Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And Here We Go!

One of my quilt block swap partners privately emailed to give me a few suggestions for starting this paper piecing project. 
She has a great Tutorial Series starting the first Wednesday of every month and the first one is going to be on paper piecing. I plan to join in knowing that my quilt project isn't going to be finished in one sitting. She calls her tutorials Stretch Your Skills. She told me that the biggest issue with a project like mine is going to be in color placement.

The first thing I did was to lay out the fabrics over my love seat and add numbered pins so I could see how many cat blocks would get cut from them. Batiks can be really subtle or strong for the changes in each fabric. The top row of pins indicates how many for Block B and the lower row of pins indicate how many for Block A.

The block pieces are relatively small, so I know that it will require me to look at the details of each cut and see how it fits into the overall block as well as how it flows to the next row of cat blocks. I really love this kind of thinking that helps one see the details and the bigger picture.

And yes, I can see that there will be small portions cut from all of these fabrics, so there will be a lot leftover, as well as bits for the pet bed projects. I want to bring out as much color from each piece for its cat block as I can so that the finished quilt top is bright and lively. I plan to use some of the leftover portions to make a simple border to connect the colors even more.

My guess is that once I understand this process that it will go together faster than I am thinking it will right now. I am fully engaged in it, and the planning part makes a lot of sense to me.

Meanwhile, in order to keep my creativity going, I pulled out two quilts that have been basted and are ready to machine quilt. The first one was a mystery quilt and that will get a simple diagonal grid in the center outlining each of the blocks, and some decorative stitches on each of the borders. This is the pic taken before it was ready for basting, and has three borders as well. Its a simple, simple lap quilt, and will be great to have for a break in the intensity of Amy's paper pieced quilt. 

Over the years, in my career, its always been important to keep an eye on the details as well as the over-all picture of any project. Most of the time, I had staff to delegate various tasks to. Now, it is my role to handle both. In one way, all those administrative skills I developed still work for me. I love having small notepads everywhere in every room so that I can jot down a thought or a need/want and not forget them when I walk into another room. Its not about memory loss. It was never about memory as much as it was just so very much on my plate. Retirement only shifted what goes on my plate, and I am still guided by the details and overall picture of a project.

I want to love this paper piecing project, and so having other things to work on will give me a planned opportunity to set it aside and return to it refreshed and with a more clear vision.