Posts Tagged ‘prison quilting class’

Habits and Patterns

January 16, 2013

You might have noticed that I collect things. I tell myself they are useful things, but we know that isn’t entirely true. There is one collection that should resonate with all of you, regardless of your craft of choice – the “someday I’ll do this” file.

idea collection

This is one of the piles of patterns, sketches, notes and scribbles for future quilts. Some of them are ideas for projects I can use in my prison quilting class. Some of them have been sitting in this pile – or one of the many other piles scattered around the sewing room – for a long, long time.

The good news is my class makes tops for community quilts, and they have asked for 48″ x 66″-72″ quilts. Now that I have a standard size, I’ve given myself permission to get rid of patterns that don’t fit (especially if I ripped the pattern from a magazine in the ’90s and haven’t touched it since). The bad news is old habits die hard and some of those patterns-notes-random scribblings are going into my personal “someday I’ll do this” file.

Then there’s the new project that came about – writing up my own patterns for blocks that are especially interesting in scraps and/or easy to cut. I know the best method for doing that would be to get software already designed to do just this, but my computer runs on Linux. I’ve seen software curl up its toes and dash screaming from the room when I’ve tried to install it on my computer. So, I am left to do my own designs with my drawing program, which is not as much fun as it sounds.

Then I made a mistake and had a revelation. I hit the wrong button on my camera and discovered it can do party tricks. In particular, it can turn a photo into a drawing.

This is the block in regular mode

This is the block in regular mode

- and this is the block in drawing mode

– and this is the block in drawing mode

“Self,” I said, “why don’t you just take a picture of the block you want and turn it into a drawing. Better yet, take a picture of the drawings you used in old patterns that you’ve already written on graph paper and use them.”

So I did:

Bordered 4-Patch - great in scraps

Bordered 4-Patch – great in scraps

An easy heart - also great in scraps

An easy heart – also great in scraps

Stone Mason's puzzle - good for using up strips

Stone Mason’s puzzle – good for using up strips

Now all I have to do is re-size and input the directions for these patterns – after I double-check the math – but that’s a project for another day.