Tuesday 30 April 2024

Strips and chunks - it's all progress

I'm still going with this.  The hourglasses went on down the left-hand side and are looking just right to me.   I also added to the right-hand side, cutting the strip I was adding so that I could keep that curve in the denim.
It feels to me right now as though the area with all the dark blue stripes and grey bits is a self-contained thing, so I'm not planning to add any more blue verticals, just that one piece horizontally across the bottom (or what is currently the bottom ). I'm also going to stop adding in the grey floral, except in hourglasses, so no more big bits.  Practically, I think the next step is going to entail just adding strips top, bottom, sides, rather as if this were a medallion with a very big middle. Since  I don't want it to feel like a medallion particularly, I will be trying to pay careful attention to how the strips and hourglasses fit together so it's not too obvious.

Here are the next two strips going onto the left and right-hand sides and also some of the random bits I am trying out around the edges.  

When I started, the floral bottom left felt a big loud and shouty and like it should only be used in smaller pieces, but somehow, now that the quilt is bigger, I feel much more comfortable considering using great big chunks of it.  Of course, given that it was a shirt, I only have enough fabric for a couple of those chunks, but that's definitely enough to have an impact. 

As this stands, I am not far of a length I would be happy with but am some way short of a satisfactory width.  Never mind.  

Thursday 18 April 2024

Chugging along

This is chugging along alright at the moment.   I joined a couple of my chunks together (that's the bit at the top in the photo), and kept making other bits at the same time.

Joining bits to make bigger bits is the easy part.  Some of my fabrics here (mostly the pale oranges)  I am treating as interchangeable.  Others, principally the dark, dark blue, which has tiny, fine orange stripes running through it, and the darkest floral, I am using more carefully.

Since I liked how the pieces looked lying on the floor together, I thought I'd have a go at finding a simple way of joining them together.  I wondered about using a horizontal line of hourglasses, but it felt a bit too crowded.  Interestingly, I don't hate them in this photo, but in real life it didn't work for me.

So I took them away, but left the denim strip.  I am happier with the hourglasses running vertically down the left side. As things are right now, all of this is sewn together, except those hourglasses. 
I am thinking that I might stop with the deep blue verticals at this point.  I am running out of big pieces of the shirt and what is left would probably work better in hourglasses, given that I have a collection of odd shaped bits and bobs.  The question is, then, what I do next.  Your guess is currently as good as mine.

Monday 8 April 2024

Using up the rejects

While I was trying to figure out how to make something I liked out of the octagons, I made various other bits and pieces too.  I tried combining them with little crosses and also made a handful of hourglass blocks.  Neither of these worked, but now I am looking those rejects and wondering if they might belong together in something else.  The crosses were mostly in reds and dark blues, whilst the hourglasses came in red and orange-y fabrics.  So I have pulled some extra shirts and a pile of denim scraps and am giving it a go to see what happens.  

I didn't hate this first piece, so have kept going and now have three chunks. As you can see, they are pretty simple so this didn't take long.  Now I have to decide whether to make a few more, or start to think about how they might talk to each other.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Quilting when stale

I am aware that my quilting muscles are rusty.  Decisions take longer, I do more unpicking, get further through a project and then change my mind over big choices.  That's okay.  I have decided to start with simple things.  My first pass, though, was a complete non-starter.  I had seen a lot of very pretty octagon quilts and thought I would pull some scraps and fiddle about with something similar.  

What I learned, pretty quickly,  is that either I needed to bite the bullet and cut these in a proper, regular fashion, using a template, or to become wilder, push the shape away from its natural geometry.  I can see that a half-hearted improv octagon is not a good thing. Sewing them together in groups didn't so much look like improv - more like poor sewing.  I tried adding strips in to break them up, which I didn't mind too much, but it wasn't exciting me and I couldn't find a way forward. Shame - there are some nice fabrics here, but stuck is stuck.
It doesn't feel like I have time to waste wrestling with this at the moment, so I'm sticking it in a bag.  Maybe I'll revisit it, though that feels unlikely right now.  Instead, I'm just going to start again with something new.