Monday, April 10, 2006

Almost There

I love the process of how quilts are made. All the little decisions made along the way, some good some not, but all having an effect.That whole process thing. I'm not just interested in my own, but in other quilters' as well. So this isn't just me trying to bore you, but to give you a feel for making the quilt in case you're interested in the process as well. If it bores you silly, feel free to skip towards the end.

I just started sewing the piano keys together, no definitive size, no idea of their placement. Then when I had workable pieces, I moved them around here and there. The essence of liberated, improvisational piecing: just sew it on and whack off any extra. (When you're working with pieces with lots of seams, it's best to just unpick the seam if you would have a quarter inch or less left on a piece.)

I sewed on those piano keys and then straightened up the bottom of the block. I decided to add a strip to the Pooh unit, since it was 3/4" shorter than the Peetie unit, which I liked just the way it was. I cut a light purple strip 1/4" bigger than I thought I would need - I've discovered it's easier to trim than just get it that much too small. This is after I've sewn the two units together and before I've straightened across the top:

In the next pic I've sewn those two units together, as well as the two right above them. The Abominables row is all together. Those two pinky purple rectangles of fabric at the end came off my Fruit Punch quilt borders. They're oversized right now, cuz I'm not sure if I want to center the word on the line or shift it to one side.

Up in the top left I've added some yellow to the left and top of Booboo, as well as piano keys on the bottom and side. I don't want the word unit to go smack into the inner border, so that was what I chose to move it in some. You'll notice some larger bits of fabric that I'm auditioning here and there. I had had a strong dark pink in the lower right corner, but itwas too overwhelming.

Oh, and one other thing to note. At this stage I still wasn't sure about the border. There was a strong possibility of a piano key border, so I didn't want big chunks of keys on the outer edge of this.

Okay, that Spot spot was too strong. I cut down the piano keys and ended up moving a section of them down to Pumpkin Pie. There are a few changes in fabric chunks here and there. I've decided a stronger orange is required in the bottom left. Oh, and here's that infamous border fabric from Fruit Punch yet again. It didn't work there, but I'm feeling pretty confident about it this time.

You know, I just realized I haven't actually thought about if there's enough of it or not. This center bit is bigger than FP was. D'oh. But I'm planning on making it much narrower. Think it'll work. I'm sure Dawn will be happy that I'm using this gorgeous fabric at last.

And this is how it looks as of right now, after an hour of sewing this morning. That yellow and orange spotty fabric in the top was too overwhelming. And I love that fabric that was on the right of Spot, but it's obnoxious as well.

It's the area around Spot that is still problematic for me. I like that bit of red I'm auditioning right above it, but not sure about the orange to the left. I'm thinking I need more of that good strong red there or maybe purple, so that it will be darker than the pink around Sweet Pea. And the bottom row is still a bit short.

This is one of my favorite methods to look at a quilt in progress. The black and white effect in Picasa. I've already sewn it on, but that bit of piano key to the left of Stinker isn't thrilling me. At this point it would be easy enough to replace. Something more to think about.

Kind of embarassing to admit, but I probably spent more than two hours just staring at this quilt while listening to the tv and occasionally petting a cat. At times like that, when I can't quite figure out what to do next, I can see the advantage of working with patterns.

Hey, I've found "Charmed" again. Don't know how long it will last, but I'm enjoying it.


Jan said...

What a good idea to use the black & white function on a photo site to check value!
Sometimes I think that I spend more time considering possibilities than actually sewing when working on a quilt. Yours is coming together nicely.

Laura said...

The quilt is looking so good. You have a great ability to explain the process. You definately need to write a book! I think this is actually one area that hasn't been covered.

cher said...

it is do spend much more time on design/concept/color placement when you are doing it as you go along. neat trick on doing it in the black/white option.

Dawn said...

Yes, I'm still in love with that fabric Tonya! And it is so not me - but I think that is my favorite piece ever! I just love the colors in it. I am absolutely loving the piano keys all around the words. I think this was a good decision! Stinker is working for me. And I love the purple inner border with that favorite fabric of mine fo the outer border!

YankeeQuilter said...

Thanks for the walkthrough of how you construct your quilts! You may like the book "Quuilters Playtime: Games with fabric" by Dianne Hire. She is much more fun in person than the book shows! There some neat techniques using wonky piano keys that's a lot of fun.