Friday, August 19, 2011

Strip pieced watercolor--Part 3 Design time

Part 1 was on prep and layout, part 2 was on the sewing and cutting.  One note and correction point on part 2:  I said  it would take 3 hours sewing time....that was a long guess.  I can put together strips cut from FQ and get 10 blocks in 45 minutes, and  full width cuts in about 1 1/2 hours.  I sew fast and know the technique, but I think a more reasonable time is 2 hours max.  

Part 3 is Design Time!
This is the part I love.  Just me and the design wall and a stack of blocks to play with!
  How about a wreath.....the center area would be great for applique. Uses 16 blocks,  4 across by 4 down.    Remember these blocks will finish at 5 1/2", so this will be small. 

Or another arrangement that uses just 16  blocks, 4 across by 4 down.  Concentrate the dark areas and create  a small wall hanging or table topper.  

Now...I really like this layout.  A simple streak of lightning layout of dark areas and light areas.  The layout is like using log cabin blocks.    Add  a few more sets of  blocks and create a throw size.  Or turn this size into a wall hanging and add applique vines and a border.  I used 25 blocks for this one,  5 across and 5 down. 

How about a star?  It doesn't show real well in the photo, but on the design!  I really like this too.  I used 24 blocks for this one....4 across and 6 down.  The effect could be stronger for this....I will refer back to it later.

   I know, you are asking, where is the heart?  Well, I came up 2 blocks short on it.  But I managed to get a passable heart layout.  The minimum number of blocks needed for a heart is 36. 

To get a good heart shape, you need at least 20 blocks that have a very strong "log cabin appearance".  By that I mean, half light and half dark fabrics.    Tip to get the heart shape:  Start at the bottom and create the center.  Work up one side, establishing the dark line.  Then go to the other side and duplicate the first side.   

I was working with 3 sets of blocks made from short strips and fat quarter strips.  . 
 This photo shows one block from each set of blocks that I made.  
  The first block on the top left  is mainly medium fabrics with a strong dark corner at the bottom. It is more "muted or muddy", and it good for the streak of lightning layout.  It has the "log cabin" look of half dark and half medium to light. 
  The block at the bottom left has  a stronger dark side, and a stronger light side.  This is the type of fabric  layout  I need to create a stonger star effect.  The more the block resembles a log cabin, the better. 
  The third block on the right.....a blended and muted block overall.  I put lights at opposite corners, and darks at the other opposing corners, and filled in with mediums.  This block is used in the center area of the heart.  If you are interested in doing a heart, you will need 4 to 6 blocks that are more light and medium for that center area.   
  So, you can see that  your layout is influenced by the darkness/lightness  of the block.  Be sure to include the darks, which  many people are afraid to use.  The eye sees the dark first.  The star design would be stronger with more darks in the blocks. 

  One last thing,  this technique is easy but can be intimidating.  Don't let that stop you.  Study the fabrics I use and in quilts you see online and in books.  Be willing to try something simple first.  Get a value viewer
(or ruby beholder), or use a door peephole in reverse, take photos. 

This book by Deanna Spingola contains lots of photos and ideas.  And.... features a quilt by Wanda.  Don't forget to check out her color wash quilts and other blog for fabrics that are perfect for this technique.  I hear the fabrics are moving quickly.
NOTE:  The links were wrong, but are now corrected.

So what's your favorite? See anything you want to try?  I hope so.
 I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.  Please let me know if you have questions or if there is something I need to explain better.  I'd love to hear from you, and see what you create.  Send me a photo! 
 I need to make a few ---or a lot---more block sets, and get the Summer of Love quilted, and make the label, and there's bread to bake for Sunday..........Happy stitching. 


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Now you have me wanting to make some more blocks!!!

Cheryl said...

Oh My goodness Deb !! I love the 3rd one and the heart, but all of them are fantastic ! You are making me want to get busy now ,I have been slacking off too long !
Are you going to don one of each? :->

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,

All of those colors were so pretty.

BFF, Doreen

Cheryl said...

Wow!! They are all so beautiful !! I have got to get busy and start making more like these I Love watercolor quilts !
I also like the new idea with the handle strips, I make bags quite a bit and this is a good idea !
Thanks for your inspiration !!!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful tutorial! You've made such a beautiful design.

Nataly De Biase said...

Fantástico! Estou apaixonada e me sinto segura com a sua explicação para iniciar. Obrigada por compartilhar!

Loopy Lou said...

This tutorial has really cleared up some things for me. With the heart if I only want to highlight the heart, I would obviously need some lighter blocks on the outside also?
Is the size limitless with a 16 block square can I just keep rearranging to create a bigger heart, would it work on a queen size quilt, or would it be too warped at that size?
Thanks so much. :)

Debbie said...

Glad it helped. Sorry I can't reply to you personally as you don't have a linked email. Make the heart as large as you want with the layout of blocks. The blocks will take more darks for creating a strong enough heart visually.

Lobstermama64 said...

This is wonderful as I begin to clear up my stash. Please note I said clear up, not out. My older florals will be fabulous.
Did I miss where it gave the size this would turn out? Thanks sew much, Mary

Debbie said...

To Mary:
This will be as large as you want depending on the size of the block you make and how many. You are a no-reply commenter and I can not converse with you because of that. Sorry.

Christie said...

You are so talented. I'd like to see the interfacing and cutting in more detailed. Is there any other blogs or videos you recommend?

Unknown said...

Where did you get all these florals print fabrics?

susan said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to create and post the tutorial!
I am so enspired!!!!

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