Saturday, July 24, 2004

Puh-puh-pleeeease don't throw me in that briar patch

 It is to be noted that when any part of this paper appears dull there is a design in it.

    ---Richard Steele (1672–1729), British dramatist, essayist, editor

It's now Fall of 2002, and I'm deeply in a burst of exploration and inspiration.  During this this period, I was exhalting in the discovery of wall-hanging sized quilts.  The first quilt I did in a smaller size was the Around the Twist Quilt I made at my first Henry Farm Inn quilting weekend.  That was followed by the two Braid quilts I made for my brother and the series of Block Bender quilts.  Small quilts allowed me to experiment with more styles without the huge time investment required to actually finish the quilt.  At this time, I still hadn't really embraced the concept that "finishing a quilt is highly overrated".

So what to try?  I'd been hearing somethings about paper piecing on Simply Quilts, so I thought perhaps that might be something to try out.  In addition to collection books and fabric, I was also collecting patterns that I thought might be interesting to work on "some day".  Starting a quilt is even more overrated than finishing .  My pattern queue contained several small project patterns by Caryl Bryer Fallert.  The first one I tackled was the Illusion Pattern.

This was fun, and was an interesting way to play with different color combinations.  Though, frankly, it was not a particularly challenging pattern to make!  However, because it was such an easy and quick thing to make, I actually made 4 of these.  One in rainbow colors using hand dyes (what a shock, no?), one primarily purple hand dyes (you don't HAVE to use all of the colors?), and one using a Cracked Ice fat quarter collection I had picked up, and one I prefer not to take about (and definitely won't show!).  Not all color combinations work out.  Someday I may chose to challenge myself to design a quilt primarily in purple and green, the illusion quilt really didn't work out with that combo.  That's what happens when you're making a quilt away from home using only fabrics you happen to have on hand.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

As a first paper piecing project, I was quite pleased with the results, and became open to using paper piecing in the future for my own designs. 

One other BryerPatch design I made was the Flying Geese in a Curve pattern.  This was more of a sample project to teach the techniques rather than a full sized pattern.  This was the first time I had worked with curves, and I was very pleased with the results.  I haven't done too much with curves yet, but curved quilts are in my short term plans for designs. 

The thing resulting from this effort was a very happy Christmas.  By Thanksgiving, I had an interesting assortment of small quilt tops on hand.  I declared a hiatus on starting new quilts, and set to work finishing up the tops I had on hand and gave most of them away as Christmas presents.



At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick.Hsven't had a chance to seargh your site for the photo actually I couldn't find your photo. However I searched the internet for the anatomy of a humpback whale. I found some photoes of two that i think had the same area. They were excellent and thought they might clarefy the problem.They are photos of a photogapher's photos but the anatomy will help you with the drawing can't wait to see your results in QU .don't give up with your idea It would make an excellent quilt.The flowing balleen etc Did you take Elements at QU? Hope to see your project finished.It should be great

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Rick McGuire said...

Yes, the project is finished. Here's the photo of the quilt:

I based this off of a photo I took myself on a whale watching trip:


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