WIP Wednesday – The Kate Spain Charm-Along

My friend Midge recently hosted an Aussie-only (it’s only fair, c’mon!) Kate Spain charm swap. Now, I always say I’m an equal opportunity fabric employer, but if I am completely honest, Kate’s design aesthetic has never really grabbed me by the hips and made me want to do the lambada. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect the talent, it’s just all those florals never did much for me.

That’s exactly why I went and signed up for two spots in Midge’s Kate Spain Charm-Along. I knew I needed to explore what all the fuss was about. I wanted to be challenged by fabric that I would never have chosen myself. If I expect myself to grow as a quilt maker, as an artist, as a human being even, I need to step outside my comfort zone and face these types of challenges head-on, adorned with my fiercest tiara.

So I received 224 charms from what seemed like every Kate Spain range in the history of ever. Upon closer inspection, some of them I really, really love! It’s also interesting for me to see Kate’s growth as a designer, because (at least in my humble opinion) her designs have become more sophisticated over the years. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised to see much more saturated colours than I expected. This has been a great experience for me to re-assess a designer that I had written-off as not being for me. Oh but now, Kate, baby, I’m ready to make sweet, sweet quilty love!

So what am I making? Well, after going through about thirty-seven pages in my sketch book, and over-designing to the n-th degree, I’ve now backed the eff off, and have decided to let the fabric do the talking. I’ve started making 289 HSTs measuring 4.5″ (I’ve thrown in some extra yardage), which will allow for a 17×17 grid, with a finished quilt size of 68″ x 68″. The final design may not be epic yet, but what this experience is doing to my aesthetic certainly is.
Ms Midge

14 Responses

  1. Salley says:

    Brave, very brave. . . . . didnt make me want to do The Lambada either.
    Looking forward to seeing your magic, Molli. You always think outside the box.

  2. Sue says:

    Loving your style, I also have 224 charm square to play with. Loving the way the fabric is speaking

  3. Pat says:

    This should be fun to see.

  4. Lauren Deel says:

    Hi! I did a KS Charm Swap over here in the States, received over 200 like you, and put together an HST Overload quilt (a la RPQ). It looks similar to what you're playing around with. It's here if you want to see: http://www.charlottesgraceforacure.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-favorite-quilt.html I absolutely love how it turned out. Good luck with what you're doing! It's gorgeous so far!

  5. Auntie Pami says:

    Enjoy! She is one of my top favorite designers. Love, love love.

  6. SewPsyched! says:

    Maybe a little merenge to spice up the day?? love how you're putting the colors together. I learn every time I stop by, thanks!! XX!

  7. Christine S says:

    I find pictures never really do her fabric justice, they are so pretty in person. Love what you're doing!

  8. MsMidge says:

    You're not hurting my head anymore! I'm glad you went with the KISS ūüėČ

  9. Mollie, it's such a joy to read your daily musings, because it makes me happy to see people who have talent up the yang yang. I may quilt, but am a follower of designers such as yourself who create and generously share their talents with the majority of us. Hope today was a good day for you. Hugs

  10. The O's says:

    Let the fabric speak to you, whisper sweet nothings… with you in control anything will be gorgeous gorgeous!

  11. This is bloody gorg.

    Are you using a filter on your camera? I hope Miss Kate Spain is seeing this fabulousness!

  12. Pam says:

    She is one of my favorites! Love her designs and colors!

  13. Sarah says:

    wonderful challenge! look forward to seeing the finished top.

  14. Katy Cameron says:

    Sounds like a great challenge to seize by the short and curlies. I think my experimenting has been less with fabric, and more with style, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't like quilt patterns, I just like to make it up as I go, and the smallest HSTs I like making start life at 18" squares ;o)

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