Housework (ugh)

The best (perhaps only) thing about clearing the studio floor for vacuuming (ugh) is a little clarity about what to work on next: the thing on the top of the pile.

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Mapping my mind

80 days of travel through 12 countries….

I saw a lot of beautiful or interesting places, objects, people. None of these will be recognisable in what I make next. Pictures are not my talent!

The mindmaps pictured above my desk are a start at describing some of the ideas or images that came to me in those beautiful places.  I had time to think, to be intrigued, to make connections. 

Mindmapping was a good method to move all of that internal value to the external, physical world. A big step toward making…

Four on the board

 fabric scraps pinned  to board Today I’ve started the physical work of making four new quilts for my upcoming exhibition. 

I begin with the colour idea and select from my scrap pieces baskets. I love those baskets- sometimes it seems I work more from them than from my big pieces of fabric. No matter how much I take out, they always seem to fill up again. A kind of quilter’s cornucopia. I think they began life as CD storage.

6 small rectangular   baskets  stacked  drawer-fashion in a frame You can see the brown/black scraps basket on the ground in the foreground of the pinboard photo.

I’ve pinned the pieces to a big sheet of Styrofoam. One column for each quilt, graduating from light to dark so I can keep track of how much I have of each. I’ll compose each one separately, but at this stage it’s helpful to see the ingredients in relation to each other. 

Can you guess the inspiration behind my four selections of fabrics?

Unbundling 1

I wrote earlier about sorting and bundling fabrics to make a quilt kit. Like this one:

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Unroll the bundle and spread the fabrics out, paying attention to the piece sizes and the proportion of lights to darks. Think about the feelings and ideas that the colours evoke. Make up a working title that refers to those feelings. I’m calling this Misty Garden for now.

Next step: Composition- how to arrange the fabrics

Sorting the rainbow

One of my favourite ways to make a quilt is to begin with the colours.

neat stack of fabric pieces

New fabric treasures

The first step is the well-filled fabric stash. It’s full of pieces collected as I go

From time to time I sort the pieces into happy groups, trying not to have any orphan pieces left. It’s amazing what goes together!

Fabric in in tidy stacks

15 sets of fabric, ready to make into quilts

Each one will become a quilt, or the beginnings of one. I don’t think about the size of the pieces, or the total amount of fabric, or the design of the quilt. That comes later.

Then I roll them up…

rolled fabric sets

15 fabric bundles

…until the next time I want to start a new project.

If any bundles are still waiting when I have enough new fabric to sort, they might get broken up to make new groups.

This is a very relaxed and pleasing way to create colour combinations and a design challenge for later…