Monday, 12 February 2018

Framed Moments

I have noticed that in quilting there are few special moments that tell you if the project is going to the right direction. Nowadays I know to seek for these moments and I work until I reach that step before I continue crafting. First step for me is choosing the right colors. After I have drawn the first sketch of a pattern I begin to go through my fabric stack. I make color families, some with harmony, some with contrasts and some with unexpected pairs. One method I use too is to take one print fabric and then choose colors to support it's palette. Usually when I am drawing a new pattern I have an idea what colors I will use, is it going to be more about red, blue, or green hues. I could also choose to have all the colors of the circle in bright graffiti shades. When the color combination begins to form I might need to buy one or two new fabrics that I don't have in my fabric cabinet. It is more of a tradition that I need to visit a fabric store. Because quilting is a craft that is time consuming I allow myself to purchase new equipment and materials quite often, there is no point using colors that don't feel exactly right and then spend weeks planning, sewing and stitching a pillow or months when a bigger project is in question. 

When colors have been chosen I begin to draw detailed color sketches. I draw 4-10 sketches where different parts are colored with different fabrics. After this process one or two begins to feel right and I choose one for further development. I plan and count the cutting as precisely as possible. Then I cut a sample of fabrics according to my cutting plan and begin to sew sample blocks. It might be that the pattern doesn't actually work in that size or with that fabric and I have to make corrections. Then I sew some blocks more. I begin with the blocks that have most seams and cuttings and then continue to count other blocks according to measurements of the most difficult ones. Like for example in my latest project I first made all triangle blocks and then measured and cut the rectangles that go between. I had a quite detailed color palette but one fabric I had planned to use between triangle blocks was too dominant and I left it out and went with no pattern fabrics that give space for the design. I cut few rectangle samples and played with the blocks. Then one setting looked interesting  and it had some challenge. I don't like too much harmony and every work needs to have spark. In every project I also make a test. I have a bad eyesight and when I take my glasses off all I can see is color blur. So I use my special power and take off my glasses to see if the colors are working. If there is for example too much yellow in one corner and then a bunch of red in another I make corrections so that the work looks even and colors go smoothly

Then it is time to cut the last blocks, sew and iron before one of my favorite parts comes. Stitching the batting. To be honest I used to hate this part. I have a small apartment and stitching a larger project is difficult or even impossible. When I understood that I can make smaller projects it was a heureka moment. With pillows or table runners it is easy to get an even batting. Embroidery hoop stays tight, you can sit and embroider in a comfortable position and there is no horrible back ache that comes from working with heavier projects like blankets. Now I love to plan the stitching and even if I stitch every block decoratively it doesn't take ages to finish. The ultimate framed moment is when the first part of the work is attached to the embroidery hoop and I have made the first stitches. It is the moment that tells if the project has succeeded. Because a successful project is a piece of modern art framed with embroidery hoop. It works as itself and could be hanged on the wall. Its colors please and challenge the eye. Lines cross in harmony creating an interesting pattern. It is the moment I am hooked in quilting and it encourages to start a project after project.

What are your framed moments? Do you love quilting or do you have another form of self expression?

Inspiring and creative week to you all!


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