Monday, August 22, 2011

Pixelated Color Wheel Quilt Design Process

My first step in the design process for my Color Wheel Quilt was to cut a lot of little squares.  I used my AccuQuilt Go Baby 2" square die for this.  I ordered this die specifically with this project in mind.  I admit I'm not super happy with the results.  I cut a total of about 250 pieces of fabric or probably 75 cuts (stacking 3-4 pieces at a time).  After cutting just the first charm pack, I started to notice my cutting mat was warping a bit.  By the 4th charm pack my cutting mat was quite warped, and I realized I was having significant distortion in my cuts.  Rather than having perfect 2" squares, they were short--some almost 1/8" short.  Some of the edges were also a bit wavy.  After realizing this I started placing a piece of white copy paper on top of each stack of fabric to be cut.  This helped a lot, but they are still not perfect 2" squares.  I probably won't be using this die much in the future.  I consulted AccuQuilt on this and was told the cutting mat should last 100's of cuts and the problem is likely a result of not cutting with the lengthwise grain.  I did more more experimenting and still had the exact same problems even when cutting with the grain as directed.  For some reason this die seemed to wear out my cutting mat far too quickly.  I had to alter my seam allowances to make everything fit due to the shorter squares.  Some of my seams don't meet due this this.  Frustrated is a nice way to say how I felt.  I had a few choice words in mind when I realized how off my squares were.  Luckily it all worked out in the end.

So, on to better things.  The following pictures show my design process.



I sorted everything by the six main colors.

I then sorted them even more specifically and arranged each stack from light to dark.

I began the layout process with four white squares and worked out in all directions with other basic colors.


My overall goal was to make it look like a photograph that is zoomed all the way in to the point you see the individual pixels.  If you've ever done this, you've seen that some pixels seem to be the wrong color or in the wrong place.  Some of the squares don't fit perfectly where they are located at in the design, and that's one of the things I love about the quilt.



This stack didn't make the cut.  It's mostly the Dusty palette that didn't fit in well with the other colors.  They were just too muted for the look I was going for.

The final design was 29x29 squares.  I pieced it in rows of 9 or 10 depending on the section.

I don't have any pictures of the quilting process, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.  I simply started in the middle of the white squares and went around and around and around.  I wouldn't recommend this with a quilt much larger than this.  The inner 6" or so were quite difficult, but as I worked my way out toward the edges of the circle, it wasn't a problem at all to turn the quilt. 

I admit this is one of my favorite quilts, but I always have more love for my quilts that are uniquely mine rather than one starting from a pattern or other design.  It makes me happy to have it on our wall. Although I still think it's a little weird to hang quilts for some reason.  I think it just makes me feel old to hang quilts on my wall.  I feel like I will become the crazy quilt lady.  Oh wait, I probably already am.

33 comments:

  1. Still stunning, wonky Go! or not. I thought of doing this based on a real photo of the kids a while back, ultra-pixilated (is that a word?), but chickened out... maybe one day x

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  2. Yep, still loving this quilt! Fun to see how it came together. :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing the process...the quilt is so beautiful!

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  4. Wow - what frustration with the cutting! It's amazing you were able to make it all work! Great to see your process thought - beautiful.

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  5. Great quilt! Good job on the tough layout.

    I totally agree about hanging quilts! While I guess it's fine to hang something "modern" like this one, I also don't want to become like the old ladies at the LQS. They all dress like Little House on the Prairie! lol
    I'm out of wall space, or I probably would hang a small one that I love.

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  6. That is going to be absolutely beautiful when finished. Nice job :)

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  7. it's amazing! :)


    You have a very unique approach with quilt making... I like it.

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  8. I enjoyed seeing your design process and all the little colorful squares! I am also a sucker for the circle quilting. Very nice ... oh and is being the mad quilting lady a bad thing?

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  9. Oh thank you for sharing this, I'm so in love with this quilt so it was much fun to see how it was made =)

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  10. Crazy quilt ladies unite! I love your insight about misplaced pixels. In photos this irregularity creates depth and interest. Same goes for your wonderful quilt.

    For the go baby, did you try flipping the cutting mat between stacks?

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  11. Thank you for showing us your design process! I love the quilt, absolutely gorgeous!

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  12. Perfect timing for this post. Look who is featured at Modern Day Quilts today!

    http://moderndayquilts.tumblr.com/

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  13. This is a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing your process (:

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  14. I love, love this quilt! Thanks so much for sharing your process. Such a great idea!

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  15. That's good to know about the go baby - all I usually see are completely positive reviews from people who got them for free.

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  16. Blimey Kati, this is so wonderful and we are all crazy quilt ladies and it's OK to hang them so you can see them every day and boy are you a finisher - you finish more than anyone else I know. Just ordered the 5" die so will be interested to see if I have the same issues.

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  17. Such a cool technique, although I can imagine the die issue would have been very frustrating!

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  18. I'm so impressed!
    My husband thinks I'm a crazy quilt lady for working on a wall hanging, but I think we're in good company!

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  19. Your quilt is fabulous, such a wonderful design, thank you for sharing the process. I haven't used the 2 inch die on my Go Baby, but I have just used the 4 inch HST die and I found it worked much better if I had 6 layers of fabric to cut through.

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  20. Thank you for showing your quilt process - it looks so amazing!

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  21. So beautiful....thanks for sharing your process.

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  22. Kati, this quilt is amazing!! Definitely something to be proud of! I love it!!!

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  23. Amazing! The thought of deciding which colour went where is enough to make me hyperventilate. Looks awesome.

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  24. Wow! You make it seem so simple :-) This is just so super awesome, and this is a piece of art! Definitely deserves a place on the wall for all to see.

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  25. That is so cool! I'm inspired to make one now!

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  26. I'm catching up on some blog reading so missed this earlier. It is wonderful! I love the quilt and the quilting. Thank you for sharing your process, so inspiring.

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  27. I love watching your design wall progress. It makes me really think about where I could fit one in my house!

    And it IS a most fabulous quilt!

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  28. That's just amazing! I don't know when I'd have the patience to sew together eleventy jillion 2-inch squares!

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  29. Thank you for sharing the process, I've been really curious about it.

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  30. Wow. I came across your quilt while doing a search for 'modern quilts'. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I hope to try to make this one day but I've never quilted so probably won't be for awhile. :) Beautiful!

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