Saturday, 30 January 2016

Choosing Quilting Designs

"I don't know what to do, and I don't want to wreck it"
is a common refrain in the quilting world. Especially when a quilt top is perfect just the way it is...Who wants to mar perfection?

Personally, I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what to do! The quilt (almost) always offers a clue that points me in the right direction.

So...when this piece arrived, I was excited. The clue was obvious...let the research begin!

"BEFORE"
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After looking at pictures of Haida art online, I was still at a loss. Haida art is typically very clean and graphic with no background texture. Uh oh. Texture was what I needed.

I kept digging, looking at all things Haida - totem poles, carvings, jewelry, textiles, murals, drawing tutorials, and I even read stories in search of symbolism that might spark an idea.

Observation and making connections = inspiration for something new

After steeping myself in images, my brain made some interesting leaps:
  • Murals are sometimes painted on rough wooden buildings, plus Totem poles are wooden - and wood has knots (aha! said my brain...I can quilt knots!)
  • Haida carvings show tool marks - mainly in a vertical direction (aha! said my brain...now I know what to do in the negative spaces of the figure)
  • A "scratchy" organic crosshatch often fills space in Haida jewelry (aha! ...now I know how to handle the border!)


"AFTER"
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Inspired by Haida art, this quilting definitely supports the character of the piece while at the same time offering a new interpretation of the facts. I absolutely love how this turned out!

In the borders, I used a new-to-me, zig-zagging crosshatch method I found on Pinterest. I'm including this direct link to the tutorial so you won't have to click through "the matrix" if you want to check it out.

Organic Crosshatch = minimal marking
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I chalked the initial path of zigs and zags so I'd have a path to follow, and the rest was done by eye. I wanted to mimic the organic, diagonal crosshatching I'd noticed on the Haida jewelry, and measuring would have defeated the purpose.

Organic crosshatch, complete!
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OH, and I also turned the quilt to do the side borders - otherwise I'd have had to roll the quilt back and forth incessantly! Turning the quilt probably saved my sanity.

So, that's how I choose quilting designs. (Minus the part where I agonize over every detail. That does happen, but I recognize it as part of the process and don't let it bother me too much anymore.)
How do you decide what to quilt?

Linking up With:
Whoop Whoop Fridays, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Free Motion Mavericks, at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She
Fabric Frenzy Friday, at Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole
P.S. Find me on Instagram under my blog name, FreshofftheFrame

18 comments:

  1. Wow, you chose so well, I hope your client appreciates your research as it should be appreciated. I especially love the centre, your quilting has given it a bit of a 3D effect now, it properly does look like a carving.

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  2. Stunning quilting. I think anything other than what you've done could have ruined the piece. I'm like you I try and listen to what the quilt wants me to do. I find things go a lot easier when I do. My trouble is that I seem to stick to the same few patterns. I need to branch out and try some new ones.

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  3. It looks terrific. Kudos for the research. That can take up so much time!

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  4. Wow, outstanding! Thank you for sharing your thought and research process.

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  5. This client very much appreciates the research! I love Haida art and am over the moon with what Carole has done to my piece. Can't wait to get it bound and hung.

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  6. You are a master at what you do!

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  7. Wonderful execution! And I load and reload my quilts to keep my sanity in tact as well. How awesome to see your client's reaction to it above, too!! <3

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  8. Simply put.....absolute perfection!

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  9. Your quilting is absolutely beautiful! Ladyquiltsalot has an amazing piece of art to display forever! Always inspired by and impressed with your work! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. It looks wonderful. You and Margaret both did a great job getting this quilt done!

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  11. Awesome work. Thanks for sharing the thought process behind your choices. At first I thought it was a small wall hanging, then I saw it on the frame, so I guess it is big enough to fit on that.

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  12. I really like how you tackled this whole thing - the wood grain effect is really brilliant!

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  13. Oh Carole, the quilting you did could not have been more perfect for the piece. Your research paid off big time! The whole quilt is harmonious and looks exactly right.

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  14. Hello Carole,

    This quilt is absolutely gorgeous! The top is really interesting, the way the central motif is in keeping with the fabric around the border. You have done a wonderful job with the quilting, adding a third dimension and staying true to the theme of Haida art.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks - this quilt is this week's featured project!

    Love, Muv

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  15. Replies
    1. Seriously....I wish I wrote this post down, as I would have highlighted it this week at Tuesday Archives (sorry) Thanks so much for rejuvinating it under our cross hatch quilting theme Carole!!

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  16. Wow I love the quilting you chose on this quilt it's perfect!!! I used to live in WA state and saw Haida designs all over the place. Now I live in NM and of course the native designs are different here, but I love both the Pacific NW and the SW designs. Visiting from Val's Link Party.

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