April 06, 2011

A Monochromatic Quilt: Design

This is the second of my posts on making my latest quilt. The first one is here.


When I was done piecing my strips my husband told me they looked like paint chips on the design wall. I realized that I needed a dark background to work with in order to visualize the layout. I decided to replace my normal flannel-backed tablecloth design wall with some black batting, and then use the batting for the quilt. So I went the the store and discovered that if a person wants black batting, that person will have two choices: polyester or polyester. I momentarily mourned the loss of shrinky rumpliness but went on ahead with the polyester. I'm in a mood for experimenting with different battings anyway.


I pinned the batting to my wall and tossed the strips up there. Much easier to see the design come forth. But that layout was not at all right. I made uncountable changes and took hundreds of pictures that basically looked exactly the same. I'll spare you. I couldn't get a layout that had everything I was looking for: depth and sparkle and motion. It seemed... flat.
I started to freak out and considered abandoning the idea. Like so:



But I gathered my wits about me and tried again. This time I focused on the lightest squares at the end of the strips, working to distribute them in a pleasing configuration. This worked.


It's only looking at it now that I see the obvious differences between my original rough sketch and what I came up with on the design wall. It just didn't have the "pow" factor for me without those large empty spaces on the sides.

Now big news! The finished quilt will be on display this month in Gallery 214 at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. There's a first Thursday celebration there tomorrow April 7, from 5:30-7:30pm. If you're in town I hope you'll come by to see some great modern quilts from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and enjoy some food and drink, including my lemon ginger cupcakes. The show will stay up until April 21st.

Up next: Construction.

15 comments:

felicity said...

Hey, we have the same tablecloth design wall strategy!

I am really loving watching the process of this quilt. It's gorgeous.

I was able to get some black 80/20 batting (by Hobbs, I believe) here in Canada. I'm shocked that it wouldn't be available there.

kelly said...

this is stunning!

Patchwork and Play said...

I love your last option..it is really working now!

Shelley said...

Loving this! So gorgeous so far! And it's fun to see the process you went through. :)

Michelle said...

I never imagined how changing the background between white and black would have such a dramatic impact. You came up with so many layouts, I don't know how you could have possibly chose the final one. I like all of the ones you pictured. That's awesome that it's going to be displayed for the public!

Sarah Craig said...

What a great quilt! I love your design....

WillieburgScrapper said...

Love all 4 designs! The last is really beautiful.

What Comes Next? said...

I'm loving watching this come together and hearing about your process!

Mama Pea said...

I left you a long note last night on your previous post but i think the computer ate it. I love this! I like what you are doing. Although the dark areas are plain now it will give you lots of open areas for quilting. Maybe with metallic thread for extra sparkle?

manos de chicureo said...

Very nice, I loved it.
Yasmin

Ann Marie said...

you can get black 80/20 cotton batting online at most of the bigger quilt places Hobbs makes it I know, and I think there is another company too.

grendelskin said...

I lvoe where you've taken this! Thanks for sharing the process.

Elsa said...

this is an amazing piece Christina! love it!

Linda Beth said...

I'm really liking getting this step-by-step stroll through your process for this quilt! And I am so looking forward to seeing it in person at PNCA - glad to hear you'll be including it in the show.

Suzanne said...

All those dress rehearsals paid off. It's great.

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