Monday 12 August 2013

The Fabrics Have Arrived!

I returned home late last night after a long weekend away on business with my DH, and I was really happy to see that my fabric had arrived on Friday. I've really enjoyed seeing the fabrics you've selected to make LE, so I've been excited to share my choices with you as soon as they arrived.Today it's hailing and overcast and dreary (perfect quilting weather) so I've lined up the fabrics to show you what I've got. It's always hard to photograph in this kind of daylight so I've taken the photo's under a natural daylight lamp to keep them as accurate as possible.
My fabric 'journey' for this quilt has been a long and winding one. First I was set on an entire range (that promptly sold out before I could purchase it), then I had my heart set on exquisite chintz from Denmark (which was just too expensive and over budget) so finally I settled on a range that I could use for a kind of sophisticated scrappy look. The advantage of this was also the option of using existing fabrics from my stash. Now that my fabric is here, some of it is hit and miss and I will have to raid my stash to make it work...that's just the reality of buying off screen, not everything is what I expected it to be. But the fabrics I love, I really love so I will be adding my own stash to make it work.

I love all these blues and they work really well, what I am still missing is a good dusty / powder blue in a light pastel tone. I don't have a light value blue, these are all 'sameish' value wise, so I am on the lookout for some pale blue for balance.

The 5 blues on the right are all misses. I don't like any of them. The tones are wrong and they just don't work. On the left, the white with blue print is a maybe - I think it's pretty but am still undecided.
These two were my option for the light/dark contrast zigzag border...but I don't like them! Close up, they are really pretty, but as soon as you stand away from them, they dull out. I don't think they're going to work. I'm still undecided. I don't think they will do LE justice. But saying that, I'm still in two minds. I might make a row of zigzags up and see how they look.

These are my greens: each in a different hue which I didn't expect. I do like each in their own way, they're very pretty and I love the pale mossy blue...but do they work together? Hmmm I don't think so. It might take another fabric  from the stash to make these tones gel.

As for the red and green print on the left, yes I love it, what a great print for my scrappy idea and it does work so well with one of my backgrounds.

I love all these reds, from dark to light, what a relief!
But these pinks? I don't like any of them! They just don't work for this project. I think they're going straight into the stash :(  I do like the purple and gold...but again, need buffer fabrics to make these colours work in the rest of the quilt!
Complete miss! What was I thinking? These don't work at all!
 Battle of the Backgrounds!
Now this is difficult: which background fabric to opt for? This first one is lightly dotted with green (Jasmine tea by Jesse Aller) and I loved the idea of it, and it works with all the fabrics but on daylight it looks grayish and a little dull.

This is 100% linen from Reece Scannell ( and is so far the most expensive fabric for the quilt (AU $55 per metre). It is slightly wider and you need only 5.5 metres instead of 7 in this fabric. Well, it's a stunner and I love the idea of using linen (as in the original) it's grainy, quite heavy in weight and has a beautiful citrus yellow through it. The body is lovely, easy to handle and it would handle needle turn beautifully, it feels like silk linen. Yes, I adore it and when I think how much needle turn will be worked upon it, I know hand sewing this fabric will be a dream and I can understand completely why the original was worked in linen.

 This is the texture close up
This is my last choice: it's imported Italian Linen. It's bleached natural linen and it's a beautiful white, not too heavy, the texture is good. It was also expensive at (AU $47 per metre), I actually purchased it a few years ago for my DH's linen shirts (which I will never make now that I see it's potential for quilting!). The only question on this one, is do I want a white background? Part of me says yes as white can pick up colours so nicely, on the other hand, yellow might work better.
Then there's the thought that this linen is lighter, which might be easier to handle on such a large project. But then again, if I quilt the coverlet (and I don't know if I will or not), the background fabric has to be up to the task of taking so much work.
Then there's the weight: this quilt has the potential to be quite heavy with all the applique so perhaps a lighter linen is the answer?

It's decision making time. I have to go through my stash and add what I think will work, failing that, I'll have to run down to my local store and fill in any missing gaps so that I can finally start this incredible and inspiring quilt.

Fabric selection is never easy. In some ways, after seeing the V&A Exhibition in Brisbane last month, I realised that the original marriage coverlet was certainly a dark scrappy and that I have a lot more freedom that I had first imagined when I tried to create a Georgian colour scheme. The fact is, I don't have any of the brown, purple or dark yellows that I will need to make this scrappy harmonise.

Even now, I keep re-arranging and playing with the know that feeling you get when you are putting a quilt together, when you know you've got it? I'm still working around my options until that feeling comes...

I keep moving from one room to the next with my fabric piles, looking at them in different lights. I was a bit disheartened to see so many put aside but they are are all beautiful and will be put to use in other projects. Now I have to focus on what does work and get this quilt started!


  1. I love the fabrics you have chosen

  2. So pleased your fabrics have finally arrived, can't wait to see how you use them plus some from your stash, of course! Thank you again for the pattern, its fantastic and I'm having a great time. Celia

  3. Sounds like your heart has already chosen the light yellow linen for your background? Do you always work with all your fabrics chosen at the beginning of your quilt? You can also decide as you go along which color your quilt needs at that stage? But finally you can start can't wait to see your version.

  4. I'm pleased to hear that your fabrics have arrived, even if they aren't all what you were hoping for! Buying on-line is always a bit a gamble - of the most fun sort! I hope that you are able to come down to your final selection soon and join in the fun of stitching your wonderful pattern!

  5. They are lovely! I can't wait to see what you are going to do with them!!

  6. Your fabrics are beautiful

  7. Lovely choice of fabrics Esther, the Italian linen looks beautiful.

  8. Oh my gosh Esther after reading all your comments I'm confused too. LOL so may beautiful fabrics and so many having to be put aside, I really really like your back ground fabrics but what a difficult decision to make on those too. I love the green you have next to the pattern of LE it looks like the green I'm using as my back ground fabric. Now Just have fun playing with the fabrics for a few days after waiting so so long. Glenda

  9. Oh my gosh Esther after reading all your comments I'm confused too. LOL so may beautiful fabrics and so many having to be put aside, I really really like your back ground fabrics but what a difficult decision to make on those too. I love the green you have next to the pattern of LE it looks like the green I'm using as my back ground fabric. Now Just have fun playing with the fabrics for a few days after waiting so so long. Glenda

  10. Thanks for sharing your fabric selection process with us. I go through so many of the same thoughts when starting LE. It is so interesting to read your progress, and especially see your rejected fabrics too. Your quilt is going to be wonderful. Enjoy the journey.
    Judy in Virginia

  11. So glad to hear you finally got your fabrics, love your choices. I can see your delemia in choosing a background fabric.
    Hugs Turtle

  12. So happy to see your fabrics have arrived. I love the idea of a linen background and look forward to seeing your final choice. I usually have no trouble selecting fabrics but LE has been quite a challenge, I just want to make sure I do your beautiful pattern justice. Thanks again and have fun making playing in your stash.

  13. Oh my goodness you have chosen many wonderful fabrics whatever you choose will be just beautiful.
    The creamy yellow linen is very yummy. I of course love your aqua too. Looking forward to seeing your center start.

  14. This is perhaps the most difficult part of quilting. All of these fabrics are lovely. The linen seems very special. Your fabrics have a wonderful playfulness which works well with the quilt's pattern. Joyce

  15. It's a tough job, picking out the right fabrics, but so much fun too, all those pretty and not so pretty fabrics.

  16. Those were worth waiting for!
    I love the blues in particular!
    Margaret, in Connecticut

  17. They are all beautiful fabrics. Love, love, love linen. But if YOU are having this many questions poor little me will never get them chosen!

  18. what a beautiful fabric! and the yellow linen, I like it very much
    Choose is Always difficult
    as I can see there is plenty to choose
    Have fun with it
    groet Ineke

  19. I love it, this is the exciting part choosing what will go where....

  20. So excited for you that they came and you can start!

  21. PS - The yellow linen took my breath away!

  22. Love your fabrics! But I can imagine that sometimes you're a little disappointed when ordering online & from the screen it looks entirely different than in real life. I've had that experience too.

  23. How about dyeing the white linen with tea?

  24. Ohh yes colour and fabric choises...
    I know that the choice of color and fabric of this quilt is very difficult ...
    Before the first pattern was continued I doubt.... willI do this or that ...
    I could not figure it out until I had the old oil painting of my grandfather in my hands then I knew it .... but the zigzag edge is as difficult... first have a mixed version made ​​but... I am glad that I chose a quiet lilac.
    In short, the choice remains difficult!
    Greetings from Marijke

  25. wow, love youre fabrics, the red and blue. I still thinking about my fabrics voor de LE!

    love Sandra (OmaSan)

  26. Lovely fabrics.
    I still cant get my head around what fabrics to use.


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