Friday, August 24, 2012

My Next Big Project

Barbara Brackman, who authored the Civil War Block of the Week series I followed last year, is starting a new block of the week, this one following the struggle for women's right to vote in 1913.  She's calling it "Grandmother's Choice."  I knew immediately I wanted to make this quilt and turn it into a family heirloom.  My maternal grandmother was married in 1913 and she was an excellent needleworker, so I want to dedicate it to her.

The series will begin on the first of September, but my first issue was to decide who in the family should get the quilt.  I had not made a quilt for anyone in my brother Carl's family and so I thought one of them should be the recipient.  Because the quilt will have this historic context, I immediately thought of my niece, Dana, because she majored in U.S. History, and she agreed - commenting the project sounded intriguing. 

I emailed her to ask what colors she might like her quilt made from.  She studied the suggestions Barbara Brackman had made on her blog and chose the Green and Gold color scheme that was used by the women of Australia.  Green and Gold appealed to Dana because they are the colors of  William and Mary, where she earned her degree.

I checked the William and Mary website to be sure my green and gold fabrics would remind Dana of her Alma Mater - and to pick up other cues that can tie her to her great grandmother, Faye. Well, the colors alone make a good start because my grandmother's living room in the house I remember was green and gold. The gold is a bright yellow gold, and the green is a dark hunter. I have pulled fabrics that I believe will fit and took a photo yesterday.

There's quite a range of greens and golds, with a lot of off-whites and goldish light tans, in all kinds of prints and handdyes and even a few solids.  The group of greens fanned out in the middle are a hand-dyed gradient collection I have had for some years.  The darkest are the basic W&M hunter green.  I may not use a few of the prints I chose that don't blend.  But sometimes a not-quite-right color is a good choice - it can create a spark of interest.

Even though I have many fabrics here, I will have to buy more.  I would like some prints that mix the green and yellow without adding any other colors, so I'll have to be on the lookout. I think I should be able to find florals or leaf prints to suit.  But sometimes, Ms. Brackman has such a compelling story behind a block, you almost have to use a special-themed print to do it justice.  Some people printed illustrations on fabric for those - there might be a few photographs in the family collection that will have to be included in Dana's Grandmother's Choice.


Sherrye said...

I can't wait to see this one take shape! I will also look in my stash and see if I have some green/gold mixes. If so, I guess we will have to plan another lunch date... :o).

Vicki W said...

I think I will be joining you on this new project too. My friend tested the blocks for her and got me interested in it. I am doing blacks, browns and golds.

Dorry said...

You have a good big stack to choose from. Only one week to go now. There seems to be several of us on the look out for a multicolor print.