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Eye Candy vs Bed Candy

January 31, 2013

GFG Color WallHave you noticed that quilts do NOT look the same on a bed as they do on a wall?  You’re either nodding vigorously, or scratching your head.  What I’m talking about, is that I often see a pattern for a quilt full-on from the front and fall rapturously in love with it, and begin to go down the daydream path of what fabrics I’ll use, where to shop, etc.  And then (insert scary movie music here), duh, duh. duh… I see another photo of the quilt on a bed and don’t like it at all!  -Sound of broken dreams now.  I’m not talking about wall quilts.  They are small, and made with the express intention of hanging to view as a whole from the front.  Bed quilts that don’t look pretty on a bed, at least to me, that’s what I’m talking about.  Let me be really clear; I know that this is an eye-of-the beholder issue, in more ways than one.  If I show you examples that are clear to me, you may totally disagree because, oh yeah, everyone’s taste is different.  But I think the disappearing cuteness trick may be universal.  We may not all see it happening with the same quilt pattern, but I wonder if it does happen to all of us?  For me, some quilts have and Eye Candy Rating of 100 and a Bed Candy Rating of 25.

Example: Swoon.  This is THE most beautiful pattern and design ever.  We all do literally swoon over these.  They are 100 percent eye candy gorgeous.  But on a bed… I think the rating goes down.  I just do.  Quilt full view– WOW!  Love it – so pretty I can look at it all day.    Quilt on bed – Hmmm… I want to like it, but… I think the scale of the blocks is just too big.  I know when I made my Swoon quilt I made them as 16 inch blocks instead of 24.  I don’t put mine on a bed anyway, since it is just lap quilt sized.

Swoon Finished

The lesson is, if you’re going to make a quilt specifically to put on a bed, try really hard to either see a photo of it that way first, or use your imagination big time.  Quilts are such a process, expensive, hard work, love made into a tangible.  The best thing about them is the process is so wonderful, and then the end result so desirable.

I was going to have lots of photo examples, but realized that I just cannot do that without risking offending people who have shared their work.  No way!  And the thing is, I could have 2 pictures of the same quilt and praise the heck out of one, but if I say I don’t love the other one showing it on a bed, well, it’s hard to think of making anyone feel bad.  So.  There you go.

Here is a reverse example.  Saw this photo of a quilt on a blog called A Very Fine House and I’m so in love  with it.  Would I have felt that way seeing the fairly simple quilt full on?  Don’t know!  Don’t you just love it to bits?

Grandmother's Flower Garden on bed
Grandmother’s Flower Garden on bed

Here are some quilts I’m LOVING lately.  I don’t know whether they’d turn out to be bed candy or not, but I just love love love them, and wanted to share.  These make my heart and stomach flutter they are so pretty!

Sampler 1.27.13

Yellow gray pinwheels in progress

Happy Quilting!


5 Comments leave one →
  1. farmquilter permalink
    January 31, 2013 9:47 am

    Our individual tastes insure that every quilt will be loved by someone! Personally, I really don’t like Grandmother’s Flower Garden, old-time Dresden (modern Dresden is cool) or Sunbonnet Sue (Dead Sue and Naughty Sue are fun), but there are quilters (and non-quilters) who love them above all others! I know because I quilt them for my customers!!! I really never thought about how a quilt looks different on a bed then it does hanging…I’ve always photographed my quilts on my bed until my DH got me a clothesline last summer, so I never knew the difference. Also, large quilts will still have to be photographed on the bed since I don’t want them on the ground! Very thought-provoking post!!

  2. January 31, 2013 11:29 am

    Interesting you wrote about this topic today. I thought I might be the only one who felt this way about wall vs bed display. But I agree, there can be a big difference! It doesn’t happen with all quilts, but I’ve seen many that I love to see hanging but don’t love so much on a bed. I tend not to like an overly busy quilt on a bed, i feel like it would keep me awake! Although for wall display I might love it.

  3. Jannie permalink
    February 1, 2013 7:05 pm

    This has inspired me to work on my honey comb quilts that I have in progress! Yea!

  4. February 12, 2013 9:00 am

    LOL, I have to say I laughed a bit at this. I haven’t really noticed, honestly, the difference in seeing a quilt hanging versus on a bed. When I see a quilt on my bed or Max’s, honestly, what I mostly think about it the love and care that went into making it and the happiness it gives me knowing my loved ones are warm and comforted by it. I saw, a few months back, my quilt on my sister’s bed (she lives far away) and it tickled me pink she was using it and enjoying it. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective!

  5. January 29, 2014 9:07 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. And maybe also include one more.. a sofa quilt.

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