Monday, March 8, 2010

how do you do that?

Someone said the other day, how do you do that?

How do you make something abstract looking?
Do you plan it out?
Do you have an idea of what your doing?

It was a very sincere sort of question.

I've had other conversations with people who quilt, either those who only use patterns,
or draw out and have and know exactly what they are going to do before hand,
or with people who just through things to the wall and let it flow...
t can be a hard question to answer depending on how you work.

For me, as I have shown before, Sometimes It's just grabbing a bunch of scraps
from my scrap bin and making myself only play with only those scraps to
make them fit together, rather like making a puzzle.

Sometimes it's playing with color, finding a balance...

Sometimes, it's just take what you have left over form Sewing bee blocks,
and sewing the bits together...

I made two blocks for Jenny today, and had a nice little pile of scraps.

Just play.
Pick up a piece or two, fit them together, and just keep adding bits.
don't worry about layout, design, balance etc.

Just sew.

You never really know how they are going to turn out.

If you don't like a bit.
cut it off.

add another bit,

add a border.

It's just a sketch, like a artist would do...
quick little gesture "sewings"... instead of drawings...

Hit the scrap bin for some backing... trim to a nice little mini quilt size...

try something new to quilt it...

Don't think so hard.

Add a little binding...

And wa-la!

You now have a wee little giftie...

that wasn't so hard now was it?

Sometimes we grown ups forget how to play.
put on some music, grab a pile of scraps, and throw the
quilt police
voice in your head out the window...

There's always a time for rules and proper sewing.

But sometimes, Everyone just needs to relax and play.

Open your mind today.

Here's our group shot from the NYC Metro MOD Quilters...

Hope you all had a lovely weekend.
We all sure did!


  1. I do this too! I never tell anyone about it, and I never have completed a project with it. I always thought of it as making my own fabric from scraps.

    I'm kinda relieved to know that someone else does this and adds a step and finishes it...even going so far as to make it a "giftie".

    I don't think I have the confidence in myself (artistic, abstract, whatever) to actually
    "expose" myself to others in this manner.

    Thanks for giving me the "ok" to do it...if I decide to open myself to others in this way.

    ( I deep right now??)


  2. Hey V, Sometimes sewing is just like the Nike slogan, "Just do it!"
    And other times it is not so easy. Your blocks look great! Happy sewing!

  3. the goal is to just loosen up and not worry about the end product on a sketch... it shouldn't be easy or hard... it just "Is"...sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, and we learn from each experience...either way...
    Happy playing!

  4. Looks like you had a whole bunch of fun playing! With wonderful results! Love it V, reminds me of a childrens pop up tent!

  5. It seems like that's about the only way I CAN make quilts. I try and try to do it the "right" way with patterns and books and such, and I either make a mistake that "ruins" it for me, or I get so bored with it that I set it aside and never finish.

    When I start with a pile of scraps or fabric and a germ of an idea, and "just sew," it is FUN and I forget about whatever was bothering me. I actually like what turns out, too. I will say, though, that I was doing just that at a quilt retreat last weekend and whenever someone asked to see what I was doing, and I showed them, it was met with, "Oh." and some blank stares. I was the only one out of 50 that wasn't using a pattern. Sigh.

  6. It's true - we DO forget how to play when we're all grown up. I'm so not good at abstract and random; I'm a pattern follower (and a rule follower). Grrr... I want to be more random and spontaneous, but I guess I do think too much.

  7. Wonderful to see your process. It is a shame that people are so conditioned to be afraid of failure that they don't just attempt things and those who do end up with great results like you get.

  8. I love your encouragement to let go!!! Definitely my favorite style of quilting and love how u write. And stitch about it! U have such a gift! Em

  9. and don't we just love playing! Much better than "structured play" don't you think?

  10. Absolutely one of the best, most practical posts that I have read in a long time - Thank you for the ..Don't think so hard... definitely a problem of mine.

    You have an awesome blog and I wish I could be a part of your MOD - my area is ~very~ traditional - nothing wrong with that but I sure would like to expand into the MOD direction

    Great blog, darlin' !


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