Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Planning Ahead

It's never too soon to plan one's next quilt, right?...I told myself when the silk hexie quilt top was finished that I could start thinking about what to do with these fabrics.  There are a dozen or so fat quarters that I gathered at both Houston and Paducah.  They come from a wonderful vendor that only visits a few shows a year.  She does little yardage, but if you are lucky enough to get a FQ with a selvage then more can be ordered (as I did with a few of them that I really like).  It's pretty challenging to make anything but a scrap quilt with only fat quarters.
 Now, I am torn a little.  Part of me wants to make a quilt that is "an easy piecing" job -- kind of mindless piecing for when there is time...sort of like my Meet me at Giverny quilt (made in only a couple months).  Then, part of me wants another hand pieced project so I can work on it constantly in the evenings.  I have considerably less time during the day to do machine piecing (with my increasing pile of tops needing quilting!).

I sat down with EQ7 to play with some designs.  My first criteria is that I design a unique block.  I initially conceived this being a mariner's star, but somehow this resulted.  It's a bit finicky to put together, but certainly fits the "stitch by hand" desire, and I really like how it looks when on point.
So...there went 9 of these blocks, on point, and my first thought to use all of the many shades of turquoise and green, in a sort of scrappy background.  Now, let me preface these designs by saying that I haven't completely settled on any design nor have I cut any fabric.  Still letting the ideas percolate.
 The first design didn't seem focused enough.  Or maybe it is too redundant.  I don't know.  So I moved onward.  Perhaps just one of these fussy blocks would be enough.  Whatever I was thinking putting the 1/2 blocks was just crazy.  That'll never happen without a mess.  I was attempting here to get more of the green which I love so into the quilt.  What I don't want, though, is this very wide and solid green outer border.
 But then, I am not sure I really like the scrappy look either!  Gosh, designing some days is making one cruddy design after another!  Aspects of this next possibility do catch my eye nicely, like the red and aqua spiked triangles, and the way the golden triangles give the illusion of another framed square on point.  It is often these serendipitous finds that lead to final designs.
I still don't like that scrappy green outer border, but I DO want plenty of green in the finished piece. No point collecting dozens of yards of delicious greens to make the quilt purple!  But the purple outer edge does ground it nicely :-)  This style of wavy border has been done before.  Heck, nearly everything I draft has likely been done before.  It's really hard to be creative and unique.  May come down to my quilting.
 I played a little more with the outer border, trying to bring the spikey look outward.  Designs need to copy/repeat motifs, and this brings the center of the quilt outward to the edge.  It helps to keep the eye moving around.  I still have some block designs to be refining so that I dont doom a design from the start.  By this, I mean that I hate designs that have points that end smack at the edge.  It is just asking to have those points chopped off.  I recess them back 1/8-1/4" from the edge.   I still need to assess the fabrics to know if there is enough for some of these larger areas.  And I already know that I need the red for the outer border.  But, the battle is won because I know what red I plan to order!
 Remember, if at first you don't love the design, keep playing!

6 comments:

Celia Ambrose said...

Love your stack of fabrics....all very pretty, and great colors. I just found my CD yesterday for "Quilt Wizard" so I will practice some layouts like your examples shown. (celiaambrose@hotmail.com)

Patti said...

Wow! I was happy with the first couple & would have made one of those. But you are exceptional & make exceptional quilts!

regan said...

It's so nice to see your process of designing! I don't have EQ, but can see how invaluable it is in your design work. I love to see your steps and the decisions you made along the way! It's funny.....each design looked wonderful to me, then you'd mention something about it, and the next edition looked even better! How do you know when to stop!?! lol

DonnaDD said...

I love this vendor also and try to get as many fat quarters as I can when I catch her at shows. Love your design and can't wait for picutres of the finished piece. Happy sewing!

Busy Quilting said...

Love your thought processes. I let my designs percolate for more than a few days. I print off the last quilt from a session and pin it where I can see it throughout the day. More interesting things happen the more you look at it.

Lorette Cole said...

Loving your thought process both to manage the antique quilt and your solution and your design process. This will be a wonderful quilt! Can wait to see it in fabric!