Friday, February 18, 2011

Ikea, Patchwork and Me!

My name is Mary Kenyon and I am an Art Quilter!  It is my personal belief that assembling a patchwork pattern is about as fun as assembling Ikea furniture... too many pieces and instructions that make no sense! Now don't get me wrong I love patchwork when made by other people, but my mind works in color and texture not numbers and angles... patchwork is just not for me. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was when my boss asked me to make a patchwork sample for the shop. Ledra however is the best boss I have ever had and one of the smartest people I have ever known so for her the answer is always YES!

Picking fabrics is of course my favorite part of a new project. For this one I chose fabrics from several new lines, most namely Anna Griffen "Fifi & Fido" (love!), Moda "Basic Greys", Marcus Bros. "Griddled Circles" and my favorite a nice pale green form the Jinny Beyer Palette (love love love Jinny Beyer).  They all felt crisp, clean, light and airy. I wanted this quilt to feel like Spring! I may hate patchwork but I LOVE Spring!

For my pattern I chose a new one from Swirly Girls "Perfect Ten". I like Swirly Girls for several reasons, they are from VA. their quilts are always simple and bright and generally sell themselves. Plus they are well packaged and my art brain just loves that. So anyways this one called for 10 fat quarters, an accent fabric and a border print. Seemed simple enough... leave it to me to the fuck that all up! 

Being an art quilter it is against my nature to follow the rules so first I decided that I wanted to use Fido and Fifi in each of the framed blocks. I whipped those up quick and they came out looking pretty cute! I was starting to feel good about this whole patchwork thing....

Then to insure the rest of my quilt was still perfectly balanced I  spent the next 30 min studying the cover deciding which fabrics I wanted where. Now all I had to do was match up my fabrics to the pattern illustration.... Right? WRONG!

Look closely the fabric placement on the cover does NOT match the placement in the pattern illustration! I repeat they do not match!!!! They also call for an extra 4 1/2in block they forget to tell you to cut. Apparently this is a common occurrence in the world of patchwork but to an art quilter it's like torture!  

This is about the point in the day when I start stomping around, cussing patchwork, cussing Ikea... my co-workers of course are laughing as I begin flinging squares around trying to make some sense out of it all! 

Finally after and hour or so of rearranging and bitching, bitching and rearranging I ended up with a 9 fat quarter quilt that was bright and balanced... and nothing like the actual pattern layout.
 Oh Design wall what would I do without you?

Once the high drama was over I sat down to sew this baby up. I chose the 820 again for its large workspace. Thankfully she was being very well behaved and the quilt came together pretty easily. So by then end of the work day I had the completed top (minus the border) and one happy boss lady! 

I shall call her "Balanced Nine" lol

All in all I think it came out pretty cute... and it really wasn't that difficult. The Swirly Girls pattern was simple and easy and as long as you are not an OCD, Ikea hating, art quilter like me I would highly recommend it. 

P.S. I hate patchwork! 

1 comment:

  1. OMG, LOL, love it you are tooo funny. I do patchwork everyday, like a job and love it. Currently designing my own patterns. Would probably give you a headache if you had to do one of mine if simple blocks give you trouble, but hmmmm maybe someday you could try. I am a patchwork quilter and you are an art quilter, and I would love to have your talent. Hoping to try it someday, but right now so busy making new (patchwork) patterns.