Saturday, December 04, 2010

Follow Your Heart


Being a firm believer in following my heart, I am always drawn back to the basic essence of my roots. I love earthy things and earthy colors. Even when I have created in jewel tones, they are often muted versions of old world, or like these...basic traditional, or folk art colors.

There is something very basic and very grounded in some of quilting's traditional fabrics and styles. Yet, I dearly love shaking things up in ways that are not always obvious. This is the primary reason I love even the simplest of Liberated Quilting techniques and creating ones own designs and patterns with simple variations of old ideas, and not always having to be modern, or trendy, or even obviously different in new style, or thought.

When I saw this fabric a few years ago..."Follow Your Heart" by Kathy Schmitz (KathySchmitz.com /for Moda), I was totally schmitten. Kathy comes from the wonderful lineage of a multi-talented quilting family here, in Salem, Oregon, and she has long been a member of our Mid-Valley Quilt Guild as is her mother, Marge McCanse, and her fabric designing sister, Bonnie Sullivan (Maywood).

Having worked for our business (interior design part of it) for the past 20 years in new home construction, I had to be continually aware of trends and color movements in magazines, stores, and home shows...especially if the home would be 'for sale' and not a custom home, where the future owners made their own selections...with, or without my help.

As I picked out all of the colors in all of the coloring and covering materials...in everything from the roofing materials, to the siding, to all of the interior and exterior paints, the color of stain, counter tops, vinyls, tile, slate, carpet to even the bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and all of the lights....I had to be acutely aware of and even 'follow' new trends. I had to consider everything the buyers might want to buy....from towels, to decor items etc.....so they could at least coordinate with the colors and materials they found in our homes.

But, in my own life, in my own home, I still found... and find... myself loving my own old colors and not needing to redecorate or buy any of the new. I am sure people think I live in a time warp, as I still love my 'vintage' wallpaper and border trim....but it keeps me real. I love what I love, because I always follow my heart.

What I love about Kathy's fabric, is that her colors and her patterns stem from the traditional, but each one carries so much heart within. Using this line, that I had zealousy purchased and saved from several years ago, and some of her "Abundance"line, which I pulled as scraps from a 'free' table at my quilting guild, I managed to make two quilts and a potholder as part of Finn's New Year's Eve Challenge

They carry the warmth and the earthy colors that I innately cherish, but if you look closely, you'll see the absence of a specific pattern (except perhaps liberated medallion ;) only the gentle combination of strips and strings.

Two quilts and a potholder. Set free from the confines of stash and a to-do list... and liberated into being both truly cherished...and used :)

Finn's New Year's Eve Small Projects Challenge:
Small Project #14: Mulled Wine Mug Mat

Finn's New Year's Eve Quilt Challenge:
Quilt #11: Twilight Dreams
Quilt #10:Far, Far, Away
Quilt #9:Green and Scrappy Love
Quilt #7 and #8: Follow Your Heart 1 and 2
Quilt #6: Stringing Along
Quilt #5: Within the Depths
Quilt #4: Irish Eyes
Quilt #3: Under the Pines
Quilt #2: Hope and Remembrance
Quilt #1 Hop to It!

Finn's New Year's Eve Small Projects Challenge:
Small Project #14: Mulled Wine Mug Mat
Small Project #11-13: Two pillowcases and a senior bib
Small Project #10:Follow Your Heart Potholder
Small Projects #2-9: sr bib, potholders and a bag
Small Project #1: Get Well Postcard

8 comments:

  1. The fabrics remind me of mulled wine on a winter's evening which is very apt considering it's freezing outside!

    Congratulations on the finish.

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  2. Dang, now I want some mulled wine on a winter's evening.

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  3. Preciosos!!! la combinación de los colores de las telas es una maravilla. Los trabajos están muy bonitos. Besos

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  4. I love those colors too and following my own heart. I loved this post. Hugs

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  5. Michele, drop by my blog tomorrow (Monday). There is something there for you.

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  6. What lovely colors! I'm not familiar with that particular line of fabric, or designer. Probably because I pay less attention to that than even you, and we know you don't pay ANY!! Anyway, very nicely done..love all of it! And kudos on the neat way of listing your projects at the end of your post! Hugs, Finn

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  7. Congratulations on your finishes! I love the way you referred to the fabric as having been liberated from the confines of stash and a to-do list.

    I've noticed that while I am drawn to bright pure colors I tend to work more in the more muted values. Part of that is due to the fact that I am working with older fabrics currently but it makes me wonder what else might be in play. We're always growing and learning, no matter how long we've been at this!

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  8. Omigosh, Michele - you really outdid yourself with this post . . . AWESOME!!!

    Here's to the friendships and circles of encouragement that are such a part of the free-pieced liberated quilting world!!!

    YEAH Tonya and WOO HOO for Michele!

    Waiting IM-patiently for my book to arrive!

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.