Thursday, June 02, 2011

Quilt Class 101: Weeks 1 & 2

Okay. I said I was going to do this Quilt 101 Class thingie, right?  And I will. But I haven't gotten very far. I don't want you to think I'm not doing *something* at least. I really want to be.

I'm just stuck.

I'm too scared to cut anything out yet, and I think it's because I need some feedback.

Alright, so I have actually gotten as far as the first two lessons: planning and fabrics. I did them in reverse, but will present them in order. If that makes sense.

The first week's lesson had to do with fabric choices. I wanted to use the fabrics that I won from the Japan Quake Appeal raffle from Monkey Magic and the ones I had originally posted for my own raffle. You know, the one no one wanted to enter. Oh c'mon, you know.

I even bought some additional fabrics that donated some of the profits to the quake assistance funds.

Here are the fabrics that I've chosen to include in the quilt. 

I had to add some additional fabric (white sheet scraps) because I needed more light colored fabrics for the top half of the quilt. It's not much, but I think it will do.

The second week's lesson was design. I had already sketched my plans out ages ago, during my work-related trainings. I don't care what anyone says. Doodling helps me learn, darnit! Some of the most discerning and sharp minds in academia have been known to doodle and goof off in lectures. I don't think I need to explain my call to take a pen to paper to *not* take notes.

Anyhow, so here are some of my sketches:

As you can see, I have made some various calculations, and I'd be making a quilt that's about 36"x30" by the end of it all. I don't think that's unreasonable, right? Nothing huge, but certainly complicated enough for an ambitious first time go at it.

You may have also noticed that I've chosen curved pieces to sew together. And I think that's part of why I'm still stuck. I'm not quite sure how to bring myself to do that portion without fearing the work involved or the chance that I'll mess it up royally.

me = too ambitious to do something simple = too anxious to mess up by actually trying the complicated plan out

I think I have some idea on how I want to do the applique, but I think I may just go for the simplest and slightly sloppy raw-edge version to increase the likelihood of it actually getting done.

The other obstacle here is that I am starting to second guess the color choices here. I can't really tell if the blue fabrics that would go on the bottom 'waves' portion of the composition actually match. And the top 'sky' section should be somewhat white but part of me feels it's too stark or that I don't have enough fabrics involved in the process.

So, I'm asking the few of you out there who are reading this, especially those with some sewing and quilting sensibilities, Do you think the colors look like they actually would work together? and How would you sew the half-circles to the quilt?

This stymied and overly cautious girl begs you for some bolstering and education as well as thanks you ahead of time for anything you can offer. Otherwise, I'll continue to have a sizeable and long overdue UFO sitting around and a small readership waiting for me to make good on a goal I set in front of their eyes.


  1. Go for it! I can't wait to see this masterpiece!

  2. I know nothing of quilts. I am in awe of anyone who can make one. Good luck, you will figure it out, this I know. Relax and let the good times roll.

  3. Well firstly I love the design! Second although I'm with you on the raw edge I think in this instance it will add to the wild and natural look of the waves - so do it that way, otherwise it could take months :) re the colours, I really like the fabric selection - again with the sea relax about colours matching... In painted artwork of old I've done heaps of seas and one of the most successful I went nuts on the colours and included reds yellows and even some orange I think. As long as you have a good range and it's not just one fabric that looks just not quite right you will be surprised how well they go. Think of how we now use orange pink and red together lol - not long ago people would have been horrified.
    I think the shape of your coy fish looks fab, are you going with an orange/red? Re the top go with your gut, cos so far you instincts are fab :)

  4. Thanks, Kate! The catfish will have a red body, because it'll match a catfish costume I made for Halloween last year. (In Japanese mythology, it's a catfish that causes earthquakes and tsunamis.) Your feedback is much appreciated. It's clear you really enjoy the process. :)

  5. Love the fabric, I think it will turn out wonderful!