Friday, March 7, 2008

My Asian quilt top reconsidered


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One of the things I've always been fascinated by is how artists go from their first ideas to the finished piece and to this end I want to share one of the quilts I'm now working on again. I have been away from quilting for awhile due to having been diagnosed with Graves disease, which for the last six to seven months has played havoc with my energy levels and ability to concentrate on more complex creative tasks. Anyway, as my thyroid hormone levels have gotten back to normal, I've been getting back to doing the creative stuff I love. One of the projects that was left behind during this time was this quilt with these Asian crazy quilt blocks and blocks called hopscotch blocks (the longer runs of color with the irregular squares running down them). The Hopscotch blocks I learned to make from a wonderful book by Dianne S. Hire called Quilters Playtime Games with Fabrics.
So when I was at my quilt guild's retreat, I was looking at some earlier work I'd done, and some newer blocks which I had used a great 15" square ruler to square up. The contrast was striking in that the newer blocks have better quarter inch seams and lay flat so nicely and the older work is all a bit wonky. I thought about this quilt top, which is almost all the way put together, and how much I'm not satisfied with the quality of my sewing. In time away from quilting, I've had time to consider what I was working on so feverishly before. I have a tendency to sew too quickly and then struggle to have my quilt top lay flat. I have decided to take this opportunity of being not so passionately invested in finishing this quilt top, to take parts of it apart, i.e. rip out badly sewn seams, something I don't enjoy doing, and to put it back together the right way, i.e. more carefully, and also use this as a chance to improve the overall design of the quilt. Now when I look at my overall pattern, I can see clearly that one of the lady block has a bright purple that doesn't mesh with the other colors of the quilt top, Also I was trying to use the black and white blocks as punctuation, and now I'm not sure how well they work. In large part because I ended up grouping too many of them on one side of the quilt and not distributing them around enough. So while taking things apart is not going to be the fun part, I do think that considering my choices a bit for the fabrics connecting the sections up and redoing it will in the end make the overall design more pleasing.

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