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.