Thursday, August 25, 2011

Design and Construction

It's time to tackle a larger quilt, a queen size. I keep saying how much easier this quilt as you go method is, and it needs to be experienced on a really big project. It was always having to quilt a huge piece that stopped me. Three of my finished queen quilts were hand quilted. By me. Imagine that.
I am thinking queen size because we have a queen size bed (lots of quilts already made for it too, but still...) and it would have a home when I make it.
The standard size for a queen is 80x100. Whew. But really that is only 20" bigger per side than the ones I have been recently doing, so I should stop being a wimp.
Instead of the usual design approach, I find myself thinking first of the construction of the thing. Here are a few of the ideas for constructing the quilt in sections.

I know they aren't exciting as schematics but each of the sections will be interesting fabric and will constitute a big design, I hope.
One of the things I have noticed in making the last three is that it need not be extra complicated piecing that makes the work sing, but bold color and lots of space for the fabric to do the visual work of the design. With the second schematic I am breaking up the work into 20" panels divided into three sections, which will be quilted separately and joined with narrow connector strips. In this way the straight line quilting can be varied from vertical to horizontal or if I am really brave, spiraling circles. Woowoo.
I keep remembering back when I started to make quilts (1981) when the focus was on difficult blocks with lots of points having to meet. Now with the Modern Quilt Movement I am seeing so many SBE designs (simple but elegant) and not only are they more approachable, but they are calmer and less focused on the "Look what I can do" aspect. I want this to be fun and relaxing, no stress please.

My order from Joann's arrived yesterday, and I was surprised at the pale almost neutral stuff I ordered besides the brights. There might have to be a SBE in soft tones in my future.
I am over the moon about the threads. So perfect and organized and easy to find. Hurray!

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  1. Anonymous8:19 AM

    Just a heads up... Your first row of 3 - 20 x 20 squares doesn't add up to 80...

  2. Duh. That's what I get for drawing at 5am.

  3. Judy Morningstar10:00 AM

    I hate to be a party pooper, but the new mattresses are a lot taller, and so the 80 inch wide doesn't cover the mattress to its bottom, let alone come down on the box spring. That is only a 10 inch hangover. The last queen quilt I made measured 89" wide, and it looked just right on the bed. That's only a bit more- you can do it!
    Glad to read that my binding instructions worked well for you on Dreamsicle. It certainly speeds up a less than fun job!

  4. I agree about the deeper mattresses, however ours is not new and this amount of drop will work out fine for the fourposter, which has side rails to tuck the quilt into. Any bigger and we'd have puffiness and pleating.

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  6. Very interesting and informative post. I have sketched out my plan but you are right, you need to give fabric space to "sing". I love your combination of solids.

  7. Same thing with knitting. Way back in the dawn of time, I knitted all sorts of complex patterns. Now, I want simple and elegant. I am no longer interested in how complex can my knitting be, but in how lovely.

    I'm a very new quilter, and I really see how simple and lovely I want quilts to be.

  8. I love your analysis of the SBE MQM - it seems more and more of us are being drawn to the simple pleasure of color play, and less by the (over-acheiver's) technician's approach. I am definitely more pleasure-centered! O, Melody, have you seen: Alicia Merrett's quilts?

  9. cool that you're trying a big quilt, everyone should do it at least once! how can you keep from handling and drooling over all those gorgeous solids?

  10. Enjoy it! I'm sure it will be lovely ... I have just finished putting together my 100 x 100 inspired by your quilts - and I have to say, the couple of long seams at the finish were a bit of a wrestle. I'm so pleased with it though - and it's plenty big enough for the bed!


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