Friday, May 6, 2016

How Instagram Saved My Design



The Process Is the Prize


You may not believe the above statement, but I do. I find more joy in working out problems than finishing the project. That doesn't--or shouldn't occur if using a published pattern, so I choose to go the organic route, and create my own. 

This started as an experiment in improv block making, and merged with another design I'd made a few months back. It's dominated my design wall for weeks, and I pushed myself this week to finish all the improv blocks. When it came to the setting triangles at the sides, I decided more improv blocks would muddy it up. It was back to the stash to find a fabric that would work, and once again the Moda Grunge won with it's unique texture. There was just one problem.

I've been using a simple string to frame off the area I intend my designs to fill. It gives me a sense of the space I have to work, and allows me to leave the edges in tact until the very end to trim. That's good when you're not 100% sure all the seams will line up. I cut the Grunge triangles large enough to line up with the edges of the X's, but made the corner triangle the correct size if I sized it to the string. All at once, sizing it down made it look out of proportion.

If I remade the corner triangles to match up with the size of the setting triangle, the outside legs of the X would be different than the inside. The inside legs look like a V with a flattened top. The outside legs would finish at an angle. Yet, it felt that by cutting them off I was squeezing the design.

Thank heaven for Instagram where I could throw this out to all the brilliant minds that quilt and design. Unanimously, we all thought the larger triangles worked, but one person, Sandra, at Studio Sew of Course threw me a bone. First she pointed out the problem I would encounter, then said:

"Add a whole border around the outside in the same color as the corners and setting triangles."

It was brilliant! Cut off the triangles and angle the legs of the X's, and it would be shrinking it down by about 3-4" overall. Add a border to that, and extend it out enough for the design to float in the frame. Simple, but perfect! So why couldn't I come up with that fix myself? No idea. Sometimes we are too involved in the project to see it objectively, but more often we fail to take it apart backward step by step. 

Thank you for the royal save, Sandra! 

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10 comments:

  1. That looks fantastic. I love the colors and the wavy blocks!

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  2. I love how this ended up and bravo to Sandra for a great solution - the answer is always out there somewhere. I like blogging and instagram - they tick different boxes for me.

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  3. I just ♥ this, everytime I look at it I see something different, think you have nailed this well and truly, clever thing ;)

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  4. Isn't IG amazing? The solution was perfect and boy, do I love this quilt! I'm so happy you have continued on with this one! It's gorgeous!

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  5. Wow, your design is brilliant, and really in tune with my current obsession with curved piecing )) I'm not yet on the Instagram and I'm only starting to get my head around blogging, one thing at a time!

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  6. Amazing design!! Beautiful colors and piecing. Congrats!!

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  7. Love this piece. What a great solution for the finish.

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  8. Thanks for the compliment, Julie! I think sometimes you see something and a solution just pops in your head, and other times you need to look at it from a different angle. Sharing it with others gives a different perspective and helps solve problems that we may not have thought of ourselves. The blog is great for that, but sometimes the immediacy of Instagram works better (though now I am in a "guinea pig" country with a non-chronological feed, I'm sure I miss posts now and then).

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It's always enlightening to hear your thoughts or suggestions. I try to respond in a timely manner, but admit life is very full here! I will return comments online if it's of general interest, but offline if a personal response is more appropriate. Give me a shout with anything urgent at julie@pinkdoxies.com, and I'll try to get right back with you. While I believe in free speech, spamming will not be tolerated, and as in all our interactions, speak kindly.

If you want to be certain of a personal reply, leave your email or email me privately. Many people are not even aware when they have become a no-reply blogger. Yes, I know it's frustrating for us all.

Julie