[personal profile] emmne
I highly encourage patternless quilt design as a great way to create real quilted art and unique creations.  I haven'et found  good way to coach on how to do that, so I thought I'd explain how I do it through an example.

t rarely use a pattern, although I occasionally make one.  Most often I have a concept.  Sometimes I make blocks but never the same one throughout except once when I did a one piece quilt, that is, the same irregular quarter of a square throughout, all in pinks and reds.  I've contributed blocks to group quilts and those often used a pattern. I've cone some process blocks - usually multiple ones in the same quilt and scrappy, but I don't know how I;m going to combine them until I get to that stage in the process.  

My latest quilt, latest to finish that is, was a concept quilt I stated three and half years ago (that pretty quick for me.  I've done UFOs that were nearly thirty years old.).  I cut strips and individual squares from 1-1/2 up to 12-1/2 and most of the usual sizes in between.  I sewed the smaller strips side-by-see in sets of one, two, up to six I think strips, then sliced them up and combined them with strips or blocks the same size in one direction (e.g six one inch strips with a six inch block or a pair of three inch squares.  I aimed for rectangles that were 6x8 or 6x9 or rectangles of 6, 8, or 9 by 12 and ended up with more variation than that.  I kept growing the blocks and combining the smaller ones into increasingly bigger ones until I had about a dozen blocks of various sizes plus various leftovers.  

Then I gridded out what I had left, added the leftovers to the sides or ends of the larger rectangles until I could put two next to each other to make another larger rectangle (same length and/or width together) until Ihad four pieces.  I could line up two and two, and then those with one point of zig-zag toward the center to make the two halves of the quilt, and sewed those two together with some care around the zig zag.

I left it at that for a long time but finally got around to the next stage this past November.  I put together a backing that wasn't quite big enough and started quilting, eventually added more backing pieces and shortened the quilt to bring it down to 92 by 98.  The trimmed end pieces were turned into top and bottom bindings.  For the side bindings I used a dark blue print to bring out the blues and provide a sharp contrast to all the yellows and oranges and reds.  I finished the quilting just over a week ago, then the binding, with some painted embellishments and embroidery-type quilting along the way.  Hopefully I will shortly figure out how to post the picture!

UFOs

May. 17th, 2014 10:35 pm
[personal profile] emmne
i was catching up on other things besides sewing after I finished hand quilting an old window pane top but now it is time for our local group to sign up for the annual UFOs (UnFinished Objects) so I signed up for two.  One is a 30+ year old patchwork on an even older blanket that recently decided to shrink drastically.  So I'm adding two towels, fixing the patchwork, and adding more to make it a single-sized quilt again, cotton blanket and towels, mixed fabric appliqued patches, in shades of cool greens.  The other one is a pile of sunflower fabric I've been collecting and "stash" yellows, oranges, and browns to match.  It's going to be design as I go, three to five pictures, including one with a barn and quilts hanging on a fence with more traditional patterns (and sunflower fields in the background) and probably a vase of sunflowers among other related pictures, Then a background and framing in either subtly colored traditional blocks or randomly mixed half-square triangles in shades of yellow drifting to mixed shades of orange and brown.  Maybe some of each depending on how much space I need to fill to make the pictures--in different sizes and borders--fit together.  i figure some will be pieced for the pictures (fields made of stripes or diamonds, etc) but some will have to be appliqued.  How much is machine appliqued will depend on sizes and my schedule.  Easier to watch my shows while I'm hand sewing than when I'm machine sewing, but when nothing is on, I'd just as soon machine sew.  I have no destination for it yet, but that's one of the reasons its a UFO: the annual challenge gives me an incentive to make progress on such deadline free projects that I've had fabric for for awhile, and maybe eventually I'll get my act together enough to try to sell some of them on etsy or something.  Take a lot of them being ready to make it worth a consignment shop or some such, i imagine.  Maybe after i retire and have time to manage a craft shop on the side...

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