With the publication of “World of Geekcraft,” I’ve come up with the harebrained scheme to come up with an ENTIRE BOOK of geeky math-and-science related patterns. My parents, both geeks (obviously) have been great resources for coming up with ideas. My dad, however, went above and beyond the call of duty to work on a design we called “Escher’s Chainmail,” though I think it would be better called a “triple wedding ring.” Dad drafted up a rough pattern in Visio and sent it to me last night, and the more I look at it, the more I think that A) it’s a killer design; B) I think I could pull it off if I made plastic templates, approached the design sensibly, and sewed carefully; C) it’s definitely a unique take on a traditional pattern; and D) This might be a good option for publication as a small book, especially if I could pitch it to Omnigrid and have them make a set of acrylic templates.
The construction would be done very similar to a double wedding ring, with circles and a series of “wedges”, plus there’d be a three-sided middle piece (as opposed to a traditional four-sided curved square shape) in the middle. In my head, the drafting would go something like this:
- Start with the green circles (outlined in purple), and piece those using a series of wedges: one triangular, one sort of rounded/slanted, and one rectangular.
- Then, you’d move on to the “melons” (outline in yellow on the top-left block), which would have a pieced center with triangles, rectangles, and TEENY rectangles at the sides.
- Then you’d piece the red curve the same way you did the green circles and add it to the side of that unit.
- Next up would be the middle of the green rings; you’d start with the curvy-edged hexagon and add the two pieces to the end. That would let you piece all of the green circles.
- Then you’d need to piece the “Z” units (light yellow), which would operate pretty much the same way as the orange pieces.
Two projects got finished today, and overall I think I did okay, though there are things I dislike about each project.
I like the colors on one. The block pattern I’m ambivalent about. The sashing I’m very frustrated with! I was just a TEENY bit short on the dark blue fabric, and didn’t have enough to sash the top and bottom borders. I may toss it out for that reason, unless I can come up with some other way to do it. (Maybe there was enough yellow fabric left over to sash it in yellow?)
I stole this color scheme from the Sherwin-Williams website, since they have a lot of color schemes designed for home decor. The pattern works up really quickly and it’s nice not to have to measure all the teeny little pieces. Unfortunately, because of the way I used the fabric for the sashing, there was only enough fabric to make the runner 28″ long. I suppose it’s a good size for a small table, but I’m not sure it really fits in with my other projects, size-wise.
Overall, I think I made a good effort today. I now have five completed projects for my book, and I have instructions for three completely written. I’m working on instructions for the two projects I made today, and I imagine I’ll be finished with numbers four and five in the next day or so.
The third project for “Table for Four” is finished, after two failed attempts at other designs this evening. This one took some creative piecing, as I mis-cut the green and navy FQs and had to cobble pieces together in order to have enough fabric. I knew that restricting myself to limited yardage would be tricky, but this is the biggest challenge I’ve had yet!
I’ve written up the instructions for this one and I’m running it past my fellow quilters on Livejournal. After having a previous pattern critiqued, I feel better about my ability to concisely communicate sewing instructions, and since this one isn’t very complicated, I doubt I’ll need to make any major revisions to it.
If anyone reading this would like the pattern, I’d be happy to send a PDF by email, just leave a comment
Here’s the second finished runner top for “Table for Four,” which I call “Sassy Stripes.” It’s pieced together very quickly and easily, and I really like the effect that the varied stripes gives the finished piece.
I’m writing up instructions now. I didn’t take pictures of the process this time, so I have to test myself to see how much of the story I can tell with just words and have it be understandable!
I think because of the simplicity of piecing, this one would be the first project in the book. It’s very beginner-friendly– it still works just fine if your seam widths are all over the place!– and I think the effect is still striking enough to make for a good lead-in. I might make one in a brighter color palette to see some variation as well.
With just four fat quarters, > 1 yard of additional fabric for backing and binding, and about three hours of work, I’ve successfully come up with my first table runner design, which I call “Pepper Patch.”
I already went ahead and wrote up some directions for it, and I’m passing it by the lovely people on the LiveJournal quilting community to proof for me. Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is bind the runner (my least favorite part, ugh) and list the pattern for sale in my Etsy shop.
The only difficult part is figuring out whether or not I should go ahead and sell this one, or hang onto it. Some publishers require that you physically mail in every project in your book before they accept a proposal, others only require one or two, and others just want photographs. This is definitely a project that I would lead off in “Table for Four” (which I think I’m gonna title the book, makes sense because they use 4 FQ’s, right?), so I’d want to keep a copy around… but, on the other hand, if it only took me three hours to make and quilt, why not go ahead and sell it, make a $10 profit off the cost of materials, and make another one if/when required for a book proposal? Guess I’ll go ahead and finish it, and see how the final project turns out, and then I’ll decide
While laying in bed this morning, I came up with a crazy scheme, based on a few pieces of information.
- I’m going to start making quilted table runners rather than full-sized quilts.
- I’ve always wanted to publish a quilt pattern, at the very least, or maybe even a full book.
- I love working with FQs, and I think a lot of other quilters do, too.
Logic then tells me that a good goal would be to combine the two, and… write up a book of table-runner patterns using only a few FQs each! Brilliant, no?
I’ve decided to start a “crazy scheme” category for this stuff, so I know where it’s all filed away on here, rather than seeing it in the “books / planned / designs” section.
Basic premise / blurb:
Want to start a new project, but don’t want to commit to yards and yards of fabric? Want to try out a new design without having to repeat it a hundred times? Want the satisfaction of completing an entire project in just a day or two? Table runners might just be the project for you! Small in size but full of design possibilities, these projects can be completed quickly, require little fabric commitment (use four fat quarters or less!), and give an endless variety of design possibilities. These twelve (?) projects are great learning opportunities for novice quilters, or quick and easy side projects for those with a little more experience. Brighten up your kitchen (or make a quick profit!) with these fun and easy designs.
The more I think about this project, the more excited I get. I sketched up a few designs this morning, just for the sake of goofing around with the appropriate format, and I came up with several that I really like. This is good proof that I can come up with fun ideas that will be relatively easy to put together.
The more I work on this, the more excited I get. I found contact info for three publishers and got information on how to submit a book proposal. I could put together a proposal with no problem, and I feel confident about my ability to write up patterns for publication. I’m not sure about my computer illustration skills, but I’m sure I could at least sketch things out well enough for a professional to make my pictures all nice and clean. Overall, I feel like this is something that I could definitely do, and I don’t see anything that’s stopping me from pulling it off!