Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Making Plaid and Roses Modern

Back before the holidays, Victoria put out a challenge over at 15 Minutes Play. Or I should say, put out a challenge fabric.

She mailed out a piece of this rose and plaid fabric to people who were ready to play, along with the suggestion to do a twist on the traditional, or something modern, or...

Call it ugly, call it pretty. You can certainly call it an intriguing challenge.

And I had an idea in mind--one that definitely hit a point where I felt like I was trying to pound a square peg in a round hole, but ultimately came up with a solution. 

I started by pulling these fabrics:
I tried to grab some brighter versions of the colors in the fabric, as well as some batiks to counteract the dated look of the plaid/roses and color scheme. 

I made monochromatic fabric:

And then I started cutting diamonds to create my idea, a Lone Star. Here is the initial layout.
I have never made a Lone Star before, and I feel like it's some sort of rite of initiation; similar to reading Moby Dick if you're an English major. (Oops, never did that!) I kind of just winged (wung?) it as I cut diamonds, and when I got to this point, I liked what I had, but I realized it needed to be bigger or smaller to create just eight points. Or not a true Lone Star. And if it stayed this way, how on earth was I going to piece it to a background??

So I played around a bit more.

Smaller star with plaid in the center.

Smaller star with plaid in the outer points.

Smaller star with bright backgrounds to "modern" it up. Just wasn't feeling it--not enough contrast between the star and background.

I even tried to do just a quarter Lone Star. It just wasn't working.

Here's where my square peg, round hole analogy comes in. I was determined to make this idea work. I wasn't willing to scrap the idea and try something different. Flexible, aren't I?

I decided I was trying too hard and set it aside for a few days. When I came back to it, I made this:
I added the red strips to the outside of a smaller star for some pop, and then chose a green linen-looking fabric (more lime than the olive look that appears in this photo, actually) for the background, both of which I feel gives the Lone Star a modern nod. My plans for finishing include some bigger embroidery-style stitches outlining the star and then making it into a simple wall hanging. You know, for next year's Christmas...

Thanks for a fun challenge, Victoria!

p.s. Linking up to share with Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story.


  1. Oops, never read Moby Dick either, and now am a high school English teacher! Lone Star scares me, so many biases I could iron out of shape.

  2. OMG! Moby Dick? (She ain't got time for that!)

    I like wung as opposed to winged.

    Your challenge is absolutely perfection! I love it!

  3. Your block is just beautiful. I think you found the perfect solution to it. Wow.