Friday, 16 October 2009

My Design Wall

When I first started quilting, I didn't have a design wall.  I didn't see the need, since the pattern told me how all the pieces went together, and I don't generally do scrappy quilts so there was no need to lay out all the blocks to determine how to fit them together.   That only lasted until the first time I put a block together upside down.  At that point, at least one of the benefits of a design wall became very apparent.

Once I had a wall, it was used for more and more quilts.  I use it now to organize blocks while I sew them together, to audition border fabrics and designs, and as a place to put a quilt or block while I ponder the colours for the quilt.  Many quilts have changed after a few days hanging on the wall.

Even to this day my wall is a bit limited - about 6 feet by 40 inches - not exactly large enough to hold a full quilt.  But it does the job.  I often pieces the quilt strips together vertically, and hang them from the design wall as I attach the strips.  Or place blocks overlapping to get the very most I can onto the small area. 

Today, my design wall is helping me decide on the fabrics for my next quilty.  My first choice doesn't work. That was obvious as soon as I put the first blocks up.

I had planned simply to figure out the placement of the various fussy-cut critters.  But as soon as I had it up, I knew it wasn't going to work out.  The patterned blocks just disappear into the yellow and red.  What I thought was a nice colour match turned into a busy mess that confuses the eye.

So now on the wall are the next 2 options. I hope one of these will work out.  I'll leave them up for a few days, and the one that draws my eye the most when I walk into my sewing room will become quilty #2.

And now I have a secondary design wall.  Moving this contemplation onto my computer allows me to work with pictures rather than the actual blocks.  I can resize, to see what the quilt looks like closer and farther away, and get a feel for the overall impression - easier than can sometimes be done on a design wall in a restricted space.

And, the added bonus.  By bringing my thoughts to my blog, I can bring other quilters into my room to give their opinions on the options.  So - what do you think?  I'm leaning towards the cars on the left - the red & yellow don't really match the print, but the overall effect seems interesting.

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