Friday, December 08, 2006

Pinwheel Quilt Revisited

Thanks to Margaret, Sally and Felicity for their comments on the pinwheel quilt. I'm glad Margaret asked, "What would happen if [the trunks] spread more into the borders?" I was asking that question myself. What do you think? Should I tuck the base of the trunks into the border seam, but let the tops extend into the borders both top and/or sides? Should the bases also start in the border area? Or would it be better to restrain myself? I think if I spread them out a little more and slop into the border area, it will only help the problem with the borders being a tad too wide.

Speaking of the overbearing borders, Sally saw perfectly my concern in her comment and offered some suggestions, which actually were things I tried in my EQ5 program. I ignored the wisdom of what I was seeing on the screen and continued with my original idea. I am my own worst enemy at times. Here are two versions with shading added to the outer row of pinwheels, which I think is what Sally was getting at:

I'm afraid I boxed myself into a corner on this one, letting certain things influence my decisions. Right off the bat, I needed this piece to be a specific size to be part of a seasonal rotation of quilts in a specific wall space. Then I patterned its basic layout after a quilt that is already part of that rotation - Out Of The Night seen here on the right. It has a 6 inch border of snail's trail blocks surrounding a center panel, and I thought the proportions worked just fine. Of course, there's much more of the background fabric reading in the border section than is going on in my pinwheel borders.

Still, this might have been ok had I not been a bit lazy. The blocks from the pattern which gave me my idea did not finish at 3 inches but at 3-1/2. This increased the border to 7 inches. I really should have redrafted the block, but as I said, I was being lazy. And by increasing the border width, but not the overall width of the quilt, I narrowed the width of the center panel. There went my balance, I believe.

I've got too much of this sewn together at this point to make the changes both Sally and I know would improve this work. However, I have a batik and a different set of hand-dyes that could easily make a second quilt like this, with improvements. I could resize the block, resize the whole quilt, work without those silly self-imposed restrictions. In fact, as I've been studying the quilt on the design wall, thinking how I could do it better, it occurred to me that more of the background would show through if I shifted the placement of fabrics in the pinwheel block. It places the background print in the largest triangle and the two solid triangles now form their own separate pinwheels. Here's a computer mock-up of that, plus one with the shading in part of the border.

Now the only question is, do I have the patience to rework this idea and make a slew more pinwheel blocks?

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