Sunday, July 8, 2012

A scientific experiment & the acorn wreath top is complete!

Last month I went to a trunk show for longarm quilter Sheryl Schleicher. When she was speaking about where she begins the quilting on a quilt, she shared a bit of scientific information: most people, when viewing anything -- art, a building, a photograph, or a quilt -- scan it in a specific pattern. So I am conducting an official scientific poll of my own to test this theory. The photo below is of the little acorn wreath quilt I have been working on lately. It is comprised of four main blocks. When you view the photo, be conscious of which block your eye moves to first and which you go to last. Leave a comment and let me know your findings.

I'm going

to leave

a little

space here

so you

are not

tempted to

look at

the photo

quite yet.

Now, view.

Sheryl gave us a little diagram showing that most people scan from the center to the upper right, to upper left, to lower left, back to center and on the upper right, to lower right, then back to center. Is this what you did?

In Sheryl's talk, she said she would start quilting in the lower right near the center because that is the last place most people look. This gives her a little time to get in the groove of the motif she is using and if there are any less than perfect elements, they are not as readily noticed.

When I set my four acorn blocks together, there was method to my madness. The first block I did ended up being slightly different than the other three. I struggled with appliqueing those deep valleys on the leaves, as you might remember here. And my placement of the applique pieces on the background fabric was a little too free-style. I sent out a cry for help and got some terrific advice, shown here. One of the tidbits that really came in handy was an easy method for accurately placing the pieces on the background fabric. You can check that our here.

I toyed with the idea of remaking that first block. Then my sister reminded me of the Amish rule of quilting: only God can create perfection, so mistakes are okay. This was just the advice this recovering perfectionist needed to hear! So I set these four blocks together with Sheryl's diagram in mind and put that "slightly different" block in the lower right corner where hopefully its uniqueness didn't scream out so loud. I know it is there, so it is the first thing I see. Let me know if you noticed it, or if you had to go back and look at it again.


  1. These are all great tips and posts that you are providing for us, Lisa! Actually, I scanned from upper right to upper left and then down to the bottom right and bottom left. Am I weird or what???

  2. upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right as an afterthought. Now you have two weirdos LOL

  3. Upper Right, Borders as a whole, U&L left together, Lower right.

  4. I scanned exactly as her diagram showed! That's interesting!

  5. I started with upper left, then upper right, then bottom right then bottom left.

  6. I read it counter clockwise starting with the upper right. Guess I'm the wierdo! (Wierdo is a relative term, isn't it?)

  7. I start at the upper left and "read" them like a page--upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right. This one had nothing in the middle to grab my attention, so didn't go there. Now who's weird?!? (Maybe I read too much!!)

  8. I started at top left, down to bottom, next to bottom right and ended with the top right. Like Jody I was sort of book like but I guess I was reading like a newspaper by columns. Maybe it has to be larger for the theory to work.

  9. Interesting, I scanned the same way Ida did, top right then counter clockwise.