Background balance…

In classes and lectures, and in our books, Linda and I both stress the importance of designing your quilt on a design wall. I'm working on a quilt for a new book and I thought I would share the background with you.

I started with an unusual yard of fabric designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji for Yuwa. It was expensive and I've held onto it for a long time. I should have taken a photo before I cut it up but if you click here you can see a dress made out of a similar fabric by this designer.

I had to cut the yard up and add to it to have big enough backgrounds. The quiet fabric in each of the blocks is the Yuwa fabric.


This is quilt with three vertical panels. Each panel has 3 14" x 14" finished blocks. The three panels are currently separated with a narrow strip of that way cool light-to-dark dot fabric designed by Katie Pasquini for Marcus Brothers. I don't know how old (or new) it is. You can see a wider strip of this fabric on the right. Before I cut strips for the two sides I want to get the applique fabric up on the wall.

Just for grins, here's what it looks like without the vertical sashing:


I know what the applique design is and I have an good idea of how the applique is going to look on these backgrounds. But I'm not going to know for sure how it all looks together until it's all up on the wall. What I'm looking for at this point is an interesting background that feels balanced. What that light-to-dark sashing does for the composition is to weight it – lighter and a bit airier at the top, darker and heavier at the bottom. I like that. And it's interesting that it takes so little of that fabric to do the trick.

The other thing I'd like to point out is that it's important to buy those expensive weird fabrics that you love when you see them. I sincerely wish I'd bought more of that original fabric. I'm going on a (probably futile) fabric hunt for more of it. Or something similar…


6 thoughts on “Background balance…

  1. Bingo! The light bulb just went on… thanks for the great lesson, Becky. I’ll never look at the coloring (weighting) on quilts the same way again. You are a delight.
    And good luck on your fabric search.


  2. Thank you for sharing so much of the things that are going on in your life. Your blog is one of the best and I read it faithfully. The design wall is such a great tool, thanks for the tutorial. Also loved the Bonnie McCaffery vidcast, went to look at more and was soooo inspired. Thanks for all you do.


  3. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.


  4. Its always nice to hear that readers enjoy my blog! You ask for tips – the main thing I can tell you is post often, pictures are good, and write as if you are telling a story. I dont always hit the mark, but I do try. And I enjoy the process which was a surprise to me. I hope you enjoy it too!


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