Monday, August 12, 2013

Sketching it Out : :

Due to a very rainy Thursday morning last week, along with a couple of very late night and early morning sewing sessions this past weekend, I'm so close to having an Ant Farm Quilt finish! This one came together quick -- it's made up of fairly large piecing in an easy pattern. However I'm crediting my quick timing to having sketched out my pattern before beginning. This is something new for me! That may sound crazy? But just a week ago I bought myself a very inexpensive binder system with lots of plain sketch & graph paper to take with me to the pool and on our other Summer outings, and I'm filling it up quick!

For my Ant Farm Quilt I'm using both scrappy, Log Cabin style blocks and a few Court House Step. My blocks are large at 17.5" all squared up, and I think this 50 x 68 size quilt will be perfect for my seven year old nephew Owen! My blocks are already quilted, using my quilt-as-you-go method. Now I just have to sew these together, baste, add those last quilt stitches, & some binding! I'm so excited to have another quilt finish this week!!

Ant Farm QAYG

Any Farm QAYG

Ant Farm QAYG Block

During my sketching, with a few tweaks, I came up with a pattern for a new quilt that I just can't wait to start! Right now I'm planning to use this Kona cotton Wine Cellar Colorstory fat quarter bundle I was sent from the generous folks at Robert Kaufman, paired with my Text Me Maybe bundle from Stash Fabrics. After I clean my sewing room today, a long overdue must, I hope to dive right in!!

Quilt Plans!

Up until now it's always been the fabrics that have inspired my quilt designs, coming together almost always from improvising. I'm really looking forward to seeing how having this sketch binder just for my quilt ideas works for me throughout the upcoming Fall & Winter months. And I'm curious, how many of you plan out your quilts with a sketch? Or maybe you use a computer program?

I look forward to reading what works for you!! Happy Monday,     Maureen

34 comments:

  1. If I am not using a 'pattern', then I do sketch out my ideas (not only for quilting). I have a sketchbook I put my ideas in along with a sample of the fabrics I'm using. I just started a dedicated sketchbook for this process to keep all my crafting ideas in one spot. Makes it easier to go back and refer to it and to see exactly what I have done and plan to do.

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    1. I love your idea of adding a little sample of the fabrics next to your sketch! I'm going to have to definitely do this myself. That should solve my problem of buying fabrics with an idea in mind, tucking them away, often separating them into my stash, and then I usually forget why I bough them!! :)

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  2. I do both improvised and also plan them before I start. Three results are efferent every with each technique but the planned ones are better lol. You on the other hand seem to do great with improvising

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    1. Thanks for the compliment and more chiming in! For me it was all the extra time that was avoided of having to shift things around that made it so much better. With my sewing time so limited these busy Summer days, fast is good!!

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  3. I sketched a quilt for my daughter. Map colors and graph paper. It was fun. I wish I had a program like EQ7 but it was relaxing to sit and color with my daughter. Now I need to start cutting fabric.

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  5. Being a newbie, I don't make my own patterns, *but* I need to have everything gathered in one place (patterns, pattern pieces copied, notions, fabrics or flosses). When I work counted cross stitch, I have a bl/wh copy of the pattern & a yellow highlighter to mark off where I've been.

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  6. very cool. I actually just am finishing a quilt top that for the first time I designed on the computer to start.

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  7. I sketch every pattern out and it stays with a picture of the quilt and a hand written note to the recipient of positive thoughts or prayers I had for them while making their quilt.

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    1. What a wonderful thing to do!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  8. I do some sketches and sometimes I just start making blocks and free form design, lol. Doesn't always work and I usually wish I had thought it out before I got stuck;) I do have a mac program but I end up getting lost with how to get the blocks the way I want and the info to print it out.

    Debbie

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  9. I draw out my blocks and try to figure my math out... then I usually have to make a couple of sample blocks to make sure my math is right & that I like the design of the block or the layout of the blocks.

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  10. I sketch out my patterns. I have a notebook with grid paper in it, and that helps me determine scale. Also, when I am making blocks for bees, it has been really helpful to sketch them out on the grid to make sure the proportions fit the image I have in my mind. I also use colored pencils to play with the color values and hues. Not that my projects always turn out like the sketches, but it makes a good starting point.

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  11. I sketch out my quilts. I often even sketch out quilts from books and the internet to get them just the way I want them. I love the new Twistable colored pencils from Crayola to color my graphs.
    I've determined that even if I'm following a pattern, there are usually parts that I want to change.

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  12. Your block looks super cute.Have a happy sewing week!

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  13. Oooh, tantalising sneaky peeks! I sometimes sketch really freehand on plain old printer paper, sometimes use squared paper, but most of the time just wing it, occasionally with scribblings of maths calculations on a teeny bit of paper from a memo cube (because obviously I wouldn't want to make it too easy on myself o.O)

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  14. I use both - sketching on paper and computer designs. It really depends on the quilt idea, and where I am when it hits me. Both work equally well for me.
    And I can't wait to see your Wine Cellar quilt - sounds like it's right up my alley, as a red wine lover whose shop/blog name is Cotton Cellar! :) I'll be watching to see what you've got planned.

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  15. Sketching is high on my list before starting any complicated project, otherwise I can't keep the ides straight in my head. Plus, if I have put the project aside for any length of time, I tend to forget what my exact plans were, so the sketches refresh my memory.

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  16. I love the look of that stack of QAYG blocks - Cant wait to see the finale- I started with a sketchbook then quickly went to a 3ring binder with clear sleeves. I put any sketches with scraps of fabric I intend to use, and I also put patterns and pctures from magazines or whatever inspires me together with either a list of the fabric I want to use or scraps.I am not very good at drawing but I do it anyway! lol. I think it helps because I do not have a large design wall - only 3x4 ft- so I can at least see the block or quilt before I start - Being fairly new it really helps for me to stay organized.

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  17. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished Ant quilt!

    I usually sketch out a quilt if I am not making something from a pattern. My most recent plan was fine math-wise, the colors I selected all "go" together, and my values are balanced, but I didn't like the actual look of the quilt once I started arranging the squares. So, back to the mental drawing board until I figure out what I need to tweak to make it work! I'll probably move onto something else in the meantime. I plan on tackling your QAG approach for whatever I start next. My machine quilting skills need some work!

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    1. That's exactly what happened to me last night when I finally started working with my plan for the Kona Wine fabrics and those sketch prints. Darn! It just doesn't work, so back to the drawing board for me as well!

      Be sure to share with me any QAYG projects you do! All I have to do is add the binding and take photos of this new one -- I'm excited!!

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  18. I like to plan, sketch and document. So far, my quilts have been pretty improvisational, with any planning done in my head to start with, and then maybe built on with sketches as I go. This has lead to lots of sketches, due to the many possibilities, so I'm now developing a couple of designs fully before I start, which will probably lead to yet more ideas and possibilities. The process of design and developing ideas is, for me, worthwhile in its own right, even without finishing every idea. That would be impossible! :-)

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    1. Yes! My son Kaiden looked through my sketchbook yesterday and said, Mom, you'll never be able to make all these!" And I replied, Yes, probably not, but there is a better chance that I will see more of my ideas become actual quilts, than I would without writing those ideas out." :)

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  19. Your quilt is looking great Maureen! I jot my ideas down with pen and paper. Quick sketches so I don't lose those thoughts. Then I use an old, old version of EQ (I think it's version 4, lol) to make up the blocks/quilt and chose different colors. But so many times I just can't use the EQ for my designs and I end up drawing the whole pattern out and using colored pencils. I have lots of notebooks full :) lol, have fun!

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  20. These log cabin blocks are fabulous! I admire your Quilt-As-You-Go, I haven't mastered this technique yet.

    The Moona bundle from your Aug-2 giveaway has arrived today! Thanks a million again! Here's the link to my blog post: http://naehtante.blogspot.de/2013/08/surprise-mail.html

    Best wishes, Barbara

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  21. I sketch. Use graph paper and color pencils. Let kids I am quilting for help too if they want. Helps me to plan it all out quantity of fabric, colors, etc. Did you see my new baby quilt I posted on FB???

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    1. No Michelle, I don't think I have seen it? Did you post it on my page? Feel free to email me a pic at maureencracknell@hotmail.com

      :) Maureen

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  22. I use graph paper every time I design a quilt. I cannot live without it. I look forward to seeing what you make with the new stack of fabric!

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  23. I start by sketching in my gridded 8.5x5.5" notebook to get a general idea, and then I go to either illustrator or indesign depending on what I need to figure out. Usually full quilts get laid out in indesign because I can work at full size. At minimum I'll figure out what size blocks I want to use and what the final size of the quilt will be to make sure it falls within a standard batting size if I'm planning to quilt it myself. Sometimes I go for a more detailed sketch if I want to know how many pieces to cut for example. I like to do all my cutting up front so I keep that in mind as well.

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  24. Very rarely have I used sketches for quilt ideas. I usually just dive right in. I love that Kona + text stack!

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