I've been trying my hand at designing my own quilt blocks with graph paper and colored pencils and it's so much fun! I'm focusing on blocks that can be pieced with simple squares and HSTs since that's my current skill level.
The plan is to make a bunch of different blocks in this style for a sampler quilt. Maybe even with different sized blocks tetris-ed (word?) together.
I usually work with patterned fabrics, but solids are so much easier. There's no direction or matching required, no having to worry about which way the pattern will be facing when you're done. And with solids, the form and structure of the blocks really comes through, there's no decorative or illustrative element to distract from the shapes and colors of the design. It's kind of a different way of thinking.
Well okay, this one has just a little bit of patterned fabric in it, but it's non-directional so it's kind of like sewing with a solid. I just couldn't resist throwing at least one pattern in there, I can see I'll have to wean myself slowly.
I've also decided I want to learn how to paper piece. I've seen some amazingly detailed blocks out there and they're really something special. I started with this one, inspired by this gorgeous Jam Jar block by Charise Randell of ChariseCreates, but it's not actually paper pieced, I totally cheated. Since the pieces are all pretty much squared up with no funky angles, I just drew it out on graph paper to figure out all the dimensions, cut my pieces out really carefully and sewed them all together with a standard 1/4" seam. So, I still haven't really learned anything about paper-piecing! Guess I'm going to have pick a more complex design that I have to paper piece. I want to learn it, so why am I so intimidated? I know as soon as I sit down and work my way through a tutorial I'll be wondering why in the heck I was so scared to try it. Ugh, sometimes we're our own worst enemies. :)
Anyhow, the houndstooth and strawberry patch are going to be the back side of what will be an ultra-mini quilt (or glorified quilt block). Did you notice those little houndstooths are in the shape of Texas? Pretty cool. I think this'll make a nice gift for someone on my Christmas list who loves canning!
What are you working on? Are there any techniques/projects you want to try but haven't gather up the gumption yet?