Playing With Solids

The double whammy of the recent Circular Abstractions bulls eye quilt exhibit and a quilt group program on Nancy Crow’s design methods led me to pull out all my saved solid fabric strips and sew them together. I hope this link to Pinterest gives you an idea of the exercises students do in Nancy’s workshops. She offers several multi-day classes that range from beginner to expert.

My design wall became colonized by stripey units in various stages – just stripes, units cut from stripes, units with added cross stripes… As always, it’s fascinating to see which colors enhance each other and which just stick out their tongues at each other. So far I’ve worked only from scraps, though some of the scraps are about fat quarter size. If I want to make larger units I may have to break into stash.

For now I’ll set these assemblages aside to mellow a bit and wait for further inspiration. My fellow group members had fun playing with strips. Here are some of their efforts.

You begin Nancy’s workshop with lots of strip piecing, which you then build into units, and finally you do an overall composition. Since I made my units above before our group program I didn’t exactly follow Nancy’s dictates.

I learned that Nancy takes away everyone’s ruler after a few days; that she wants you to cut towards, rather than away, from you (I find that scary); and that she wants you to backstitch at the start and finish of seams.The ruler thing is amusing as Nancy once lent her name to an acrylic ruler.

I also learned she uses the same rotary cutter blade for a long time, even up to a year. Apparently she doesn’t sharpen it. We all wondered how that was possible, given the amount of cutting involved with her method.

All that cutting is the reason I won’t be adopting Nancy’s methods in a big way. Pressing down to get through multiple fabric layers and seams doesn’t do my shoulder any good. I plan to develop some of my starts further, but after that, who knows.


Filed under In Process, Modern Quilting, Project Ideas, Techniques

6 responses to “Playing With Solids

  1. Your pieces look like the starts of some things fabulous. I especially like the gold and browns with “zippering” effect.

    I like solids but generally use them as just one component of color, with patterns mixed in. (And you may have noticed, the patterns I like have gotten more wild over time.) That said, I do have a project waiting for me to return to it, and it is just solids. It will wait a bit longer…

    • I’ve been playing with two of these starts and have put the rest in the marination drawer. Occasionally I do all solids, but often work in some mottled or small patterns. Yes, I’ve noticed your patterned fabrics have gotten looser. I put it down to turnover in your stash and the effects you’re going for with your medallions.

  2. Barbara

    I have been using more solids but it is just too much fun playing prints off each other, and you just can’t fussy cut a solid…

  3. These are fun, although the the idea of no ruler (and cutting toward myself) would scare me, too. I like solids, though–I think I could be happy just using solids for the duration.

    • I can do the no ruler cutting in some circumstances, but only cutting away from myself. And solids lovers are spoiled for choice with the variety of colors available these days.

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