Monday, June 9, 2014

The Curves - Design Wall Monday

Well, a week - 6 bobbins - and a LOT of scraps later - I'm home from Quilt Surface and Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio.  Sue Benner's Masterclass was as great as I expected.  As you remember, last Monday I went in with no idea for the class.  My one goal was to go from inspiration to a top.  And I achieved that.  Almost.
My complete design wall

At least I would have if I hadn't decided to go so dang big with this piece.  I mean - what was I thinking??  It must be the excited and adrenaline you feel when you first walk into class with 7 full days ahead of you just waiting to be filled with creativity, fabric, and thread.  I mean bigger is better right??  Besides with the design I created  - it will make much more of an impact in a bigger scale.

Still doing improvisational piecing is a bit daunting on a piece this size.  One thing, I learned over the week is that I had to come up with a better system of doing it.  Cutting the pieces, sewing the seam, ironing and repeating over and over again would take forever.  You probably didn't realize this, but in my former life I have an industrial engineering degree.  With that came lessons in the economy of movement.  The concept is easy enough - each movement we make should be as  efficient as possible.   Efficient movements should achieve the most efficient outcome.

So with that thought, I made a paper pattern of the large area I needed to piece.  Cut a bunch of mid-size scraps of the colors I wanted to use.  Sewed them together in pairs or tri's.  Ironed and trimmed them all.  Recut and sewed them together again.  Then laid them on the pattern, arranging to make sure it fit the best.  And sew them all together from there.  The left overs I just set aside for the next time I needed to do that color.

On the smaller strips, I used an improve paper piecing method just because it was faster that way.  I took all my little scraps and sewed them onto the tracing paper which stabilized them nicely.  I promise  - I'll do a tutorial on improve piecing in the near future.

Did you know that there is a big movement among quilters who aren't piecing at all?  In my whole class of 18 all except one other person (who was traditionally piecing) was fusing either in a collage method or applique.  I got comments from people that couldn't believe I actually pieced a quilt this size.  It is a lot of work, but the seams add a lot more texture to the piece rather than fusing.  Not to mention with a collage piece usually that means it needs a ton of quilting in it which flattens the piece even more.  With my work I like a little bit more of the puffs of fabric to show between the quilting.

Anyways - this is as far as I got before I had to pack it all up and head home.  I'm so involved in this piece that I'm going to continue in my studio.   I still might redo a few pieces because I'm thinking of gradated the values in a couple of the lighter teal lines.  Plus I need to develop an efficient method of stabilizing all those crazy pieces before I rough edge applique them down.

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Charlene S said...

It looks like you had fun!

Rhonda said...

I think your piece is well done and well thought out. I like the sewing method as well.
So happy you had a great time!!

Susan said...

Your piece looks gorgeous! Your method reminds me of a tutorial I saw online. I'm sorry I can't remember the artist, but she drew out her design and then cut each segment of her pattern drawing into pieces. Then I think she paper pieced right on top of each pattern segment... if I am remembering correctly. Then she sewed all the pattern pieces back together into the original drawing she'd done. Wish I could remember a name or what she called her method!!

Cathy Perlmutter said...

That piece is absolutely fabulous, Nina-Marie! Can't wait to see it finished!

Libby in TN said...

All I can say is "impressive" and "inspiring". Let's hear it for Liberation!

Teresa at said...

I love Sue Benner's work. I am sure it was a great class. Lucky you. I took a 4 day class as Art Quilt Tahoe last year. I enjoyed it, but that is a bit too long for me. 7 days - wow. Sue was teaching at Tahoe last year, she is so nice and energetic. I can't wait to see your finished piece.

Janis Doucette said...

You're doing a great job on this quilt! I love classes that make you stretch!