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Designing the Piece

Some fabrics stand on their own and others are components for a larger work. When I have my color palette assembled, I preview them on my design wall. Then I start cutting, pinning, unpinning, and auditioning different ideas.


Sewing comes later and then the finishing process of blocking, quilting, and binding the edges. All my wall quilts have a fabric sleeve on the back so they can be hung easily and invisibly.

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When I have a rough plan in mind, I start cutting and piecing. I enjoy strip piecing but also use freeform piecing. It depends on the fabric and how to utilize its best features. The finished piece invariably morphs into something different than my first plan. Sometimes that is disappointing and sometimes that is great. 

Previewing fabrics on a design wall or creating color palettes is usually the first step. It helps to view fabric at eye level and see if the colors play well together. The fabric on the left became throw pillows and the fabric below is a work in progress. 

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After the pieces are sewn together, it is blocked flat to square it up. Then it is layered with a quilt batting and a backing fabric and the three layers are sewn together using a machine or by hand.

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I usually machine quilt but have great respect for the hand quilters out there. Most of them are excellent and probably don't stab their hands as much as I do/did.

On the left is a close up of the machine quilting on Solar Crust. It is functional in that it stitches the 3 layers together and also decorative, mimicking the patterns of the rust printed cloth.

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