When I showed my Post-it Notes quilt doodles a couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of people comment about using paper to design quilts. I love using paper to test ideas, or in even for quilting. Here's a few examples of how I've used paper in my sewing adventures.
I have a Drunkards Path quilt top that I made ages ago, Lots of bright lurid fabrics that I love but I've never got around to quilting it. Sometimes I get it out to finish but I think it needs something else to give it some pop! I hadn't learnt about value when I put these fabrics together. One day I had the idea I could sew a giant daisy onto it. Rather than cutting into fabrics I used newspaper to come up with my design. I simply pinned the shapes into position on my design wall. It was quick and easy to try different petal and leaf shapes and get the curve of the stem just right.
Once I was happy with the shape and size it was time to see how it would look in colour. I grabbed my big pad of colourful paper that I found in a bargain shop and started cutting.
The final design - A big Blue Mountain Daisy!
I never got around to making my big daisy in fabric. I wasn't sure if I really liked it with the background. It would be really fun on a liberated low volume background but that's another quilt for another day. I packed it all away and moved onto something else. The great thing about using paper, I didn't waste any fabric and I have the templates ready for a big flower when I do decide to sew one.
Using paper shapes was very handy when deciding what flowers to put in the pockets on my Denim Garden quilt. I sat down with a cup of tea and without thinking too much I cut out different flowers shapes and ideas. I then took them to my design wall and auditioned different ideas in the pockets. It really helped me distribute the different flower styles. I was also able to use the paper silhouettes as templates for the wool felt.
It's interesting to see how those shapes developed into the final flowers. I also have quite a few left over flower shapes, no doubt they'll come in handy for other quilts.
Here's a paper trick I've actually been using this week as I quilt my Octopus's Garden quilt. Rather than mark my quilts for quilting with a pen or pencil I'll use masking tape for straight lines... and paper circles for curves and circles. I use light weight paper, cut out the desired size circle, pin it on and then stitch around it. The quilt police might say the stitched circles aren't perfectly round but they're round enough for me!
I used this method to quilt all the different size circles on my Summer Bubbles quilt.
So have you got any handy tips for using paper with quilting or even crochet or knitting?