Sunday, February 25, 2007

Challenge Part 1

What kind of quilter are you? Do you have to follow the pattern to a "T"? Do you start a pattern, but tweak it along the way? Do you take a block design or two and create your own design?

I love the planning process of a quilt. I spend hours and hours planning a quilt. Some of the work I do with pencil and paper. Some of the work is done in Microsoft Excel. I probably spend more time planning a quilt than I do making the top. Being in the Stashbusters No Buy program has truly sparked my creative juices. I've started to think about blocks and designs to make with the fabric I do have rather than designing a quilt that requires me to buy fabric.

Perhaps it's a combination of wanting to "sew my quilt oats" plus not buying fabric that have led me to design a challenge for myself. But before I tell you what the challenge is I must give credit to four bloggers who have provided some thought provoking ideas and tutorials that have been whirling around in my quilt brain and have finally formed a plan.

First there's Finn at Pieces From My Scrapbag. She has written many entries lately about the dolly quilts she has been making as well as sharing photos from Small Endearments. I asked my DIL, who is a daycare teacher, if dolly quilts would come in handy at her daycare. She said dolly quilts would be cool to have for the kids. The appeal for me in making dolly quilts is that they are small enough to try a new block or techinque without having to commit to a larger project.

Next there's Dawn at Quilts and Pieces who posted a tutorial on the scrap projects she's been working on from 4 inch strips. I had decided that from now on when I'm cutting fabric from any of the large pieces I have I'm going to cut a 4 inch strip and do what Dawn is doing with her strips.

Darlene at Quilting Daze provided a tutorial on making four patches from nickel charms. She showed a quilt she is making from 16 patches made from those four patches. I have a drawerful of nickel charms and I thought I would have fun making four patches out of some of them.

Kim at Pieces of Old wrote a great entry about crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles and charm square packs. She had an AHA! moment and commented she could make her own charm square packs. Now I'm sure everyone knows you can cut nickels, but have you ever thought about making a your own charm square pack, wrapping it with a pretty ribbon and setting it out on your sewing table or tucking it away and then finding it later and thinking "how cool it is to have a charm square pack."

The Challenge starts with choosing six FQs. I haven't chosen my FQs yet. I'll do it tomorrow. Each FQ will be into three 6 inch squares, four 5 inch squares, one 4 inch strip, seven 3 inch squares, leftovers will include a 1 x 4 inch strip, a 1 x 5 inch strip, and a 3 x 6 inch strip. Once the FQs are cut I'm going to stack them neatly, tie them up with a pretty ribbon, and place my "Charm Pack" on my corner shelf and wait it for to "age" for a week or two.

What’s next for the Challenge? I’m not sure. I want to enjoy seeing my Charm Pack for a while. I’m hoping the fabric will enjoy hanging out and will tell me when it is ready for play time.

I’ll be sure to post a photo of my FQs and my Charm Pack. Stay tuned.


Patti said...

Sounds like lots and lots of fun. I will enjoy watching what you and everyone else comes up with. I won't join in because I'm sticking to my promise that I'll do UFO's first this year and any new project must come from my already cut strips, squares, triangles, etc. - with the exception of Joseph's quilt and the quilt for my new class. Sure wish I could join in!

tootsiesmom said...

Yes, I enjoy the planning stages too. But I have a tendency to want to learn a technique, make a quilt top and move one. I have never made more than one of any quilt I have made..does that make sense? I was self induced Stashbuster due to divorce 8 years ago and continued. I do love using my stash up! Maybe one of these days it will just justify a shopping spree!

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

Oh, I wish I had all the quilts I've either made in my mind or on paper. LOL Sometimes I get satisfaction from just planning and then sometimes the planning will put a bee in my bonnet and I'm off searching for "the" fabric to use on my plan! Just have fun, Paula. I'm glad that I partially inspired you!

Carole said...

What a neat challenge. Another idea about cutting one's own charm pack is to give it as gifts to quilting friend(s). You might even include your own pattern as a suggestion for those charm squares. I'm looking forward to reading and seeing your creative process. Keep well!

Libby said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. For me the biggest hurdle is often fabric selection -- is this one just right, will this favorite be all used up. the what if's can go on and on. I really had fun making a Finn-like dolly sized quilt over the weekend using a handful of scraps that I pulled from the basket. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that it's supposed to be FUN!

swooze aka Suzette said...

I am pretty much a pattern follower but have been known to tweak, adjust and create. If I do modify it takes me a looooooooooong time to commit though. LOL!

Shelina said...

Sounds like a plan to me. I look forward to seeing the results. I think it is so wonderful to get inspiration from so many different sources. I like the planning stage too.

Diana said...

I like your idea of designing a challenge for yourself. Like you, I keep reading around the blogs and I find inspiration all over the place.

I tend to design as I go. Sometimes things sit in a corner or over the back of a chair until I come up with what I want to do next. It's a slow process, but it's a lot of fun!

Linda_J said...

I'm a tweaker and rarely follow the pattern color selection and almost always have to re-size it because I am making it for kids and a certain size ranges. That is half the fun of working in EQ as well when you see a block that intrigues you--how would it work in different colors and sets. Let those creative juices flow!