Monday, 18 May 2015

Playing with Piecing

I had this idea that I would create something that starts with a traditional quilt block and then goes off in a different direction. It makes sense for quilt art to start out with a quilt, right? I deliberately didn't choose a final outcome, I still don't know if I'm making a contemporary functional quilt or a hanging piece or both even. I also decided not to do any drawing to start with. I love drawing and get totally lost in it. I need to get some drawing projects going that are just drawings for the sake of drawing, then learn how to not over work every sketch, as it slows me down enormously at the moment.

So first I chose a quilt block. This free class from Craftsy has some good blocks. I chose June: Y-seam construction, Lemoyne star. It has lots of interesting angles that I hope will make interesting shapes.  I made the first units, I sewed 2.5" strips together then cut on 45% angle to make the parallelograms that will be sewn into diamonds. I then played with a few combinations:

 Here is the original block on my design wall in a couple of colour ways. Beautiful as this is I want to see what I can create by messing around with it.

I quickly brainstormed a list, I called it 'abstraction of a quilt block' quite a grand title, whatever, it will do. I came up with:

Alterations- rearrange existing elements, alterations, gradually make more altered blocks, blocks in blocks, inversions. These two blocks I've just rearranged the existing elements.

 Colour changes can change the pattern, I like this one on the left where the red diamonds float in a circle and the star disappears in the background.

Next I slashed the whole block

No block format - exploded elements

Block partially obscured

Repetition of elements, new elements made

This last picture is a bit mad, I will definitely not be making something this busy, but it is useful to look at a whole new combination of elements like this. I kept the star and accidentally made some tumbling blocks on the left.

I have a few other ideas:

Use of patterned fabric- big patterns like bold stripes can alter design, quilted designs
Change of scale
Wonky piecing
Negative space around block

Layering over block - stamp over block, thread embellishment, applique, tulle and other fabrics, feature quilting

I am not mad about the things I have tried so far. I need to alter it more radically, get further away from the block format and I think I need to introduce some different sized units as it is just too regular as it is. So next time, change of scale and negative space. Back to the design wall, not the drawing board.

Linking up with Nina Marie