Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Evolution {of a quilt}

Are you a planner?

I guess I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of gal. 

I have seen this trait manifest itself in my quilting, especially.  With my pattern designing, I usually get some inspiration, think on it for a bit, draw it out and then go for it.  But with my personal projects, I often just dive right in.  Either way, I usually have to adjust things along the way.  Sometimes you just have to see it, you know?  Let me show you what I mean...

Some of you may remember when I started this quilt:


Well, these dresden plates have been sitting in a box for about a year while I've been figuring out what kind of layout to do with them.  Originally, I wanted to put the blocks on-point with some Irish chain blocks in-between.  Kind of like this.  But, I couldn't seem to find the right fabric for the other blocks and so the project just sat and sat.  It would have been striking, for sure, but since I've made a resolve to finish up old projects, I recently decided to change gears so I could get this baby done. 

First (here I go, flying by the seat of my pants),
I decided that there needed to be something to break up this area where the blocks meet in the corners (partly to fill the void and partly so the dots would avoid hitting each other in a weird way).


So I decided that making them into a "snowball" might be a fun
(and quick) solution.


But then I thought those black squares were looking too big and kind of overpowering.  [See the lack of planning here?  I just kind of picked a size and went with it.]  So I decided that I should break-up all of the black by putting another square (of a different color) inside them.


But, then, I felt like all of those different colored squares between the dresdens were taking away some of the focus of the dresdens. 
At this point, I was starting to get a little worried.  I felt like I may have possibly ruined my quilt.  Maybe I shouldn't have made my blocks into snowballs in the first place!?!   But, it was too late now, so I decided to push ahead and "just go with it".


So I unpicked those corners that I had already sewed and went back to the all black.  But, I realized that my dots were still "touching" (which I wasn't a fan of) so I decided I needed some sashing between the blocks, as well.  This was going to  dramatically change the look of this quilt, but it had to be done.  I couldn't see any other choice.


So that is the look I went with. 
It's much crisper, if you ask me [which, I think works well with the modern feel of my fabrics].  It keeps the focus on my dresdens, but still adds some interest to the overall design of the quilt.


So, maybe I've learned my lesson ~ to think things through a bit more before just diving in head first.  I was a little scared there for a while and I don't know that I want to take that chance again.  But, on the other hand, maybe being spontaneous can lead to good, unexpected things...

What do you think?


29 comments:

passingdowncrazy said...

Perfect!!!

Judi said...

That is exactly how I put a quilt together! I have an idea and try it out! I think the finished outcome of your quilt is perfect!

Four dogs and one quilter said...

What a great setting. I love Dresdens, bought the GO! die to make mine, but haven't seen any fun and different settings. Great job, love it!

Julia said...

I got a lot out of reading about your process of deciding what to do with those blocks. I like the problem solving part of quilting and maybe that is why I quilt the way I do. Made me think. I have started doing something when I'm stuck. When I come to a "problem" in my quilting, I think about it until I have 3 possible solutions. That exercise makes me be more creative and usually I come out with a better solution that my first one. Thanks again.

A Girl said...

Love it! Sounds like you turned an opps into an opportunity.

traceyjay said...

LOVE the setting you chose... they look beautiful! (and make me want to get back out my Dresden ruler; I really do love them). :)

Roos said...

It's so reconizable,it works the same way by me but I love that way.
It became a gorgeous quilt.
Greetz Roos

Nancy D. said...

It is gorgeous! I want to do the dresdens one of these days. I think you made the right choice by sticking with the black instead of the colors inside.

pinsandneedles said...

I love how it turned out. I definitely think it needed the sashing and the snowball blocks...perfect.

Deanna said...

love it!

Dara said...

How else will you know? I usually end up having to improvise because I run out of fabric and have to do something to finish! Quilting really is all about going by the seat of your pants (or skirt like the ladies in the past)

Karin said...

LOVE IT! Great job, and the corners and sashing is just PERFECT!

Jenniffier said...

It looks amazing! Great addition.

jodi@Pleasant-Home said...

LOVE this quilt! I rarely have a concrete plan when I'm designing. ;o)

Dolly said...

What a brave/scary thing to do.......and, YES, it all worked out in the end !
That looks great and really original !

L Johnson said...

I love how this quilt top has come together. It is bold and beautiful with a soft touch!!

♥Duff said...

I think you waited until you found what worked--you tried some things but changed them and in the end you went with what your instincts told you worked. Go with your instincts whether that means diving in or waiting it out because you've proven to yourself that you can trust them!

Sewn With Grace said...

I love it! The black with the bright colors is such a great contrast and I love how the Dresden plates stand out. I have a hard time believing that anything you make wouldn't be awesome. You are so talented. Blessings!

Nicky said...

I love your quilt! I think you need to trust yourself more as you so obviously have the vision to sort out any problems arising and the quilt you ended up with is more interesting than the initial idea! I'd go with less planning - you seem to thrive on it!

June said...

Your Dresden is beautiful. I didn't think that the dots were going to work at all and then all of a sudden when your final block/quilt is done it is beautiful. I want to do a Dresden quilt so bad and I think you have given me a really good idea. That is if you don't mind me sort of stealing your idea.
Thanks June

Kim D. said...

I love it Amber, looks like you should keep flying by the seat of your pants so to speak! LOL! I know that feeling though, when you think maybe you blew it, been there, done that. :^)

Donna said...

Just happened upon your site, and I LOVE your quilt. I also the way you described how you came upon your finished project. Thank you so much for sharing...it's the little things like this that help me learn! Thank you!

Mama Spark said...

I actually love how this ended up! It was nice at the beginning and spectacular at the end.

Deb said...

I loved following your creative process on this. I have done similar thought processes...though not with the same spectacular results! Keep trusting your intuition!

Deb from clutteredquilter.blogspot.com

Sandra said...

What a fabulous quilt, love all the polka dots and the setting you finally decided on is PERFECTION. Way too much fun.
Sandra in Moab
http://utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com

Lorraine said...

I LOVE your dresden quilt !!
This is perfect :)

Linda said...

Lovely-I have been looking around on the net trying to figure out how to set my six 25" Dresden blocks I came across your wonderful quilt!

Linda said...

Lovely Job!

KnitCrochetQuilt said...

What a perfect choice! Stunning, beautiful, gorgeous, lovely quilt!