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 17x17 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.