Monday, April 13, 2009

Family lap quilts

Ok, so I posted about this the other day, about breaking out of a box and trying new things, letting your mind wander, and see what you get, sometimes by looking and sometimes by NOT.

Well this is the new project I have had on the back burner for while and I decided now was the time to work on it.

This is just a way I like to work,(or look at art, or design or anything for that matter) and thought I'd pass it along. It's more about going with the flow, letting you stream of conscious guide you... and hey, you may get something you like! or not. That's the beauty of it...

Above is my Niece's drawing for her block for a series of lap quilts I will make. Four quilts total, all the same. Each one will consist of 4 blocks, one designed by my mother, my self, My niece, and my daughter.

Inspiration Fabric

I have recvd the drawings and today plucked out some fabrics, very quickly, not really thinking about them and came up with this batch. First I picked and inspiration fabric, then Not thinking to hard I selected these below to pick and choose from... (not thinking to hard is the goal here folks) the inspiration fabric and yellow, greens, and some browns, so wallaa! This is what you get... Some new, some cheap, some old, and some fancy...

I work very quickly, and I don't make patterns, so basically I free pieced these blocks as I went along, capturing the general landscape of the blocks they drew.
When your working quickly and freely, you main goal is the color balance. The design wall is good for that, to step back and look at what your doing, but really, I didn't do that with these. I wanted them to sort of flow out, and be what they are, probably the same way they drew up their blocks.

My mother designed this block, and it turned into this below...

A range of colors is always good to have. A light a medium and a dark, and maybe a contrast color

B's block. I can't find her drawing, bu tshe was very specific about color choices... I had to promise to make it her way another time! ;-)

And this is my block. I was bad, I didn't make a drawing, allthough I have many, I again didn't want to think to hard about it.

By now I had figured out which fabrics I wanted to use over and over, so I seleceted my favorite, and put that in the middle, added my vintage leaves, then my other favorite the gold and green floral, and of course it looks like a cross...

(if you now my artwork, you'd know that was a no brainer for me),

through in some green and brown to balance it off... Again, what quilt do I make that doesn't have brown or a little green in it...

(oh well I tried to really break out with the gold!)

And so far, this is what I am playing with. My initial goal was to use linen as the background/sashing and this floral pattern as the backing... hmmm, not to sure, but I will be back for some more playing later...

Commonplace stepped out of the box! Amy was quick to respond and tell me that she had just tried something new! Thread painting! I didnt' even know what that was until I saw this!

Way to go Amy!
I feel like I have dabbled in machine stitching, but have a long way to go with it. I like how she took a small project to give it a go on, that inspires me to try that on the little patchworks for pillows I have laying here.

Tell me what you working on that's new to you, and let's inspire others to try new things... Put the patterns aside!

Happy seeing, sewing and creating!


  1. I like that! It looks like I could certainly do it too. The colours are really lovely.
    Would you also suggest putting them on a muslin square for those of us who are limited in talents?

  2. With my house in deadlock over chores/re-organization/sorting/cleaning/throwing-out/etc. (I guess in traditional circles this is called "Spring Cleaning") my brain is churning with ideas and projects. I long to stretch in new directions and love to read about your ideas! Isn't that always the way? We want to work when we can't... we get all blocked up when we could be working!

  3. Really interesting palette and approach. When I saw the blocks laid out on your inspiration fabric, I thought that was the lap quilt top -- is it? I love it! I love the idea of family lap quilts too -- you've inspired me.

  4. Yea I think small projects are best to try something new. I haven't done much like this, but would love to try!

  5. I also love the blocks they designed and you are sewing. Are you paperpiecing them? Great idea to expand your talents ...

  6. Ha-ha-ha :-) So.. I will come back here to this one and comment.. this lonely little post about color and inspiriation. :-) Even though the give-away is tempting too!.. I don't want to be one of those who just signs for free stuff. (But you know I'm not)
    Ok.. the thing is with thinking outside the box. It takes a certain presonality trait to be able to do that. Some of us are "N's" and some of us are "S's". Take the Myers-Briggs test. :-) It's for real! I am such a "pattern" girl. Sorry!! :-D But that is the way I think. I absolutely adore and admire people who can do what you do though.. and I love looking at everything you make.


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