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. 

Monday 3 June 2019

Possibly, maybe...

Possibly, just possibly, this is going somewhere okay.

I spent a week away from the ice cream colours thinking, basically, that this was a big fat no.  Too sweet, too mushy, too much like hard work.  Blah.  But somewhere along the line I decided to see if I could track down a green I liked and when I found one (in a shop, not a box, I have to admit) I found some other things I thought might work too.  Since I went organic I haven't really done this, but these are all organic so I placed an order.  My thinking was that the black and white prints needed a bit more help; I wanted just a smidge of that green that's in the magpie print but also a few bits that had more pattern to them.  All the shirts have stripes or a check, but they're all so subtle they might as well not be there really.  

Here's what I got.
I pulled apart one of the chunks I'd made already, ripped out a couple of the pastel shirts and added in a bit more variety.  Like this.
It's not that big a difference (see below left for an untweaked block) but I like it a lot better.  It is genuinely a coincidence that I am adding in an extra bird fabric - bought because the colours were right and it was on sale.  Now I think I just need to get more iterations with these new additions, so that I can start to develop a bit of rhythm.
That's the theory, anyway.