Friday, November 20, 2009

"Lemons into Lemonade" or "How to Quilt without Fabric or Thread"

Hi gang!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the fall season. Even in hot and humid Miami, we are feeling some relief from the brutal heat. Down this way, we do not have an official fall or spring. However, we do have three un-official seasons; season 1 is when the humidity is LESS than the ambient temperature, season 2 is when the humidity is GREATER than the ambient temperature, and season 3 is hurricane season. Thanks to the miracle of Air Conditioning, it is always Quilting Season!

I have not been sewing as much as I would like this year but that does not mean my projects are not always on my mind. So while I am at work, or stuck in traffic, or packing & unpacking boxes, or painting walls, or any of the millions of things that have kept me from making quilts this year, I am designing and planning in my head.

Here is an example…

Yesterday I was stuck in traffic for well over an hour. It was an upper middle class to affluent residential area. Traffic has all but come to a stop. I start looking around and all the houses have beautiful wrought iron gates, stone fences that look like artisan masons slaved for a year to make, incredible landscaping. Hmmmmm……Time to turn lemons into lemonade! I pull out my phone and start to take pictures.

One thing I have been on the hunt for is inspiration for a fabulous border design. I can draw flowers and I can make the individual feathers on a plume but I have been struggling to create a graceful, beautiful spine and/or vine design. There it was! On a gate!

I emailed myself the photo and at the first opportunity printed it in black and white on a full size sheet of paper. I then edited and traced the design with a Sharpie pen right on the black and white copy. After a few more minor edits, I traced the design onto another blank sheet.

I then mirror imaged the design and butted them up to each other.

Then I made lot of copies so I could play and see how the design would look as a border.

Okay I love it! Now what size? I finally decided that since most of my projects are 60 to 80 inches square that I would like to see this design at 60”. I isolated the part of the design that I would need to enlarge to make a working pattern. I drew a line on the design for the copy store clerk to use as a guide when they make the enlargement.

My soul is happy! I did not take a single stitch. I did not cut a single fat quarter. Nevertheless, in my heart I quilted! Moreover, when I do have time to sit and play in my sewing room and I begin to work on the border for my current Tropical Album, I have the PERFECT (at least in my heart) design to work with).

Life is good!

Driving to work today, traffic again came to a screeching halt. Hmmmm..... Since I got lucky yesterday, maybe I can find inspiration again today! What do you think? Maybe I can do something with the sky?

Until next time, best stitches!


aka, The Savage Quilter