UPDATE: the project now has its own permanent page at http://domesticat.net/quilts/penrose
I am looking for some brave and crazy quilters who would be willing to help me test out a crazy, harebrained scheme I have. Recently, I used ponoko.com to create some custom laser-cut acrylic quilt templates for some of the more insane tiling quilts I’ve been silently working on for a while. They are patterns that require unusual pieces that can’t be bought in any store, and accuracy is key.
I’d love to make these available at ponoko – at cost, so no profit to me! – for a few quilters who might be willing to try something new, brave, and crazy in order to be able to make tiling quilts for themselves. I’ve gotten enough quiet inquiries to get the sense that there is a bit of interest. Cost should probably be sub-US$20.
The templates are clear acrylic; I photographed one on a red background so you could see the laser etching:
I realize I have a weird intersection of abilities. There are lots of quilters out there, and there are lots of people with print design experience out there, but there aren’t many quilters out there who happen to have a copy of Adobe Illustrator lying around at home. In fact, there may be about a maximum of three of us out there, and I’m one of them and I haven’t found the other two. You can’t make ponoko templates without vector art, and vector art is still a bit more in the realm of the design professional than the amateur hobbyist.
Basically … I’m looking for someone brave and a little crazy. I’d be willing to upload the template files to ponoko, where said Brave Crazy Quilter™ could purchase a copy, and have it shipped. I wouldn’t be involved in the transaction at all.
(Let me emphasize: there is ZERO money in this for me. I don’t intend, nor do I want, to take a cut.)
Order the pieces. Try them out. I can provide you with a blueprint of the tiling, so you know how to sew it. Give me feedback, so I can make the designs better. Then I can make them more widely available, and maybe help bridge the gap between nerds, math, and quilting.
I’m leaning toward making the Penrose pieces available first. So – yes – the same pieces that could let you do a baby quilt like Penmanship…
could also be used to do a larger, bed-sized version like Pentatonic.
I’m going to forward this post on to a few quilt bloggers I know, to see if they know anyone who might be itching to try a little wall quilt project.
Now for the disclaimers.
Dude. This is a beta test. By that definition, these pieces may do anything short of eating your baby and rampaging through your quilt stash yelling “OMG YOU BOUGHT THAT?” I hope they work for you, and I want them to work for you, but this process is about working out the kinks. My biggest concern is that the nocked corners might not be perfect, but there might be some other huge technical issues lurking that I’m unaware of.
There aren’t any refunds. Just my gratitude, and the knowledge that what you’re doing will help make it possible for other brave and crazy quilters to do brave, crazy, and beautiful things.
Also, if you’re doing a Penrose tiling quilt, you should know that nowhere, nowhere, NOWHERE in that pattern will there be any seam longer than the edges of your pieces. You should approach this quilt with the same level of trepidation and respect as you would a hexagon quilt – where you never get nice, long seams. Ever. It’s one little bitty seam after another.
It’s why Penrose tilings are beautiful and it’s why they’re rarely done as quilts. They’re technical, they require attention, and they won’t look like any other quilt you’ll ever do.
Line for the crazy forms to the left. Still want in? Leave a comment, or email me at amy [at] domesticat [dot] net.