Sunday, 26 August 2018

BLOG 408

BLOG 408
I am back again from holiday but I have been laid low with a throat infection and head cold (‘reet badly’ as we say up North!). I blame the 10 hour night flight and the recycled air in the cabin! It is nearly a week since we landed and I am still suffering!  Add jet lag to that and a suitcase that didn’t travel back with us and you more or less have the flavour of the last 7 days! And what does this girl do when she is below par, she turns to her fabric! The colourwash was on the wall waiting for my return and I just picked up where I left off. This is at the stage where it is mindless pinning and sewing and it was just what I needed for rest and recuperation therapy.


As I was working on it I wondered if placing the strips on the diagonal would make any difference so I tried the idea on my design wall. Thankfully I came to the conclusion that it didn’t, so that has saved a bit of time and effort!


The problem now is that I have so few dark Liberty fabrics so I am going to store the project away until I can buy some more!


Another ‘stored’ project is the half square triangles; again I need to get somewhere to buy ‘light’ tone-on-tones to go with the remaining ‘dark’ squares.

 It’s always good to have plenty of projects in progress and I can do both these present projects standing on my head. They are not challenging, just fabric-reducing exercises, nothing more, but my creative self yearns to be fed! I love to work with Batiks and Bali’s, in a painterly fashion, and I need to get something underway fairly promptly. The prelude to this is getting a feel of the fabrics through sorting and tidying. This is almost a meditative process and I try not to dribble too much on my fabrics. It reminds me of the feel of the fabrics and of the fabulous colours and soon they start to inspire me. You will just have to ‘Watch this space’ if you are interested, to see what I come up with and how I go about it. No pressure there then.



And, as usual, lots of scraps appeared during this process so I reckon there will be another colourful scrap quilt underway again before too long!


Sunday, 5 August 2018

BLOG 407

BLOG 407
I have continued with my task of cutting 3 ½” squares from my selection of Liberty fabrics to give a good palette of fabrics to choose from when I start to work on my design wall. My one thought as I look at the palette is that I may not have enough in the dark value range.  I will see how I progress before trying to rectify that potential problem (more expense!).
            Palette of fabrics
So the palette is sorted, the design wall is empty so what am I going to do on it? Well, many moons ago, when the ’colourwash’ revolution was at its height, I bought an innocuous little workbook by Shirley Liby on one of my visits to Paducah. There is no colour at all between the covers, just a variety of designs based on the tonal value (light through to dark) of the squares. A design from this book would be my starting point.


             Potential design

               Sample block

              2 blocks

          4 Blocks
I do enjoy playing in this way, squinting my eyes to get a blurred effect so I can check that the squares run smoothly from one to another. And this is the one time when my mobile phone comes in handy! I take pictures as I am working so I can assess whether I am achieving what I have set out to do. Sometimes you can be too close to your own work and pictures help to give distance (that, and using a mirror to look over your shoulder at the other end of the room!) These pictures reinforced what I feared, that I hadn’t got enough dark fabrics!

So the next step was to look at the colourwash bible written by Deidre Amsden. She was making fabulous patchwork quilts based on value long before the Americans took it over. I particularly liked 3 designs which Ithought were doable with my limited palette of fabrics.
     The colourwash bible!

            Design 1

           Design 2

            Design 3

I decided to concentrate on Design 1 and found that this worked better for me with my range of fabrics. Here’s the play sequence which I hope will illustrate what I mean when I say you can be too close to your own work. At the end my efforts I felt quite dispirited, assuming that I hadn’t achieved what I had set out do. It was only when I was going out of the studio and I looked back at the design wall that I saw that indeed I had created alternating value strips. I was pleased and will continue along this vein when I return from holidays.
            Sequence 1

             Sequence 2

              Sequence 3

             Sequence 4
Did someone mention holidays?! I am going to Las Vegas and San Diego with the family for a couple of weeks so there will be no blog postings whilst I am away. Happy hols to one and all!