the exception of Fuschias, has a lot! :). I love all your options so it will be fun to see what Melody comes up with, as always!

    1. Hilary3:37 PM

      Hi Susan,
      It probably has to do with the fact that orange clothing looks awful on me. In very small doses in a quilt it would be fine.


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