The theme for July’s 1 Million Mile Postcard Challenge was ‘Go Modern.’ I love the look of modern quilts, but when it came down to making a modern postcard, I struggled. Modern quilting is about the use of bold colours – mostly solids. It is about contrasting colours. It is about linear lines. It is minimalistic. It is about expansive negative space. How do you get all of that on a 4×6 inch card?
I worked out at least 4 different designs but they all seemed too simple. Boring. Then I saw Criss Crossing by Jen Shaffler in McCall’s Quick Quilts (August/September 2016) issue and decided the center block would be perfect. But it still took 10 cards before I was satisfied with the modern look!
I started with batiks, just because I love working with them. But it looked like the side strips were added simply because the block wasn’t big enough to cover the whole card. They didn’t look like they were part of the design.
Then I went to 2 colour blocks (including the colours Jen used) with white corners. That was better. Not much ‘negative space’ but the side panels looked like they belonged. And I probably would never have used turquoise and orange together otherwise.
Next I went to 1 colour +grey blocks. At the beginning I used greys with the same colour value as the colour they were paired with. I really liked those. They were simple but bold.
As a side note, in January I wrote about the scrap saving method and I have been cutting and saving these scraps ever since. This is the first time I have used any of these precious scraps. Scraps as small as 1 1/2″ squares, 2 1/2″ squares and strips of various lengths. I did not do any cutting for these postcards, other than trimming after the fact. Wow, did it speed things up!
When I ran out of small dark grey squares, I reversed things and selected 2 1/2″ grey squares for the center X and small 1 1/2″ coloured squares for the arrows. I even tried a patterned fabric. The pattern was modern, but in the end it wasn’t very bold. The next one was! The colour was so bold, the grey faded into the background. The arrows, rather than the X became dominant.
That’s when I had an ah-ha moment. The lighter grey became negative space. And I didn’t need to use 10 squares of 1 colour, I could mix it up. Now I had small pops of brightly contrasting solid colours with lots of negative space. A little really does go a long way. But why does it take some of us so long to learn? Sigh.
Since we went modern in July, lets ‘Go Vintage’ in August. It could be a vintage block, it could be vintage fabric, lace, clothing, tablecloths or anything that reminds you of the past. Maybe a trip to a second hand store might inspire you.
Thanks for stopping by and reading about my experience with modern postcards. It’s all a learning process. Next week I will give you the miles and locations for July. It is shaping up to be a banner month. Until then, have a great week.