Thursday, August 30, 2007

Quilter's Lasagna

For my log cabin I wrote about in the post before last, I am making the blocks "four fabric" blocks - a dark and a light brown opposite a dark and a light green or blue. (I may do some blocks that are green and blue opposite each other with no brown - undecided. There is no plan for this quilt). Using the four fabrics creates more of an optical illusion in the coloring, or that's my hope. In order to balance the two sides I am choosing the fabrics for each block individually - so rather than cutting a whole mess of pieces, or speed piecing (goodness no!) I am choosing four fabrics for each block and then cutting each block individually to keep it all straight and organized. Since I sit down and cut a bunch of blocks at a time I need some way of storing each block's strips until sewing. My best solution so far is this - quilter's lasagna. THe longest strip (12.5") almost fits perfectly across the lasagna pan. I can get four blocks in one layer, then a piece of paper to separate the layers, then four more blocks.


Not at all sophisticated, but it works. However there will be no actual lasagna until the quilt top is finished. However that is no big loss since it is WAY too hot to turn on the oven.

I'm realizing something about my quilt making "process" - I don't like to plan. I guess I knew that. I always kind of figured that I just started sewing without a plan because I was too anxious to start sewing and didn't want to wait, but I realize now that "making it up as I go along" is an important part of the process to me. When I have very little or no plan there are always "challenge" moments - like the moment when I have all the blocks done and have to get them to go together somehow - and the challenge moments are important to me. Maybe this just has to do with me being SUCH an attention defecit quilter - like the same reason I only make scrap quilts because using the same fabric over and over bores me to tears. When I DO start with a complete plan/design (an incomplete plan would be something like - okay the blocks will be blue, let's start sewing) I occasionally stick to it, but more often end up completely reworking it, either because I get bored with the plan or because I discovered that the planned design was way too static and boring. Not infrequently I can think of ways that my finished quilts would have benefited from a more complete design plan but - working without a plan keeps me sewing and I guess that's the important thing.


Stefanie said...

It works for you, so keep on. I do both, and usually sew scrap quilts when I am more tired and want something requiring less active brain power than other complicated premeditated projects.
Have fun.

Michael5000 said...

I remember those sets of Log Cabin strips! I never thought of them as lasagna noodles -- to me, they were like incredibly complicated award ribbons without the poofy ruffley circle on top. Lasagna makes more sense.

Your color combinations look terrific -- will we get to see the quilt come together?

Exuberant Color said...

My answer when people ask me what quilt I am making is "I don't know, I haven't see it yet". Mine are almost always unplanned and the surprises along the way are the only thing that keeps me working on it. Even if I use a pattern, I'll usually stray from it somewhere along the line and do my own thing. So....what this means is, you are doing great, don't stray from the way you like to work.

Andrea said...

I love scrappy quilts too and quite often start sewing without a plan in mind. I'm about to do a medallion quilt and will work out each border as I come to it. Should be fun. That's a clever way to keep your strips in order.

Feed Dog said...

Clever use of a lasagne pan! I know what you mean about real lasagne being out of the picture until the quilt's done—I used to quilt in my kitchen, which basically meant no cooking until projects got finished. And so the microwave went into overdrive...

jovaliquilts said...

I am just starting to work without a plan and it's terrifying. But also exhilarating. I am in awe of people like you who do that naturally!

I think by this weekend the weather will finally figure out that autumn is on the way. I can't wait!

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