Thursday, February 4, 2016

How did you come up with that design?

I just finished the top for my blue abstract quilt.  I have already decided how I am going to quilt it. Well at least I think I have. I need to get some backing fabric for it. Not sure if I should just go with a blue Cherrywood fabric or buy something unexpected like a print. What do you think?

I am often asked how I come up with the quilt designs that I come up with. I feel a lot of people think that you just pull these things out of your brain in a moment of artistic inspiration. The reality in most creative endeavors is that there is a lot of hard work involved.

Last year I took a class on making abstract quilts with Elizabeth Barton at Academy of Quilting. She gave us plenty of ideas of where to start in the creation of an abstract quilt from cutting out paper shapes and arranging them in a good composition to pixelating a photograph. You have to start somewhere. You can't just stare at a blank piece of paper or a blank design wall...well at least I can't. It is a lot like what I saw in the Eagles documentary. Their songs often started with a song title, an inspiring line, a guitar riff. With a lot of hard work this turned into one of their great songs.

So here is the saga of the blue abstract quilt. 

It started with an image of a forest scene. This is a photo I started with. It was already highly processed in Photoshop with several filters and  I had it printed on fabric at Spoonflower.

I used Photoshop to create a pixelated image. One of the things I really liked about the original above and this pixelated image was the gradation of values. I want to make a quilt with these colors some day.

Then I had this image from the arrangement of paper shapes that were cut out of black paper.

 For some reason I changed the colors to teal and purple in Photoshop.

Then I put the cut out shapes over the pixlated image. This is done with layers in Photoshop.

Then I chopped up this result into sections and added black strips in between the sections. Some of the sections I flipped. Then I added uneven borders. This was all done in Photoshop.

Then I changed the color scheme again and turned it blue. When I finally made it I did tweak the design a little.

So you can see this was planned from the beginning. I am not one for improvising a quilt. All my quilts are planned out with some kind of sketch before I even start making them.

Linking to Nina-Marie a day early.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Iron frustration

My iron started leaking. First it was leaking on the steam setting now it is leaking on the dry iron setting. It is only a few years old and is a Panasonic NI E 300TR. It was recommended by someone online that does a lot of fusing because the glue does not stick to the plate. Well that is certainly true, but now it is dripping water on my ironing board and my fabric. The only way to prevent this is to empty out the water.

It was not an expensive iron. My old iron was a Rowenta and it occasionally dripped water when I did not wait long enough for it to heat up. I got a lot of fusible web on it and it was hard to clean. I donated this iron and now I am sorry that I did.

Now I have to buy a new iron. What a task! Seems most irons do not get good reviews. Not sure what to buy. I guess for now I will be using this one dry. Tried to call Panasonic customer service and they are not there on Saturdays even though online it says they are.

Any suggestions?