Saturday, June 23, 2012

Original Design vs. Patterns?

Dear readers,

Final modern quilt square challenge, second try.

A few weeks ago I attended a meeting of the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild.  When I asked why I joined -  I replied that I wanted to be excited and enthusiastic about quilting.  If you remember, I felt that while doing the actual quilting - rather than piecing - I literally felt that I was working in a sweatshop.  I discussed my concerns of my previous quilting experiences with the group.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Historical Society, Link Here.
(they don't exactly looked thrilled, do they?)

A few members thoughtfully offered that my issue with boredom is hat I was using a pattern, rather than my own design.  And, they shared that they felt the same issues with quilting patterns.

But then I began to reflect on the experience.  Perhaps this is true as well with making commercial patterns.  I did very much enjoy making my own designs from my slopers (or basic blocks).  Of course with commercial patterns, we do tend to move a bit more up and down from sewing as well - pressing, cutting, recutting, etc.  And, the design for garments are much more three dimensional.

We did a challenge block - which I sketched out; surprisingly (or perhaps not so) - I actually found it easy (except for the execution - I have never attempted applique).
 Satin Stitch Fail
Original sketch

We were asked to make a modern block for the challenge, with something borrowed (which we exchanged - the wonderful striped fabric), something old (the red circles), something new (the background and green), and something blue (blue circle).  I like to experiment with space.  I made two - one with the machine applique stitch and one with an absolutely horrible satin stitch.

Better execution of a applique machine stitch:
Horrible execution of a satin stitch, below - obviously I need some improvement of my technique:

Any thoughts from readers, do you prefer your own designs, or do you, like me, struggle to adapt commercial patterns?

P.S.  Visual inspiration:


  1. Well, I am one of those people who likes 'creativity within constraints.' So I am not much one for coming up with my own designs! But although it's not my thing, I can definitely appreciate how someone who had the knack for it would prefer it!

  2. I have no vision, so I would flunk at that quilting thing! Love your inspiration pics.

  3. I'm with you both! If I can get some time alone with my sewing tools - I think I may be able to come up with something. . . but seemingly I'm always rushed - trying to shave off what little time I have for sewing . . .