Monday, June 18, 2012

Improv Robots - say what now?

Robot-guyThe challenge for the Design Camp [think outside the block] June Camp 2 is Improv Robots. Super cool idea, but a bit daunting. The idea of making a robot-anything is hard enough, but make one without a pattern or plan? Yikes! It took me a while to figure out my method, but here is a snapshot of what I did.
Step one: research images vintage robots. This was super fun and inspiring. I found this image, printed it out and hung it over my work space.

Step two: Cut out the basic shapes
I thought it would make it easier if I started with the main body pieces and filled in the details. Here is what I started with:
Robot-guy WIP
Step three: Details! I just went for it. I started to build out the sections bit by bit, adding sashing to fit the parts together. I think the face was the hardest part. The expression was going to give this guy his overall mood and I wanted him to be happy. A tall order and alot of tiny pieces later here is Robot-guy!
Robot-guy DC Camp 2

I want to give credit to Linda from Surrounded by Scraps for inspiring me to try this without over analyzing the project. She was the first in the group to post her robot and it is adorable! She shared her process on her blog which helped me to get started. Thanks Linda!

My 13 year-old daughter thought this was the 'coolest thing' I've ever made. She has requested I make her an improv dinosaur quilt. Sure - that should be easy (not!). The other challenges this month have also been fun: Camp three is 'frame it.' Melissa asked up to 'create a work of art' and then frame it with the Kona Snow sashing. Here is my block for that camp:
Frame it! Design Camp 3 June Block
And for Camp 1 we are doing 9" x 12" mini quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. More to come on that project soon!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Park Blocks: Quilting Between the Vines

Okay, truth be told: I enjoy a good pun or play on words. Please indulge me, forgive my cheekiness, and let me share my first digitized quilting pattern with you: Vines!
I designed this for my Design Camp [think outside the block] Bee Park Blocks quilt. After I had pieced the top and the back I just kept thinking it needed vines. I thought about quilting it by hand, but wasn't sure this was the right project for that; mainly because I needed to finish it for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show PMQG exhibit in July. I decided to try a different approach. I had this image of vines in my head, so I drew it in an Illustrator file and sent it to my go-to longarm quilter Nancy Stovel.
Nancy gave me a call when she got the digitized file back. We played with it on her computer, creating the layout and scale of the repeat. I should add that Nancy is VERY patient and always spends way more time with me then I deserve (Thanks Nancy!).
Vines (up close)
I was super nervous and excited to pick up the quilt. I couldn't have been more pleased! Now I can't stop thinking of all the possibilities for new digital quilting designs! I also picked up a beautiful linen cotton at Cool Cottons for the binding. It matches the tea-dyed muslin color perfectly. I know what I will be doing this weekend!
Design Camp improv quilt top