Monday, March 4, 2013

Playing is a Process

I posted a picture yesterday of a quilt I just finished but didn't really tell it's story and what I learned.

Color Challenge
Design wall layout
Last spring I started the Color Challenge making irregular shaped, improvisational blocks. They were large (12-16" shapes) and I got to a point that I wasn't sure I liked it. I thought of cutting it up but since I had a big pile of scraps I decided to play.

I liked the idea of a  mosaic design, so this new venture became a great 15 Minutes of Play project because I could work on the new blocks in small time slots, each time trying a new color combination.
Upper- narrow lines
Lower - lines same as color shapes

I created color blocks with a neutral for the grout lines. My first few blocks were really bad. My grout lines were the same size as the color shapes. Not what I wanted. I wanted the color to be the focus.  So I gathered more Color Challenge scraps and remade many of the blocks.  I ended up with  about 60 blocks in 16 different color themes.

What I learned was that with small shapes,  a lot of the fabric is lost to the seam allowances. I would guess that 1/3 of the original yardage is in the seam allowances. I made several trips to the quilt store to restock! My shapes ranged from about 1/2" to 2.5", and the lines between 1/2" to 1". The lines need to be significantly different from the shapes.  In all this makes very a heavy quilt. But this playing turned into a king size quilt (almost 10'x10') which will be a house warming gift.

Also the color choice and layout is very important. Originally I had a bright yellow (Color Challenge yellow) and it was very out of place in the mosaic quilt but did work in the Color Challange quilt. Since I did not have a large enough design wall to catch this ahead of time the yellow was already sewn in, so I spent a lot of time with the seam ripper. I need to get more design wall!!!

I like the quilt and it does have a big impact. I will continue with this theme and work on making the lines much narrower so there is more color blocking. Maybe playing with triangles or irregular shapes.  

What will happen to the Color Challenge? I don't think I will cut it up and will finish it with the original large blocks into a throw sized quilt. There is still a large pile of scraps so more Playing will be taking place. This time I think I will stick to a wall hanging just to be sure I am on the right track.   


Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

I think it's Fascinating that this quilt grew from the scraps of the other color challenge project. It's unique, grand, and the way you got to the point of making something through play, suited you well! Your color play blocks are incredibly exciting too...I have no doubt you will work it out! Thanks for sharing!

Chris said...

Yes fascinating is the word! I love your first color challenge blocks - that was a great challenge and I am getting close to posting on the result of my challenge blocks. Love your mosaidc quilt, thanks for sharing your journey. Great work, Irene - or I should say, great PLAY!

Jersey Shore MQG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jersey Shore MQG said...

Oops didn't mean to delete the post but did want to thank you for sharing your journey with us!

Ellie Q said...

Loved hearing about how this came about!

Helen said...

If you are wanting a less heavy quilt, why not use Thermore batting? It is practically weightless. I love your top. Have always wanted to make a mosaic with real tiles. Now that would really be heavy!