Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Seeing Squares

I rarely make quilts from other people's patterns.  There are 2 reasons for this, the first is that using someone else's pattern always makes the finished quilt feel less like my own.  It just does.  I can love everything about the finished quilt, but if I used a pattern, I just never feel that deep emotional attachment.  The second reason is that I can almost always figure out the pattern, just by looking at a picture.  If a quilt is a series of traditional blocks, I'm not going to pay for a pattern.  If I'm looking at a pattern and I think the designer has made an original contribution and design, then I might think about buying the pattern.  I might also think about buying a pattern if I think the pattern will have construction  or cutting directions that will save me a lot of work.

Seeing Squares is one of those patterns.  The pieces are very simple, squares or squares in squares, so I was really paying for cutting and layout directions.  The pattern is well written, but suffers from one of my common complaints.  The construction recommended is what is easiest to write directions for, not what is easiest to do, or most efficient in fabric usage.  Damn, I really hate to waste fabric.  There was at least half an inch of fabric trimmed off of almost every piece after you sewed the squares within squares.  I hate that.
 I had issues getting a good mix of values in this quilt.  I didn't realize until I started constructing the blocks that value is much more important than color.  I had way too many medium and dark value fabrics and had to add in a bunch of light fabrics.  It ended up being more mellow than I expected, but that's because I didn't have enough contrast.  It's a good lesson.
 Believe it or not this quilt is constructed from 12x12 blocks.  There are half a dozen different layouts that when mixed together give you the really random look.  That part was worth the cost of the pattern.

 For the back I did my usual improv strip pieced into a chunk of fabric.  I had so much more fun making the back than I did the front.

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