Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Designing Shoji

I've shown these blocks before, I've been calling them "Asian Circles" and really, when I started making them, I really didn't know what I was going to do with them.  I loved the fabric, and really enjoyed the way the technique works, and creates such different and varied blocks from one fabric.  But even with all that, I had NO idea what I was going to do with them.
I was at work the other week when I was struck with a sudden flash of inspiration, so I whipped up this rough sketch (it's on the back of a piece of non-essential paperwork!!!)
It doesn't look like much, but it was enough for me to get it down on a piece of paper.  Essentially what I want is a pieced background with the circles moving across the surface.  I came home and did some quick googling to look at traditional japanese rice paper screens or shoji and based the design on that idea.
With graph paper and some proper tools I got a much better idea of the design.  This is the first of the things that I'm not settled on.  I had planned to make the quilt in "portrait" mode, because it would be more "useful" that way.  But the more I looked at it, the more I realised that it really does need to be "landscape".  I guess we'll have to hang it on a wall or something!
I've already got the colours for the background too.  I went to Hobbysew, who are carrying a great range of Kona solids, and picked out two beautiful creams, Cream on the left and Bone on the right.
Originally I had planned to use a light green, a light pink and the two cream colours, but as soon as I saw the bolts I knew that even the lightest colours were going to be too much.  When I've got the thin strips of Cream between the Bone sections, it should look a little like this
Very similiar to an actual Shoji screen.   I'm also really happy now that this quilt has a name: "Shoji"  Then the circles will be scattered across the surface like wind swept petals.  The other thing that I haven't decided yet is whether I want to make them three dimensional, and more like actual flower blossoms.... what do you think?


  1. They are gorgeous little kaleidoscope style blocks!

    Thanks for the heads up about Kona solids at HobbySew; I'm going there tomorrow night for my "getting to know your machine" class.

  2. Looking at your background fabrics... the cream seems warm and the bone seems cool. Is that how they look in person? Is that the contrast you want? I'm thinking Kona Snow is a warmer shade of neutral than bone. I like the idea of your shapes skimming across the horizontal-landscape quilt. If you make this a wall hanging, depending on the 3-D technique and flowers you make, they could become droopy. Maybe you could embellish the piece with decorative embroidery or beads instead. Of course, these are just my long distance (VERY long distance) thoughts, so please take or leave them as you choose!


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