Monday, June 15, 2015

Mandala Monday - Fabric Creativity

I joined up with a Facebook group for support on doing the La Passacaglia quilt.  It's TONS of hand piecing, a project I can do with Lady K in the background and it be portable.  I had started a bit of it with a solid center rather than a pieced center for 4 or 5 of the rosettes in the quilt.  Yesterday I got out the fabric with the intent on cutting out many of the rosettes.  There are 39 rosettes in this quilt.  Some of them are large, some small.  Some of full complete, some aren't as they merge in with other rosettes.

I knew I needed to get more organized and systematic with constructing this quilt.  There are 5 rosettes which are singles and I decided to use my solid center ones for those.  I then selected one as Rosette #1 and cut out the remaining pieces necessary for completion.  

I used the same fabric I used for the center in other pieces I needed, mainly selecting the lighter parts and not the herons themselves.  Although I thread basted the original pieces, I glue basted the new parts.  I now have the dark blue ring sewn together and ready to sew to the center and have started on the stars and diamonds which fit onto the dark rind.  This ring is going to be a bit dark compared to some I have in mind.

This is Rosette #2, which is a large one.  I fussy cut flowers for the center.  After cutting out pieces for #1 and #2, I was exhausted.  For #2 alone, there are 238 pieces you cut out.

Since I am trying to stay organized so I can pick up and put down and know where I am (and know what additional fabric I might be looking for), I took pictures of my fabric selections and sent it to myself on my phone as a backup.

My design board is also my cutting table at this time.  I have two large particle boards covered with batting and flannel and duct taped together.  It folds in half and I can lay it on my bed as a cutting board.  Not exactly the correct height, but it's better than anything else I have available.

I am keeping rosette pieces in a plastic divider, along with my papers I have printed off and cut out.  I have made some notes to make it easier to know what and how many to cut out on each rosette.

I also have a sketchbook I use to keep track of projects I complete.  I am just gluing down scraps of most of the fabrics I am using for the quilt.  I also have a page for additional notes to myself as to what each rosette is and how far I am along on it.

Needles to say, this is not a 'quickie' by any means.  Just cutting out the pieces needed for one rosette takes an hour or so.  More if you are fussy cutting a lot of the pieces. But I am learning many things while doing this quilt...

  • The support of a stitching community is important, especially on such a large project.  The inspiration received on a daily basis is fantastic and it helps keep me motivated.
  • Creativity is exhausting mentally!  Putting together a range of 5-8 fabrics and trying to envision how they will finally all go together in a round is, on one hand, fun and exciting, on the other, a bit nerve wracking and second guessing yourself.
  • Quilting is exhausting physically too.  Cutting out all those pieces and making sure you have enough of each one.  Bending over a cutting board.  Cutting out paper pieces (I think the expense of purchasing the papers might be worth it on the next one!)
  • Already thinking this is a quilt I will be sending to a professional for quilting.  It's going to be too big for me and my little machine to handle, beyond the fact with all the effort going into hand piecing the top, I want it quilted well and with a bit of flare.
  • I have to stay organized on this quilt.  No way I can just 'slash and go' on this one.
  • The handwork is meditative.  It's very repetitive and once you get things cut out and basting and stitching the pieces together is very calming, at least it is for me.
As I get the rosettes actually put together, I will share my process.  It's going to be a llllooonnnnnggggg journey!


  1. Beautiful fabrics!

  2. Anonymous9:43 PM

    Fun, exciting, and exhausting, describe perfectly the creative process. Choosing fabric is one of my favorite parts of quilting and it always takes more time (glorious time!) than I remember. Your choices are wonderful!


Thanks for commenting. It means a lot.