Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Light at the End of the Tunnel...

Here's the last row.

Since I really wanted to see everything all together, I got the bright idea of hanging that last row from the edge of the shelf above my design wall, and then pinning the other edge to the top of the design wall.  Obviously it isn't centered, and it looks funny, but it gives me enough information to make some final design decisions.

1. I thought it would be the red trees that would lead the viewer into this quilt, but I was wrong. It is the yellow trees (not surprising, they are the brightest element in the quilt. Note I didn't say lightest, I said brightest. There is a difference. They eye is drawn to contrast.) I will have to add some yellow to that top row. No biggie, that's what seam rippers are for.

2. The idea of having tiny trees diminish in size at the corners of the quilt is just not going to work. They would look to "tricky" and "cutesy" and since trees like that aren't really shown in the quilt anywhere else, they'd look out of place. So I decided to just carry on with the trees in the top and bottom-most rows, like shown in the picture above. The blocks in the corners here aren't blocks at all, just fabric scraps thrown up on the design wall. But you get the idea.

If you think this whole thing was easy, let me enlighten you. Colors change depending on what colors are next to them. A green that looked dark suddenly looked light when I'd put it next to some tree blocks. Olive colored fabrics looked really green sometimes, and sickly yellow others.

Fabrics that looked like they had a medium texture or print suddenly looked downright "blender"-like when placed next to something busier. And don't even THINK of putting a busy background print with a busy tree print. Sometimes a print would just disappear next to the "right" (translation: wrong) fabric, and I'd never know until I tried to find a home for it. Some fabrics like to play along only in the most particular circumstances, and sometimes not at all.

Green and Red are very close to each other in "brightness" or "intensity." If you want something to look really red, put it next to something green, but they can't be the same value (lightness or darkness) or both colors will look like mud. Really. So putting the red trees in wasn't by any stretch of the imagination an easy task, particularly since I like to distribute my fabrics, scale of print, and color all around the quilt. Look at the placement of the red trees if you do not believe me.

Sometimes fabrics I was convinced would NOT work proved me a liar by working beautifully. Which was fine except I didn't have much of them, and I'd have to resort to piecing scraps together just to get a tree triangle, or background.

I pulled virtually every single piece of green fabric I owned out of my stash. When my worktable is this cluttered

and my ironing table is piled with fabric, it's hard to work.  I actually had to spend two hours cleaning on Sunday before I could work on the quilt. I just didn't have space to press and straighten the big panels once I started sewing them together.

But I'm close. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Nancy J said...

Looking great. Some years ago, a quilting tutor down here, told me" You need some yellow in those blocks to "zing" it up "and she was so right ,Your forest is looking so good.

Jackie said...

I love it! I so enjoy reading your blog not only is it visually appealing I learn so much. Thank you

Julierose said...

Great story of how scraps are born ;))) but you are so right--placement is so important--I seem to want to use certain loved fabrics--but they don't always stay "loved" in the grand scheme....my room often looks the same...hugs for a grand posting Julierose

Quiltdivajulie said...

I like the decision to avoid the tiny trees in the corners - what you shared today seems to be a better approach. Good luck with the stash refolding!

Linda Swanekamp said...

It gets better and better with all the tweaks and turns. That is why the word work is in artwork.

Eat Sleep Quilt said...

I love what you're doing with the trees; who'd have thought a quilt with "just trees" would look so intrigueing! (did I spell that right??) Looking forward to seeing the grand finish.

TEMAustin said...

This is very interesting... I love it that you show how your mind works and why you do what when. I do a lot of improv but I never seem to think it thru like you do. I love this tree quilt you are working on here. It's intreguing and beautiful.