Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Am Not Cleopatra

My TIF challenge for the month remains undone and this weekend blogging exercise reminds me that I had better get going if I want to get even one letter done on the piece I designed.

What I did spend time on was the layout of the teapot squares for my lap quilt.  It turned out the concept was interesting - teapot, teacups, and dishes of petit fours all from different fabrics, but the result was less than satisfying.  Oh, all right.  The results were horrible.  Each block was just darling all by itself, but together, they fought with each other like mad.  I spent a total of ten hours over the course of a week moving the completed blocks around, trying different fabrics for the blocks still needing completion, and generally trying to get a cohesive whole using the five finished blocks.

At some point in this futile exercise, I remembered something an instructor in a knitting class once said.  The class's topic was correcting knitting mistakes.  The instructor asked us how many times we reached a point in our knitting where we looked at the evolving garment and thought it might be too big/too small/pattern off/etc.  but we keep going thinking things would work themselves out?  We all raised our hands.  Now, this is a hilarious state of affairs.  If you think something isn't working, why forge ahead?

So, since my name is not Cleopatra (Queen of Denial), I ripped out most of the work on the first five blocks and started over after accepting the problems and fixing them.  They were:
  • too many fabrics in each block and in the nine blocks together - Each block is more effective if the teacup and saucers are cut from the same fabric and the trim of every item in the block  is the same.   The blocks work together if a least one of the fabrics is repeated in either the teacup or the teapot section;
  • two palettes too many - Some rose shades were blue and others brown.  They needed to be in the same color family to tie the blocks together.  And some "pop" colors (purple, for example) were just too strong for the quilt as a whole.
  • too many embellishment types - I jettisoned the multicolored beads and funky flosses in favor of gold beads (to echo the gold in the "wallpaper") and floss and tiny ribbon rosebuds in the same color palette as the fabrics.  I have a bit of lace on hand, and will see if that can be incorporated without making the design look junky.
Here is one of the blocks waiting to be appliqued.  The only thing remaining from the original block is the petit fours.

And here is another block, with just the teapot remaining.

And finally, here are the nine blocks together.  In this photo, the corner left and top center blocks need to be cut, but I completed that step on Thursday evening before I packed up to head back to Aiken. 

I suppose I should accept the need for more do-overs in mid-project because my knitting instructor was right.  Why waste time forging ahead when you have a gut feeling that a project is not working out?  I am much happier with this layout.  The fabric content isn't quite what I wanted, but I don't have enough fabric in my stash to bring my mental vision to fruition.  This is a good compromise because I think the blocks look like they all belong in the same quilt and  the design isn't so busy that your eyes can't settle on a block without being totally annoyed by neighboring blocks.

As to the sashing fabric I purchased for this quilt?  That will be set aside in favor of a solid fabric or one with a very small print.  But I will not make any more purchases until I get all of the blocks assembled.  That will be the time to decide what will go best with the design.  I will be working on this project over the course of the coming six months.  Now that I am done with vacation days, I will have less time to devote to my fiber activities so my output will slow down considerably.  Too bad, too.  I was having so much fun!

1 comment:

Miss 376 said...

I was enjoying your fun too. This is a definite improvement. Hope you enjoy working on it now over the next few months