More on design of OM #6

I have the luxury of some time off work right now and am blogging daily for a while to make sure I get the hang of doing this correctly, especially the downloading of pictures for the blog.  I know this pace won’t continue, especially once I am back to work full time, but am enjoying this new challenge right now! 

I’m going to share more of how Oriental Meditation #6 evolved.  The inspiration was a box of leftover stips of oriental fabrics from Oriental Meditation #4 (you can see it on my web site).  I liked these fabrics enough not to want to waste them and to want to continue working with them.  My original thought was to make verticle rows of strips at 60 degree angles, each row going the opposite way so that the entire quilt would look like a verticle zig zag.  I thought this would be interesting geometrically and that the patterns on the strips would add interest.  I figured the border would eventually be inspired by how the strips looked.  I knew I would paper piece the strips but since these would be long strips I decided to create a templace for a “block” with 14 strips so it wouldn’t get too unwieldy and then sew the strips together.  Here are the templates, one of the “zig” row and one for the “zag” row:


However, once I created these templates and put them side by side, I realized I could make tall cubed blocks that look like either boxes or very high steps by filling in the diamond shape at the top of the junction of the templates and I thought this would be much more interesting!  I also played around with value and realized it might be interesting to have alternating rows of light and dark tall boxes or steps and I could also shade the light steps so that it looks like a light source is making the right side of each step lighter.  I used the lightest value of fabrics for those sides and medium values for the other side.  The darker steps looked OK without shading.  Here’s a closer view than yesterday’s picture:


Initially I tried 4 “boxes” vertically and 4 horizontally with no filler for the edges.  I had this centered and thought about appliqueing designs along the open areas along the upper right and lower left parts of the quilt top.   That didn’t look right.  Then I moved the blocks to the side and thought I would have water and sky on the right third of the quilt and make it look like the steps were coming out of the water.  I thought I would applique wisteria vines coming down from the top and other water plants below.  I even started to make those vines:


Then I decided that didn’t look right either!!!  I finally decided it was better to just have a full “geometric” center with the edges filled in and not try to get fancy with applique on this project.  This made me realize the center needed to be larger so I increased the size to 6 blocks horizontally and 5 vertically.  Adding these extra rows after the others were done was a major piecing challenge!  

Over several months as this top was finally coming together, I considered many options for borders, including the possiblity of complicated applique.   I absolutely love quilts with interesting borders and feel strongly that almost any quilt can be improved with a good border so this decision was important for me.  I really wanted to finish this project without having to devote many more months (or even years) to an appliqued border so I cut some strips of beautiful large print orientals and pinned them up around the edges of the quilt and I am very happy with how they look.  So…it shouildn’t be long before this top is completed and I can get it quilted!  And move on to other projects!

I hope you find the creative process as interesting as I do.  I’m sure this happens with all the arts. Ideas/creations evolve and change over time and emerge completed at some point, will all kinds of things playing a role in determining how the finished creation looks, sounds, feels, etc. and when it is finished and doesn’t need any more work.

Thanks for stopping by.



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