Monday, May 11, 2009

Venturing Into the Unknown

"Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic."

(author unknown)

I've taken several workshops from Jane Sassaman, whom I adore, and I learned more than I can possibly put down on paper.  One technique she demonstrated was the "Ouija Method of Designing" -- difficult to describe without an accompanying video, but I'm going to try anyway.  

The idea is to create your design, make templates of the pieces you wish to appliqu√©, cut them out in your chosen fabrics, place them on your background on a horizontal surface according to your original layout, and then move them around as if you were moving the pointer on a Ouija board.  We all got the idea immediately as soon as Jane moved her hands in a "Ouija board" sort of manner (you're picturing this now, aren't you . . . ), and we learned to let go of our original design, even if only temporarily, to see if we could discover a better one.  A helpful tip is to take pictures of the different configurations along the way, so that you won't lose a brilliant discovery because it became buried after several more arrangements.  One of my first attempts is pictured above.

Then we came up with this one . . .

 . . . and this is how I thought it might look after I had finished cutting all the pieces.  It turns out, however, that I still wasn't pleased with the layout, and I invited my good friend, Pat Spillane, to come over recently and "Ouija" with me again.  The quilt is still a work in progress, and I'm learning to boldly go where I've never gone before (I must get out to see the new "Star Trek" movie soon . . .).


Sarah said...

What a cool method of quilting/designing! I think that your ouija attmepts turned out wonderfully!

Marilyn Rock said...

This is fascinating! I feel your Ouija attempts are not attempts at all. You jumped right in with gorgeous results. I love the shapes and colors are luscious! Wonderful pattern! WOW!


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