Change in Direction A.K.A Changing Your Mind

The picture below shows my never-ending quilt.  I have made reference to it several times, as it has been four years in the making.  I understand that four years is a rather long period of time to be constructing a quilt, but quite frankly I was afraid I would ruin the top, which I LOVE, once I began the quilting process.  Yes, this quilter was deathly afraid of ruining this 48 month piece of work.

Having a game plan is very important to my entire designing process, yes I realize this is not shocking news to many of my fellow quilting peers.  Although not written in stone, I prefer to have a sketchy idea of where my creativity is headed, again I know this is old news.  But as I stated no design is non negotiable.  The picture below depicts my ideas at the start of this project.


I loved the “idea”of incorporating extra points into this quilt.  Obviously the initial “idea” did not work out quite that way, and for good reason.  If I had placed additional points in the design I would have really reduced the space available to place my feathers.  I also chose to situate feathers only on one side of the spine.  Although it wasn’t the look I originally had in mind, it doesn’t mean that opting to change direction in my design was a bad decision.  This is par for the course when I’m not drawing to scale, and I love how the this aspect of the process seems to bring new revelations to art work.  AND Ta-Da, the fairly close to completed center portion of my quilt is shown below.

Currently my absolute favorite part of this design is the bead board.  I implemented the ProLine 16 ruler to establish the technique, which not only looks amazing, but is also so much fun to create.

How many other quilters out there fly by the seat of their pants with quilting? Or do you like to have a plan?  Let me know how many fliers and planners are out there.  And if you’re a planner how often do you deviate from your original course? Curious minds, like mine, want to know!

9 thoughts on “Change in Direction A.K.A Changing Your Mind

  1. I love this quilt! It’s gorgeous. I have flown by the seat of my pants in quilting for a long time now, being an art quilter, but I am trying to improve that by doing more planning before I start. Part of how I’m trying to do that is by taking your IQUILT classes, which, while they are not art quilt directed, certainly have given me a wonderful jumping off place to bring my quilting under better planned control. And yes, I will be changing as I go, I’m sure.

  2. LOVE the beadboard! I recently purchased all of your pro-line rulers and am still practicing. Now I’m inspired to actually use them on a quilt! Your work is gorgeous!!

  3. Hi Lisa. The quilt is amazingly beautiful! I am struggling right now with a small project an eight pointed star which was constructed with a “made up fabric” technique. It looks rather bohemian! I have stitched the ditch and outlined the stars again. I tried feathers inside,(one of the spokes so far) but I will probably rip them out!, so I am stuck and will change my mind. Again! You are not alone. Thanks for sharing! L

  4. Hi Lisa, Well I like to have an idea of what I want to do on some parts and often time I’ll start quilting and feel like the quilt somehow lets me know what is needed. I know that sounds kind of nutty, but as long as I have an area that I know what I want to do there than the rest of the quilt designs seem to fall into place as I go along. Strange how that works. Love your quilt , love the colors and beautiful quilting. Just stunning!! Thank you for sharing, so inspiring……. Bonnie

  5. After taking your class I have become a planner who often changes her mind!! I once did a quilt for a customer where I planned all the 8 or 9 designs I was going to quilt on the quilt before I even loaded it on my longarm and only one of those designs actually made it all the way to the quilting! I often find that the quilt talks to me and tells me what it wants…that’s when I use a piece of plexiglass or heavy plastic on the quilt and draw out the quilting patterns using a dry-erase marker.

  6. Guess I usually make up my mind as I go along although I may have some ideas in place for some of the areas. As you said not having the ideas drawn to scale often leads to changes as I go along. Love what you’ve done with the center.

  7. I love the quilt and yes I both fly by the seat of my pants all too often, but I DO like to have a plan. As a friend said recently… Can we have a plan, even if I know we aren’t going to follow it. Can we just have a plan!” Like my friend, my plans often get changed.
    Lisa, I hope you don’t mind a non-related question. Except for the “plan” You have often talked about doing applique on Radiance. I’m planning a Celtic knot quilt with quilting resembling Irish knitting. Do you stabilizing the Radiance before applique?


  8. You certainly do amazing things with the quilting spaces! They always blow me away. I’ve created a library of my designs so I always have one on hand for any area of the quilt in dozens of styles so I just audition them on Illustrator as I go. I tend to play on the computer with a design without a quilt in mind. That way, you can allow the design to grow and be manipulated without restraining it to fit a particular area.

    One idea I have come up with over the years is to design the quilting first and then the patchwork and applique to suit it. That way, it looks like the unusual quilting designs were created for the patchwork and not the other way around. It’s a great way to tweak traditional blocks that may need a little changing up to fit the quilting. Not that this helps with this particular quilt but it might be worth trying in the future as a challenge.

    Can’t wait to see that quilt finished! No pressure… 😉

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