Thursday, 30 June 2016

Three, six, nine

I have spent a lot of time considering my floors - one kitchen and one conservatory.  The dilemma has been that when I lay out my lighthouses and words, I haven't liked what I've been able to achieve with fabric as much as I have liked the tiles!  

Well I think I'm happier with my words encased in fabric now, but haven't quite been able to let go of the floor, especially the terracotta one, so in the end I went back to my boxes of fabric and found something that I think might do the trick.  Here is one of my shorter blocks, with the new fabric incorporated:

And here it is in its place, more or less:

I've also been pondering layout in a more general way:  I've been trying to make 6 lighthouse work, but I have a couple of problems with this.  Firstly the pieces I have now are very wide and I don't much want to follow any route I've come up with for adding some length.  Also, some numbers are just more pleasing to my eye: 3 is good, 6 doesn't float my boat, 9 is one I have kept coming back to in all sorts of contexts this year, so I am going to bite the bullet: 3 more lighthouses coming up.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

AHIQ - share your improv #10

It's been a slow few days on the quilting front: I'm feeling a bit glum and not very motivated (and I dedicated all Sunday to sitting on a motorway which never helps).

Anyhow, motivated by the fact that it is link up week I pulled my socks up yesterday and went back to All at Sea.  I have joined another two lighthouses with a name strip to get this.

So now I have these two chunks.  This is not where they will sit in relation to each other, just me trying to fit things into the available floor space.  As usual when things reach this sort of size I am struggling to get a photo that doesn't include the detritus of everyday life around the edges!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Saturday photos #68

Not feeling remotely flowery today, so here's a selection of shots of electrical appliances from round the house (I like to walk on the wild side occasionally).

Friday, 24 June 2016

A little finish

Little cats finished, bound and ready to go on the wall.

TGIFF is at Whims and Fancies this week - hop over and check it out.

PS: Don't forget the AHIQ will be going ahead on Tuesday next week.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Progress, with thanks.

What an interesting thing this stage of the lighthouse project has turned out to be.  Last time I posted about it I was struggling with how to fill the sections between the individual lighthouse blocks.   I had tried twice (here) but still wasn't completely happy with what I had.  I had started playing around with a range of solids, trying to find something I liked as much as I had liked the conservatory or kitchen floors.  

Then two comments sparked a train of thought for me, that seems worth sharing here.

The first comment was from Doris  and went something like this

i always have problems with words in quilts or paintings. My brain is always reading these words and my focus is on these so I do not really appreciate the beauty of the other parts.

I had to think a bit to answer this, but here's what I came up with:

I like the idea of text in quilts but have only very recently tried it. I have never much liked stuff with overt messages or statements but love words so am groping towards a version of quilt&text that I feel comfortable with.   I have a sort of theory that if you can get it right, the words create a rhythm of their own, but shouldn't detract from the rest.  Like an extra, unexpected colour almost. 

Looking at what I had done, I realised that I was far from achieving what I was describing.  Part of reason I wasn't happy was precisely because the words weren't working: they just sat in the middle of all those horizontal strips but didn't have the impact I'd liked when I lay them all out on the floor.  They needed to be doing a job of their own, not just playing a minor part.  Things gelled completely for me when Monica added this:

Well, this is another interesting exploration of horizontal and vertical lines, I think! It looks like the one that feels better is the one with a clearer vertical line of contrast in the "sashing." I think that line keeps the lighthouses from overpowering their setting, and helps to put them into context. 

She was completely right - the balance between the horizontal and vertical is what keeps the eye moving and gives things structure.  I had way too much horizontal stuff going on and, for my eye, the result was bland.

So, what I have done is this:  added more words and focused on creating structure with them.  I started to think of them as little towers, echoing the shape of the lighthouses and making much stronger verticals.  

This is where I've got to.

Of course you may read this, think I'm spouting gumph and that there is no improvement, but it makes sense to me! (And I have just realised I put a disclaimer on the end in case I have accidentally been horribly pretentious, which for some reason I always worry about when I try to explain my thinking.)  

In any case I am always grateful to people who take the time to tell me what they think - it's not just about seeking affirmation; the conversations can be genuinely enlightening and, for me at least exciting and stimulating, so my thanks go out with this to Monica and Doris, but also to everybody else who bothers to comment.

Linking up today with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Wall in progress

Do you remember, in February after I had the flu, I said I was going back to basics: piecing one project, quilting one.  That worked well: I liked the simplicity and the clarity of it.  But I just did a count and somehow those two projects have multiplied and by my count I now have seven things on the go.  Ho hum.  Still, I am at least feeling on top of things still.  My 365 circles are up to date, I finished stitching the binding on my applique yesterday and current quilt in the hoop is progressing nicely.

A couple of quick progress shots for Slow Sunday Stitching:

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Saturday photos #67

I spent a day woad dyeing on Thursday and had planned to use photos from that for today's post.  Unfortunately my camera spent the day in its bag on the hall floor, which totally scuppers that idea.  So here, once again, is some garden stuff.  My poor roses are taking a battering from the days of torrential rain, but still look pretty when it eases off for half an hour; it was still raining when I took these, just not so hard.