I had an idea for pot holders that I thought was a good one. The ones I have at home, I bought to match my kitchen, so they are blue and white and silvery gray. At least they were. Now they are scorched and have tomato sauce on them. So I thought, what if I had pot holders that matched my food instead of my kitchen? Would they look better longer? They would probably get tomato sauce and turmeric on them, and get scorched by hot pans and oven racks, but if those stains and blotches would blend in with the original fabrics, I would be ahead of the game. I don’t display my pot holders anyway, why should they match the kitchen? So I bought some quilt fabrics that are red, orange, yellow, and shades of brown; this is my starting point. As soon as I get a couple finished, I will start using them, and see how they hold up.
All the fabrics I bought are pretty bright and strongly hued. They don’t vary much in tone or intensity. I want them to hide stains, after all, so I didn’t pick any that were too light or too pale. But this is a problem for pieced fabric. If all the pieces are the same intensity, even if they are different colors, the end result looks flat and too much the same all over. Nothing pops, and the pattern of the piecing gets lost as the colors merge and blend together. This is not making me happy. Yeah, I want them to be practical, but I want them to be pretty too. Right now I don’t think they are that pretty. Or at least, they could be prettier. This is a quilting skill I need to hone, and fast — picking fabrics with colors and patterns that work together but still build dynamic tension and contrast so the end result is interesting and vivid, not dull and flat. Of course, picking the right fabric to start with is followed by using the right fabric in the right part of the design, so really I have to work on two skills; picking fabric and planning placement. So far my efforts are hit or miss; I hope with practice I will develop an eye for this and can start getting some squares that are both practical and more visually appealing.