Quilt top design (and piecing) complete!

I am thankful every day I get to work on quilt-making. I do have to admit, though, I wish I had more time! This project has been a bit of a beast. My brain is working so much faster than my hands: I’m already three quilts on from this one in my head. I may be doing a little backtracking as I turn my ideas into the assignments I had intended to give to myself for the blog. Well, learning a lot from this experience – both about blogging and about quilt-making!

On to the design of this quilt: in my last post I discussed much of my digital process whereby I drew the blocks and worked with variations of repeats. When I moved onto my design wall I started with one of my favorite options and worked from there. I like this process: the digital work allows for the quick trial of many options. I can incrementally change the pattern and test ideas in a relatively short period of time. It gives me a good base with which to layout the pieces and start sewing. Sometimes when I shift to “the real,” I adjust the layout from the drawing quite a bit as the fabrics, colors, and physical presence of the quilt top come into being. With this quilt, though, I made only very small adjustments to the design.

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The overall design I feel does bring together those three movement ideas I pulled out of a hat so many months ago: Angles Sliding, Repeated Folding, and [Mirrored] Rippling. Well….the mirrored part didn’t really make it in, but I’m ok with that! The use of a significant amount of white space helps the eye follow the shifting pattern and trace movement in multiple directions: the middle points of the deep purple triangles face left directing the eye up to the corner, but the overall shift of the pattern pulls down to the right guided by the lower points of the deep purple triangles and the middle points of the white ones. In the lower right-hand corner, the pattern falls into a simple repeat that continues off the quilt. The white areas below the shifting triangles include lines of increased texture: the white space therefore contains both rest and interest.

I think of this design as something being created: the pattern is in motion and suggests continued change, like the way geological formations come into being, create patterns through forces being exerted on materials, and then change again according to new forces. The design continues beyond the boundaries of the quilt. The eye moves off in every direction, imagining more.

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In terms of sewing, I learned -again- that my ideas do not always make for easy piecing. The sharp points of the triangles were definitely a challenge, as were the long 1 1/4″ (3/4″ sewn) slide pieces that go the length of the quilt. The real kicker here, though, was the added texture, which is a series of pleats every 1″ or so in the long strips of white fabric. Phew! Not hard, perhaps, but definitely time consuming. Interestingly the pleats add structure to the fabric, creating less give than the non-textured parts of the quilt top.

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And now for the finishing. I wanted the backing to be simple, but a surprise. I chose a bright blueish purple (Michael Miller Fabrics Cotton Couture Crocus, to be exact!) for the backing and am anxiously awaiting its arrival in the mail. The next challenge is to design the quilting pattern. My current idea is to create a series of stair-stepping lines that track the shift of the pattern from left to right, but I’m uncertain how that will work in the white textured area. Thread colors in contention are either of the blue-purple persuasion, or white. Tests to follow!

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