Friday, December 1, 2017

A Christmas Deadline: The Western Kringle Quilt -- Pt 1: Choosing the Pattern

So in addition to working on not one but two Bonnie Hunter mysteries, I'll also be trying to finish up another big project that I had started sewing up in early November.  

Every year my husband's family does a gift Kringle and a name is drawn for each person so that everyone only has to buy a gift for one family member.  This year I was told early on that my giftee would be my Mother-In-Law's husband.  When my DH visited them a few years back (they live in NC), he found out that her husband was a big fan of Westerns -- both movies and TV shows.  When he watched TV, if he wasn't watching a sports game, he was watching a Western!  From that point on, I said if I ever needed to make a quilt for him, it would definitely be with a Western theme.

Normally, I don't get the giftee information until a few weeks before Christmas but since they told me early in the year this time, I had enough time to plan to make a quilt for him.  Over the years, whenever I was shopping (or just browsing sales) for fabrics, I would see if there were any Western themed fabrics that interested me or that immediately inspired a quilt design.  I always say that the Quilt Muses look out for me because back in June, AQS had a big clearance sale and lo and behold, they had a few Western theme prints among their offerings!  I liked what they had and appreciated that the fabrics were already coordinated.  So in order to decide how much to buy, I had to go looking for a pattern.

Keeping the fabric colors, values and print scales in mind, I skimmed through some of my quilt books and I came across this quilt:

It was a Mystery Sampler (the theme of the year for me it seems!) from M'Liss Rae Hawley's book "Fat Quarter Quilts".  I've owned this book since I started quilting but have never had the opportunity to make a quilt from it.  This one particularly caught my eye for three reasons:  the color and scale of the fabrics used in it were similar to the ones I was considering (saves me a lot of design decision time), it already had a Western theme ("Jed the Lone Star Roper" made by Vicki DeGraaf, 1998) and it featured fussy cuts of cowboy heads which dovetailed with another idea I had:  to include photo transfer pictures of Western movie and TV characters/stars in whatever design I did.  The fact that this design already slotted the perfect locations for that was a plus!  

However, I quickly realized that I liked more of the fabrics being offered than could reasonably work together in this design.  So I went looking around for something that could better accommodate all the fabrics AQS had and I found this:

from here:

This is Deanne Moore's book "Fabric Play" and it is another book that I've long wanted to make a quilt from.  Deanne is also the designer behind the pattern line "Creative Sewlutions" and I have a kit for her "BoxTrot" pattern that's currently a "Hussy" (HSY - Haven't Started Yet).  The book's premise is all in the title: "Change the Fabric, Change the Quilt".  For example, here's how this quilt is made up in two different colorways in the book :

For more on the book, see this Martingale blog post about it.
For me, I could immediately see using all of the AQS fabrics in this by substituting the similarly colored fabrics where the design used a constant fabric.  I could also see adding the pictures I wanted to the bottom of some of the fabric strips.  Sold!  Well, not yet, now that I had a useable design, I needed to order the fabric.  More on that in the next post.

1 comment:

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Your post is a good reminder to look through our stash of "books". :) I like your choice....have fun with it Viv.