Friday, May 30, 2014

Fighting Quilt Intimidation

Working on that little rings quiltlet was just a ploy to avoid facing my wine-dark seas quilts - one that backfired on me, if you hadn't noticed! Since posting the fabric here and announcing this was the next one up, it immediately started to intimidate me. First I looked through the dozens of pictures I took looking for just the right mast reflections to use as patterns. Suddenly, nothing looked as I remembered - intimidation one. I finally settled on three images and spent quite a bit of time using different methods to isolate the reflections with as little background as possible - to save ink when I printed them out. This did not go as smoothly as it has in the past - intimidation two. But I finally decided I just needed to print something out. Looking at those thin squiggly lines on the computer monitor was unnerving me (I didn't remember them being that thin), so printing them enlarged to full pattern size should settle me down. Ack! They were still thin and unnerving - intimidation three. So they were set aside while I worked on something else.

But I am running out of time if I want these two done for my ArtWalk exhibit, so today was the day I simply told myself to just start, and trust that my idea would work. I settled on a pair of reflections, flipped over the printout and traced around the shapes so that I would have a reverse image to trace onto fusible web. I found the tracing calming, and even though that little voice in my head kept whispering, "What were you thinking? Are you sure the proportions are right? Is this really the set you had in mind?", now that I was actually working with the pattern, I could see this was going to work.

I'm using Steam-a-Seam II for my fusible and traced my pattern pieces without having to use a light table. Each piece is numbered per the numbering on my master pattern. Some of them are  uber small. Trying not to hyperventilate here...

Long long time ago, I cut similar fusible web-backed narrow pieces, following a vine pattern on a fabric. I was reminded of that as I made my first cut, reassuring myself I hadn't totally lost my mind. The quilt intimidation was finally under control as I arranged the first squiggly piece on this fabric hand-dyed by my late friend, Judi. I'm using a Kona cotton which is a little heavier weave than some quilting cotton. I found the ease with which I could see the weave a godsend as I arranged those wild and stretchy pieces, easing them into place by keeping the weave straight across.

A second reflection has since been cut out and arranged on the left side of the fabric since the picture above was taken. It had the smallest pieces, but I managed to cut them all and get them placed. The tackiness of the Steam-a-Seam II is another godsend when working like this. I kept checking placement with my master pattern, pulling up a piece not quite in place and pressing it back into position with a finger, all while working on my design wall. I have a few more mere dots to add and I think this will be ready for the final fuse and quilting. It's so nice when the main fabric does so much of the work for me.


Chris said...

I think this is going to be spectacular! I love the fabric and I think that it will add to the wiggly water reflections nicely. Steam a seam 2 lite is wonderful. It is amazing how small and skinny the pieces can be and the stuff works. Unfortunately I did not stock up before they had issues with the product so I have been completely out of it and have been forced to use misty fuse. I can't wait until they fet this stuff back out on the market and I will buy a bolt of it.

Connie Rose said...

This is very cool. Look forward to seeing how it progresses!