Monday, April 18, 2011

simple but not easy

Recently I received this e-mail from a reader.

I *love, love, love your quilts!
I want to make one.  A small piece of one......  More than one square....  I know that it has probably taken you years and years and years to develop your technique and style.  I also know that an eye is not easily developed, but takes lots of practice.  I'm not even pretending to think I can create the art you are creating, but I would love to learn the technique...  I understand basic quilting as you go.  It appears each smaller block has *both* batting and backing attached before they are connected to the next.  I can possibly envision the vertical piecing of the smaller blocks.  But the horizontal blocks I am struggling to understand how they are attached.  Is this a trade secret?  Is it just best, for me, to just jet off and see one in person?  LOL!  If nothing else, I just *need* to know!!!!
You do beautiful, beautiful work, Ann.  I love it all!

Sweet isn't it?

Now the author is right--the style has taken me years and years to develop. However, the technique is actually very simple.  I even wrote about it last year. Now if I was an organized blogger I would create a page with the directions--and maybe I will. But for now let me just reference the blog posts.

First of course I design the quilt and make sure I have fabrics that will work for the piece. My two favorite fabric stores are The Textile Company in Greenfield, MA which I wrote about HERE in my post Confessions of a Fabricoholic.  Since writing that post they have changed their closing time to 5 except on Friday when they close at 8. The other store is A Notion to Quilt which I wrote about HERE. And yes it was called More Confessions of a Fabricoholic--can you relate? Of course if I am doing a show in another location I do check out other fabric stores--can one actually have too much fabric?

Then I begin piecing the quilt using a method I call "quilt as you go." HERE is an illustrated blog post of how I pieced the quilt desert hills.

I piece the quilt in blogs--and then join the blogs together. HERE I wrote a blog post with more pictures as to how I finish the quilt.

As you can see, the technique is simple--but not necessarily easy. This is not a pattern but directions for a technique that you can make your own. Certainly care is required throughout--create a design that interests you. Practice working with the colors to figure out the effect that the colors and fabrics have on each other. Keep your sewing machine clean and in good working order--after all, you will be seeing the back of the block so you want it to look good.

And perhaps most importantly--have fun!! After all life is too short not to have fun. So what do you think--does this answer some of your questions? Have you tried this technique--I would love to see pictures.

1 comment:

  1. LOL! I was so over thinking this!
    I have seen this method for connecting the sections, but have never tried it for concern of added bulk. Yours appear very flat, so maybe I will give it a try, of sorts.... I just dread the studio mess I will probably create trying to find *just* the right piece of fabric....
    Thanks so much for sharing!