Thursday, December 20, 2012

the design wall

Can you believe I have been designing and sewing quilts for thirty some years without a design wall? Well, it's just a fact. One of the exciting features of my new sewing studio is a design wall. The wall deadends into a corner and the back door to my house is right there. The very light area on the right side of the photo is the light coming in through the window in the door. 

I got up early this morning to paint the entire wall willow green. The rest of the sewing studio has old tongue and groove paneling. After the paint dried I tacked up a white fleece blanket I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond to provide a fuzzy surface to hold my quilt blocks in place. The fleece really works better than flannel as it provides more "stick". The fleece covered the whole section of the wall between my bedroom door and the back door. The smaller section of the wall on the other side of the bedroom door will be used to hang a shelf unit  to display my collection of little antique toy sewing machines. 

Last week I sewed up 20 log cabin blocks to make a second modern log cabin quilt. My first such quilt, "Waterfall" was a great success so I decided to start a series. I am calling this one "Terra Firma". I decided on emerald green because pantone has designated it the color of the year for 2013. These modern log cabin quilts are a lot of fun to sew because I add slivers of color to the mostly white blocks and to some of the colored blocks as well. I get to slice little angled pieces and stitch them in incorporating a random pattern. It's all kind of unplanned and scrappy, my favorite way to make a quilt. I am offering a workshop in modern log cabin quilts. 

Here are some guidelines for making a modern quilt:
  • Quilts are primarily functional rather than decorative
  • Traditional blocks are reinterpreted (my log cabin blocks with slivers of color)
  • Often there is an absence of visible block structure and often use improvisational piecing
  • Incorporate increased use of negative space and often are asymmetric in design
  • Quilts are often inspired by modern art and architecture
  • Use of bold colors, and trendy color combinations; also graphic prints enhance design simplicity
  • Gray and white are popular neutral colors with increased use of solid fabrics in both color and neutral fabrics

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