At Gwen's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat she showed us some full sized quilts she made based on her little fabric "sketches" and they were all beauties. The small quilts gave her new ideas for the larger ones.
I found while making my own small sketches that they can become deeply involving, choices coming out of my ears! Do I want to make some little log cabins here? Maybe a curve along this edge. What colors should I choose? It really made my brain cells proliferate,
Here are the three little sketches I made at the retreat. I like one really a lot, another is okay, and the third is one I didn't like at first, but I like it now.
Someone said this quilt reminded them of the beach, and it does, the sandy colors contrasting with the brighter blues, oceanic greens and multicolored stripes.
It's fun to study the many "parts" (Gwen's term) to this piece. My favorites were the strata on the left with the curves and the liberated log cabins.
This quilt doesn't have backing and binding yet, but it looks like it should be on the wall in a child's room. The strips around the border remind me of party streamers. I cheated a little making the pieced center, strip piecing some .75 inch strips, cutting them into .75 inch rows of squares and then turning them and repiecing the rows to mix the colors up a bit.
This liberated log cabin piece has confounded me. As I sewed the center, keeping to a controlled color palette, I got bored and started adding unrelated fabric colors. I am still not sure if that was a good idea or not, but I am beginning to enjoy this quilt and its little details.
For traditional quilters this stuff is hard to understand. To wrap your head around modern quilting after many years of looking at traditional block piecing is a giant leap. Nonetheless, it's a fun exercise, one that really makes the quiltmaker think, plan, and play around with design and color in ways they might not have ever imagined.