Sunday, March 5, 2017

On the Design Wall

Quilt guilds often issue challenges to their members, instructing them to create a quilt according to certain rules or guidelines.  Finished pieces are brought to a guild meeting where they are viewed by all the members, and it is usually great fun to see the wide variety of pieces that were created despite following the same guidelines.   Sometimes members vote for their favorite quilts, which turns the experience into a competition.    

Generally I ignore guild challenges since I'm busy working on projects of my own choosing and I don't like competitions.  But I was delighted to find last year that one of my guilds made their challenge such fun that I was sorry I hadn't participated.   When this year's challenge was announced I immediately resolved to join in the fun. 

The theme is "White plus One, which means the completed quilt should look like one color plus white.  It's okay to use more colors as long as they appear to be the same color when seen by the viewer.  The guild has no other rules and members approach their challenge with a spirit of humor and acceptance, all of which I like! 

 The past few days I've been working on a small wall hanging for the challenge which is due in April.  I chose brown as my color and decided to use the large collection of leftover scraps of brown fabrics to make strip-pieced blocks.  In some of them I inserted white diagonal strips.  

Once I got going the process was quite engrossing. 

After I made enough blocks, I played around with how to arrange them.  Design work like this is somewhat stressful for me since I can't stop messing with the blocks until I've landed on a design I like.   It's similar to trying to solve a puzzle and being fixated on it until you've figured it out.  It can interfere with daily life!

In this case I was aiming for the viewer's eye to follow the movement of the white inserts around the piece.  And I wanted to different browns to read as "brown" despite their different shades.

Here's one placement I had going for a while.

But I liked a horizontal placement better.  Lots of times it's helpful to get input from another person and I was lucky that my designer friend Lotus dropped by and helped me place a couple of the white inserts.   This morning I made some final changes and this is the result.

I'm very happy to get to this point!   Now I can let it sit for a while as I quilt my sister's "travel quilt," which I hope I'll finish for her birthday on March 22.  

And when I get back to this top I'll be interested to see if I still like it and if the various brown fabrics read as "brown"  once I've quilted them, especially when seen from across a room when it hangs on a wall.


  1. Interesting to follow some of the process. I like the change to the second version. What will you end up with, I wonder.

  2. Good Morning. I really like the last photo of your "white" project.

  3. it's got a lot of movement. Am I seeing black too? It reads black.
    I'm working with color and abstracts too. It's a fun challenge just for myself though. It's amazingly challenging to see form within an abstract. For me at least.


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