Designing again

My design process is just about as improvisational as my piecing is. I don’t make sketches and plan things out—-at all!

My usual game is to grab a stack of fabrics that seem to play well with each other. That’s most often 4-7 fabrics, with a very light, a very dark and the rest mediums. In the past, I seldom used solids and never used my hand dyes. No real reason for that… I’m trying to incorporate more of both and this time I used a hand dyed gradation for my solids.

I stacked and cut and stitched away and soon threw a few blocks up on the wall, ready to start arranging into a pleasing design.

Designing Sunny Summer

My goal from the beginning was to have lots of “background” space, which I would then fill in with my solids. It really needed a few more blocks, though.

Thought I’d pass along my best tip for keeping all those stack-slash-switch block pieces organized. This picture shows the blocks in pieces, ready to start assembling…and I DO chain piece these.

Block construction 1

I sew the top pieces from each stack together, for each layer. As the pieces come off the machine, the whole block is connected, and in the correct order. Don’t cut between each section, but between each block.

Block construction 2

Then you only have to sew the block rows together and you are done. It keeps all those odd shaped pieces in the correct order through the whole process of making multiple wonky blocks!

Back to the design wall…decide on a final layout for the blocks and start the construction process! I don’t know if I’m totally sold on the idea of using the hand dyed gradation for the background, but it’s waaaaay too late to change at this point! Hmmmm….

Final layout Summer

Here’s a closer look at how the blocks and background flow together. I wanted that to happen, but it might be a little too blendy.

Summer detail

My low contrast idea isn’t horrible, but without a good dark, it’s just a bit too ‘soft focus’ for me. Found a great teal that went with the mix and decided to add some focus lines. None of the lines are sewn down yet, but I’m getting a lot happier with the piece.

Designing Summer 3

I’m trying to think “modern” + “improv” so that I can make a new class with this. Terms like ‘low volume prints’ and ‘asymmetrical grid’ and ‘engaging the edge’ are what come to mind. I think I’m going down the right track…it feels right so far!

What do you think? Am I ‘modern’?


Linking to Off the Wall Friday!