Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Will Happen Next?

upcycled men's plaid shirt

Last September I cut out six or seven of these little plaid baskets and stitched the edges under, but couldn't decide on backgrounds, or even the next step for them.

upcycled men's plaid shirt

They are a little over 8" high and almost as wide.  I love them.  But they've been languishing, waiting for the next step.

upcycled men's plaid shirt

I finally began stitching them to backgrounds last week.  I keep having to remind myself that truly, choosing backgrounds for these baskets is not rocket science.  It's no big deal.  It's a little decision that is of little consequence.

As I've been stitching on these I keep wondering what will happen to them next.  As if some other entity will act on them and choose their outcome.  The wind will blow and suddenly the baskets will land on their perfect backgrounds.  As if I'm not the one choosing the next steps for these baskets, choosing the colors, the backgrounds, the contents of the baskets, how they will be added to and finished.  I think it's because I don't begin with a finish in mind.  I make a decision and take the first step, and then have to decide what next, and what next after that.  What will become of them, indeed!  I don't know but I know inspiration will strike, an idea will come, and then I'll know what will happen next.

I have leftover pieces from Cheri's Baskets of Plenty blocks.  I'm just playing for now, but maybe some of this is what will happen to these blocks next.  Or maybe something else.

upcycled men's plaid shirt
If you're creating your own pattern for a quilt do you begin a quilt with an end in mind or do you decide as you go along?

I'm linking this post to
> WOW (WIPs on Wednesday) at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social #172 at Sew Fresh Quilts
> Midweek Makers #66 at Quilt Fabrication
> Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
> Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Thanks for hosting, ladies.

--Nancy.
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23 comments:

  1. I design as I go, depends on what fabric I have to hand, and how big each piece is. I never buy big bits! I aim for something in my mind and it always looks different! If it feels too empty I sometimes google image something like 'Easter basket' to get ideas, but it just helps to look and think and try something and then the quilt grows. I'm making an Easter quilt with eggs on it, the bottom of each egg is flippy! My kids will enjoy it (I think!)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your design process. Google's great for getting more ideas. Your Easter quilt sounds fun for little ones, ES. Because you are a "no-reply" blogger and because your blog isn't linked to your blogger profile, I don't know who you are or how to get to your blog. Want to share that info?

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  2. I am pretty much a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. That being said, I am more likely to use a pattern and follow it with only minor variation. I admire your desire to create something of your own.

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    1. Thanks for sharing a bit about your process, Jennie. It sounds like you are adaptable when it comes to using patterns. The desire to create my own patterns doesn't always equal success, though....

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  3. I almost never have a complete picture in my head of what a particular quilt will be. Even when I am doing a sew-a-long, I seem to meander off in another direction. I enjoy the creative process as much as the physical stitching. Love you baskets! Can't wait to see where they go in the end.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your process, Wendy. Yes, it's hard to stick to someone else's "program" -- at least for me. Thanks for your comments about the baskets. They've taken a while to get off the ground and may take just as long or longer to come to a finish (but I hope not too long).

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  4. I am in love with your plaid baskets...I know you will fill them with flowers and lovely things! Pretty!!

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    1. Thank you for your confidence, Julie. I appreciate it.

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  5. Your post reminded me of when I made my younger daughter's wedding dress. She decided on a neckline, then she made a decision on the sleeves, soon she had decided on a lace up back and a beaded bodice. I had no idea what the whole dress was going to look like because she could never find a pattern she liked and so she made it up as we went along. I decided that any talent I had for sewing had been given to me so I could make that dress. It turned out rather well considering. . .

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    1. Oh, my, Robin! You must be a fabulous seamstress to be able to create a wedding dress that way. Your description of the process almost sends fear up my fingers. When I sew clothes I doggedly follow the pattern other than widening a skirt or narrowing a seam. I wish I had your skill! I'd love to see a photo.

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  6. I like the flowers and bird you've got going to fill the baskets. What about a bunny? Or some vegetables? As for planning a quilt, I go both ways - sometimes see the end and sometimes not.
    Thank you for sharing on Midweek Makers!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. It's interesting how we don't always work the same way, isn't it?

      I didn't make the connection between these baskets and Easter baskets until others alluded to tit. So maybe a bunny. I've never done a bunny before but.... And maybe vegetables, too. We'll see what evolves.

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  7. I know exactly what you mean when you say another force is making decisions. I have felt this also and tho it can feel scary, but it is always, if not a good thing, then a learning thing so you find out what you don't want to do! Very important this! Your baskets are just charming as well as your other work.

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    1. Hi, Pam. I guess the creative process sometimes just takes over. We can go with the flow or refuse, reconsider/reevaluate, and then pick up and move forward either with the flow or in a different direction. It's all so interesting.

      Thanks for your kind comments about the baskets. Just the simplest applique, unlike your gorgeous and detailed applique pieces!

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  8. Gosh, those are wonderful baskets! I love the shape of them. You are tempting me to drag out all my plaid shirts and start cutting! I usually fly by the seat of my pants, but sometimes I have a start-to-finish plan.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I really like the shape, too, and the chunky handles. I suppose they are my ideal baskets if I'm thinking about applique.

      I love the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude. It sometimes causes me problems but then I have to figure out a way through the problem.

      I'll look forward to your baskets if you choose to make some!

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  9. I think I remember these baskets Nancy and commenting on how cute they were. They definitely deserve backgrounds and embellishments. They are reminiscent of the Cheri baskets. Still considering jumping in with that one now that my Tuesday Flowers are in hand.

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    1. Yes, Jocelyn, these baskets have been in at least one or two other blog posts. They were resting for a while. I haven't seen Cheri-style baskets quite like these yet but I agree they do lean that way. Yes, do jump in on Cheri's Baskets of Plenty. If you do I'll look forward to seeing your baskets.

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  10. Hello Nancy, I remember those baskets! I still love them, especially the one with the red plaid on the biais. I might borrow that idea ... As for the process, I sometimes make a quick sketch (even though I can't draw) to get a sense of scale and then take pictures with bits of fabric (some do it with coloured bits of paper from ads in magazines) pinned to the background to see which arrangement I like best! Good luck with your project.

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    1. Hi, Beatrice. I do sometimes make little sketches, too, but I like your idea of using bits of fabric or paper from magazines to help get an idea for colors and arrangements. I'll have to give that a try. It seems like I have to cut out the shapes (for applique) to really get an idea. I'm still relatively new to applique so there's lots to learn, and lots of ways to try things out.

      I think that red plaid is my favorite basket, too.

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  11. I love your baskets! The "traditionally masculine" plaid fabric is softened by the shape! What a great combination! I love it! Your flowers and bird are so well done! Though I've only been quilting for 5 years, I've only followed one pattern! I usually have an idea of what I want to do, but the quilt sort of speaks to me as to what it should be....I do get input from my husband, daughter and LQS regarding accent color selection. Your work is so lovely! Thank you very much for sharing!

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  12. Thank you for your kind comment, Mia. The flowers and birds are not stitched yet, just placed and pin for "try-out." I'll make decisions about those after I have a few more baskets stitched.

    We sound similar in our approach to creating quilts. I don't believe I've ever used a pattern (except for Cheri Payne's Baskets of Plenty that I'm working on now). The few times that I've tried to use someone else's pattern, I've changed them in one or several ways.

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  13. It's hard to go wrong with the fabrics you are using, but I completely understand the 'not knowing' stage of quilt making. I too often fret over whether this fabric matches better than that one and honestly, like you said, it's not rocket science. Sometimes I do start with a pattern, but often times I just begin with some scraps or an inkling of an idea and who knows where that may lead, but then that's half the fun!

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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