Monday, January 20, 2014

Prints and solids -- a reader responds

Earlier this month I talked about my personal rules for quilting, which hold that you shouldn't mix solids and prints.  I realize that this rule is both arbitrary and open to argument, so I invited readers to argue.

Angela Welch sent in a photo of her quilt and wrote:  "The popularity of solids in 'modern' quilts got me interested in trying them.  I've seen many quilts I admire that are exclusively solids, made in the modern aesthetic.  Usually, I prefer quilts that have a variety of types of fabrics.  All batiks, or all hand-dyes, or all of just about anything is usually dull, so I though, why not mix prints and solids and see what happens?

Angela Welch, Tree #2, 34" x 28"

"My first (and only, so far) experiment with this is my quilt Tree #2.  It is mostly solids, mixed with hand-dyes and prints that read as solids.  What I learned from this is that solids seem very flat and make it harder to create depth.  While there are some aspects of this quilt that I like (the shapes, the overall movement) mostly I think it looks too flat.

"After finishing this quilt recently, I think I'm moving back toward the wide variety of prints I usually use.  Solids aren't really for me (I think)."


Kathy responds:  I don't think this looks particularly flat; in fact, I have a hard time seeing from this image which pieces are solids and which just read as solids.  Probably not visible in this photo is the beautiful quilting; the whole surface is filled with elaborate feathers and leaf motifs.

But if you don't think solids are for you, then don't use them!  That's how this whole discussion started, with a "rule" that made sense to its maker, if not to anybody else.  How nice that we have the freedom to make and follow our own rules.

Thanks, Angela, for the photo!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for including my work, and for your nice comments! When I try to really "see" the photo, rather than the image of the quilt in my head, I can see that the prints I used don't really read as prints as much as I thought they did.
    As for using solids in the future, who knows? I'm at that stage in quilting where I'm still trying to figure out what I really like.