Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On the Design Wall with a Different Point of View

I often say (and blog) that one of the things I love about quilting is that there is rarely one right answer or only one path when making quilts.  I was reminded of how true that is for me this morning, when I read Cynthia's second installment of her Scrap-A-Pallooza series.

Specifically when she is arranging her scrap blocks on the design wall, she says,
I find I am most successful if I do this step quickly and try not to over think it.
I guess that makes me an over-thinker, because I find I am most successful, if I do this step SLOWLY and play with the blocks over the course of a day or a few days.   Last night I finished the last two of the hand-pieced blocks.

This morning I added them to the rest of the blocks on the design wall, where each triplet of blocks was kept together, but no real thought had been given (yet) to how they would be arranged in the quilt.

And then I started arranging them. I prefer asymmetry, but my first, quick effort was only slightly asymmetric.

Because it was nearly symmetric, I rearranged the blocks to create a more traditional feeling, symmetric arrangement. I knew it would not be "me," but I wanted to see how I felt about it anyway.

I will spare you all the future revisions that happen on my design wall before these blocks are finally assembled, but for me, it always seems to be a good thing to leave them on the wall, within sight, but work on something else while I consider the color and value placement, the orientation of the individual blocks (with these, the possibilities seem endless), and how the quilt looks as the light changes over the course of the day.  I really like walking into my studio just after dawn when I can see whatever's there in low light and "see" value more than color.

I'll also be (re) thinking about my initial plan to mix in some pieced rectangles and what this quilt needs in terms of border (or whether it needs one at all).  I'll definitely be sleeping on it, too, and giving my subconscious a shot at solving the problem that is this quilt's design.

Are you a speed arranger like Cynthia or is it a slow and considered task for you, like me?

I'm joining the Linkys for Esther's WOW and WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

FYI, I have posted the first installment of the Mod-Mod Quilt-Along.   If a low key, year-long QAL appeals, be sure to check it out.


Handmade Whimzy said...

I'm slow like you. I love the first picture best especially the last row. The s shapes create such movement. It's really beautiful.

Kris said...

Wow so beautiful! I can do both slow and fast but what it comes down to for me is my gut. I can lay it all out and get several opinions but if an area is nagging at me I have to move it and usually I move it once and the feel the change gives me makes me know it is right.
No matter what you do this will be beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What fabulous, bright, fun blocks. Every quilt layout you did sings. No matter what you choose this will be a stunning quilt.

Terri said...

I guess I'm slow, too. I like to look and relook. Sometimes I call in the Mr. for another set of eyes and ask him to look. Sometimes he finds an error, has a suggestion. Sometimes I take his suggestion... sometimes not.

It's your quilt - do it whatever way you like!

Paulette said...

Wow, I just love this bright, interesting quilt. I'm an overthinker for sure. I like the last layout, but I'm sure however you put it together, it's going to be great.

Mystic Quilter said...

What a bright, cheerful quilt, I think I be more like you in that I have to play around for quite a while until I get it to the point where I am happy,

Farm Quilter said...

Loving the second and third arrangements!!! This is going to be a beautiful quilt!

LA Paylor said...

Well, the way I see it, you have to rearrange the blocks til they are right. Right means you are either thrilled, or at least satisfied that they make you smile. Slow, fast, doesn't matter as long as your spirit is happy. We have similar styles.
LeeAnna Paylor

Suze said...

I really, really like the symmetrical layout best... the middle layout is tolerable but that first one just grates on my nerves! Those are some very interesting blocks. Nice bright colors!

I am very slow with arranging blocks. And I ask my DH...but to tell the truth, I haven't been faced with much block arranging since I tend to avoid much real patchwork.

Nilya said...

Love your NY Beauties. So fun, because I will finish my top of NY Beauties at the Weekend. They are scrappy too, but look totally different ;-)

Renee said...

Beautiful blocks--certain to be a gorgeous quilt in any arrangement. More often than not I am a planner, but occasionally the quickly placed ones are good enough for me.

Lynette said...

Well, I don't have a natural flair for throwing things together in the best way, so I also need marinating time when I'm playing with arrangements. Need to leave them out so my brain can consider them "unconsciously" as I go about my other tasks.

Emma said...

I like to sit with a quilt and let it talk to me. Sometimes a quilt shouts and it goes very quickly. Most of the time a quilt whispers and that's when I take my time letting ideas percolate in the background.

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