Friday, January 07, 2005

Wedding Ring Variation, in progress

I spent some time today putting pieces for the Double Wedding Ring Variation quilt on my design board. Here it is, so far. I'm not sure if I like what's happening or not.

I started this project with a fabric I just loved, a vaguely asian print with salmon, mellow aqua, yellow, peach, and deep pinky-red. It's the fabric in the lower right corner, and also in the wide ring piece in the lower left corner block. I've taken more and more of the fabric out as I go. I'm not sure the top will end up with much of what was planned to be the primary fabric.

I'm discovering that I'm not very happy working this way. I tend to admire quilters who can thoughtfully plan every element of their quilt before they start sewing--it seems indicate such restraint, such delicate judgment, such careful planning and eye to detail. When I try to work this way, I"m frustrated. I don't find the design wall work very fun, and so I end up feeling like it's holding me back, even when the quilt as designed isn't "clicking" for me. I think I'm more for instant gratification, and happy accidents. Maybe it's more of a "go with the flow" style of making art. I'm always chomping at the bit to sew, or better yet, to work with larger chunks and assemble that way. But it feels careless. Maybe I should think of it as "artfully carefree."

I made one quilt where I laid every piece out, and on that quilt -- where I was working on a gradation of colors and fabric textures -- it really helped to lay out every piece and see how it all worked. So, maybe it's a question of using that process sometimes, and not when it doesn't feel right.

I'm not sure I"m happy with this so far. I've experimented with lots of fabrics and placements, and this is what I like best so far. Maybe I should follow my instinct, and assemble some blocks and then play further around with those.

Why do I resist my own impulses so much? Now, there's a question.


  1. Just as an fyi, it was the Asian print that caught my eye first. Love the colors.


  2. Why not make two tops?
    Make one that is planned and make one that is artfully carefree.
    I love that phrase!
    Take a break and look at art that is not precise and notice the 'aliveness' quality that it has. Another word for it is Personality.

    When working with a traditional block like the Wedding Ring, the layout is pretty static. See Nancy Crow's book for her variations on the layout and maybe that will enhance the design process.
    I wish I were playing with that block right now, it looks like so much fun!