From Sketch to Blocked Design

Remember the sketch for the line based design in the master class with Elizabeth Barton?

After considering black and white, shades of aqua, or multicolored brights, I settled on the aqua, making adjustments along the way for variation in value.

Design blockedYep, I flipped it.

The white is there because otherwise the light aqua looked white. After I added it, I also liked the variation and contrast. I chose the green just because I wanted something darker than the darkest teal on hand.

My plan was to lose 1/4-1/2 inch on the long strips to seam allowance, though I was beginning to like the width of the teal and white strip as is and considered ripping it and cutting other strips. But Elizabeth’s comments lead me to keep all  the widths as is.

I have been wondering how to block out a design that will end up losing seam allowance, especially with narrow lines planned. I’ve been trying to just use my imagination. (But of course that violates Elizabeth’s maxim: evaluate a visual design visually.) Pressing under 1/2 inch of a 3/4 inch strip doesn’t work either. Nor can I press circles under and keep curves. I guess I’ll just have to cut exactly what I intend (and figure out some way to use the strips later–well the 1/4 inch ones will just be trashed) and then cut a new piece to actually use.

Now comes the final construction. I had slash-and-insert construction in mind, but since some of the strips are wide and others tapered, I may end up making templates. I remember having read not to limit design by familiar construction methods, but rather to design and then figure out how to create it. Sounds like a good principle, but it may be easier said than done.

I’ll be linking to Off the Wall Friday–button in the sidebar.



Filed under design

19 responses to “From Sketch to Blocked Design

  1. Sue

    It looks SEW PRO-fessional – round of applause!

  2. Very interesting to see this version and to hear about your methods of blocking it out. Do you feel like you are learning anything that will be useful in other situations? Does this feel more like creativity or an assignment?

    • I definitely feel that what we are learning is transferable. It is an assignment in that there are constraints and focuses, but Elizabeth’s critiques cover other principles as well, and they too are transferable. And though the focus in this one was lines, I was also using what we worked on in January on value. The assignments tap creativity.

      • Can I pipe in and say – that OMG I’m learning under the constraints of an the assignments. For instance the lessons I learned concerning underlying value, I’m using when I’m doing my line piece – also the idea of creating on a monthly deadline has helped a ton! (thanks for letting me butt in – grin)

  3. Have you thought of doing fused raw applique instead of piecing? Enlarge your design to the size you want and copy it onto the paper backing of fusible interfacing. Fuse this to the fabric and cut it out exactly on the lines. Next fuse this to the background of your choice.

  4. I like the white in there. And I love the movement of the piece. I look forward to seeing it sewn together!

  5. Chris Staver

    I was going to comment on your quilt over on EB blog, but decided to do it here instead. I think what you have done is great. Love the colors and the lines. Makes me want to do a bridge quilt. I have never pieced anything like this since I usually fuse since it is easier so I am looking forward to seeing your finished quilt. And thanks for your feedback this week when I was trying to come up with a color palette for my line quilt.

  6. Very strong piece–“structural” comes to mind. The piecing makes the edges so nicely sharp and clean. This must be an interesting class!
    best, nadia

  7. Love the lines and the colors. It is wonderful

  8. Great lines and I like your choice of colors, too. Looks like a good class.

  9. I like the palette you choose! Also – I want to say that just because its in your imagination doesn’t mean you’re not doing it visually. If your imagination is good enough to see it without entering it into the virtual world than what’s the difference?? Now in my case – I can’t do that – also scale always plays into my decisions – seeing how big or small really does effect my decisions.

    • I agree that scale makes a big difference. A couple of times I’ve envisioned a checkerboard, made 2-inch squares and realized that in my head they had been smaller, so the result was less than perfect. You are talking of size of the piece, and I am talking of scale within a piece. Both matter. I’ve also had ideas that looked okay small but weird large. So I guess my imagination isn’t strong enough either.

      • Nina-Marie

        I wouldn’t doubt that scale sooner or later will show up in our lessons. I agree to that scale within a piece is hard to get from mental thought to design board.

  10. Adding the white was spot on. It gives the piece focus.

  11. My first thought when I saw the photo was ‘wow.’ It looks great. very striking design. And reminds me of the bridge – so I hope that was still your intent.

  12. It’s amazing to watch this progress from the design stage- and it looks fantastic!

  13. I love this piece! Brilliant!

  14. This is clearly a class I need to consider taking. And I will — just as soon as I finish the on-line class I’m in now. Congratulations on what you’re doing with it.

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