Monday, April 5, 2010

Free Form

I practice what I like to call free-form quilting. I start with a stack of fabric and a vague idea of that I want to do. Usually a block or a procedure, like strip quilting, and then I let it rip. In no time, and with very little intense thought I have a stack of blocks. Sounds great, right? The problem lies in bulk. I have a hard time knowing when to stop. Today I was quilting and ended up with two styles with 5 blocks each, and 2 blocks that were totally different that I made from the left-overs. That just doesn't work. I forgot that I need to shoot for 'divisible by 3' when it comes to making blocks. Most quilts consist of either a 9 block or a 12 block final pattern. Just because I had 12 blocks does not a cohesive quilt make!
This evening when I went to my moms house-so she could fix what I had done-she reminded me of the 3 rule. Luckily, and as always, mom fixed my bo-bo and now I can make a runner and a generous lap quilt out of my 'free-forms' and not have any waste.
I love the process of free-form quilting. The quilt I'm making started with a trying a new blocks: nine block of picket fences, and a variation of scot's plaid. I was in the mood for purple and didn't have enough of anything that coordinated really well, so I used it all. That's right I threw caution the the wind and started cutting up all the purple I had, regardless of the shade! Turned out GREAT!! Purple goes with purple and that goes with purple-and a little bit of green for the floral. I'll post pics when I'm done.
Free-form quilting allows for tonz of creativity. If I run out of a fabric or get tired of a pattern, then I can change with no pressure. I like the subtle variations within the blocks, I think they are interesting. I know when I try to follow a pattern I get hung up on the details. I get lost in following directions and forget that this is supposed to be fun. I need to apply free-form to my life as well. I get caught up on dishes and dinners that I forget to have fun in life, forget that I have loving people around me to fix my bo-bo's and pull my life together in to one beautiful quilt.


  1. I'm starting to get a little more comfortable with free-form cooking. Once I started learning how to cook, I had to follow the recipe to the 't'. Now, I am a bit more relaxed and know what seasonings and spices go well together, and I usually end up with a great tasting meal.
    I still have a lot to learn about quilting, though. Maybe we can spend some time together again and you can teach me. I'd love to make my own quilt.

  2. Sounds so fun! I've missed reading your posts!! We should quilt together some time. I'm not very good, but I do enjoy it! Can't wait to see your pictures!