Friday, June 11, 2010

Clear Blue Sky--Concept

As I mentioned previously, I recently made a baby quilt for an online friend expecting her first child. Since I didn't want to spoil the surprise, I kept quiet about this quilt until after she received it. (Not easy to do!) I took plenty of photos along the way though, and I'd like to share those photos and my creative process with you over several posts.

The idea came to me as soon as I heard the announcement that K, my friend, was pregnant. This baby needed a quilt with planes. K works for an aerospace company designing airplane controls. She was getting her pilot's license (and has since completed it!). And her hubby likes planes too (I checked).

The problem was I didn't really know what sort of planes or where to start. I spent some time perusing Flickr and googling, but nothing was jumping out at me. The idea might have died there, but on my third or fourth idle search, I found something. Something simple. Something forgiving. Something I could make my own. A wonky plane block. I had recently started my wonky rainbow squares quilt and was loving how the "wonky" part reduced the stress of seam matching and let me focus on the fun parts.

So I started sketching and came up with a layout for the front:

Blue Clear Sky

And the back:

Blue Clear Sky

It was at this point I went fabric shopping. I bought the cloud fabric first, online. After much searching and debating and hemming and hawing when I saw this one, I knew. So I bought 4 yards.

Blue Clear Sky

And took it to my local fabric shop to try and match it with a dark purpley blue (K's favorite color) for the binding and find some cheerful colors for the planes. The purpley blue thing didn't work out quite as I hoped, but I liked the little white spots, they reminded me of stars. Which lends itself to a "daytime sky" / "nighttime sky" kind of story.

Blue Clear Sky

At this point, I decided I should probably sketch up an exact layout.

Blue Clear Sky

And then, since I knew how I wanted the blocks to fit together, I took a whole lot of the free-form, lets-embrace-the-process love right out of the wonky blocks. I did lots of math. I worked backwards from my final quilt size to my block sizes to my cut lengths. For all zillionty blocks. And, truth be told, I liked it.

Blue Clear Sky

After some prewashing and an eternity of some ironing, I was ready to start cutting! Stay tuned for the next post where I'll talk through my piecing process and the reasons for some of my on-the-fly design changes.

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing your process. If I ever get my next sketch started, I am going to blog it too!


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