Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly WIP updates

One misty, moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather,
I sat down with my quilt blocks, to sew them all together ...

That's right!  In spite of some really bad poetry - thank you son #1 for getting this nursery rhyme stuck in my head! - Flurry is finally starting to come together, despite a few hiccups in the construction process ... and in all honesty, a few little "block surgeries" because I was rushing things and kept clipping my fabric while chain-piecing, instead of my threads!

It's so funny - I was just having a conversation with a very technically-minded friend a few weeks ago about why I couldn't just program computer software to do all the quilting math and designing for me so that I didn't have to actually make the quilt in order to publish the pattern.  His argument was that it would be much more time-effective and infinitely cheaper to just design it on the computer, write the pattern, and be done!  Plus, with all the time I would save by not having to actually construct the quilt itself, I could get so many more patterns published!

I had tried to explain that while there is some really great software out there that does just that {and I do use it as a starting place for all of my designs), digitizing the whole process would really take the humanity and sense of craftsmanship out of the picture!

I quilt for enjoyment first and foremost - the resulting designs and patterns are just a bonus!  There is something almost magical about taking a design in from my head, getting onto paper and doing ridiculous amounts of geometry, then cutting out hundreds of tiny pieces of fabric, putting them together, and watching this creation grow into something tangible that is infinitely better than it was in my head or on the computer screen.

The whole process is like a journey!  With every quilt I've made, I can tell you which movie, TV series or audio book was playing {usually over and over} while I sewed, which album I was listening to while I wrote the pattern, how I was feeling at the time, and what was going on our lives in between!

But, even if you took all the emotional connections of the quilting process away, there is just some things that can't be programmed into or anticipated by a computer!

Flurry is turning out to be a prime example of this!  My original design was loosely based on a combination of two classic quilt blocks:

... and Three Cheers

I probably played around with four or five different block designs for about a week to come up with the simplest way to combine the blocks.  I wrote the pattern, cut all the blocks, and assembled the quilt top, only to find that the way I assembled the blocks, while simple in construction, made for really thick seam intersections when I put them together with the sashing blocks.  I needed a better way to construct - even if it meant more pieces!

There's just no way that a computer program could anticipate that!  It could have told me the simplest, most cost-effective and time-efficient way to put the blocks together, but never would've been able to communicate that some changes and adjustments needed to be made for better construction!

So, once this baby is finished and off to the long-arm quilter, I'm heading back to the drawing board to make a few adjustments and updates to the pattern, which will hopefully be available right in time for Christmas.  And, after this incredibly long tangent, I'm heading back to the sewing machine before morning nap is over! 

Be sure to stop by these great sites for more WIPs in blogland!
PS - be sure to stop by again on Thursday, 11/21, for details on the Cora's Quilts Holiday Giveaway!!