Monday 18 December 2017

Secret Garden: What I'd Do Differently..

They say you 'live and learn', well let's just say I learn more than most. Although I'm always challenging myself, sometimes I make the wrong decision in my quest for finding new ways around creative choices. Secret Garden is an adventure of a quilt - full of romance and detail. It's one of my most beautiful quilt designs and now that I've made my top and can take a step back from all the creative chaos, I see what I would improve and do differently if I could go back in time.
I got the fabrics all wrong and this colouring miscalculation has let down my design on my own quilt top. It should be a shining show stopper - but it's actually a 'look-over' - full of exquisite detail, but easily missed.
 How did I get it so wrong?
I picked the wrong fabrics. 

Don't get me wrong, the range of fabrics I opted for are beautiful and not at 'fault', no, the fault is all mine. I decided for once that I would spare myself the hours of fabric deliberations and simply do with a single pallette that was essentially all worked out to go together and that it would be so harmonious that it would work - and save me hunting out endless combinations of hues. And you know, I do this all the time - hunting out fabric that is. I took the lazy option and it didn't work for me.
Staying within the single pallette turned out to be too gentle and too washed out. The result is a quilt that is too low contrast and too wishy washy. I've looked at my top long and hard and the real issue was choosing the subdued green background. 
It just dulls everything down.
These wonderful and gentle spring hues would have come to life on a white, cream or linen background. 
And I seriously considered unpicking all my applique and restitching it on a new background, but of course, it's all stitched down much too permanently and can't be undone. 

Quilt and learn.
 Do I still love it? Of course. It's an incredible quilt. 
But I made the wrong colour choice. 
And I have serious considerations about re-making it in a completely different colour scheme. 
When? Who knows!
Lucky for me, those of you who have been making your own Secret Gardens have made better colour choices than I have! And I've been thrilled to enjoy the visual feast of them all from dark to bright, to gentle and light. Perks of creating a BOM, even when you get it wrong, you can watch other's get it right. 


  1. Oh Esther I am feeling for you right now. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder because what I see is wonderful.

  2. I agree with Pieta - while you aren't totally happy, it actually looks very pretty in that it is a relaxed subtle "ahhhhh" look rather than bright "gasp!". A tranquil secret garden and it's nice to have something different once in a while.
    Kind regards,

  3. Your blocks are beautiful Esther. I know it is so disappointing when one of our creations doesn't quite meet the mark we have set. I love your work. Perhaps I can join your group at sme point and work along learning to do this beautiful applique

  4. I think it will look fabulous when quilted. All that wonderful applique will really 'pop'.

  5. I wonder if machine quilting this with a shiny white-ish thread (like ploy neon machine embroidery thread) would brighten it up? Especially if it was a heavy-ish background full design? It's beautiful though, just not n the way you had envisioned.


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