Sunday, 22 September 2019

Not there yet

When I am in the room with this quilt I shuffle things about, think I like something and take a picture.  Unfortunately when I get back and look at said picture on my laptop, I am distinctly underwhelmed.  

Here is one such picture.
You will see that I've tentatively added some verticals, which on several occasions have helped me get a project moving but on this occasion I don't think they add anything.  Moreover I start to feel a bit like I'm throwing the kitchen sink at this and don't have much to show for it.

What I like about this picture is (still) those patches of blue violets and the dark blue.  What I don't like is: no definition, visual mush, no sense of structure or rhythm.  I can see that if I just kept sewing I might have something quite pretty, but, frankly, I'm going to get bored way before it gets finished.  

Ironically the look I like best in my garden is ordered chaos, but clearly I need a bit more order and a bit less chaos here.  Right now I am seriously thinking about ripping seams.  

What I think I might need - or at least what I'm going to try next - is to make a better use of the dark blue.  I like how it sits against the other colours but those rectangles are doing nothing special.  I would also like to find an extra way to add contrast, either a really, really light fabric or...I don't know what right now.  I've looked at yellow-y shades, at greens, at bright pink, at a brown but nothing has sat well, except the pink I used for those wee strips, which sadly adds nothing in terms of contrast.    I think it's back to the boxes, to see what else I can find.  Wish me luck!

13 comments:

LA Paylor said...

well if you don't mind a random opinion... I like the verticals but they disappear because of tone.... a really blue black vertical line would make more of a visual stop. Things do look different in pictures though, than in person.
I also take pics or leave the room, hoping to return with fresh vision when I'm stumped by a design decision. If you are still dithering, it's still not quite right. But. I have faith in your ability to figure it out!
LeeAnna

Shasta Matova said...

These blues are so pretty - don't give up. I agree it needs some contrast.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I feel your discomfort. I have two projects in the pending stage that are very much in the colorful chaos camp. Trying to find a reasonable rhythm for them is a challenge. In your photo, I noticed that the tiny butterfly corners are utterly lost at present unless the photo is enlarged. They're fun and special -- hoping your future changes let them shine a bit more.

Kathy said...

As one who is not a big fan of pastels, I would probably look at more and more in the darker blue family. It seems as though it would set off the pastels much more effectively than any of the other colors you have suggested. And when you say you like your garden in 'ordered chaos' I look at your pretty pastels as the chaos and the dark as the order!

Anonymous said...

I like the pink vertical additions. Maybe you need a "secret" part of your chaotic garden that the verticals and horizontals can lead the eye to.

Ann said...

It's certainly a puzzle. I like the individual units but agree that it's currently visual mush. Lots of good ideas by the previous commenters and I'm sure you will find your own path. I always admire how improvisationally you work. I have such a math background that even when I try not to, I end up making something geometric or mathematical. It's always inspiring to see your process. Hope springs eternal.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

I love the colours in this. 'Organised' chaos is a tricky one to actually achieve, but I know you will work it out!

Robin said...

I, too, like to watch how you work. I love the dark blue fabric you mentioned. It really draws the eye in. Maybe some word strips, you'll figure it out, you always do (and it turns out great).

audrey said...

At first I thought you were adding long skinny dark blue crosses because of what I saw in the upper left hand corner. Then I realized that it was your floor showing underneath. It's so hard to find directions at times. Like you said, throwing everything plus/minus? the kitchen sink and getting basiclaly nowhere. I really love these colors so there's that. As always, I expect to be totally surprised by how you end up pulling it all together! Really glad that you are comfortable enough to show your progress even when it's not going super well! An inspiration for the rest of us to keep trying and trying....

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Yes, you do need some contrast. Those poor butterflies are lost in pastel overload. Consider a combination of dark greens, blues, and browns. How to use, I'm not sure, but maybe toss them in as larger butterflies so that the viewer sees those and begins looking for the pastel ones. I love discovery in a quilt--when you see one or two motifs and find yourself looking for others.

You have lots of good ideas here, and you are great at what you do, so there's no doubt that's it's going to happen. The only thing left is to just try to enjoy the process.

cspoonquilt said...

I always love your color choices! Low volume is kind of it's own thing?! Maybe a stronger pink, or even a red if you want to jazz it up?! I know you will work it out! cheers!

patty a. said...

I agree with Mary that your butterflies are lost with not enough contrast between the blue and the floral butterflies. I kind of like the pink lines.

Good Earth Quilting said...

Honestly, I've been there and done this. If these scraps were mine I'd do one of two choices:
1. make a rectangle of these scraps, then use that as a background for a lovely silhouette, maybe a vase of flowers all one color.
Or
2. Use the scraps already sewn together as the "fabric" to remove shapes from such as circles, triangles etc.

Sometimes they remain unused and go into a crazy quilt! Have fun either way!