Friday, 7 June 2013

Lattice lessons

Today is a tired day. Goodness, I had thought I was getting over that less than awesome period of babyness. The wee man decided to have a bit of a party last night, and I was invited. On top of that, Princess has a beastly cold. *sigh*. Of course if I had gone to bed at a reasonable time instead of trying to work on my latest distraction, it wouldn't be nearly so bad!

But to quilting!  

So my 'things I really must do' list looks like this:

*cut out pieces for new gift quilt which must be finished on a strict timeline
*cut out zombie quilt
*BIND HENRY FISH

The 'things I have done' list looks like this:

*none of the above
*started random new project

I have had the idea for a lattice quilt nagging at the back of my mind for aaaaages. I have occasionally looked around for inspiration but never found one that was quite right. Then I did find one I liked, but it was paper pieced. Ick. So I did what I normally do when something nags and nags at me and ignored it. I have learned this well from hubby.*

Anyhoo, given that I now had a list of only things I had to do, it seemed important to start something I wasn't supposed to be doing. So I thought I should put my big girl quilty pants on and see if I could figure out a lattice pattern for myself.  Oh dear. 

First, the vision.  I wanted a scrappy looking, low volume background, with wide white lattice which featured a thin coloured stripe through the middle for a bit of contrast.** I also wanted the coloured stripe to weave. So I decided on two colours for the stripe.  The idea was then that I could put some bold coloured appliqué on to the lattice. 

I tottered off to Spotlight to get some cheap material for a trial run and managed to get there the only day of the year when there was no special on fabric. Ah well. 

I hit on the bright idea of using some 2.5" strips sewed together for the scrappy background, which I intended to slice diagonally for the lattice.  I love jelly roll friendly ideas. This is how the first effort turned out. Ah well. Again. 

Teeny weeny block.  Rejected.

Even hubby noticed that the fabric went all spazzy. What can I say. And I thought the proportion of white to the stripes was wrong. So I tried again, this time with a nine patch as background.  Much better, but still a bit small - see:

Better.

I was so proud. Despite, or because of all the effort, I felt like a real quilter.***  I went to put the wee man down for a nap and to ponder what size to make the nine patch. And guess what I found then. That's right. This tutorial on a nine patch lattice quilt using a slash method. I couldn't believe that Amy had nicked my idea. Like a whole year ago. Humph.

I got a bit grumpy pants at that point.  But I soldiered on and made a bigger block anyway.  I used 5" squares for the nine patch, 4" white strips, and 1.5" coloured strips and loved the finished size. It's nearly 19". Awesome. I wasn't a fan of my background fabric choice though. 

MEGA BLOCK (said with an Arnie accent)

At that point I had a big sulk about it. Because I hadn't thought of it all by myself I decided I didn't like it anymore.  Which was a bit silly given I had cut up a whole layer cake for it. I went to bed to sleep on it. 

The next morning I figured it wasn't really the quilt's fault I wasn't original.  And I also decided I was being a bit silly given that every other quilt I've made has been based on a pattern or blog tutorial. So I made some more blocks. 

When I had made two, with two not quite finished, I didn't like it again. 

Make up your mind already

But then I finished all four and I've decided I DO like it again. I like the scrappy diamonds inside the lattice. I'm so contrary. I also can't believe how different the stripe makes the background fabric look.

Yay I like it.  Finally!


So the current plan is to make 12 blocks, and then see whether appliqué is a good idea. At the moment I think it might be too busy. What do you think?  All constructive criticism is welcomed!  I'm still not massively in love with the fabric, but it's okay. 

Linking up to Crazy Mom and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Howdy visitors!

*hubby is oblivious to nagging. In fact he is oblivious to many things, including new shoes. This is an asset. 
** I'm avoiding the word 'pop' here. I thought of using 'zing' but I think that's just as bad and I'm guilty of using both. 
*** whatever a real quilter is. I imagine she can hand piece perfect teeny tiny little pieces into amazing patterns, and then quilt it like Angela Walters while drafting patterns and smoothly cutting appliqué pieces with her spare hand. All while raising three perfect children in a clean house after finishing her day job. 

21 comments:

Megan said...

This post made me laugh and laugh. Particularly your use of the word spazzy. I think the blocks you got working look great. I'm not sure that I would add appliqué as well, but I'm not great at visualising in advance so would wait and see :-)

Julia said...

I found you at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and I really enjoy your quilts and your style of writing. Indeed, it was a pleasure to visit your blog.

Sara said...

Oh you are comical! It can be so true though. We think we have an original idea and then we see it somewhere! Annoying;/

Ah well, I love,love your lattice work all put together. Very striking quilt!

Keep "soldiering" onward;)

Kelly Young said...

I hate when I think I've come up with something awesome, and it's already been done! (which I guess just reinforces the fact that IS awesome) :) haha! I enjoyed reading about your process and your blocks really look great!

-Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Sooli said...

Perseverance pays off, I love the way its turning out. Personally I think applique will take away from the nice crisp look of the lines but the quilt will tell you what it needs, just give it time! Or is that just my quilts that speak to me?!

Julie in GA said...

I love your lattice blocks and don't think they need any applique. The fact that someone else thought of this too means it was definitely a good idea.

RockinHairBabe said...

I think it is Beautiful just as it is!

mpainter said...

hysterical! love the last part. love your final design too.mary

hydeeann said...

so that's the rundown on the lattice trouble! well, i guess you have a different def of "real" than i do. real, as in keeping it real, is exactly what you do. and to tackle something with your own brain rather than find a tutorial is super-real-quilter of you, liz. =) good job. your pout was funny, but i get it. i've designed a handful of simple things myself and just assume that because they are basic geometry someone(s)else somewhere has already done it. but you could go back and do what you did with the stripes offset the first time and call it your own, couldn't you? lol.
i was home-hum on the background fabric, too, but those full strips really do bring it together better. not bad.
final thought: i used the word "zingy" the other day in a comment and thought i was being pretty original. well, either i started something quick or i was oblivious to having read it before (probably from you)because i've seen it in several places since, including on your list of over used words. pooh. thinking back, my daughter was watching "hotel transalvania" and i think "zing" stuck in my brain from there. all art is imitation, no?

Sarah Craig said...

Hey,Liz, I love this!! You did a great job, and I really enjoyed reading all about your thoughts as you went through the process - you had me rolling in the aisles!!

And how about bazinga! instead of pop?

Whoop whoop!!

Esther F. said...

Wow! It is wonderful. No applique necessary! :-)
Esther
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com

snips said...

Too funny, adding you to my bloglovin roll! Your blocks look great, I'm another that can't seem to visualize ahead so i can't really help much on the applique issue, but i do like the way it looks both ways.

RobinSue said...

Anyone who sews and quilts is a quilter! I too believe I have original ideas and then find out they have already been done. Keep experimenting! Your blocks are fabulous and perfection is often overrated. Can't wait to see what you do with them.

Karen said...

I love the 'weave' part of the block, the colours you've used make it really striking! Well done for persevering. I too have a husband who is oblivious to certain things - luckily mine seems oblivious to the growing piles of fabric in my stash and hasn't questioned how I can afford it! :-)

made by ChrissieD said...

Dropped by from P&J LGA, what a great post, in fact I read it twice just for the giggles. Really glad to have dropped by and met you :)

Kristy @ Quiet Play said...

Haha love it! I can relate on so many levels!

I love how your blocks are coming together and I think the stripes in the sashing really make it!!

Heidi Staples said...

These are looking lovely! It's so hard to decide, isn't it? I about drive myself crazy trying to get my projects right sometimes! :)

Chris the Quilter said...

"*** whatever a real quilter is. I imagine she can hand piece perfect teeny tiny little pieces into amazing patterns, and then quilt it like Angela Waters while drafting patterns and smoothly cutting appliqué pieces with her spare hand. All while raising three perfect children in a clean house after finishing her day job."

while I LIKE hand piecing teeny-tiny pieces, it's the only likeness..

I have 10 kids (*only* 8 at home) and my house is "well lived in"

I've been at this quilting thing for 21 years

YOU are a quilter by the very fact that you are MAKING!!

the blocks look great, but not too sure of the applique idea

Laura C @ littleandlots said...

Wait, aren't "real" quilters the ones who make epic mistakes (NOT that you have made any from these blocks that I see) and then figure out a way to save the situation, no matter how dire?

Perfect quilts would be boring, anyway.

I totally love the look you have going in your blocks now! I am going to "pin" that last photo (with ample credit to you, of course).

Janine said...

So annoying to come up with something and find it's out there already! But it's still your creation and it's looking great. I love the stripes in the lattice :)

Pomegranate Quilts said...

***which is why no-one is blogging under the name realquilter.com