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Thread: need some advice on background fabric and sashing option

  1. #1
    Member ND-Mom's Avatar
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    Smile need some advice on background fabric and sashing option

    Hi, ladies:

    I am in the processing of making a college quilt for my son. He recently graduated and moved to CA. He is an organic synthesis chemist.

    I have two questions. First, if I only use one fabric as background/sashing, which one do you prefer ( the top one or the bottom one)? You might have to look more closely. some of the blocks are just color paper copies and I am going to have them print on fabrics. At this stage, I just need something to look at to see the overall effect and determine the size of each image to fit for the design.

    Second, would it be better instead of using one fabric, I make some quilt pattern to fill up between the images like the second quilt picture (which I copied from this website and I hope the owner won't blame me for using it without permition)? My concern is that if I make some patterns as sashing/filling, it will be too busy and all the images won't stand out. My current background is more of a red color. I am trying to stay close to Harvard school color - crimson. If I make different quilt patterns as sashing, the whole background color will change, too. I am not sure if that's what I want to see.

    My current layout is more like a picture album page, not much quilt component in it. I made one high school graduation T-shirt quilt for my son before. That was my first quilt.

    I came from China 26 yrs ago. That's why you see some Chinese in the design. I started learning quilt making three years ago. I leaned so much from this forum and enjoyed making quilts very much.

    Thanks for any input.

    Happy Holidays everyone!
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  2. #2
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    Your son will love it, no matter what choice you make. I like your layout best of all three - it is "organic".

    I see two areas toward the bottom that have large blank areas compared to the rest of the layout that is filled evenly. Can you add a family picture or two to make it even more personal for him? As for the fabrics: I like both reds - they play nicely together. If you use the patterned one, the blocks will appear more subtle. If you use the solid, the blocks will pop more.

    I see a small stripe of an ochre-yellow under the black block in the upper center. I really like that with the reds. That color is repeated throughout some of the blocks and it would go good as a frame.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I'd go with the solid background fabric. The other one might distract the eye from the blocks. I wouldn't fill in with quilted blocks either. But I would probably play with the arrangement a little and put the largest one in the center and the others surrounding it. You could always use that 1st background fabric as a border. Maybe put a narrow black border, then the print.

  4. #4
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Personally, I like the single red fabric, the bottom one. I do like the second quilt, but also agree that the pieced blocks overpower the others, and WOW, Harvard!!!! I'd want that to stand out! I like the staggered layout on the top one also.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter View Post
    Your son will love it, no matter what choice you make. I like your layout best of all three - it is "organic".

    I see two areas toward the bottom that have large blank areas compared to the rest of the layout that is filled evenly. Can you add a family picture or two to make it even more personal for him? As for the fabrics: I like both reds - they play nicely together. If you use the patterned one, the blocks will appear more subtle. If you use the solid, the blocks will pop more.

    I see a small stripe of an ochre-yellow under the black block in the upper center. I really like that with the reds. That color is repeated throughout some of the blocks and it would go good as a frame.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks Martina. Yes, I will have something for the blank spots, maybe some family pictures.

    Thanks for your advice.

  6. #6
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    I like the look of the bottom more solid crimson with the layout you have. It has a nice masuline look to it and I would not add pieced blocks to it.

    Forgot to add...I always test red and highly saturated colours for bleeding before putting them in a quilt. Put a fabric piece in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. If there is no colour in the water, lay the piece of fabric on a white paper towel to dry and check the paper towel after drying for any colour. If everything goes well then proceed.
    Last edited by Tartan; 12-21-2014 at 12:09 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I like the look of the bottom more solid crimson with the layout you have. It has a nice masuline look to it and I would not add pieced blocks to it.

    Forgot to add...I always test red and highly saturated colours for bleeding before putting them in a quilt. Put a fabric piece in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. If there is no colour in the water, lay the piece of fabric on a white paper towel to dry and check the paper towel after drying for any colour. If everything goes well then proceed.
    Tartan: Thanks for the advice for test the fabric before proceed too far. That's something I didn't know before.

  8. #8
    Super Member Maureen NJ's Avatar
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    I like the solid red color and the layout of the first one. I think they would look nice with less sashing between the pictures and inner borders of the yellow and black and an outer border of the red.

  9. #9
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    I like the bottom red fabric and layout. It allows the eye to travel to each item.

  10. #10
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I like the subtle red print fabric the best. It will add a little pattern to the quilt without overwhelming the pictures.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter View Post
    Your son will love it, no matter what choice you make. I like your layout best of all three - it is "organic".

    I see two areas toward the bottom that have large blank areas compared to the rest of the layout that is filled evenly. Can you add a family picture or two to make it even more personal for him? As for the fabrics: I like both reds - they play nicely together. If you use the patterned one, the blocks will appear more subtle. If you use the solid, the blocks will pop more.

    I see a small stripe of an ochre-yellow under the black block in the upper center. I really like that with the reds. That color is repeated throughout some of the blocks and it would go good as a frame.

    Hope that helps.
    these are my thoughts, too
    Nancy in western NY
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  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone! many good tips and input.

  13. #13
    KLO
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    First of all, I too love the solid red and your setting of the blocks is really wonderful. I am sure you will be tweaking that as you go but over all, I like the looks of it and the blocks stand out nicely. Looks like your son got a scholarship since his "other ride is a scholarship". Was it for Harvard?

    Secondly, the term "organic synthesis chemist" seems to contain words that are at odds with each other. What does he actually do? Hope you get to visit him in CA.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLO View Post
    First of all, I too love the solid red and your setting of the blocks is really wonderful. I am sure you will be tweaking that as you go but over all, I like the looks of it and the blocks stand out nicely. Looks like your son got a scholarship since his "other ride is a scholarship". Was it for Harvard?

    Secondly, the term "organic synthesis chemist" seems to contain words that are at odds with each other. What does he actually do? Hope you get to visit him in CA.
    Hi, KLO:

    Thanks for the input. My son won some scholarships (AXA, Coca-Cola, Intel STS) during his high school year. These scholarships are different from what he got from Harvard, which is financial needed based (not merit based). The t-shirt was an old one from his high school period that has nothing to do with Harvard financial Aid.

    I should make his professional more clear. He synthesis organic molecules for drug discovery use - pharma industry.

    I visited his place during Thanksgiving and it was nice to be away from ND.

    Thanks for the message. Happy holiday!

  15. #15
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    It really depends on the amount of t-shirts you have to deal with. I like the red one. Hope he likes it here in CA !!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  16. #16
    shy
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    I like the bottom red best..u could just space the center line a little farther apart..wouldn't have to add more..by moving them all a little down..the space would be fill in..in my opinion the top red is too busy with all the rest u have going on..it pulls away from the pictures and etc..if u do a border..I would stick to small print..or u could use the top red for the border.

  17. #17
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    I like the picture album layout w/ the solid background /sashing the best. You could accentuate that idea by putting a narrow border around each block (maybe ocre yellow ) and a corner triangle in black in each corner like the old scrap album corners

    Like these.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Sandi's Avatar
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    I like the top one - red With an added border

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    I really like the first pic. Being a scientist (therefore having a science brain!), I think your son will like the clean format of the first one. The only change I would make would be to move the lowest white patch over a bit towards the middle. This would appear more balanced and it would provide a great spot for you to put a small label.
    Your T-Shirt quilt is wonderful (balanced color and pix) and that is was your first quilt is amazing!

  20. #20
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    I think they are all very pretty but I especially like the third.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kassaundra View Post
    I like the picture album layout w/ the solid background /sashing the best. You could accentuate that idea by putting a narrow border around each block (maybe ocre yellow ) and a corner triangle in black in each corner like the old scrap album corners

    Like these.
    Thanks Kassaundra! What a great idea for enhance the picture frame for each block! I love it!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by klswift View Post
    I really like the first pic. Being a scientist (therefore having a science brain!), I think your son will like the clean format of the first one. The only change I would make would be to move the lowest white patch over a bit towards the middle. This would appear more balanced and it would provide a great spot for you to put a small label.
    Your T-Shirt quilt is wonderful (balanced color and pix) and that is was your first quilt is amazing!
    Hi, Klswift:

    Thanks for the message and the suggestion! I have been contemplating about where I should put that big white square block. I am thinking of cutting each corner a bit so that it won't be a square (soften up a bit). That was also the reason I put a little graduation cap at the corner to break up the square shape a bit.

    Thanks!

  23. #23
    KLO
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    Quote Originally Posted by ND-Mom View Post
    Hi, KLO:

    Thanks for the input. My son won some scholarships (AXA, Coca-Cola, Intel STS) during his high school year. These scholarships are different from what he got from Harvard, which is financial needed based (not merit based). The t-shirt was an old one from his high school period that has nothing to do with Harvard financial Aid.

    I should make his professional more clear. He synthesis organic molecules for drug discovery use - pharma industry.

    I visited his place during Thanksgiving and it was nice to be away from ND.

    Thanks for the message. Happy holiday!
    Thanks for clearing that up for me. We certainly need people like him. Glad to hear that you got to visit him already. It's almost always nice to get away once in a while. I have been saving up t-shirts for years now for all three of my kids. I need to do something with them sooner rather than later at this point. I really do like the way yours is shaping up. It's more interesting having different sizes mixed up on the top. And a very Happy Holiday to you also!

  24. #24
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    My favourite is the first of your three pictures; the one that looks like yearbook pages (with the bonus of that great saying "My other ride is a scholarship"). The picture with quilt blocks in it takes away from the keepsake blocks, and the grid pattern is just a grid. The first actually displays your T-shirts and sayings.
    Barbara

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  25. #25
    Junior Member ShelleyCS's Avatar
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    You go, mom! A scientist for a son. Good job!

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