Monday, April 25, 2011

Making it work!

I've finished the "Make it work!" quilt top. It's 24" (61 cm) tall by 25" (63.5 cm) wide. As you can see, I made some modifications.
The M is quite large, and visually heavy. I didn't mind that, as it needed that to emphasize it's importance as the first letter in the phrase.But the "w" and "o" were also visually heavy. I couldn't place the "w" on the same left edge as the "M" because the "M" and "w" would make the design unbalanced. Even sliding the word "work" over to the right didn't completely resolve that problem.So I trimmed the "w" a bit, first in the middle, then on the left, and I also made the letter "o" skinnier. I removed the cool yellow strip of fabric just above the "w" because I felt it drew your eye away.

The placement of the word "it" was rather tricky. It isn't quite in the center, because I didn't want the vertical of the "t" to line up too perfectly with the upright of the letter "k" in the row above. Your eye would connect those two verticals and create a very strong vertical line and I didn't want that. Also, if it -was- centered, then the word "work" below it would have to be centered, and then the three uprights would almost line up and divide the piece in half vertically.

I liked the tall "k" in work, and wanted to keep it, but if there was too much space underneath the word "it" and the word "work" below it, the two words wouldn't connect visually at all.I moved "work" slightly over to the right. I also wanted to create a bit of visual tension and interest and I didn't want the design to be too static. Working with words, I believe readability is very important. If I had wanted the piece to be primarily a graphic design, and the phrase a secondary element, I might have arranged them differently, but this piece is all about the phrase "Make it work!" so the letters had to be easy to read as words.
(View from this morning... I might add a bit of yellow to the left edge, as it seems a bit cramped over there. I'll have to look at it for a while to be sure, and I'm not sure if "it" shouldn't be moved over to the left a bit...)


Quilter Kathy said...

I just love following your progress and appreciate you describing each design decision you made and why...I'm learning a lot!

Rachel said...

Love it!! (Of course, I love all your quilts you do). I also love that you "made it work" LOL okay sorry for the cheesy pun. I cna't wait to see the quilting that gets done on this one.


Quiltdivajulie said...

Your instinct to move IT a bit left is dead on ...

You're so right that even an 1/8th inch matters.

And how especially cheerful that yellow looks against the gray fence!

Sharon said...

I totally agree with Quilter Kathy. I learn so much from you and your discussion of what you're doing and thinking, and why.

I think this looks great. I think I agree with moving IT a little left, and possible adding more yellow on the left side. Will this be getting a border? That might make a difference in the balance too, if you do a pieced border.

So, do you actually unsew the letters to trim them, or just whack at it and then sew it back together?

I particularly like the I you made - it looks a little like a birthday candle! LOL

Darling Millie said...

Sharon, do I unsew or whack... it depends on how much space there is. If I don't want to make a letter smaller, I unsew (or "rip out"), if I have plenty of background, I just whack. Sometimes it depends on how bulky a seam is, too.

No pieced border.

thanks, friends!

Tonya Ricucci said...


Em said...

I love love love the M, love Em

And the idea is fabulous sewn into the words...