Monday, January 23, 2012

Searching for the Perfect Pattern

    There is an age-old question that says: Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? For quilters this could easily be re-phrased to say: Which comes first, the fabric or the pattern?  As I'm beginning to realize, it is much easier to select the pattern first.
Having arrived home with a collection of fabrics in my suitcase, but no specific pattern in mind, I've spent the last week hunting for the perfect pattern for the collection.
   As with nearly every quilt I make, I start out wanting to do something original and out of the ordinary but within the limits of my capabilities.  Possibly these are conflicting ideas, but I'm ever hopeful. I got out my pencils, ruler, eraser and graph paper and sketched some ideas. One in particular seemed promising, so I decided to test the block design by gluing small pieces of the fabrics onto a half size photocopy of the pattern. And it was a good thing I did, for it was clear that my fabrics didn't work in my original design.
    Abandoning, my design tools, I turned to quilt books and back issues of quilting magazines for the perfect pattern. This took quite some time, as I examined pattern after pattern, in between reading the interesting articles that I came across in the magazines.  By now, I was getting quite frustrated. I really wanted to get going on those fabrics, but, couldn't find a pattern that appealed. Finally, I decided to lay the fabric collection aside for a while, get out my machine and do something that required no originality, but would diminish the boxes of scrap fabrics, which always seemed to be full and, hopefully, my frustration. Log cabin blocks seemed a good choice. So today, instead of using these lovely fabrics

I'm sewing these 'wonky' log cabin blocks:

I hope by next month's blog, I'll have found the perfect pattern or at least have a log cabin quilt well underway.