Friday 26 November 2021

More doors and builders on the way

Good progress this week, I think.  I am motivated by the news that I will have builders in the house by the end of next week, which at best will slow my piecing right down and more realistically will stop me completely for a while.  I'm not complaining, since they were supposed to be here in September.  My plan is to keep on hand quilting and maybe find a very simple project that I could piece without needing to lay it out on the floor and look at it. That, though is time dependent.  

But enough of that.  I have three columns of doors now and am perfectly happy with them.

I have thrown in a couple of variations - there are a few blocks that I think of as windows and also some tiny houses.  I am not planning to make more of these now but have moved on to figuring out how they go together.   

I know several things that will inform this bit of the process.  The first is that I don't want total symmetry, so I have joined two of the strips together with a thin slice of colour.  Most of it is an extremely dark blue that I haven't used anywhere else.  It is an Oakshott cotton that I only have an 1/8th of but it is the most lovely, deepest, darkest shade, so I am going to get as much impact from it as I can squeeze.
The second thing I know is that my 3 columns are neither wide enough nor quite long enough for my liking so I will need to come up with something to rectify that.  No ideas yet, but I do have one lovely shirt that I wanted to use but haven't cut up yet.  I'm thinking that will be a good place to start. 

Saturday 20 November 2021

Going up, not going out

Like some of the commenters on my last post, I rather liked the picture where my blocks were staggered, with quite big areas of empty space - ie floor - around them.  The most obvious thing to try was adding in plain chunks of colour. I did NOT like this. Here is one iteration, but there were others.  I varied the fabrics I used, cut some bigger pieces, played around with placement. Nothing was any better than this and this is most definitely no good.

Isn't it frustrating when lots of quite sensible ideas produce an utterly dull looking quilt?  Fortunately scrapping this approach doesn't entail any seam ripping, so that's a small win.

Another possible way to go at this would, I suppose, be to cave in and add something lighter.  It may come to that but it doesn't feel in the spirit of things;  I really want to find a way to work with just this dark range, if at all possible. For now, I am going with the long, skinny chunks, but have introduced a few solids to break things up a bit.

Friday 12 November 2021

Early doors

I titled this post 'early doors' but now I wonder whether that is a phrase anyone uses outside the UK.  Perhaps someone can tell me? We mostly used it in the days when pubs shut in the afternoon and reopened around 5.30.

Since I'm still at the beginning of this, I am pretty much just making doors.  This is what they look like when you have enough to start playing around.  
I like this version better - taller and skinnier and more reminiscent of the shape of the individual blocks.
To keep myself from getting bored I have also been moving them around to create different patterns.
This, in particular, has me wondering what I would put in those gaps.  It can't be something light, since that would rather miss the point of this.  I am hoping that if I keep shuffling, something will eventually occur to me that feels right.  Plenty of time and no big hurry.

Sunday 7 November 2021

A walk on the dark side

 New day, new pile of  shirts. 

A couple of weeks ago, just as I was finishing the last top, I read a piece in the paper about doing things outside in the dark.  At the top of the piece was a quote from a poem by Wendell Berry:
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark too blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings
And just like that, an idea for a quilt was born. I gathered up all the darks that I could find.  Instead of using them to extend the value range in a pile of mid-value shades, I wanted to see what I could do by using them all together.

Mostly, as you probably know, I start with a pile of shirts and not much else.  Strangely this time, I have not just the quote above floating around in my head but also was this image of a building in Liverpool, which I had saved recently. It seems to me that maybe these two ideas belong together.

So off I go, inspired by doors and the dark.  I know already that I can't make a whole quilt just of doors (remember my short attention span?) but I have started off with these.