Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The little things

It's the little things--or little bits of things--that can make a huge difference in a design.  I suppose I've always known that, in a abstract fashion, but it's becoming more clear with each quilt I design.  A difference of an inch, or half an inch, in the size of a piece or sashing can make all the difference in the success of a design.

There have been two recent quilts that have been good examples, and have also taught me some patience in working through a design.  (There will be no blue ribbons for me in the patience class, so this is a bigger deal than you might think!)

The most recent is my "Abacus" quilt.  I started out with a design in my head, then on paper.  There were two possible designs for the beads and I liked the pointed ones better.  But, my family shares photos on a photostream via our iDevices, and my sibs pretty nixed that pointed one.   That was okay because, really, I didn't like either of them all that much; the proportions just weren't right when translated to fabric.

 Back to the drawing board (design wall) and a change in the width of the beads.   Those were better (though they ended up another 1/4" narrower) but the rods were too wide.  I cut those in half but the length wasn't right.   Let's just say that's it's a good thing I had purchased extra fabric!

In the end, I liked it quite a bit.  So far, it's not a favorite of friends and family, but I like it and it's pretty close to the picture that had been in my head.  I might yet make one with the pointed beads.

The other recent example is for a design I'm calling "Baskets" for the time being. (The pattern, and a batik version,  are in the works.)  I don't even remember how many versions of the sashing I went through before settling on the final, narrow sashing and cornerstones.   There was a point when I was ready to just settle for the latest width and be done with it but when I tried this size, it was so perfectly what I wanted that I was glad for the patience that came from somewhere outside of me.   

Staying with it and tweaking until it's just right is worth the frustration--lesson learned!  Here's hoping that the patience gene will awaken in me. 

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