Last week's near 70 degree weather was an unmissable opportunity to dye about ten yards of organic sateen. With five yards each of Tobacco and Flutter pressed and ready for use, I chose to take this week to challenge myself with some design exercises.
Each day this week, I used one yard of Flutter and one yard of White primarily to see how far this amount of fabric would go in the making of a quilt top, and to push myself out of my comfort zone with composition and techniques.
Monday was devoted to half square triangles and some solid squares of each color. This photo shows all of the yardage in use. I had fun coming up with three compositions, and this was my favorite. You can see the others on my Instagram feed @tierneybarden.
Tuesday was the day for strip piecing. I wanted to challenge myself to come up with interesting patterns from random strip sets versus predetermined widths that create a regular pattern. The only rule I gave myself was that all strip sets needed to be the same finished width. Once at the design wall, I saw the need for some solid strips to give the eye a place to rest. Otherwise, I have to say that I enjoyed the Morse Code-like patterns, and could see this idea being even more successful with a wider variety of random strip sets. The Type A in me needed to make a few regular, repeating patterns....
Wednesday was all about the curves, and I was ready after two full days of rectangles. I chose to set aside my Drunkard's Path templates and went for Sherri Lynn Wood's method for Template Free Curved Piecing, as explained in her book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. What a lesson in slowing down! I warmed up by sewing all of the two-piece curved blocks, then advanced to the three piece, and so on. I don't have this technique perfected by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say that I loved taking them to the design wall. Curves are powerful and playful, and more are in my future.
Thursday's exercise isn't shown yet because I'm still working on it: quarter square triangles. I think I'm in love. I'll share these in a future post, but for now, rest assured that they're keeping me busy at the machine, the iron and the design wall.
Don't forget to download my free Striped Octagon EPP template in the right sidebar. Quilters like Jayne @twiggyandopal are doing extraordinary things with it! Share what you make on Instagram and FB, we'd all love to see! #stripedoctagonepp #stitchingenchantment