Monday, July 27, 2015

Design to Finished Quilt

Peacock quilt design
I usually have a quilt design completed before I start making a quilt, no matter what the size.  But, sometimes, the quilt talks to me and compels me to make a switch in the layout, the fabric, the technique, or the quilting.  Sometimes, a gut feeling that something is wrong leads to the quilt languishing on the design wall or in a box (if I really have a sinking feeling).   Or an inspiration from a class, an article in a magazine,  a piece of fabric, from one of my friends or relatives, or even a YouTube video, makes me want to try out whatever I've learned.  That's the wonderful thing about quilters.  We love to share  and we love to learn new things.  I hope you're getting inside my brain a little bit as I share my processes with you.

I've had an idea of making a peacock quilt for years.  Not a pictorial peacock, but a representational design.  Lots of fabric got bought as I poured over designs.  Then I sketched up my design several times and ended up with the one in the picture.  I only sketch quadrants, so that I can try out several designs on one sketch.

Finally, I started working on it at the end of 2014.   So many people helped me along the way as I kept getting stuck and didn't know what to do next.  A great fabric that fades from dark to light seemed like it wanted to be in this quilt, which made half the stack of fabric that I already had entirely moot (now I have a bigger stash!).  I changed the center from blue to purple to orange and back again, ripping and resewing different centers.  I painstakingly appliqued little tiny pieces for the peacock eyes.

Peacock quilt? by Joanne Adams Roth

But, when I got it all sewed together and started working on the design for the quilting, I started getting a sinking feeling that this quilt was just not going to work.  Especially as a peacock quilt, which is want I really wanted to make.  Everyone else agreed too, and even through I received some excellent feedback, I put the top away to ruminate.

Quilting sketch

Hopefully, it won't be for long.  I'm sure I'll get another design inspiration that will be just the missing link.  That sinking feeling has to fade before this one comes back out of the closet!

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