Foxing It Up

An intermediate ’emergency’ post this week, bringing my total to three by the time my scheduled post is published tomorrow and it will only be Tuesday.  Tialys overload! Sorry about that but it probably won’t ever happen again.

I wanted your valued opinions on a baby quilt I’m making.  The recipient will be my (other) niece who is due to have a girl baby in June.  I had some entirely different fabric in mind when I went to root through my stash but then I came across this little lot.

I like the pale green and I thought the orange foxes and small black details would give it a lovely, modern feel.

I chose this pattern from Craft Buds which uses HSTs (half square triangles)  and also has a modern look to it so I thought it would be a perfect marriage of pattern and fabrics.

Click on photo to go to Craft Buds free pattern.

The triangles are made using a method which gives you four HSTs at once.  You separate your fat quarters into three pairs, then place two 18inch squares of one pair right sides together and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  Marking a quarter of an inch from each centre diagonal, you then sew down those four lines.  Cut through the centre both horizontally and vertically and then cut each resulting square on the original diagonal mark.  Confused?  Just click on the above photo to see a much more comprehensive explanation.

This is what my fabrics looked like laid out flat.

I expect, unlike me at that stage, you can already see my problem.  Those smaller foxes are directional and, because of the cutting method used by this pattern they were all over the place which, because the blocks are large at 8 inches square and the design of the quilt is geometric,  just didn’t really look right.

Craft Buds had the same ‘problem’ – see her layout below – but her fabrics don’t have any ‘characters’ on them and it really doesn’t matter which way up a pair of scissors goes does it?

So, despite what I said to Cathy on her blog the other day about direction not really mattering as a quilt is viewed from all angles, in this case, I don’t think I’d be happy with the layout as originally planned.

See what I mean? Click on the photo for a closer look.

So, I then had to play with all the blocks to see if I could make a half decent design whilst getting all the small foxes to stand on their feet.  Here they are, precariously clinging to a flannelette sheet on my makeshift design wall…….

……… and a distance shot so you can see the overall effect.

It will have a border around it – probably some tiny black flowers on a white background I have – but this is it at the moment.

HELP!!  What do you think? Can you see any glaring anomalies in the new layout?  Can you think of any other way I could do it?  Or do you think I should stick with the topsy turvy foxes?

Also, what do you think of the colour scheme? Do you think it is ‘girly’ enough?  I do have some soft, pastelly, birds, rabbits and flowers fat quarters which I’ve long had in mind for the next baby in the family but, if I used this pattern, I would have had the same problem with direction – although the prints in that range are much smaller so I could probably get away with it.

All opinions, advice and admonishments happily received.

p.s. Another title I possibly have to apologise for but I just can’t help myself.

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  1. #1 by Lynn on February 11, 2019 - 08:24

    Beautiful fabrics as always, I think I like the first layout seems more evenly spread out xx

    • #2 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 10:49

      I like this layout much better too. The second one I had to sort of force into submission in order to have all the small foxes up the right way but, usually, I really don’t think it matters as the quilt can then be used any way up which, for a baby, is probably a good thing.

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on February 11, 2019 - 08:25

    Ha, you see my point now about things being upside down! I love the foxy prints and the new layout.

    • #4 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 10:51

      I still don’t think upside down characters are a deal breaker in a quilt – it just depends on the design and the scale. Just as well as I’ll probably end up going with the first layout which is more easy on the eye.

  3. #5 by Wild Daffodil on February 11, 2019 - 08:28

    1. I think it is girly enough, my 6 year old granddaughter chose a very similar fox design for wallpaper (one wall) and curtains in her room.
    2. I like the first lay out best with foxes scampering around and the plain colours in a regular, calmer design to bring it all together.
    3. It’s a fun quilt!

    • #6 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 10:52

      Thanks Sandra – I like the sound of your grandaughter’s room – she obviously has very good taste.

  4. #7 by thecontentedcrafter on February 11, 2019 - 09:15

    Crikey! 🙂 There’s such a lot of work in here already! And I think girls can have foxes if they like them and it is bright and cheerful.

    Okay here’s my tuppence worth. I’m coming from a design, colour viewpoint only you understand. Let’s do the first one first.

    1 There’s a cohesiveness to the way the pieces are laid out which, although busy, is pleasing to the eye.
    2. There’s a marked difference in the tonings of the only two plain colours.which I think makes the orange very strong and the greyish shade very weak. My suggestion if it’s at all possible would be to ramp up the greyish toning to a bolder shade to match the orange – or choose a softer shade of orange….. but that might not work so well with the foxes
    3. To my eye there are too many foxes of various types, I wonder what would happen if you swapped out one foxy pattern for another plain colour, perhaps picking up the green that is in one of the fox prints – it’s possible if you did that the grey might not look so out of place too.

    In your second layout – which I think could be my favourite – Ibut I want to see the orange part as the centre of the quilt – this layout doesn’t quite have a sense of wholeness that the first one has – but it could? feel that the bold orange squares need to anchor your design by making a definite pattern pop in the centre of the design. I think that means placing three more orange squares into that big centre square in the place of the three green squares………. swapping them round with the green background foxes – but also paying attention to how the orange triangles relate to the other half of that centre square …… Does that make any sense? Then of course you have to redesignate positions for all the other colours and patterns around the bright and bold centre. It might look great or it might look naff – or it might not be possible at all…… For me the different foxes all work together better in this layout for some reason.

    I expect this is all as clear as mud and I won’t be in the least offended if you toss it all in the trash. I’m sure whatever you do it will look fab and be loved!!

    • #8 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 11:12

      Eek! My brain hurts. You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this Pauline so thank you for that. Just to clarify – there isn’t any grey in the quilt. Those triangles that, admittedly, look plain in the photographs are actually black dashes on a white background and white dashes on an orange background and look brighter in real life (you can get a better idea of the true colour in the first photo of the fabrics). The second layout isn’t ideal but was all I could come up with if I wanted to achieve some sort of design element plus have the foxes standing on their own four feet. I don’t really want to start splitting those squares up as the diagonal would probably stretch out of shape. Maybe I’ll have a play with a couple of your suggestions if they are at all possible bearing in mind the triangles are already sewn together in pairs to form the 8 inch blocks. It’ll all come good in the end I’m sure.

      • #9 by thecontentedcrafter on February 11, 2019 - 19:37

        If my opinion is asked I always go into too much detail especially around colour and design – my bad 🙂 Good luck with it, I’m sure it will look fabulous in the real whatever you decide. It’s frustrating when we can’t see the true colours because the computer gets influenced by the other colours around and changes things up – I’m sorry your white with black just looked grey on my screen – white is vivid enough to stand beside that fab orange and hold its own 🙂 I think I now like the first one best 🙂

      • #10 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 00:05

        Your opinion is of great value to me so no ‘bad’ for you at all. I think the first one is winning public opinion and the more I look at the second, the more ‘messy’it looks.

      • #11 by thecontentedcrafter on February 12, 2019 - 00:34

        When I’m painting I find it progresses better if I walk away and don’t look at it for a while – when I come back to it I’m more likely to see what is really there other than what I think or hope is there ……. it’s such an interesting process isn’t it – I went back for another look after I left the initial comment and thought the first one was fine 🙂 Then when you said the grey wasn’t grey it looked even better 🙂

  5. #12 by claire93 on February 11, 2019 - 09:47

    I don’t think it matters whether foxes are standing on their heads or feet! I much prefer the first layout, where you’ve got all your “non foxy” triangles evenly spread out and all pointing in the same direction. Not too keen on the version with the orange making its own distinct pattern because it looks like there’s too much print fabric in the bottom half, and too much of the black on white in the top half.
    Re overall colour & fabric choice for a little girl baby – I think it’s perfect!

    • #13 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 11:14

      Thanks Claire. I can see what you mean about there being a concentration of prints in one half. My hand was forced by trying to keep the foxes upright and also trying to incorporate a design that wasn’t envisaged when I made all the HSTs.

  6. #14 by Nanette on February 11, 2019 - 10:25

    Coincidence acroxs the ocean…..I’ve just finished a couple of premmie quilts with the little foxes and the orange print at the top. I used accents of blue in one, peachy colours in the other, so one each for a tiny boy and girl. I like your first layout best, it’s cheery and calming all at once. I don’t think it matters which way up the foxes are, the quilt’ll be viewed from all directions, and no-one will notice the direction once it’s been spewed and pooped on a few times 😊

  7. #16 by tinaor on February 11, 2019 - 11:18

    I like the fabric – definitely girly enough – what springs out to me is the bright orange centre piece (like a Christmas cracker) so I don’t think the directions of the foxes matter at all.

    • #17 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 11:26

      Springs out in a good way?

      • #18 by tinaor on February 11, 2019 - 14:47

        Yes, in a good way.

  8. #19 by Lynda on February 11, 2019 - 13:00

    Leave it alone. The second arrangement, with the orange and ordered foxes, looks too contrived. Your first view is lovely! This is a fun little baby quilt.

    • #20 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 14:01

      Yes, I’ve changed the direction of the triangles but I’m going with the first layout – there’s a reason it was designed like that in the first place I suppose.

      • #21 by Lynda on February 11, 2019 - 14:09

        And there you have it. 😉

  9. #22 by katechiconi on February 11, 2019 - 13:04

    I think foxes are allowed to dance around the quilt and even on the ceiling, so that’s not a problem. I do find the orange triangles very strong (but lovely!), and particularly emphatic in the second layout. In terms of colour impact, I’d say either go with the first layout, or else arrange the orange HSTs so that they’re even more of a focal point. At present, in the second layout, it looks like you need more of them…

    • #23 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 14:08

      I agree with your every point. I’ve been playing about and decided to go with the first layout. I’m wondering whether I should do a border with some orange in it rather than just black and white in order to disseminate the orange a bit, if you know what I mean.

      • #24 by katechiconi on February 11, 2019 - 21:58

        How about doing bands using the orange HSTs across top and bottom, or across the middle, so it looks intentional? I do like the idea of a black and white border, though.

      • #25 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 10:16

        Maybe the orange is coming over too ‘solid’ in the photos of the layouts which were, anyway, taken in bad light. Pauline thought the black and white triangles were grey for instance. The orange has lots of little white dashes on it but that’s not as obvious in the photos as I hope it will be in real life.

      • #26 by katechiconi on February 12, 2019 - 23:06

        That sounds a lot better than the solid effect in the photo.

      • #27 by tialys on February 13, 2019 - 09:28

        Yes, it’s weird how those triangles photographed as solids – everybody was talking about ‘grey’ and I had to have another look because I couldn’t remember putting any grey in there. I’m struggling with interior lighting at the moment and, when the winter sun is out, it makes for quite harsh light. I’m thinking I’ll join those 8 inch blocks together in the next day or two, put the border round and take another photo to post and, this time, I’ll make sure the orange shows its white dashes and the white shows its black ones.

  10. #28 by mlmcspadden on February 11, 2019 - 13:40

    The first one is my favorite! To me the color flow is off in the second one, but I’m not sure what I’d change to make it better. And like was said before………direction won’t matter to the new baby and it’ll be viewed from all sides and angles so some of them will always be right side up.

    • #29 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 14:10

      There is definitely something off in the second one and the more I look at it the more I don’t like it. I really don’t mind the dancing foxes and, being for a baby’s cot, it will probably never be put the right way up anyway – who’s got time for such things when there’s a new baby in the house anyway.

  11. #30 by onecreativefamily on February 11, 2019 - 14:35

    I lilke the topsy turvey foxes. The orange just pops out and draws the eyes to the foxes. It will be well loved.

    • #31 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 23:58

      As I’m the only creative one in the family, I’m their only chance of ever getting a free, handmade quilt so I’m pretty sure they’ll be pleased with it.

  12. #32 by Beads and Barnacles on February 11, 2019 - 15:33

    I agree that the first one looks more cohesive. And if it is being used for a baby how often is it going to be laid out flat. With a bit of bunching up you will never know if the foxes were coming out going anyway 😂

  13. #34 by CurlsnSkirls on February 11, 2019 - 16:13

    No help at all here, except to say I love orange and am certain this will be a much loved quilt! Quilt on!

    • #35 by tialys on February 11, 2019 - 23:59

      I’m not usually an orange person but I was led astray by those cute foxes.

      • #36 by CurlsnSkirls on February 12, 2019 - 02:14

        They do it to everyone . . , 🐂🦟🦟🐻

      • #37 by CurlsnSkirls on February 12, 2019 - 02:15

        🦊 guess who made me do that . . . 🦊

      • #38 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 10:11


  14. #39 by magpiesue on February 11, 2019 - 18:56

    I totally get why you tried to make all the little foxes stand on their feet. I would have done the same thing. In this case however, I think the original layout works better in terms of distribution of color and print. The best part is that Baby won’t care!

    • #40 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 00:01

      Baby won’t but what about Mummy?

  15. #41 by Trisha on February 11, 2019 - 19:37

    I’m sure the parents and baby won’t even notice the direction of the foxes, but will love the quilt!

  16. #43 by Kate on February 11, 2019 - 20:04

    Girly – Yes, Layout – First, (this lovely, hand made baby quilt will be in constant use – grabbed/wrapped/tucked in/kicked off/folded/grabbed…)

    • #44 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 00:08

      Yes! A busy life it will have and nobody will give a second thought to where those foxy feet are pointing. I think we worry too much don’t we?

  17. #45 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 11, 2019 - 21:04

    My vote goes to topsy turvey foxes too.

    • #46 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 00:12

      Good choice and it gave you the chance to type ‘topsy turvy’ which can only be a good thing.

      • #47 by Dartmoor Yarns on February 12, 2019 - 09:06

        True, but as a dyslexic it gave me a very traumatic spell check experience.

  18. #48 by sew2pro on February 11, 2019 - 23:49

    I have every faith in you; your eye for arranging colours always impresses me. This will be very special.

    • #49 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 00:13

      I might not be able to part with it 😐

  19. #50 by nottaholiday on February 12, 2019 - 10:37

    Option 1 for me…and suggest you do some hi viz black perle cotton quilting to tie in a border or binding with black in it…make it pop out…

    • #51 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 10:45

      It’s a thought but I usually try to make my quilting as ‘lo viz’ as possible as it’s not that worthy of being seen 😒

      p.s. I pop over to your blog occasionally but you have no ‘like’ button to prove it and I did leave a comment on one of your posts (Chateau Sinistre) but it hasn’t appeared so either it was vaporised in the ether or I said something to upset you in it. Just so you know.

      • #52 by nottaholiday on February 12, 2019 - 10:48

        thanks ! I’m still learning the blogging world, so I’ve probably mucked up the set up. I did see your comment on Chateau Weird …Sunday was our mistake lol…. 🙂 That guy was interesting to say the least….ha

      • #53 by nottaholiday on February 12, 2019 - 10:54

        can I ask you one more question…is your like button a plug in? I’m on the premium plan so not able to get plug ins…

      • #54 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 11:20

        No, it’s not a plug-in – I’m just a basic member. I think a Like button is supposed to automatically appear under each post. Have a look under ‘settings’ and then ‘sharing’ from your Dashboard and see if you can find if you’ve turned the option off by accident.

      • #55 by nottaholiday on February 12, 2019 - 11:24

        thanks, I’ll take a look
        good luck with the cats!

  20. #56 by KerryCan on February 12, 2019 - 13:30

    I’m getting here late but I think I agree with the crowd–it’s wonderful fabric and the dancing, tipsy foxes appeal to me most!

    • #57 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 17:08

      Just got to join them together now and add a border. I’ve got until June.

  21. #58 by Kim on February 12, 2019 - 15:14

    I agree. First layout with foxes all over the joint. Foxes and colours fine for a girl. If she hates it please may my name be first in the queue for consideration?

    • #59 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 17:04

      You’d have to fight me off 😉

      • #60 by Kim on February 13, 2019 - 23:21

        In pretty tough I’ll have you know …..

  22. #61 by kathyreeves on February 12, 2019 - 17:21

    The nice thing about the first layout, is that no matter what there will be some cute foxes looking at baby! I like it best!

    • #62 by tialys on February 12, 2019 - 17:43

      I think – with a bit of a tweak – that one is the winner.

  23. #63 by jendavismiller on February 12, 2019 - 21:43

    FWIW….I love the first one. The “solid” pieces seem to make more sense that way. And the foxes will have much more fun running free, don’t you think? (Oh, I just ordered fabric for my very first quilt!! A whole cloth space theme baby quilt. fingers crossed)

    • #64 by tialys on February 13, 2019 - 09:17

      Sounds interesting – is a baby due in your family or is it for a bigger baby?

      • #65 by jendavismiller on February 13, 2019 - 21:47

        It is for our new little grandbaby (my husband’s first!) and he will be here before we know it! Due next month.

  24. #66 by jendavismiller on February 12, 2019 - 21:45

    Oh, and the prints and colors are just perfect for a little girl. 😀

  25. #67 by lovelucie1 on February 14, 2019 - 17:54

    I love this! Perfect for a girl. And yes, I go with the majority, the first layout is the most pleasing to me. So much easier not to have to think about which way to lay a quilt on a bed or a chair when every which way is correct.

    • #68 by tialys on February 15, 2019 - 08:45

      I’m going to try to join them up this weekend and I do believe those triangles will work ‘upside down’ too so nobody will have a clue which way up it’s supposed to go anyway.

  26. #69 by thecraftersapprentice on February 19, 2019 - 17:19

    i think I’m too late to the party to give an opinion, but I just wanted to weigh in and say that concept of “girliness” is (thankfully!) disappearing a bit now. the prints are perfect for a baby of either sex.

    • #70 by tialys on February 19, 2019 - 18:24

      It is disappearing and I would definitely put a baby girl in certain blues but I’m still not sure about putting a boy in pink – for one thing, it would just confuse people 🙄

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