Not to scale

One of my favorite parts of quilting and sewing is combining fabrics. I like to think that I have a pretty decent color sense and enjoy the challenge and fun of pulling together a variety of prints and colors to create something that is unique (a word one of my journalism professors once told me never to use because he claimed NOTHING was truly unique. I beg to differ).

So when I decided on the fabulous Tula Pink Neptune fabrics for my second Birdie Sling, I was quite happy with my decision. While grouping fabrics from a single line of fabrics isn't perhaps as challenging as pulling from an entire quilt shop or a stash, there are still some choices that affect the overall success of a finished piece. And I think I learned something with this project that hadn't really been on my design radar: it's important to consider the scale of a particular print, along with the pattern and color.

While I absolutely love these fabrics, I think a larger scale print on the body of the bag might feel more contemporary than the print I chose. The big morning glories on my first bag read a bit more modern. Because it's a big bag, a print with a scale to match might have better enhanced it.

This is not to say it was a failure. My friend, Siouxsie (as she spelled her name when we were 16 and CITs at Camp Northland for Girls) immediately transferred the contents of her purse to the Birdie Sling and carried it around Chicago during our two days together. And she's a little gal, so a small print doesn't overwhelm her like a larger one might (here she is modeling it at Buckingham Fountain). But the next one I make (and I've got one planned) will feature a big 'ol floral print.

As an aside, camp friends are as dear as quilt friends. Siouxise, our friend Annie, and I have known one another since we were 13 and we've reconnected in the past five years. (The two of them even gave a shower in NYC for my daughter before her wedding two years ago.) We were pleased to compare notes and realize that part of the reason we can't remember things anymore is because entire sections of our brains are taken up with things like remembering every single word to every single camp song. Who could forget classics like Camp Northland Horse, Bruce the Spruce, and Canoey-ooey? Apparently not us, no matter how hard we try.