Before starting cutting and sewing a new project it is necessary to assemble the fabric pile..or piles 1, 2 and 3. After all if one fabric is needed, five fabric choices are better and fifty five are excellent (either that or creating extra layers of agonizing decision making). Never one to restrict my fabric choices I have decided on the latter approach.
Come September 1 the first block for Grandmothers Choice will be posted by Barbara Brackman and rotary cutters need to be ready to slash into the fabric and get that first block made.
For the Civil War block of the week that was last years project I decided to make it all about color and created a pile of blue fabric and a pile of grey fabric. Each Saturday, depending on whether or not the block was Union or Confederate I had fun creating a pleasing block from the eclectic heap of blue or grey fabrics. To keep all the blocks looking like they belonged to the same project I selected one fabric (silver-grey pattern on a white background) that I used in every one of the 52 blocks.
This time there are other ways that I might go about choosing my fabrics. Again I have decided to make it all about color rather than fabric style. But which colors? Grandmothers Choice is all about women getting the right to vote. A century or more ago this was an issue that dominated the thoughts of many women. Groups were created, petitions were signed, emblems were chosen and colors were selected to represent the fight that our foremothers participated in.
My background is scattered. I was born and bred in New Zealand, the very first country to grant women the right to vote so that is very important to me. But my ancestry includes England and I have also lived there. Additionally I have lived in Australia and Colombia as well as New Jersey and Virginia here in the USA. All those places have influenced me.
In the end I have decided to celebrate my New Zealand (Kiwi) heritage. I will be using a green, white and violet (GWV = Give Women Votes...it's a myth, so I read, that there is this connection but it makes for a good story) color scheme. I have perhaps overdone my agonizing about fabric selection. Looking on my bookshelf I pulled out the Joen Wolfrom book "Colorplay" and selected a split complementary color scheme of chartreuse (yellow-green), green-yellow and red-violet. I'll mix in a healthy dose of white. For now I'm thinking that I'll make my blocks green and white and invite red-violet in for the setting/sashing.
But things could change.
Here is the current pile. I'm figuring to use one fabric as a constant in every block - and that will be the one that is the big mass in the lower portion of the photo. It has a (sort of) white background with a pale chartreuse pattern on it. There are some other whites, a lovely green on white toile, 8 red-violets, and a whole heap of green-yellow and yellow-green fabrics arranged above the pales. On the left of the photo is another bunch of fabrics that are in the "maybe" pile including three that are purple rather than red-violet. Obviously some of these fabrics might never get cut into but I like to have a lot of choice.
During the year I will be on the lookout for a fabric that features the white camellia as that bloom was the one adopted as the emblem by the New Zealand Suffrage Movement. If you know of such a fabric I'll really be excited to hear about it so I can include it somewhere in my quilt.
My first experience with Ms Brackman's block of the week was wonderful and I hope to build on that for this second project by being more public with what I am doing (i.e. the flickr site). I'm looking forward to not only seeing the lovely blocks being created by others but in joining in and showing my own work.
A huge thank you to Barbara Brackman, Becky in VA and Dustin (the wonderful flickr leader) for giving us this opportunity. And thank you to everyone who share their blocks with the rest of us.