Monday 26 April 2021

Slicing and dicing

This is just not happening for me.  I don't remember when I last got so comprehensively stuck (actually, I've just looked back and it was 2015!)

Here's how it panned out.  I made another chunk I quite liked.  I tried it on the left, I tried it on the right.  Not happening.  I tried it at the top of the piece I already had.  That seemed like the best thing I had tried.  It looked like this.
I put it away for the weekend, came back to it today and realised I didn't really like it at all.  I tried adding in HST squares, half white shirt, half coloured.  Nope.  I tried using the white shirt with a centre strip, so that it echoed the shapes of the string blocks.  Now, that's an idea that I liked and that has possibilities, but it didn't work here. 

So...I took all three chunks apart.  You can tell I was fed up because I didn't even bother to unpick, I just ran my rotary cutter right along the offending seams.  I have sliced off the dark strips too.  

I don't have any idea what I am going to do next, but that's all part of the process, right?  I am choosing to be okay with the fact that my process currently involves going backwards!

Wednesday 21 April 2021

One chunk, two chunks

I still  haven't hit any sort of rhythm with this top, though to be fair last week was unlikely to be the time when that happened.  I do however have a chunk I like.
I am now working on a second piece, using something I have unpicked half of, to see if I can revive it without more unpicking.
I don't envisage it sitting in its current position; that's just the clear piece of floor.  In fact, one of the things causing me issues with this is that I can build little sections I like without too much difficulty but I can't for the life of me figure out how to connect them in a way that pleases me.  

A couple of people have commented about the white fabric.  I should explain that it is actually a shirt with a fine dark (probably black) stripe, so is not as glaring and naked as it looks in the photos.  Why the stripes don't show up, I don't know but in real life it has a different effect entirely.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Slow going, still better than not going at all

It's slow going  here this week, but not because I'm stuck (though I'm not yet unstuck).  It's just the second week of the Easter holidays.  Last week my guys went to cricket camp, thrilled that our lockdown has been lifted enough for this to be possible.  Mind you, normally they would have been inside; this year they played cricket in both driving snow and pouring rain and, quite consistently all week, in temperatures barely above freezing.  Didn't seem to bother them though.  This week, no cricket, so I have to be more entertaining.  

I am sneaking in a bit of tinkering and quite a lot of just pondering nonetheless.  I have to thank everyone who took the time to offer up an opinion on my last post - all those clever ideas whirl around in my head and sooner or later something comes of it all.  So far I have decided to add in both a lighter light (a shirt, basically white with a very fine stripe) and some darker options.  I have also settled on emphasising the 'o' shape with the string blocks rather than the crosses.  This means that if I disrupt the pattern, I will be doing so in a more careful way. 

This is just a little bit where I have reorganised the strings and added in a couple of white squares. It's always a bit odd judging something from a small piece, given that repetition is so important, but you can get my general drift anyway.

Here are the new darks.
And this, in the interests of thoroughness, is a black and white version.  
Beyond this, I have no clue as yet, but I am hopeful that by the time I get a clear run at it again, something will have percolated through and I'll be ready to crack on. 

In the meantime, I am quilting and quilting.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Started, stopped

This is where I am at the moment, but I can tell you before you look at the photo that I don't think it's where I want to be.  

I am happy with the individual components here, but it all feels too congested.  One or two bits are sewn together; they may stay that way, although I'm not ruling out a seam ripper either (though that's not a thing I will do lightly with all those strings).

I don't often do this, but a back and white picture is instructive.

See?  Too much mush.  Of course, in colour the red pops out at you, as does the more acid of the yellows so this isn't the whole picture but I need to figure out a way to create some - what?  Space?  Contrast?  Room to breathe?  What I have so far is not huge, so that gives me room for manoeuvre and I am feeling happy that I had already stopped making strings and tulips.  Now it's time to step up and find a way to make this work just a bit better.

Saturday 3 April 2021

Starting on the bigger picture

This is ticking along now.  Here's a layout using tulips in groups and including a couple more big ones.

I have started sewing a few bits together, starting in the middle and working my way out.  It reminds me of why I don't often make so many small bits before I start joining them: I am poor at keeping track of where things have come from.  In some ways it doesn't matter, since I can always just lay them out again, but after a while that stops seeming like fun. So, if I am to keep going until an end, I need to get some bigger chunks done, to compensate for the fact that I appear to be a disorganised person with a poor attention span.

I have one more little tulip and five or six more string blocks currently under construction, but I am more or less decided that I don't want to keep going with either.  Instead, I am experimenting with dropping in squares of some of the floral fabrics that are in the pieced blocks. If I keep going like this there will be more squares and less piecing around the edges, though I might also consider a pieced border of some description.

For this particular quilt these decisions are being driven by the prompts Ann provided, my interpretation of them and, increasingly, by the contents of my scraps box.  If I want a border of any sort I may have to cut up a new shirt. I don't mind so much if that's where I end up, but I am going to have a good shot at only using what's in the box first.  

Clarelou - the tulips are improvisationally pieced; I looked at a few traditional blocks, did my own little sketch and then just did them by eye.  Nothing is measured as I sew.