Wednesday 29 January 2020

Very long, very skinny

I am chugging slowly along, notwithstanding the challenges I have set myself.  Piecing together my very long, very skinny coin sets, with all their bends and kinks is definitely requiring me to concentrate. That pink fabric whose job it is to fill in all the little gaps is going to have its work cut out. 

I have used most of the coin sets I put together at the start, so now I'm putting together more as I go along.  Quite a few fabrics are already running short, but I am much more sanguine about this than I used to be - one way or another my quilts always get finished.  Interestingly I have much less of the lovely multi-coloured stripe than I thought; I have realised this is because it was a short sleeved shirt - that extra bit of sleeve from the elbow down must yield a lot of fabric.  

Working away at the top right hand side here.
Just slapping bits down and shuffling them around to see what clicks.

Eventually I got to this.
I started sewing some parts of this arrangement together but lost track a bit.  One of the problems with my way of working is that sometimes I pick something up and then can't remember where it came from.  In those moments I just give up and start figuring it out again from scratch.  But some of this will definitely be there next time you see it. And some, you may have gathered, most probably won't.  

Saturday 25 January 2020

Removing the lens cap is always a good idea

I did quite a lot of sewing earlier this week and took a few photos as I went along.  Unfortunately I didn't remove my lens cap at any point in the day so when I came to blog on Wednesday all I had was a collection of black rectangles which, lets face it, aren't going to enlighten anybody.  Yesterday I got the whole piece out of the box, laid it all out on the floor, took photos and then put it all back without sewing a stitch.  Needs must, but I have to say that just didn't feel right at all!

Right or wrong, though, this is where I am up to.  I have been working on three areas at the same time: bottom left, bottom of the next block over and top right.  I don't think it will get much longer but I'm probably only half way across.
Remember that long pink strip that I took out earlier?  That fabric is going back in but in much smaller bits.  Like the black strips, which I'm adding when I want to join two similar coloured strip sets of different widths, this has a specific job: I'm using it to straighten things up when a strip set is particularly curvy, like this:
 or this.
Once again, the combination of camera angle and winter light/flash seems to do the fabrics in this a disservice.  In the top picture a lot of things that have pattern read as solids to my eye whereas in fact there are only two solids in the whole thing.  Never mind - when I get to the stage where it's on the washing line for photos I know these things will be easier to see.

Sunday 19 January 2020

What remains

Two things are now gone, as promised in my previous post.  One is the long pink strip to which I gave serious consideration. In the end I decided that it wasn't adding anything, so out it goes.  In fact I like the way the black and pink checked pieces sit up against each other much better without it interrupting.

The other thing that went was a little piece at the bottom of the left-hand side, where I had added two horizontal rows.  Off they came - this piece seems to be working better if I stick with the vertical, although changing directions worked well for me in my last Coins quilt.  

This is the current state of play.
Cutting freehand produces strips with a lot of curve in them, so at some point that pink may be to go back in to help straighten things out but for now I'm just sewing together smaller sections and not worrying overmuch about the technicalities of construction.  

I seem to have gone over the course of about a week from groping around looking for answers to having a pretty clear idea of what I think I'm doing.  This feels good, though I'm not taking anything for granted - next week I may well be stumped again.  

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Some things to keep, some to remove

Yesterday I thought I was going to take the little chunk I had pieced and work out from it in one direction or another.  But I couldn't come up with something I liked so I decided just to work on a completely different bit and worry later about how they went together.
 As it happens I think they sit quite nicely next to each other.
At least two things in this photo will be gone when you see these bits again though.

Thursday 9 January 2020

What happened in 2019?

Well, something rather strange.  I fell out of love with the internet.  It started with a conscious decision to be more focused in how I used it and to reclaim some of the time that used to leach away from me: you know how it is - you come to blog, then you check other people's blogs, then you look at some new ones, then you follow a chain of thought...What I hadn't anticipated was that the less I was here, the less I wanted to be.  I still used the computer for work, but lost all urge to turn it on for anything else - I even did my Christmas shopping in real shops this year and I don't remember the last time that happened.  

Reflecting on this in a conversation this week I think that there is a danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water, so I am making a proper effort to put some time back to blogs - both my own and other people's.   My plan is to allocate little time slots, like I would with work tasks - get the post written, the visits made and then turn off the computer again, no aimless wandering;  I rather like the extra time I have clawed back.  It's a new way of doing things for me, so who knows if it will work, but if not I'll just keep tweaking until I find a new rhythm.  

In the meantime, I have been through all sorts of theories with regards to the latest piecing - I have added in and then removed several sets of fabric, tried pinwheels, tried hourglasses, tried standing on my head and looking at it sideways.  This is what it looked like yesterday.  Just a little chunk, but it's one I'm happy with.

In a nod to Ann's first AHIQ prompt for this year I shall definitely be including more hourglass blocks.  Apart from that resolution I am still groping my way in the dark, but maybe there's a tiny light at the end of this particular tunnel now.