Opinion Pls. on this pictured quilt layout

pirate_girlJune 15, 2012

Hi all,

Pls. pardon me if I post & run, am looking for opinions. I've never made a quilt w/ lots of black before, kind of fell in love w/ this group of fabrics together. Is this too maudlin or morbid?

another shot:

I'm interested to see what the group feels about it, thanks I'll check back later.

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I love quilts with black. Makes them look very Amish. ColleenNY

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:43PM
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I think if it works for you then to go for it! The plain black squares would offer a great quilting opportunity.

For me, I'd have to have the colored frame around each black square to be the same all the way around. In your 2nd picture for example, the green frame and the white frame are not complete. That would disturb me for eternity! lol

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Asking an opinion on a creation is a place I don't venture. rofl. It is like asking a Reuben's collector what he thinks of a particular Picasso. There shall be no general consensus of opinion and some of them will validate your work and some not and it is very hard not to let their opinions impact how you perceive your efforts.

I've seen some ribbons on art show quilts I wouldn't grace the trunk of my car with. I've also seen others ridiculed I'd hang from my wall with pride.

That's why folk art, such as quilting, gratifies me so much, and aside from proper technique is all about personal interpretation and personal enjoyment. The only person who has to enjoy a piece is the creator and the recipient.

I used to do floral arrangments as part of my business. I can't tell you how crushed I would be when I put my skills and heart into a creation only to not have the customer gush over it. Some people just don't gush over anything I have discovered. Some people gush over everything. One is as bad as the other. LOL.

This is a dramatic quilt. You venture out of the 'safe zone' with drama. Good for you. I do too.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:03AM
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I think if you love it, you should make it. Black is very dramatic, and I haven't made many quilts, but I did make one with a lot of black and I loved it. Be sure you have really good lighting. Black is a hard color to work with. I didn't use black batting, because I was afraid the black batting would darken some of the light fabrics in the quilt. You might think about that too before you decide on a batting color.

The quilt isn't maudlin or morbid at all in my opinion. I'd say, go for it. And have fun. Lois

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 12:04PM
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As long as it's not morbid or seemingly a downer. Thanks for the Opinions (good point about the Amish Colleen, hadn't thought about that). I like hearing it looks dramatic. And yes, I am one to push boundaries, especially my own in design-wise. Color-wise too here as I'm not a fan of red, yet here, this sort of plum like shade, this combination of colors & prints feels harmonious to me.

Yes, Jennifer

" I'd have to have the colored frame around each black square to be the same all the way around. In your 2nd picture for example, the green frame and the white frame are not complete. That would disturb me for eternity! "

I agree completely, I'd done it differently for some reason, which I can no longer recall, so I put it back; 'cause yes, once I read your comment it drove me crazy too. Since I can't seem to fathom what else I was thinking, I did take those areas apart & am putting them back to the quoted arrangement.

I think these fabrics came from a "yardage for charity work" table, but they spoke so strongly to me, I may just ask to keep it for myself (I'm currently on my 3rd charity quilt for the year, so I hope my group won't mind. I'm still Newish to the Guild (3rd year, so I'm still learning how some things work.))

It's so helpful to have you folks as a resource to bounce ideas off. Thank you.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:34PM
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OK, the anti-black person must chime in:

~ I like black in accents, framing, part of the background, part of a pieced block, but not in large squares in blocks

~ quilting on black can be a *PITA* - this I do know

~ lots of black will show cat/dog hair in a major way

~ quilts should have life - dark vs light, movement, secondary patterns, etc. I do not see this in the quilt posted.

I think you could improve on the quilt posted. I encourage you to put your own creativity into the design.

Teresa - who is also anti-bling, but is nevertheless a nice person ;o)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 7:34PM
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I love using black in a quilt. I also like dark, but I agree 100% with Teresa.
This design & it's limited colorway & lack of shading doesn't project happy or create a positive mood, which I think is important for charity quilts. If you are keeping this for yourself, then I say proceed with what you feel is going to satisfy your design itch. This is one you may want to put away and look at it again in a few weeks or months and see if your perspective is the same.
Just my free opinion - worth what you paid for it :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Teresa said it all but I do like black and it needs the right kind of help in MHO-----this said to each his own as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:19AM
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I agree with Teresa, who is a very nice person indeed.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:30AM
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I'm with Jennifer in that each black square should be surrounded by the same fabric. I'm with those who said if you like it that way, then go for it. I'm with Teresa! I know she's a nice person even though I've never met her. @:) Certain blacks fade over time of being washed so using the same black in a quilt is pretty much best. I'm with Marsha in that if this is for charity, applique or do something in the black squares to give it a little more happiness. What kind of charity does your guild give to? Red Cross? Project Linus? What kind of tragedy have the people been through to warrant a quilt? That often determines how a quilt should look.

In times past, black is associated with death.....and marriage in my family....lol. You never know how someone you don't know will perceive your creation.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:09PM
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About 12 years ago I made a quilt with some bright blues and greens, but the main body of the quilt is black. It's been used on our bed at least part of each year since and washed many, many times. With 3 cats and 2 dogs, everything gets washed a lot! The black has faded but only a little; I found a tiny piece of the original fabric to compare. Now that I'm a better quilter I mean to go back and quilt some more interesting designs in the center of each large black block, maybe in a variegated blue/green/yellow thread, but we've never thought of this as a funereal gloomy quilt. To us it's dramatic and cheerful.

Yes - black will show pet hair.
Yes - black can be overwhelming and having a distinct pattern can overcome that.
Yes - pretty quilting in the black spaces will make it 'happier'.
Yes - black can be a perfect compliment to brighter, showier colors, making them POP!
Yes - go for it! play with it! make it your own! do it!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Ok..........just a few more thoughts to using a lot of black in a quilt. When paper piecing, black in the background hides all those seams to the point they're nearly invisible, and especially so after the piece is quilted. Yes, dog and cat hair show, but the same quality also shows off contrasting stitching, and for whole cloth, or nearly whole cloth quilts, it can be used to your advantage showing off the quilting design. I have some quilting friends who were dumbfounded to find I use a lot of black in my quilts, but it all boils down to 'the eye of the beholder' issue.

We were talking about pushing the envelope, or creating outside the box. Here's my current project. It's more a sampler of techniques than anything else all rolled up into one. It's basically a whole cloth, so I can try my hand at large stitch (sashiko) quilting. Both are new to me. It has paperpieced blocks, applique and sewn pieces. Although it's hand quilted, I chose to use fat, cotton yard to knot the stars. I'll be stuffing the sun down the line in a faux trapunto and finishing off the sun in an embroidery stitch. It's about as mixed media as you can get. Don't expect everyone to like it, but it was about experimenting and I plan to keep it myself.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Calliope, it's beautiful!!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 1:25PM
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Oh my! That is a show stopping quilt, Calliope! And a great use of black!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Calliope~Oh wow! The hand quilting is beautiful! Your quilting and use of the different colors and shades is uplifting and is very festive & happy.

Kate~Your quilt also feels happy & airy, and makes me feel like I am in a garden.

I use alot of black in general, in fact, I think everything needs a touch of black. Black backgrounds and using alot of black in combination with the right colors and shades is very striking. Here are 3 quilts where black is very prominent.

I agree, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:45PM
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I'm just lovin' seeing all those striking black quilts.

Thanks for the compliment on mine, but it's been a love/hate relationship and I won't decide if I love it/tolerate it until the last stitch is made. I zoomed in on the design so you could see how I used the black for contrast to stitching, but the borders on this quilt are scrappy piano key, in between hot pink and screaming apple green, with purple paisley print keystone blocks at the corners. The binding shall be the softest sky blue.

The background design is made-up as I quilted, and freehand, so you will see lots of variation in the spacing. When this baby hits hot water for the first time, it'll pucker up so that they'll be less discernable. I'm a dreadful hand-quilter and working in pain from the arthritis isn't helping matters any. So this won't be anything I'll ever drag out to display in public. But, it makes me smile. That's what it's all about.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Calliope, I love your quilt! Your use of color and stitching pattern are perfect for the black background.
All the lovely examples of black quilts prove that it is the way it is used and not the color that creates the best results. Black can be overwhelming or an enabler in a quilt.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 9:10PM
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