Thursday, December 4, 2014

Making a Quilt From Scratch/Scraps

I have been doing some thinking. Scary, right? I have been thinking about my design process and how I create quilts. Before I started making quilts for publication I did things a bit different. I would buy fabric in random amounts and stick it on the shelf. When I started a quilt, I would pull fabric from the shelf and begin. If I didn't have enough of a fabric I never let that stop me. I would make do with the closest fabric I had on hand.
 I still buy random amounts of fabric and pull from the shelves to start but when there isn't enough I go buy specific fabric to fill those needs rather than really making do. So I decided to make a quilt "from scratch" with only what I have on hand. Going back to my roots. 
Every quilt I make starts like this photo above. I have a million sketch books and they are full drawings. Some of the drawing actually look like something and some are like this. The quilt is in my head, I just need enough on paper to keep from losing my place and to do some math.
 I decided I wanted a quilt that looked old/antique but something easy to piece and fun. I chose a medallion design. After working out some basics and figuring size on paper I drew up a rough design on the computer.
This is still not exact. I don't want to waste time drawing out blocks that I know are going to change so I just added in those bars to save the space.
I started pulling fabric. Most of it is a fat quarter or less so I am going to be scraping by on some of it. 
I had a bit of this fabric saved back and I knew I had to use it. It is an older line called Old Glory from Nancy Gere and is one of my favorite pieces of fabric ever. I decided to use it on a border so it could be a focus. Working with such limited amounts of fabric would make using a design wall a practical idea but since I have never been one to be practical I am just laying my blocks on the floor. (Warning to anyone using a floor as a design wall- when you lay the project out on the floor and have just the way you like it will send out a silent alarm to any cat or dog in a five mile radius.)
So I get to here and realize that it is getting too busy to add another busy pieced border so I stopped and started auditioning fabrics for the next border. I think this navy blue will do the trick. It will give your eye a resting place and close in the piecing. I am going to have to use several navy prints because I don't have enough of one or two for that matter. I still have to finish my star blocks for the empty blocks and now instead of the next border being a six inch border of randomly pieced blocks, it will be a 3" navy border and 3" row of piecing. The lighter blue border towards the center was bugging me. It was too plain and drew too much attention. Being an appliquer I figure there isn't much that can't be fixed with a little applique so I laid some vines on it and that fixed it.
Obviously these are just laid on there but you can see that adding a bit of applique there will break up that border so it plays more nicely with the rest of the quilt. 
I will check back in with my progress as I get this put together. Will it be a pattern? I don't know. I don't know if anyone would want to buy a pattern made from such random fabrics but I am having fun digging through scraps to piece it. 
Happy Quilting,
Dawn



9 comments:

  1. This is all very interesting! Thanks so much for sharing your process with us! Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

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  2. Fun! And great idea to add the applique. I want to see more!

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  3. So interesting to read about your process. I approach new projects with a rough sketch too. I loved your "silent alarm" to cats and dogs. so true!!!
    I love that eagle fabric. I don't think i ever saw that colorway.

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    1. I think the fabric came in a bolder version- navy and red but the pink just really spoke to me.
      There is a newer line called Old Glory II that has this colorway and I think it's more of a pillar print.

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  4. Great post! Very interesting to read about your design process. I agree with the lady who asked to see more :)

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  5. Always love to read one of your postings. You must have a constant wheel and cog going in your brain! Thanks for sharing your design process. Your new patterns are wonderful and I cannot wait to start the "Love Notes"!

    Will you share any photos of Christmas decor of your home?

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    1. Ha! I don't know if I am going to have any Christmas decor. Time is getting away from me and it is still fall decor here.

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  6. What fun! I love this way of making quilts it's such fun to see how the quilt evolves.

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