Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Continuing 'My Way'

Yesterday I sat for few hours piecing my scraps.( Not working on the scrap quilt. just piecing the scraps) You know, It was interesting that when I was focused on not following the rules or the final result, there were so may things I discovered that I would not have otherwise paid any attention to.

Here is how the process went! 
I would pick up two pieces to stitch together. Sometimes their size wont match so I would toss one back and pick another one that would fit. I want to maximize the use of my scraps so I don't want to trim away anything unless I have to. 

At this point I was not thinking of the colors.. Just the size of the scraps.
I chain pieced a few scraps. By the time the tenth piece came around, I had forgotten the colors and size of the first pieces I stitched. When I nail pressed that piece open, I said to myself, "Oh would you look at that?"
I noticed the crooked edge, the combination of colors and odd sizes of pieces and started adding them as they fit to each other in to blocks.
At the end of the day I ended up with blocks that looked like this.
 

By keeping them out of my sight as I finished them, the new ones were not influenced by the colors or the size of the previously made blocks. So I was not thinking of balance, harmony and how am I going to put them together! Just sewing the pieces together and went on for a while.

After finishing few blocks I started making the strips and smaller blocks.


Click on the picture to look at a close up. They are pretty wonky.
 
 
And, I learned that the wonky strips could be the design element or a piece that squared up the block!


The block on the left ended up being really crooked. When I put those two side by side on the floor, I knew that one block had to grow just a bit. ( I am still following the fact that I don't want to trim away anything.) That's how the gray triangle piece came in the picture! 
In this quilt it was no accident but it was also not a preconceived idea to add a few triangles or diagonal strips to the quilt. It is just a filler to put the blocks together.

Here is another example of the same surprize! 
 

It makes me wonder about the crooked and wonky strips in many of the quilts of Gee's Bend.

The lessons learned so far with this process are,

  • I don't need to deliberately cut curved pieces with rotary cutter. Use Scissors instead. The difference is huge!

  • If I just sew those pieces together without being too careful, they become organic and fluid.
  
  • Depending on the scrap pile, some blocks are heavy and saturated with one color and others with a different color. It could also mean that I ran out of one pile of scraps and had to add whole another pile with different colors and textures.

  • This process was not as mindless as I thought! The only difference was that all the thoughts occurred with the outcome of all bits and pieces coming together. My mind was racing with pleasant discoveries as I went on. 

  •  I want to learn new ways of doing things. Even if that means going back to the old ways!
With no final outcome in mind, I have discovered a lot by doing things differently. As I like to put it, following rules of quilting, 'My Way'.

9 comments:

  1. I love this way of working, and love what comes from true scraps! Thanks for sharing your process.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to try it.

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  3. These are refreshing and beautiful in the innocent and unique way of our African American sisters. I think you've discovered their way of thinking and working! No rotary cutter, yea!

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  4. I have to agree with you Nifty! It is not reinventing the wheel but just understanding it. I am having fun this week calling it my new way of quilting!

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  5. oh love these blocks isn't it fun to just sew and not think!
    ok I know we still think a bit but no rule sewing...using up our scraps sounds like a fun afternoon
    Kathie

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  6. Most inspired. Thanks for sharing this process and progress with us.

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  7. I just love that scissors are the new discovery! Your week of experimentation is an inspiration, Sujata.

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  8. You have a great intuitive eye for colour; whether you are conciously choosing, or not!

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  9. Wonderful wonderful. Love the idea of going back to basics, i.e. scissors. You are quite the inspiration.

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