“Nuts” is often a way to describe me–especially when I impulsively act on an obviously insane crafty idea in the dark of night. These experiments hardly ever turn out anything useful but can be good learning experiences.

“Nuts” is also the title of this project. It’s my first official “art quilt”–the first quilt I’ve made that isn’t necessarily meant to be used to keep a person warm. This wasn’t the intent. It just happened. And now it just might happen again. I’m not sure how I feel about this…

Here’s a brief tale of the genesis. We’ll see the final quilt tomorrow.

Lately I’ve been interested in pixelated folk art, in particular. I’ve started sewing up a few of these as quilts but got bogged down in the oppressively precise piecing of thousands of tiny squares. So I wondered: what if i follow the idea of the recent ticker tape quilts but try to arrange a more efficient attachment of the pieces? That is, appliqueing each square one at a time would still be too painful; there’s gotta be another way to handle the special case of a grid of squares.

The experiment:

Glue fabrics to a foundation in a tight grid using washable glue sticks. [I’ll use a different sticky method next time.]

Then quilt over the pieces in edge-to-edge lines leaving raw edges.

Try quilting another way.

Wash and dry. Compare and choose. [I think I prefer the look of the diagonals, but they were dicey to execute with precision on the loose edges of the glued pieces.]

Cook up the desired design in full.

Now in all honesty, i made the swatches after assembling the actual quilt pieces but before quilting it. I like the process of making and learning from swatches and will use them in future experiments.

On Wednesday: Behold! My Nuts!