Last month our quilt guild did the Jay McCarroll Habitat Challenge, and I have to say that this was the first time I actually "created" my own design so I was very nervous. Up to this point, I had only done quilt kits or patterns from books, so I started with a sketch of what I wanted and went from there.
Overall, it wasn't too bad, and there were some "oops" moments along the way, but I learned quite a bit and discovered how creative I can be. First, let me say, that I truly appreciated Jay's designs on Project Runway (which I am addicted to by the way), and I am glad that he won. However, these fabrics were the epitome of the word "challenge". I sat on these fabrics for awhile until it no longer pained me to stare at them and got to work. Don't get me wrong, they are certainly very interesting designs, and in the right context would be seriously awesome, but between the flashbacks from the 80's and the odd colors that went together (but not really); I was stumped for a bit.
Luckily, the month prior Quiltique had a carnival night where I was introduced to English Paper piecing in the form of manageable hexagons! I thought, okay, small pieces of this fabric against a bright background may do it the justice it deserves. I had been wanting to do a sewing machine cover anyway so I took my fat quarters and started waiving them over some solids to see what clicked. It ended up being this beautiful vibrant royal purple and I was finally on my way. My first step was taping the fabric pieces to my back sliding door to use a sort of light table to place my hexagon templates and fussy cut out my pieces.
Our quilt group came up with some really great projects; some making full size quilts and others making small projects like a purse and coasters. It was a great mix of ideas and in the end, I finally designed something on my own which actually prepared me for this month's pillow exchange which involved more creative design.