I had an uncharacteristic burst of creative energy today, in spite of an additional 6 inches of snow that fell yesterday. Perhaps it was because Grid 4: Off the Grid was done (except for sleeve and label), and while shoveling around the car, I realized I could prop the quilt attached to a foam core board up on the back bumper and get the shots of it I needed. My quick photo session was followed by a little straightening of the studio and a little work on my TIF challenge.
Thanks to you who took the time to tell me what you thought about my loopy yarn dilemma. Some artists don't like to ask for opinions, fearful of being unduly influenced by others. I, on the other hand, appreciate them because they often help me clear my head. Sometimes I just don't have the confidence to trust my instincts. Other times I can't see the forest for the trees. Occasionally, someone's insight will unblock me, even if I don't actually use their idea. Actually, I'd made up my mind before I read any of the comments. When I viewed it first thing yesterday, those darn loops irritated me even more than the day before. I knew they had to go, or at least be corralled a bit. But before I got to stitching, I checked to see what you had to say.
Wanda said she liked the loopy yarn because it softened the whole piece. And that is what I didn't like about it. I didn't want this piece softened any more. She also mentioned that the loops reminded her of freemotion loops. This piece is not about free motion anything. It's about breaking away from regimentation and about minor imperfections. The loops were too round and perfect where they lay flat against the quilt top. I think that's what was really bugging me, their symmetry along the edge of a piece representing a break from symmetry.
Carrie noted that the yarn didn't show up much in the full picture, and the piece seemed to be missing something. Linda also keyed in on the thinness of the yarn, wondering if the addition of another yarn would help (a thought that occurred to me as well). Both these comments reminded me of why I decided to use the two yarns together in the first place. My cotton painted yarn didn't come out as dark as I had hoped and really wasn't thick enough to go it alone. I was hoping this other yarn would help darken things up and add some interest and volume. But yes, it is so very thin that it didn't do that very well. I was also reminded of my original intention to couch these yarns using the same blanket stitch that I used on the flap. It was supposed to tie the whole thing together. Adding that stitching would help add color to the edge and get those loops under control. Annabelle came right out and said she didn't like the loops. Thanks! I like blunt criticism, and she nicely tempered it with the observation that it's all subjective and I'm probably the only one who knows if it's right.
What I did was a bit of a compromise. I didn't eliminate all of the loops, but I did stitch down most of them. Those that I missed, I pulled under the sideways stitches with a tiny crochet hook. Any that still bugged me and couldn't be pulled under got trimmed off. There! The difference may not be obvious to the casual observer but I feel much better now. Note also that I left a couple of strands hanging in the lower right corner - off the grid. The piece measures about 17-1/2 inches square. Click on any photo for a larger version.
As for my TIF challenge, I've given up on coming up with any grand innovative ideas and decided to just finish it out per my original, if predictable, thoughts. I'm back to fussy cutting, which I don't mind so much. And of course, as I sit and cut and consider my piece, ideas are starting to come. I'm not going to force this - it feels like it wants me to do lots more, truly develop it into something. A month is obviously not enough for this piece.