Monday, February 21, 2011

Steps in Quilting: Assembly

Assembling blocks is another of my favorite things to do. Not only am I getting much closer to finishing, but I get to play around with color and value. The juxtaposition of the blocks can make a huge difference in a quilt, and even more in a jacket.

I like to work with many fabrics for a scrappy feel and tend to prefer a subtle blending of lighter values at the top down to darker values at the bottom of a jacket. It just makes sense. For a quilt, I also occasionally put the lighter values diagonally across the quilt shading to darker values in two opposing corners, like a beam of sunlight. I once tried to make a charm quilt with fabrics all willy-nilly and it bothered me so much I couldn't finish it and had to give it away. Guess I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to color and value :-)

Where do you layout your quilt blocks to play with this? I used to lay them out on my bedroom floor, in the room next to my sewing room. This worked, especially if I knew what I was going for to begin with, but was less than ideal, especially with cats or kids in the house. Now I have a nice big studio and a design wall. It only took me 20 years to get them!

I know many people who stack their blocks and take a bunch of them together to the sewing machine to stitch together. Not me! I'm an old-fashioned kind of gal when it comes to the actual assembly; I take one pair at a time to sew, press and return to the design. I figure if I spent that long getting everything laid out exactly how I want it, including the block orientation, I'm not going to take a chance on messing it up. Another thing, putting it back in place each time gives me a chance to see any errors right away. How many of you have put the entire quilt top together before you realized something right in the middle was wrong!

I have one jacket at the assembly stage, just the sleeves left to make, so a new jacket may show up in a week or two!



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