Friday, February 18, 2011

The Audition Process

I have too much fabric. No, that's not right. I don't have the proper space such that it can be organized and stored all in one place and then enough room to spread it out when searching for just the right piece to complete a quilt. Yeah, that's it. Two days ago, I had every flat surface in my studio except the floor covered in stacks of fabrics as I continued to search for the right one(s) to complement my red charm square leaf print and its quilted shibori background. I remembered a tote where some yummy russet browns and other fabrics have been set aside for vests and possibly purses. I won't tell you for how long...and who knows if I'll ever make good on those good intentions? So if any of those would work on the current project, I decided I was ready to sacrifice it to the good of the present cause. What I really want to use is that one sitting by itself in the lower left corner, but it is a narrow cut and probably not wide enough for my needs...unless I can think of a clever way to splice some width into it.

The process of auditioning fabric can be an art in itself and often drives me to distraction. Other times, things just naturally fall into place. This time it's the former. I've gone off in a totally different direction than I originally planned (not a bad thing) after deciding that, while my original leanings did a great job of pulling out the dull yellow paint of the leaf print, they did not tie in the red of the square. However, the one that was my favorite will be the perfect foil for these two green charms that I'd decided would make a nice pairing instead of being worked up as solos. That orange one might get stitched up and added to the mix as well - it doesn't actually read that bright in real life.

I'd forgotten all about this bright commercial print, and thought that if my little quilt square was edged in one of the reddish orange fabrics or the yarn you see peaking out by the sewing machine, it could fill the bill. It has squares on point in its design, and some reds that work with the charm red. Oh, but it is so bright - I could see the end product in a kitchen, though. Yet, I really wanted to use that one from the first photo. It has not only the orange/red of the charm, but the pink/red of the shibori plus green and those great wavy lines of color.

Well, one must move ahead on something, and that something was how to attach the charm and finish its raw edges. I opted for twisting two strands of the thick and thin rayon yarn together and stitching it down with a zigzag stitch in near-matching thread. But not before thinking stitching with green thread with a meandering stitch would be better. The tearaway stabilizer I'd ironed to the back of the quilted shibori made it a little easier to remove those stitches.

Such a ridiculous number of decisions to be made on such a simple piece! Yesterday I spent all my studio time switching out various fabrics, going back to some I'd already eliminated, but eventually staying with my fave fabric (yes, I am stubborn), and hitting upon a possible solution to deal with its narrowness. I'm going to accept the amount that shows top and bottom and make the side portion wider.What a lot of staring and pondering that took. The breakthrough came, though, when I decided to up the total size of the piece with the addition of yet another layer to create a second border. That bright one was still an option at the time, but I think this is what I'll be going with. I'm still pondering the execution though, just how I will lay down the layers and deal with the edges, how wide should that final "border" be. And finally, will it get a pillow-turn finish or a binding?

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