September 23, 2014

Background selection

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am in the beginning stages of a pickle dish quilt.  I've selected quite a few fabrics, but I still need to settle on a background fabric.

Here are my fabrics so far:

My plan is to use the first two rows for the arcs, the bottom row for the four-patches, and the navies for the footballs.  (I plan to add to this, and maybe remove a few as well.)

While I'm not ready to jump headlong into this yet, I did stitch up a few arcs to use in auditioning background fabrics.  I photographed these against a white background, then used photo editing tools to fill the background with images from some potential background fabrics.  Here's the original photo:

I tried quite a few possibilities.  To keep this post from being photo overload, I created a few collages of the various choices.  (The combined images look like a different quilt idea, but that is not my intent.)  Also, my method of importing the background images might not result in the correct scale for the prints.

Here is my first group of four choices:

I think either of the first two would work, but neither seems particularly daring to me.  I had high hopes for these Amy Butler fabrics (3 and 4), until I imported them next to the arcs.  I don't think I care for either of these in this quilt.

Number 5 is an upcoming Alison Glass print.  I like the variations in the color, and I sort of like the tan, but I'm not sure about the spots.  (I may use the navy version of this for some footballs.)  Number 6 is Quilters Linen; I like the color, but I don't know what to expect as far as texture.  I'm afraid it might be too plain.

I really like the look of number 7, except it doesn't have enough contrast with the pink arc sections.  I might consider a lighter Grunge if I could see it in person.  Number 8 would work too, and I like the fabric itself, but it's not really the look I want for this quilt.  (I've used a lot of texty and similar fabrics as backgrounds, and I'd like to branch out a bit.)

Number 9 is not at all what I had in mind for this quilt, but it's near the top of my list.  Number 10 seems even more off the wall; maybe too much so?  I sort of like it at this scale, but if the scale is much larger in reality I wouldn't want to use this.

Number 11 is a creamy version of number 9.  I love the tonal variations of this one, but I'm afraid it might still be too plain.  Number 12 is a text print (I know, I said I'm trying to stay away from those).  I think this one might just be too green, although it is hard to tell with computer images.

I tried quite a few other images, but those above were my favorites.  I also noticed Kate Spain has announced a new line (Paradiso) with colors that might fit well with this quilt, but I have not seen any digital swatches.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about any of the choices above.

I'm linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday.


  1. I like the Amy Butler number 4, it holds its own against the lights, darks, blues, & pinks.

    My gut reaction when seeing the pile of prints was a maybe a lime green & the Amy Butler print has that. or a stark white or white on white.

    I also kind of liked the calico floral. Maybe not the one that you used, but it was quirky enough to be a background to your pile of prints.

  2. My favorite from these images is #12. Such a rich look!

  3. Sometimes less is more! I think I like #9 best that way your prints will stand out more. :)

  4. I like #1! But I know what you are saying- this is a hard choice but well worth investing the time to figure out what works best.

  5. I am so thrilled you are making a pickle-dish quilt! It is gorgeous so far. I absolutely love #1...its low value enough to not compete with the pickley parts. :)

  6. Hmm. Ask any number of quilters for their opinion, and you will get that many different responses. I like a lot of these, but if you're looking for a solid-ish look, I like 9 and 11 (depending on how much you want the prints to pop). 9 looks to me like an updated 30's green. But I also like the calico prints. I think if you print up multiple blocks with the same background and then look through a reducing glass, the best one will just jump out at you!

  7. At first glance I liked #1 best, but I just finished the pickle dish from Kaffe's book and used the same light pink backround as in the book. So I might be attached to pink a bit at the moment.
    #9 could be cool, too. Have you thought about quilting yet? If you want to feature an elaborate quilting pattern, a solid or near solid fabric would show it better than a busy print.
    For a totally different look you could use a dark fabric similar to the footballs.
    Anyway, your fabric selection is beautiful so far! This is going to look great.

  8. So many great choices. I have ti say, been though it didn't work for you, #4 is my absolute fave.

    1. Thanks! I'm going to try to track that one down in a brick and mortar shop, and see how it looks with my arcs "in real life."

  9. I would stay out of larger prints. I quite like #1 and I'm fan of grunge fabrics but don't really like the green shades on your pics. I actually don't like any of the greens there I would go either with pink or blue or neutral. I admit I prefer when colors match :)