Design Inspiration 2: Light and Shapes in Perspective

Light and Shadow  10am 8 July

Light and Shadow
10am 8 July

As I was walking to a meeting at work I turned a corner and saw this view in the corridor ahead.  The shapes cast by the sunlight streaming through the windows on a sunny winter’s morning made me think about how I could abstract the shapes and perspective and turn it into a quilt design. I snapped a quick photo with my ever present iPad.

I have no idea how to do it , but it will be fun to try.

Playing with themes

Just wanted to say that I will be testing some themes over the next few days.  I really liked the Reddle theme which I have been using, but wanted the main content area to be wider. Even though I paid for customization and got into the CSS code, no matter what I did I couldn’t reduce the left side bar area and move the line in the centre of the page.  So for the moment I have changed themes and will be testing some layouts to try and improve the look!

I want a crisp and clean look, but also with a little colour – so please bear with me for a few days.  Thanks!

1,2,3 Quilt

A recent addition to my bookshelf was 1,2,3 Quilt – Shape Up Your Skills with 24 Stylish Projects by Ellen Luckett Baker.

1,2,3 Quilt  Ellen Luckett Baker

1,2,3 Quilt
Ellen Luckett Baker

Looking at it again last night for some inspiration I realized that it had one of my favourite quilts in it, The Lopsided Squares Quilt which I first saw on Pinterest.  It is one of the inspirations for the mixed neutral block borders on my current improv small sketches quilt.  You will see the similarity in the borders, but Ellen’s quilt is a real thing of beauty while mine is …well … it’s a learning curve in a square quilt!

As someone who is relatively new to quilting 1,2,3 Quilt has been a good resource.  It is organized by quilting shapes—squares, triangles, hexagons, circles, flowers, stars, and diamonds which has helped me to understand the basics of working with different blocks.  It is very well illustrated with drawings and full-page colour photographs.   The instructions are very easy to follow with a clear layout and the font is dark enough and large enough to read – something that many books lack.   I would certainly recommend it for anyone who is learning to quilt.

Ellen’s blog/website is The Long Thread and she is also a talented fabric designer which I didn’t know until I bought the book.  I have seen some of her fabric without realizing the connection.  I also had a look at the site last night and she has some great links to top 100 Top Tutorials which you might find useful.

Wonky progress

I made some progress over the week-end on the wonky cabins and squares. I have discovered that working in an improv way takes much longer than working to a pattern. Each small “sketch” takes time to select the fabric, think of a design, cut, stitch, press and repeat!

Wonky progress 1

Wonky progress 1

Once again apologies for the poor lighting in my hallway.  I am relatively happy with each block, but as I suspected it is going to be difficult to create a unified look to the whole quilt. This won’t be the final layout – I play as I go.

Wonky progress 2

Wonky progress 2

I have completed 15 blocks so far – 10 to go, but I may do some more and play with colours etc.  One thing I am now doing is adding a repeat of some of the fabrics in the blocks and being more selective about colour choices to try and make it a little less “bitsy”. All in all I’ll be happy with the end result because it started out as a learning process for some new techniques – not as a quilt – and I have learnt a lot by doing it.

Of course at the end of a week-end of sewing, when “the boys” had to be placed behind a closed door in the bedroom to keep them off the cutting table, Cosmo demanded a Sunday night tummy rub – on my cashmere blanket no less!

Sunday night snuggle

Sunday night snuggle

Thinking inside the square

Some progress on the “small sketches” quilt.  The original concept for the sketch series was to concentrate on 3 design elements -improv, log cabins and warm colours.  I have stayed mainly within those parameters and added a touch of accent colour here and there.

A touch of turquoise

A touch of turquoise

This is the latest sketch – this will probably be the only blue tone in the finished quilt.

Autumn block with a touch of pink

Autumn block with a touch of pink

This finished block adds a touch of pinkish/mauve.

New block with a touch of green and deep red

New block with a touch of green and deep red

The latest one really adds some bright tones and a deep red, plus a slash of green  in the outer neutral border.

With a bit of luck I hope to finish all the blocks on the week-end.  I still don’t have a good idea of how it will flow when the 25 blocks are joined together – finished size will be a 5×5  of 12″ blocks – 60″ square quilt.

I can see now that many of them have a floral element while several have only abstract geometric shapes.  I’m not sure how that will flow overall, so I may take those out and make a few more with flowers and end up with a 4th, but originally unplanned, design element. I’m also keen to add a couple with a mustard yellow tone.  After a long and frustrating week at work, playing with colour is such fun!  Hope you have some fun this week-end.