Monday, September 06, 2010

Process Pledge: Deconstructing a Design

Bon Bon #1

Hand dyed and commericial cotton, fused, machine quilted
26.5 x 40" $1200 made in January of 2008.

Bon bon is one of the series of quilts that was made from parts without a design in mind in the beginning. I gathered lots of warm analogous colors, colors next to each other on the color wheel, and then began just by cutting and fusing strips. I was not thinking of size, just making strip fused fabrics. Some strips are narrow, others medium and some wider. I added a few prints, just because.

This section shows that the wider strips were added in a long skinny strip to the narrower stripped fabric. What makes this interesting, since it is so simple, is the color as it changes value and hue. And of course that nothing is really straight.

This is a section from Bon Bon #3 and the strips are alternated horizontal panels with vertical panels. Notice the very thin strips in pink or red that are included to punch up the color. I repeated those several times deliberately.

When lots of stripped parts were constructed I began to arrange them to try out the layout. This is the fun part. In this picture there are none of the log cabin blocks, but they had to come into the design because it needed less busy areas. This layout was rejected in favor of a more horizontal composition.

 Here is a block from another quilt that shows how strips can be the center of a log cabin. Simple but effective.
None of this is difficult, but the FABRIC IS DOING ALL THE WORK. When you have lots and lots of variety of color in lots and lots of values of each of them, plus tints and shades and textures, the results are rich. And everything is fused, so that means even leftover skinny pieces from other quilts are usable in this kind of work.
That whole package, the dyeing, the stripping, the fusing, the simplicity is what I have been teaching all these years. Most of it is still here in the archives. I found all these pictures back in January's posts from 2008. Dyeing lessons are in the Lazy Dyer site. The sidebar has lots more fusing information. I am sending it all to you. No secrets.
Now it's your turn to try it out.


  1. I create in a similar fashion but first creating random Free Style Cobblestone blocks from remnants then later putting them together. Such fun!

  2. Thanks for the sample of 'composition as you go' so to speak. I am gathering some pieces towards that end and this encourages me.

  3. Thanks for sharing your process Melody. I plan to give this a go when my Mum has gone home. I have made a few pieces with (curved) piecing and with narrow strip piecing but have never tried fusing in this way. I think I must do something wrong when I use Bondaweb (Wonder Under) as my pieces invariably peel off after a while.

  4. the colors are gorgeous!

  5. Oh my gosh-- I love th bon bon process and thank you so much for sharing it!

    But my favorite things were the little bitty stockings hanging on your design board. lol

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