Thursday, August 5, 2010

Additons and Subtractions of Quilting

I worked all day yesterday (not quite) to put together all the blocks, strings and scraps and very pleased with this little quilt top that evolved!

Putting all those blocks with the wonky edges together was rather challenging.
Once I had few blocks ready, I decided to start piecing them to avoid careful selection process.
I laid two blocks side by side to see if they match in size.

This block came closest to the length of the large block. At this point my choice was to cut the other block to match the seams or add a little to fit them together.
I chose to trim away a little.  

and stitched them together.

Next came new pair of blocks

 I realized that bock on the left needed a little strip added to the bottom to fit.

So I stitched a strip. Do you see my little red strip (basic instinct)? When I put them next to each other they were the same size but I needed to fill the triangle hole on the top. I added another strip and trimmed to fit the edge.

That filled the hole just right! I went on sewing as they fit together.

This one up here needed a little help growing so I back stitched, and added a strip and stitched again.


As the quilt kept growing I laid it on the floor along with few more blocks and strips.

I was contemplating on what would fit next or where should I add more. My daughter walked in the room and saw my puzzled face and asked, "Mom, how is this different than using a design wall?"
To that I said, " Good question Coco, (that's what I really call her) but this is different. With the design wall, I stop and stare and walk away, I go back and keep moving the blocks and squint my eyes until my head hurts. Then I use the reducing glass and take the digital pictures... I can go on and on  and on...
And I did!!! She interrupted me and said, "Mom, I get it!"

That's when I got it too. That is the difference. The thought did cross my mind too and I gave myself permission to use the floor to place the blocks next to each other and do my addition and subtraction. As I would finger press the seams open and gently flatten the blocks so they lay relatively flat, I was wondering if I was still trying to create the quilt with minimum bubbles and bumps. I would question myself if that was intentional or just a habit of touching and feeling the fabrics.

I was unsuccessful in achieving that flat quilt! Thank goodness! Because, I love how this looks when the evening sun shines on all the bubbles and bumps and brings it to life!

By the way, do you remember that little red strip and my basic instinct theory? Ha!
I can't even see it anymore... Can you?
So there goes the basic instinct theory too.. Out the door. Especially with these kind of quilts. 
I really learned that in a bigger picture small things really don't matter. In life and in quilting alike!
I added and subtracted both, the scraps and my thoughts while making this quilt and the result is just right!

I have had time to think about why I make quilts. I am not going to bore you with that today. You have been  gracious friends and read my ramblings and even responded with your kind comments. 
I thank you for that!


  1. I've been following you on this little jaunt, and at first I was, like, what is she thinking??? But I LOVE it! You're really onto something - and it's liberating! Thanks!

  2. Beautiful! Bumps and all. I love your comment about how the little things, in quilts and in life, don't really matter. We do learn things while making our quilts--patience for one thing!

    Sometimes I have to ask myself, "Am I making the quilt, or is the quilt making me?"

    It will be fun to hear your ideas about why you make quilts.

  3. Jodi, I have two design walls in my sewing room and I use them constantly.. Needless to say this WAS a challenge for me!
    Nifty, I love how you put that. I had never thought of it that way!

  4. I recently made some randomly pieced crumb blocks and experienced the process you describe so well, of letting go to the flow of making and not knowing where your journey will take you. The outcome is really fantastic and so interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I've been watching your journey with great interest. I LOVE the end result and I think you did a wonderful job of being spontaneous! I love the looks of quilts done this way...but wonder if I'm too "type A" to actually do it? will you quilt this?

  6. lovin' the bubbles and bumps. Such a thing would make the quilt police crazy. GO GIRL

  7. Lovely, what a lovely piece of art on you wall...well done sujata! beautiful

  8. Wonderful; colorful, tactile, and textural, all at once. You can almost hear it sing. I absolutely love the variety of quilts and quilters. So much fun.

  9. It has been wonderful to see and hear about this experiment. I appreciate you sharing it!

  10. Great quilt, and inspirational thought! Thanks, Sujata!

  11. It turned out so beautifully! Great work on this piece, Sujata. The wonky pieces and little triangles in-between are sweet! Enjoyed reading your thoughts on all things quilty :)

  12. Fascinating story and thoughtful comments about your process. (When I throw them on the floor I seem to look, decide, sew. When I put them on the "quilting wall" I seem to look, look, look, look...) Thanks for giving us something to look at and something to think about.

  13. You have motivated me to push the envelope. Not as organic as your experience but a leap of faith for me.

  14. Sujata, I LOVE it! You are making my skirt fly up! Happy sewing, my friend!!!

  15. Very nice! Love how you made all the blocks fit together.

  16. I love the way you put this together. It looks great and I enjoyed the process.

  17. Suggestion on how to get this flat - when you do so much crazy piecing all the bias edges will tend to go wonky - so you can use a light iron interfacing to back a section at a time. They sell really nice light cotton one which will hold it much flatter. Also at the end, you can block it out by pinning to the floor in the rectangle you want and damp ironing it - then letting it dry for a day or so. hope that helps - its great!!

  18. Gorgeous! And I loved reading about the process, too!

  19. I've made a quilt like this - just using the size of the scraps. It was a lot of fun.

  20. How BEAUTIFUL!! I love the colors! and i like that you shared the process and showed photos of along-the-way. Thanks!!

  21. Lovely, Sujata! This is how I work...I always use the floor for some reason, and I work intuitively from scraps and free donations and I love the process. How fun to read about it and watch it through your eyes!


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