Well, not actually! We’ve loaded our truck with supplies for our LCITW (little cabin in the woods) and are headed north to awaken our summer getaway from it’s winter slumber.
Before hitting the road we made a pit-stop at our local library to retrieve a book I had on hold. The book, Fabric Embellishing The Basics & Beyond by Ruth Chandler, Liz Kettle, Heather Thomas and Lauren Vlcek, was one I had learned about on IG.
Rather than buy the book right away I decided I should follow the example of Tierney from Tierney Createsand browse a borrowed copy. Often times my spur of the moment book purchases end up being a disappointment.
As we pulled into the parking lot of the library I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten my most important personal item, my purse. Needless to say a trip back home was in order. To complicate things my library card was inside the purse! Thankfully my husband had his card so he could use it to retrieve the book. Of course that meant he would have to endure the berating of the librarian for not having mine. He usually makes up a pretty good sob story to persuade them to go outside their policy and allow him to check my items out.
After returning with my book we went back home to get my purse. The short distance between my home and the library afforded me ample time to browse the book and conclude that it would be a worthwhile purchase.
Before leaving town I located an online resource to acquire a “very good” used copy. The book should arrive in a week or so. In the meantime I can read my borrowed copy. When I decide to begin experimenting I will share tales of my adventures. Now, back to my reading and the bouncy ride provided by our oversized, diesel truck.
Thank You for visiting. I look forward to our next encounter.
The photo shown above includes all six blocks. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out; especially since it was my first attempt at this technique. Through the experience I learned so much about curved circles as well as color distribution.
When I selected the colors for these blocks I tried to anticipate how well they would work together. Sadly, I wasn’t particularly alert to their color values. After stitching the blocks together I noticed that many of my 1/4 circle blocks had values in the same range. This similarity created muddy or dark areas.
Obviously, if I had it to do over again, I would hope to avoid this situation. Creating art that has a well-rounded distribution of color values seems to be a lesson that I need to work on over and over again. I look at it as a bonus! This means I can make more blocks; which means more sewing; which means more fabric. Yippie!
Does It Have To Be A Circle?
I also discovered, after-the-fact, that I didn’t necessarily have to form circles with the four components. I guess I focused too much on the title of the chapter, Improv Circles, and not the many possibilities for stitching them together. Instead I could have turned them in different directions, creating flowing waves.
If I had paid more attention to the photos in Cindy’s book Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free-Motion Quilting, especially the one on the first page of the chapter, duh, I would have observed another variation. Just like with the issues I have with color values, making new blocks with flowing waves rather than just circles will give me the chance to create more art! Woohoo!!
Originally the blocks were meant to be included in my Mystery QAL art piece. They hung out with my other building blocks for quite a while. Eventually I thought they were way too special to be hidden amongst all of the linear pieces so I decided to give them their own stage. Thus, another original art piece was born!
Which Way Looks Best?
I had fun arranging and rearranging the blocks to achieve different designs. I used my iPad to take photos of the various options to keep track of my progress. Those photos are what helped me to settle on a placement. The photo below shows my final product.
Did You Notice Anything?
After seeing the photo you probably noticed that each of the blocks were surrounded by a border. I think those borders help to give each block the individual attention it deserves. I’m so glad I decided to add them.
Did you also notice that they are not all the same size? The first grouping of blocks that I made originated from smaller squares of fabric. When I decided to make three more I also made the choice to use larger blocks. I’m so glad I was able to add variety to my piece through the different sizes.
Even though my blocks didn’t turn out as spectacular as I had hoped I am very proud of my first attempt at improv circles. This original art piece will always remind me of my maiden voyage.
So, would you like to see how the back turned out; here’s a photo.
The above photo shows a very jazzy backing. This batik is one of the favorite fabrics I have in my inventory. When I saw it in the store I just had to purchase a piece. Thankfully I didn’t just get a fat quarter. Nope, I purchased yardage! I chose this fabric to be the backing for my Disjointed original art piece because I thought it replicated the lively color choices included on the front.
From the above photo you will also observe that I chose to use a facing for my piece rather that the typical binding used on quilts. A binding would have been very visible and I didn’t want that to draw my attention away from the blocks. Also added was a hanging sleeve and a label.
Shall we talk about quilting? Yes! Let’s!
When deciding how to quilt my piece I took a step back to take in the over-all appearance. The wiggling lines created by the improv circles gave me the idea to repeat that motion through my quilting. To do so I chose to stitch wavy lines with a coordinating, variegated thread. The quilting, as seen on the front, nicely compliments my design. From the back the quilting is even more striking. The curving lines make me feel like swaying to the beat of music.
Disjointed, with all it’s awesome traits, measures 26” x 17”. All of the fabrics used were cotton solids taken from my stash. The thread I used was from the King Tut family by Superior Threads.
I will proudly display my new art piece in my home. The lively colors as well as the curvy lines will add a spark of enthusiasm unlike any other.
One More Thing
Before I let you go there is one more thing we need to discuss and that is the naming of my original art piece. I’d like to be able to say that I arrived at it through some magical process or journey but that would be very far from the truth. The process was actually very simple. The improv circles have a disjointed appearance. The disjointed or irregularly shaped lines inspired me to call my piece Disjointed. See, nothing magical. 🙂
Signing off before expressing my gratitude for your attention would be criminal. Thank YOU so much for your continued support as well as your many comments. I look forward to the opportunities we have to interact.
I looked forward to returning to my studio today. My mood was extra perky because the clouds were gone and the sun was brightly shining. I just love it when the light filters through my studio window. The glow of the bright rays and their warmth always makes me smile.
My goal for today was to create new building blocks to fill in some of the holes in my design. I also had plans to manipulate the arrangement of my blocks. The process of moving them around obviously won’t stop until I start to stitch them together. The farther I get into my project the harder it is to see big changes.
I have a large volume of scraps stockpiled in baskets and tubs just waiting to be added to an art piece. Sometimes I think I pay more attention to them than I do my neatly stacked and folded fabrics.
Perhaps it’s because the contents in my cubby holes serve two purposes,
I love to surround myself with bright colors. My home glows with pizazz from my many art pieces and the carefully chosen collectibles. In my studio, my neatly pressed fabrics help to add the punch of color I crave.
A decrease in my inventory would mean a reduction in the colors on display. Of course I could always remedy that with additional trips to the fabric store. But, on the other hand, that would mean I have to spend more money and spending more money is something I hope to curtail. The scraps of fabric, while quite colorful all on their own, don’t provide as much of an artistic impact. Besides cutting into a scrap is much less traumatic that a whole piece of cloth.
I used those strips to create the center section for the block in the top left corner. I’m amazed at how interesting it turned out. The other five blocks were also made with scraps from my baskets.
Mystery QAL Day 9, Design Wall in Color
Mystery QAL Day 9, Design Wall in Mono Tones
Pictured above are my color and mono tone photos from yesterday. The photos show areas of concentrated dark values. To make my piece more appealing I needed to insert blocks with lighter tones to break up those areas.
Some of the blocks I create are random sizes while others were made with a definite size in mind. All of the units I made today were meant to fill specific areas so their sizes were predetermined. Their color values were pre-planned as well.
These new blocks were made to help breakup yesterdays problem areas. I inserted them into my art piece then took another set of photos.
Mystery QAL Day 10 Design Wall in Color
Mystery QAL Day 10 Design Wall in Mono Tones
Here’s how my piece looked after they were incorporated. The addition of the lighter colors helped to break up the overly dark areas.
A Different Plain
Without my saying so, I’m sure you have noticed that my photos were displayed horizontally rather than vertically. I did this because I like to be able to see them on a different plane. This gives me the opportunity to visualize things differently and perhaps notice other problem areas.
My design wall is way too big to turn the other way. It is much easier to rotate a photo than it is to move my board. Besides, if I did try to turn the board I have a hunch many of my units would fall off; creating yet another problem. Then I definitely would see things in a whole new way.
Aside from color value, I also like to analyze the direction of my blocks. Ideally I would have a good mix of both horizontal as well as portrait. My eyes don’t always catch this with a portrait photo. Many times I’m so focused on color and their values that I forget to look at block orientation. The horizontal photo makes me look at things differently and helps me to focus on portrait vs. landscape.
Judging by the photos above I think I have a pretty good mix. There are perhaps a few more that register as landscape but I think I can live with that for now. Especially since I’m not quite finished with my design. This gives me something to keep in the back of my mind, however.
So far today I have made six new blocks, reorganized the block arrangement and analyzed my landscape vs. portrait orientation. Left to consider is my color values. Next I will compare yesterday’s photo with today’s.
Mystery QAL Day 9, Design Wall in Mono Tones
Mystery QAL Day 10, Design Wall in Mono Tones
Looking at the two photos I can see that many of the blocks have been moved to new locations. Moving them around and adding in the six new units has drastically improved the appearance. The ratio of lights, mediums and darks has started to even out as well. With a more even blend my eyes move about more freely and that’s exactly what I want to achieve. Woohoo! I think I am on to something. FINALLY! 🙂
This is an awesome place to call it a day! Before I do that let me share two more photos.
Mystery QAL Day 9, Design Wall in Color
Mystery QAL Day 10, Design Wall End of Day
This side-by-side comparison provides a look at the end-of-day photos from yesterday and today. I definitely like today’s much better! It looks so much more organized and restful.
You have been such a trooper for allowing me to bend your ear. Thank You! I look forward to our next get-together. I am so excited because we are getting so close to the end.