Thursday, January 31, 2013

Green: The New Neutral

With February fast approaching, it seems like the perfect time for another glimpse of spring, like Garden Beauty, featuring Ro Gregg's Budding Beauties collection.

"Garden Beauty" by Sue Harvey & Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts,
featured in the February/March 2013 issue of The Quilter magazine.

Fussy-cut hydrangeas nestle into beds of fresh and so springy! Below, Sue shares her take on a new "neutral" and explains the impact of fussy-cutting the hydrangeas. 

Q. What appealed to you about the Budding Beauties line?
Sue: Hydrangeas are gorgeous all by themselves. We also liked the use of the more contemporary geometric tonals and white prints mixed with such a traditional floral in the same collection.

Q. Talk about your decision to fussy-cut the hydrangeas.
Sue: The motifs are large but spaced on the fabric with quite a bit of cream background. We knew if we didn’t fussy cut the hydrangeas many of the block centers would have just bits and pieces of the flowers around the edges and would not have the same impact in the design.

Q. Tell us about the design.
Sue: We almost always try to create secondary designs in a pieced quilt. Probably shouldn’t say this, but this arrangement is what we think of as our no-sweat design! It’s such a hassle to match angled seams from block to block and have all those inside corners come out right. By adding the narrow sashing, the need for absolute accuracy is gone without destroying the secondary design. And the sashing actually adds to the secondary design by giving the medium green/lavender “blocks” an interesting center. This block design could easily be tackled by a beginner with just a little experience.

Q. The hydrangeas in the fabric are primarily shades of blue and purple. What prompted you to use so much green in the quilt?
Sue: To us, green is a neutral to be used like white, black or cream. It sets off the other colors in a quilt and also gives your eyes a resting place. If we had used more purple in place of the green, the quilt would have been overwhelmingly purple. If we had used pink instead of the green, it would have taken on a “circusy” look of too many colors. It’s funny though. When we look at this quilt, we don’t think of green as the main color. To us, purple is the main color. Sort of like looking at a garden of flowers ... you don’t look at it and say, “Wow, look at all those beautiful green leaves.” You say, “Wow, look at all those beautiful yellow, pink, purple, and red flowers.” The leaves are just part of the background. Oh, of course it helps that green is our favorite color!

Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
Sue: Hey, it’s winter here in Maine. We like the green, the purple, the blue, the pink, the idea of flowers growing...everything other than white!

Click here to buy a kit for this project.
Click here to learn more about Sue & Sandy and their work.
Click here to find The Quilter magazine February/March 2013.

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