Thursday, February 20, 2020

Spin Drift: 6

Mixed Media Fantasy

Have you noticed how many more digital prints your local quilt stores are carrying this year? They're everywhere now. I stood in a shop yesterday watching people's reactions as they walked by a long rack of them. Several quilters paused longer to look at them, but none reached out to touch them. Interesting, I thought, but why? 

More Questions than Answers

I wonder if one reason is some of these prints look photographically realistic. Maybe that vivid realism doesn't blend well with other more traditional quilt fabrics. They definitely have a different look. Perhaps it's like using a photo next to a painting. We don't typically reach out to touch photographs. We're taught not to.  Maybe I'm reaching for something, but quilters like to touch fabric in general. 

Some of the prints I see utilize mixed media backgrounds giving them greater depth and complexity. You can't stroll by, and still see what's going on in the print. It requires your full attention to take it in, and then you can decide if you like it or not. This particular print above was unusual in that I sensed part of the objects had floated to the surface, and the other shadowy shapes remained submerged. I felt like I might need to dive into that watery blueness to find out what lay underneath. In was very difficult to take in the whole piece of fabric even after spending the time to look at it. Digital prints are more complicated.

It's all just a little musing as I work on this quilt. I'm curious how other quilters interpret fabrics, and which ones they're drawn to. Do you wonder how people choose lots of different fabrics to use together? What do they see and think? You might say to yourself you'd never think of using those wild combinations yet they look great. Someone I know says she actually feels uncomfortable looking at a quilt with too many bold choices. It makes her nervous. Interesting! My mom says she could never sleep or rest under some of my quilts because my busy fabric choices aren't restful.

How will these feelings change as more digital prints are added to our quilts, and will they contribute to an impression of a quilt feeling 'off'?

I would love to know your thoughts on digitally printed fabrics, and whether or not you are buying and using them. Do you mix them with your traditional fabrics or find you gravitate toward solids with them?

The What, How and Why

Would you like to find out more about digital fabric printing? Did you know has more benefits that just being greener than traditional methods? Edge Colours has a quick run down I found informative. No affiliation involved here, but an interesting subject for those of us buying the fabric. Oh, and thinking about it.

Come on, Doxie girls.

Let's go sew.


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Yes, I love the vivid color of digital prints. I even have a favorite designer. But so far, I have done done anything with the digital fabric I have bought. Sometimes I buy fabric that I absolutely love, even if I have no plan to use them at the moment. I don't want them to be gone when I DO want to use them. I guess I'm the typical fabric collector who gathers fabrics and does not want to cut into them. I'm getting better with that, lol.
xx, Carol

Linda Swanekamp said...

Love this block also! I am not a big fan of most digital prints because they are so photographic, bright, and less like fabric. The color seems all on the surface and they are too perfect for me. Any seam I sew that is not spot on will show like crazy. I love scraps and not sure how that fabric will look scrappy. Probably still its infancy stage. I have bought some that are less photographic if I am looking for a particular motif.

Quilting Babcia said...

I'm wondering how these fabrics will stand the test of time, with exposure to light, repeated washing, etc. Don't really have an opinion otherwise since I've not had an opportunity to see any in person.

audrey said...

Have loved seeing your wonderful looking blocks. All the larger prints and florals... yum.:) Have not bought any digital prints myself. They definitely have a different vibe.