Monday, August 24, 2015

4th Terminus Quilt aka Decision Fatigue

While snapshots of quilt progress have littered my Tumblr and it pops up frequently in conversations about what I'm doing, I apparently failed to blog about it here. Given that I finally started the quilting part this last week, I figure now's a good time to do so.

Quilt Sandwich!

The project has been percolating in my brain for a while, not sure exactly how long. There were many motivators/reasons behind it:

  • I was on the prowl for a new quilt project. I apparently need a very personal, focused reason to work on one (the Scrabble Board quilt and Pythagorean Theorem quilt remain unfinished- not abandoned but decidedly low low low priority)
  • Nate said the game was going to end this year and I thought it was worth commemorating
  • I've known about Spoonflower since 2008 and have just been waiting for the perfect project to come along so that I could try them out
  • I love generating artwork for the games I play
  • I've long desired to have more practice/reason to embroider phrases. My font is kinda' ugly, but whatever. Still learning, practice makes perfect.

Iconography Print Medical Print Science Print Gun Print

Looking back over posts and emails, the timeline looks approximately like this:

  • Late 2014, I get it into my head to do a 4T quilt featuring the transit map and the character silhouettes I've drawn
  • Jan 21st 2015, pestered Nate till we got a revised/blessed/final take on the transit map. Posted to Tumblr.
  • Early February 2015, pulled both Suko & Nate into the project for feedback/input. Good decision.
  • Late March 2015, started designing first pair of custom prints. Posted to Tumblr
  • Mid April 2015, designed final pair of prints.
  • Late April 2015, decided to undertake the task of embroidering every chapter title for boarder. Posted to Tumblr.
  • May 3rd 2015, first test yard of fabric arrives. So strange to see digital content brought into reality. Posted to Tumblr.
  • May 28th 2015, bulk fabric order arrives! So much pretty, all of my choosing! Posted to Tumblr.
  • May 31st 2015, cut and sewed the blocks together. Then settled into the long slog of embroidering all the chapter titles. Posted to Tumblr.
  • July 29th, 2015, buckled down and did pile of work, most notably sewing down the transit line. Posted to Tumblr.
  • August 21st 2015, finished back, slapped some batting between the piece, and started quilting! Verified that, yes, my stupid bulky quilting frame is actually exceptionally awesome/useful. Posted to Tumblr.

So exciting!

It has been a fun and educational process. It also has been extremely exhausting. Every fucking step along the way has been a decision point. Which fabric color to pair with each chapter title? Which color tones to use for the prints so they are visible but not too attention-grabbing? Which shade of red? Which shade of purple? How wide to make the lines? Which characters will stand next to each other? Which chapter titles will surround them?

See the idea come together

This number of decisions and their continuous nature (as opposed to all being resolved at the start) differs greatly from my (admittedly little) quilting experience so far. Now that I'm onto the quilting bit, it feels as if a weight has been lifted. There are very few decisions left. Before me now is just the clear, uncomplicated work of stitching along lines that I have already decided upon. I remain happy, but am glad to have finally clear the worst of it.

Making it happen

The take aways from the project so far:

  • Let it go. Just decide on something. Something is better than nothing.
  • Spoonflower is great! Higher contrast produces better results.
  • Wash away fabric pens were kinda' a let down. Wound up using mostly white charcoal art pencil to outline most my text
  • Rotary cutters FTW. We already knew that. Never hurts to repeat great advice though. I finally upgraded to a super-large cutting mat. I feel like a grownup.
  • Always buy more solid colored fabric than they think you'll need. It never hurts to have too much and it hurts A LOT to not have enough.
  • I don't like the long-stitch/split stitch font I chose for my chapter titles. Next time I want a smaller back stitch for my text. (something to keep in mind for the Pythagorean Theorem quilt)
  • I invested in those plasic perfect circles for my station dot applique. No regrets. They didn't turn out perfect, but that's my fault I think. Next time I need a smaller running stitch when basting around the edge, for the gather.
  • Adam is a good sport for letting me litter so many craft supplies about the house for this, for so long. The drying rack has been in the TV room for several months now with the chapter titles and fabric prints draped over it.
  • Learning how to make repeating patterns in Photoshop makes me happy.

The quilt top

It's just... really, really exciting to have an idea in my head spool out so damn slowly and yet stay as I envisioned it. It's just a collage quilt, but it's a project I'm proud of. Few endeavors strain and stretch my creativity in so many different ways, it's a feeling I highly value.

No comments:

Post a Comment