‘Creative redesign’, 3 lessons in quilting

I have dabbled in quilting just long enough to believe that I am might actually be capable of creating a quilt without a formal pattern. Call me crazy, but I like the challenge of researching patterns, putting pieces together and playing with colours and fabrics. How about you? Have you ever considered creating your own designs?

The downside to all this is that I most likely make more work for myself, because sometimes I have a lot of trial and error, with the emphasis on error, which I think I will now refer to as ‘creative redesigns’. That sounds much more forgiving. Anyhow, in a moment of unabashed enthusiasm, I set out to create a special blanket for dear, sweet Emma, who arrived two weeks early, which means that my quilt will now be arriving a few weeks  after she does!

If you are a crafter of any type, you may also know, as quilters and crafters, we might have a slight tendency to collect (ahem, hoard) fabric and supplies. So, knowing these few things, I set out to create a quilt using some girly fabrics which have been hanging around in my fabric stash for years.

The other thing is that I like to challenge myself to learn something new with every project I create. In this case, I wanted to improve my appliqué skills and tackle the fear-inducing monster that is free motion quilting.

Lesson # 1 Play with paper

Play with your ideas on paper before you dig out the scissors. By creating my appliqués in paper before I grabbed the scissors, I was able to experiment with sizes and shapes.

Lesson # 2 You are the artist

Remember this is your design, so that makes you the artist, that gives you a lot of freedom to decide what is right for your quilt! Allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with colour, shape or style.

Lesson # 3 Have Fun and jump in!

Part way through this quilt, when I was trying to decide about border colours, I sent a photo of the semi finished quilt to a buddy and asked her opinion. She said ‘don’t chicken out now, go for loud!’ I could tell that this quilt was getting ‘loud’ in terms of colours, but decided to go with the screaming pink because it just seemed to fit. I know that anyone who looks at this quilt might wish they were wearing sunglasses, but on those cold, dark days of winter in Austria, here’s hoping this quilt adds a ray (or two) of sunshine.

Here are some of the photos of this quilt in progress.

 

 

In my quest to improve my free motion quilting skills, of which I have few, I have practiced making circles in all the squares with appliqués.

 

 

Finally, I had to go to the quilt store to find something to bind this quilt. After much discussion with anyone who would listen, we decided on the pink polka dots as a bright way to finish it off. You can that I just pieced together leftover fabric from this project to create the backing. Check out the corner, looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself. Here is where I learned how to do make that corner:

 

As I continue with this blog, I promise to improve my photography skills. So much to learn!

Anyhow, what projects can you ‘creatively redesign’ and finish off? It feels so good to complete a project and get ready to move onto the next one. Bring on Mr. Puffin!!

Until next week,

Laurie

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