Monday, October 8, 2018

Back and Forth and Back

My grandmother used to decide if a quilt was big enough by laying it across the top of a bed. It's a low-tech solution that works great. I had measured this panel of free pieced trees, and I was pretty sure it would be ok, but laying it on the table tells me I am on the right track.

So this is nice, and so is the row I'll be sewing to the bottom of this panel, but  I wasn't quite sure about the rest of it.

I arranged blocks on the left side, but the lightest blocks ended up at the top because they didn't seem to belong anywhere else. At this point I knew how to sew the bottom two rows together (see yesterday's post), but I needed more information about how this might look finished, and to do that, I needed to hide the white of the design wall. 

To do that I used scraps to cover up all the white places. I stepped back and wasn't sure about it at all. It looked a little crazy, I kinda liked it, but I didn't like those two trees in the middle pointing to each other. What was I going to do on the sides? Have more trees there pointing in opposite directions?

I removed those trees in the middle and didn't like that at all. When I looked at a photo on my computer I liked it even less. 

As I've said before, when I get to a place like this I just stop and don't make any decisions. I set the problem aside and work on what I know.  That was where it was on Sunday when my Mom came over for a brief visit. She'll be going away on a two-week trip and we wanted to get together before she left. "Besides," she said on the phone before, "I want to see that quilt you're deep into."

My Mom's an artist, so her opinion is always welcome. I explained the concept of the quilt for the table. "I love that idea," she said, "and the bottom two rows are great. I really like those blocks."

I told her I thought so too, and that those two rows were already sewn together. "The light ones at the top have to go," she told me.

I sighed. Julie had said the same thing to me the day before. I knew they were both right.

I told my Mom I wasn't sure the design was working, and about my concerns about the center.

"Show me."

So we went back and forth and I moved pieces around. I moved something, and as soon as I did it I liked it, and when I stepped out of the way my Mom agreed.

"Keep going," she said. "You're on the right track and you know how to do this."

So this is where it is when I stopped working, and Mom's right, yeah, I know exactly where this is going and how to get it there.

I know this isn't for everybody, but it will work for me, and this is one of those times when I have to tell you, it looks a lot better in real life.


Judy in Michigan said...

Can you make a block with 3 trees overlapping? Or trim both sides of 2 trees and stick a smaller one between to give the depth of looking into the forest??? Just thinking...and enjoying your process.

Diane Koch said...

Ahh, yes I like this too! It amazes me how I like different stages along the way, and then you make changes and I like it more. :-)

Ann said...

What a clever way to work this out. I would never have thought of it but will now add it as future possibilities. I knew you'd find an elegant solution. And that we'd all be enlightened by it. You are so fortunate to have an artistic mother. Best wishes for a happy trip for her.

Sewgirl said...

I was going to suggest you just make a bunch of table runners 😏!! But you obviously know what you're is coming right along. Again, thanks for sharing your process. You could just show a finished project, but this is so educational for the rest of us. Thank you!

The Selvage Fairy said...

I love this. It is so much fun. And wait, is that a QT class I hear forming?

Quiltdivajulie said...

I agree that a project like this looks MUCH better in person - in context with its intended use (i.e. laying it on the table to estimate sizing). Flat on the design wall isn't always the best look for a quilt!

jean f. said...

When not sure, turn the photo upside down and take a second look at it. Then turn it sideways and do the same for both sides.