Thursday, June 11, 2009

Squint as you approach. You may be blinded by my beauty.

Every once in a while I get a bug up my butt and I become obsessed with something ridiculous. I am powerless in the thrall of my own futile ambitions, and many other, more worthwhile pursuits—such as showering and cooking—get shoved aside during my mania du jour.

This week it was quilt designing. Harper was fascinated by the process of making our last quilt, though she was a bit disappointed in the result. I had plotted the squares out on graph paper, using solid colors representing the background colors of the prints we were using. And even though she saw the prints, she still thought we were going to end up with something that would look more like the picture than it did, so I promised her we would do it again with solids.

In the meantime, I have two marble solids that I was going to use for the border and backing of my last quilt, but which I ultimately decided were not quite the right shades. I was thinking of using them to make a 2-color quilt, using the disappearing 9-patch pattern, and I used my graph paper to see what kind of arrangements I could make with the blocks.

THAT got me thinking about the disappearing 9-patch method - where you deconstruct a block and rearrange the pieces to make something new. I wondered what other kind of block I could cut up, and so I drew a sort of nine-patch made from half-square triangles, cut that up, and started messing around with it.

So, I started with this:

and cut that into 4ths and rearranged them to make this:

Then I tried several different arrangements of those blocks to see what a whole 2-color quilt might look like:

Now, lets ignore for a moment the question of whether these designs are even remotely attractive or appealing. because when I am in the throes of my obsession, I can't see the ugliness that's right in front of me. I always figure that I am too deeply involved in the project to see it objectively, so I may as well keep going. So, despite the fact that the above pictures are HIDEOUS, I went ahead and tried it in fabric. Since I'm now all expert-y with the triangles and all.

Miraculously, my seams lined up nicely, but my sewing machine just hated all those intersections, and the whole thing ended up wonky in a way that would cause later blocks to, I don't know, turn inside out or something. There's a reason this isn't a common design method.

Back to the drawing board.


floribunda said...

interesting concept! the design does come out pretty weird, but on the other hand everyone would be commenting on how creative you were...

Andi said...

I actually like the first's makes a cool fractured pattern, like ripples on a pond. You are a creative genius, keep up the good work.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

Hideous? are you kidding? Original!
I'm so tired of seeing the same things over and over.
crank out that first photo... then sell the pattern.