Some have asked why I don’t post a sketch of a new quilt design that I’m working on. Here’s the reason why: Even after I think I’m done with the design, having played around with countless versions on EQ6, things still end up changing before I’m done with the actual quilt. It’s one thing to look at a design on the screen or even on paper. It’s quite another when you’re actually working on the real thing in actual size.
Case in point, my new Driftwood quilt. For the last few days, I have been working on my “practice” block using my own fabrics to make sure all my dimensions are correct and to work out the pressing directions. I kept looking at that block on the design wall and something just wasn’t quite right. Couldn’t put my finger on it until tonight when I realized that my color placement just wasn’t working. I still love all of the fabrics I selected for the quilt, just not in the same places as I had originally thought. Fortunately, the yardages work out and I have enough for the changes.
Even before I realized there was an issue with the block, I realized I had to change the border, too. Originally, I had just a plain border. I don’t like plain borders! Something had to be done! So now, the border will be pieced in a design I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Here’s my opportunity!
I will say that Driftwood is loosely inspired by my Paradise Squared quilt. A number of my friends have asked me to pattern this quilt (see the Quilt Gallery tab on my website www.HelleMayDesigns.com), but I can’t even imagine where I would start.
The quilt was designed for my first guild challenge. The requirements were that it couldn’t be square, it had to have a flower, and there had to be some orange fabric. First thing that came to my mind was the Bird of Paradise flower. Then somehow I decided I wanted to base the quilt on the Card Trick block.
I went to the library and photocopied a picture of the flower. Then I set about simplifying the photo into a drawing and then a paper-peiced pattern. The whole quilt, including the borders, was paper-pieced from hand-drawn freezer paper foundations. It took me 3 months to complete the design. I think each flower was done in at least 4 sections. The black stamen were machine appliqued on top. When I finally went to sew it all together, I realized I had also created a pattern requiring multiple inset seams – AHHH!!! Somehow it all came together in the end and it is still my favorite quilt. Aside from a few practice blocks this was my first paper-pieced project!
So for now, I hope those who like Paradise Squared will settle for Driftwood!