Monday, 15 July 2019

Not far to go

Today the good news is that I found my last strip of brown fabric.  It's not huge, (those tiles are 13" square, to give you an idea) but then I don't need much.  I could probably have coped without it, by using more of the black fabric, but it's good to have my options open.
I made this chunk, which I think is the bottom right-hand corner. 
I'm not tidying up the edges until I'm sure of what I'm doing...which might be something like this.
I need to get the position of the top cross just right.  If it's too low or too close to the central one it seems to make the whole thing feel a bit squat, though I am finding that the foreshortening that comes with taking photos on the floor makes it hard to demonstrate that with a picture.  Anyway, I know where I think it belongs so it's just a question of working backwards from that point to fill in the gaps.

Nearly there, I think.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Today I took photos

Well, I have managed to keep sewing but if I want to keep up with the blogging I will have to do a better job of taking photos. I sat down on Saturday, all ready to post what I had done on Friday only to discover the pictures I was sure I had taken did not exist.  Bother! 

I have done better today, when I got this chunk sorted out.
 This is what it looks like as part of the bigger picture, so to speak.  
I am running very, very low of most fabrics now, but have a little pile of crosses done so I'm pretty sure I can get to the finish line. I will probably have to resort to lots of tiny crosses to fill in my gaps, rather than a few bigger ones, so it will be more work, but I don't mind that too much.  I've given up looking for the extra brown bit.

One a completely different note, I thought I'd share this picture of a Banded Demoiselle.  We have loads of these damselflies in the garden and never tire of admiring them, but they seldom stay still.  This poor chap had died, but I was grateful to be able to get up so close. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Checking in, catching up

Normal life has resumed and I am going to try hard not to take another three weeks to get back to blogging and blog reading.  That seems to have been  my pattern in the last year, pause...still pausing...slow, slow, slow return to normal.  This time I am back at the sewing, so I am now knuckling down to the blog-related end of things.

Here are a couple of quick update photos.  The first is how things looked when I first got my bits out of the box and laid them out
 and this is a smaller area, but all these bits are now sewn together.
I'm still doing a lot of shuffling around, mostly figuring out where I want the bigger crosses to sit in relation to each other.  Once I have the feel for that I am using smaller ones from my pile of ready-mades to fill in the gaps.  

It definitely feels like I am in the swing of it now and I am much happier.  In fact I am coming to like this slightly odd mix of colours a lot.  My only minor frustration is that I know I have one more strip of the tan/brown fabric somewhere: I came across it, realised it would be needed, put it somewhere safe, but not, unfortunately, somewhere obvious.  So I am spending a fair amount of time in unproductive searching. In the meantime I have switched to other fabrics, since every last inch of the original fabric has gone.  

In quieter moments I am also considering the next AHIQ challenge, which is up and running, for anyone who wants to join in.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Tiny crosses fill my days

I am not expecting to piece much next week, so am pushing hard to make progress while things seem to be working.  I am reminded that there is always a big gap between that moment when I think I know what I am doing and how I will get to an end and actually reaching that end.  In this case, the space in between those two points seems to be filled with tiny little crosses.  

This big chunk was sewn together today. I added a bit above the smaller black cross, to drop that section down, and filled in a lot of spaces with my little crosses.  I'm pretty happy with how this is coming now.
Here, just for my own satisfaction, is a close-up of a section, just to give a better look at some of the fabrics that are bouncing the light back in most of the pictures.
I am keeping an eye on the green and brown and black as I go, since they seem to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but mostly it's just me, my machine and cross after cross.  Isn't it funny how I think I have a short attention span (I do) but then I'll sit and do something utterly, tediously repetitive for literally hours if the end result seems to justify it.  There is, as they say, nowt so queer as folk.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Keeping track

There's not much to be said about this right now, but I'm posting just to keep track of progress.
Again, this is not the final layout but I am playing around now with how the pieces fit together and won't be making more of the bigger bits unless I have a specific space for one. Instead I'm thinking about how to use the small, smaller, smallest blocks to hold everything together.  There's a bit of the bright green sneaking in, and little squares of black and tan.  

Using all these light fabrics is making this piece hard to photograph - lots of the detail in the prints just isn't in this picture at all and the blue and green shirts are virtually indistinguishable. I think it's because it's so very dark I've ended up using the flash and the light is just bouncing straight off it.   I'm hoping that when I finish and hang it on the line the light will work better. If it ever stops raining I may try some line photos anyway, but right now there's no prospect of that, just water, water, everywhere.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

More like it

I have made better progress in the last couple of days and the addition of those extra prints is definitely helping to take this (and me) to a better place.
Once I get a fair number of bits I like to lay them out every time I am working.  They are different each time for a while, but I know that eventually I will look at some particular combination, two blocks sitting next to each other and think, 'yes, you'll do' and those will become one bigger piece.  It is also helping me to think about what I need to do next.  I can't just go on making bits without any clear idea of whether I need them.  Well, I could, but it would be a bit of a waste and just leave me searching around for an alternative to replace the fabrics I had started with.  

Looking at this (and knowing that I have another of the big black crosses almost finished) I am thinking that I need some more of the medium-sized and smaller blocks and that at the moment there are not enough bits of the tan fabric.  I will  make extra black/tan/green crosses and also see how many squares I can cut out of  my remaining magpie fabric.  Once I've got  these extras I can start looking at the bigger picture and thinking how the different colours are moving around the top.

There's a long way to go, but things are starting to click.  I might even be starting to like those ice cream tones again.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Going backwards to go forwards

I feel like I am finally getting somewhere, though I am mostly unpicking what I have already done and reworking it.  Both the bigger pieces here have had changes and I like them better for it.

These bits are now all fine by me.
I have quite a pile of spare parts, all sweet, now waiting for pairs that will keep me going in this direction.  I plan to make more of the smallest size blocks, and still have fabrics that need to be added, but for the first time I am pretty sure I will be carrying on with this.

In conversation with commenters on the previous post I have realised a couple of things.  The first is that although I often see quilts made with solid fabrics that I very much admire, in my own quilting I am less comfortable with lack of pattern.  It seems to add an extra layer, or set of options, that pleases my eye, to add some depth and movement.  I wonder why this is.  

The second is that it is all about combinations.  If you can find the right partner(s), any colour can be made to work.  My usual method is to pull out literally everything and just keep auditioning until I find something that I like, then to build on that (looking for similar colours/tones but with variety of scale, pattern etc).  It would probably give some people a headache to work this way but it usually gets me where I need to go and definitely comes up with better solutions than deciding I know up front what will work.