Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Moving on

Felicity asked me how the Challenge piece is coming along so I thought I'd better get up to date.

The ground rules are that we have to use two fabrics [ one of which I hate, loathe and detest so it's a REAL challenge ] in a piece no bigger than 1 metre in any direction [ mine wanted to be bigger but I've restrained myself ]. No themes given, just the two rather incompatible fabrics.

So here's where I was a week or so ago:

I really wasn't happy with it ... too bitty, too fussy, too ... God only knows ... but I wasn't happy.

So first, I changed the positioning of the lightest carp. Better. Then, I put some of the hand dyed blue between the japanese lady and the top border to break up the fussiness. That helped too.

Next, I added a strong horizontal to make it a Torii gate. Two little side bars of one of the Challenge fabrics made that reference even stronger.

This morning I realised that one of the things that was throwing me off was that the geisha was printed off-grain. I'd cut the piece on-grain so she looked tipsy.

I had more of the print, so I just cut an alternate piece. I'll just have to be a bit more careful piecing her in. I've moved most of the to-be-appliqued flowers too. The ones overlapping the centre of the top border were there to cover up the bright pink flower but I finally decided to just make that top border a bit narrower and avoid the flower completely. That left me free to move the to-be-appliqued bits down to soften the area between the bottom of the geisha print and the shibori-dyed water [ which is much more jade than it looks in the photo and echos the touch of jade green on the geisha. ]

The other change was to remove the brighter orange from the left border, although I retained it on the right.
Then I finally sat down and pieced the last carp. this is the one with the fabric that isn't remotely ME.

Once it was done I realised that it couldn't go in that position [ not that it really GOES in any position ] so I swapped it and the redder one.

Maybe I could make a 3D detachable waterlilly leaf to cover him up later?
I think that I'll probably extend the applique flowers a bit more to the right to soften the seam between the watery shibori, the redder carp, and the geisha piece.
It never ceases to amaze me just how much difference a small change [ or in this case, quite a few small changes ] can make to the success of a piece.

Stay tuned for further tweaking. Same bat time, same bat channel.


mehitabel said...

Thanks for sharing your design process! I have to admit, I rather shy away from "challenges" since the last two I participated in had fabrics I truly loathed. Maybe this year I'll have to try a little harder to be a "good" guild member, and suck it up if I hate the fabric!

Nora said...

I love how you wrote this.
A beautiful and inspiring post.

The One and Only Nadie said...

As usual, you've managed to take truly heinous challenge fabric and turn it into something funky. One of these days you'll get challenge fabric you actually like and won't know how to handle it.

Caitlin said...

GORGEOUSNESS you clever thing, you! And I love the idea of the lilypad leaf.

Robbyn said...

Oh thank you for the trip through the process! It was fascinating to watch as you shifted, trimmed, added or eliminated and to see what the change on the impact of the overall piece was like with each tweak.

This isn't something I will probably ever do, so I can admire your talent and your eye. Thanks for letting me look over your shoulder :)

Sheepish Annie said...

Wow! I can't even think of anything else to say...Wow!!!!! (that is, for the record, a "wow" of great admiration)

Lisa L said...

Thanks for sharing this process! It was very interesting to read and I found myself going back and forth between the pictures. Isn't the creative spirit a wonderful thing?

Helen said...


I have just joined the SCQuilters web ring and I am doing the rounds to introduce myself and say hello. It is taking quite a while!!