MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tokyo Trains

When Elizabeth Hartman (Oh, Fransson) posted her Tokyo Subway Map Quilt Along, I knew I had to participate.  First, this is just a great quilt, second I have been itching to do a quilt made from tiny squares, third...Tokyo Trains simply blow my mind.

I've been to Japan a few times on business, and the complexity and efficiency of the train system simply blows my mind. You can see, though my pictures aren't the highest quality, the train map fascinated me. I had to capture on film, the tangle of trains.

Shinagawa Station is smack in the middle of Tokyo.  1 Million people pass through this station each morning and each evening.  It is the strangest thing.  You will be standing in the middle of the largest throng of commuters, rushing to their train and the only sound you will hear is their foot-falls.  No talking...just the sound of "step-step-step" times one million people. 

It is absolutely mind blowing.  You'd never see this in America.

Maybe on the back of the quilt, I'll incorporate some of the signage from inside the stations.  Tonight I am going to peruse the stash and get my supplies together. 

Why don't you join us in the Tokyo challenge?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lets talk about process

I cherish Sundays.  I get to spend time with my family, avoid work-work and usually can find some time to quilt.  Today I decided to to start a new quilt and I though you might be interested in my thought process.

8:05am Choose fabrics, I have so many ideas:
  • Cut into my FMF stash- No, I’m not ready to do that yet, I need the perfect quilt for that.
  • Use my oranges, golds and reds… I have some great Katie Jump Ropes and with some Mendicino and FMF it would be beautiful
  • Then again, my aqua and reds have been calling to me
  • A few castle peeps prints came in the mail this week. I’d love to use more than just two prints though, I might need to order more before I'm ready to make a quilt with these guys.
  • Wait…the first fabric I ever purchased was a Hope Valley FQ pack from Denyse Schmidt. I have been itching to dig into those. The cloudy grey undertones would look great with either grey or khaki sashing. Oh yeah, I bought that khaki sheet from Ikea for $4.99 a few weeks ago…that would be perfect.

9:12 am Get inspired while nursing the baby
I’m queen of multitasking (as I am sure most of you ladies are) so while feeding the baby his “second breakfast” on the back porch I begin to surf.

 Starting with flickr and fresh modern quilts I quickly browse and remember some of my favorite designs. I refresh myself on some of the fun tutorials I have seen lately. These were the top contenders this morning.

I cannot say exactly why, but the new wave pattern really resonated with me today.  I like the large pieces of fabric that go into this design.  You really apreciate the beauty of the print with a larger cut vs tiny pieces.  I also enjoy how sashing looks around shapes other than squares.  It's fun and a little quirky.

10:23 am As I iron my fabrics I begin to think of ways to make the pattern unique
How can I take it one step farther? Here are some of my ideas. This is my stream of consciousness.

“Train tracks…crosses…plaid…stripes…zigzags (oh, I LOVE zigzags…maybe I should forget the wave and go straight to zig zags)…what about a plaid, cross quilt? I could make it look like the new wave quilt but build my waves in both directions. Maybe I can figure out how to cut the fabrics like in the crazy-nine patch lattice.”

Then I sketched a few ideas out until one felt good. Notice the baby monitor...the little guy is napping so I have a few hours of uninterupted thinking time.

11:10 am Make a turkey sandwich and get out the colored pencils
I began sketching out my concept and tried out color placement to see how my idea would work.  I liked the idea of creating darker and lighter vertical bands.  It would add subtile excitement while leaving the main focus on horizontal bands of color.

11:42 am Do the math
Before cutting ANYTHING, I do the math. Figure out the size of my finished block. And then mock it up in the actual dimensions to make sure I like my choices.

12:45 pm Blog the Process
\So that’s where I am. I probably need to do a little bit more planning before I am ready to cut into the fabrics. Truly, this is my favorite part of making a quilt. Planning and scheming about what it will become. At this moment, the potential is so endless. I am so full of hope for my new creation.

12:58 pm The baby’s crying
It must be lunch time, so its time to run.  There's a pretty good chance my design will keep evolving so stay tuned!