Friday, July 27, 2012

Process, inspiration and change

Low volume triangles

I finished the 56" by 64" low volume top I was making pattern testing Lynne from Lily's Quilts Windmills and Trees Quilt. I am in love with this old-timey, sepia-ish top made from all modern and mostly contemporary, popular fabrics in beach inspired colours. New fabrics can look vintage-ish.

Low volume triangles

However, you can see that there really is not a windmill image emerging. It is more of a calm, beachy feel with value changes that give it interest and depth. But not windmills. Pattern tester failure for sure.

And you will recall the difficulties I was having picking the fabric for the trees in the pattern. Many of you gave great suggestions, but none of the ideas were feeling right to me for this top. I even bought some more fabric, but still it did not feel right.

Ferris Wheel - English Paper Piecing

At the same time I was working on my EPP ferris wheels. And then Lynne wrote this blog post, mentioning that she was planning to applique her summer EPP projects. So, inspired by Lynne, I threw my ferris wheels on the top and consulted with Lynne. She sagely suggested removing the centres, so I did.

Low volume top and EPP

Here is my new plan so far. I am now planning to make a two or three more blobs of ferris wheels - each one different and with different bright colours, and applique them onto the top.

Low volume top and EPP - detail

The ferris wheels and English Paper Piecing in general, are a traditional approach to quilting. With the modern fabrics they look fresh and fun. Old and new, like the top.

Low volume top and EPP - detail

I think that the patchwork of the EPP goes so much better with this particular top than a solid fabric shape.

Low volume top and EPP - a nice fit I think

I am not sure how I will place the blobs nor how I will stitch them down yet. I may even change directions again, who knows.

So, it seems a totally different project has emerged from this pattern testing venture. I do plan to restart the pattern testing again with more appropriate background fabrics, but for now my grade as a tester is C-. Lucky for me Lynne has not fired me yet.

Oh by the way - don't worry Julie, I have a much clearer plan for your pattern - I have signed on to test another great pattern and hope to start later today on it - I am hoping my work with it will improve my pattern testing grade substantially.

Inspiration and process will take you interesting places, I think it is best to keep listening to your projects as you go, rather than carrying on when they feel all wrong.

I have declared today a Friday off, so I am out to garden in a bit.