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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Making Oranges into Orangeade

Ok. So, I was being uncharacteristically positive on Friday about my ginkgo fabric from Spoonflower. The greens? Perfect. The detailing? Spot on. But the orange? Unless there's an as yet undiscovered subset of duck hunters who really dig ginkgo leaf fashion, this fabric is going nowhere.

The color, as I designed it, is a deep, rich, ripe persimmon color. As printed? Safety cone.

So what did I learn? A couple of things:

First, SWATCH, dummy! The Spoonflower folks make it very cheap to get a swatch of your fabric before you take the plunge on lots of yardage. But I didn't get a swatch--because to me, that would be like ordering an eggroll to test out the Chinese place down the corner, and only ordering dinner after the eggroll arrived; for me, that could lead to death by anticipation. (Remember?) So just to be clear: there is no one to blame for this color mishap than me. Which is to say, I still heart Spoonflower!

Second, there's always a work around. The green fabric came out perfectly, and I couldn't bear the thought of waiting to sew until I had the ginkgo fabric redone in better colors. So I did the next best thing. I took a deep breath, and tried not to think as I sliced into the ginkgo fabric and cut out one of the motifs.

Inspired by this awesome quilt, I appliqued the leaves on using a sketch-like, freeform approach that I think fits nicely with the hand-drawn quality of the leaves. Sort of rustic modern, I think.

Then I sewed it all into a wee (12"x12") envelope pillow with a 1/2" flange.

Third, did I mention SWATCH!?! Oy.

I'm happy with the results. But more than that, I'm happy with myself. For not overreacting to disappointment. For bucking up and making it work. For remembering that what I love about all of this is the process, the problem solving. For remembering that perfection is elusive but always worth pursuing.


Karen said...

I have so totally been there, Cameron. I was going to my BF's sister's wedding and I wanted to make my dress. I bought yards of this polka dot print I loved. The fabric looked great on the bolt but but it looked horrible in the wrap around dress I made from it. I decided to wear it anyway--out of stubbornness or spite, I guess. The bride actually gasped when she saw how LOUD it was. Because I was just a GF, I didn't contaminate her wedding pics, though. And he's history anyway.

How cute would your orange fabric be as the bodies of appliqued animals or other designs, like that quilt you link to? It would also make a great summery bag in an Amy Bulter-ish pattern, I think.

Natasha said...

I think the cushion looks great! Live and learn - but I agree with Karen. I think there are lots of ways you can use up the orange.