Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some Pondering and Some Progress

There's a place on the lake here called Ponder Point. I may as well move there, if the last week or so is any indication. In fact, I've decided that I really do not have a design wall, that I don't use my wall for designing. What I have is a ponder wall. Ideas go up, works in progress that have hit a snag join them, things nearly done but waiting for me to make up my mind about quilting take up room there too while I ponder the next steps. Thanks to everyone who gave their opinion on my Shadow Grass piece. To stitch or not to stitch, I still haven't answered the question, still pondering the virtues of each. In the meantime, I've switched gears to something that is all about stitch - my purple seedhead idea. I truly thought this one would work up without a problem, but that attitude is probably what has jinxed it. It doesn't look so bad in the above picture, does it? I love the way the seeds turned out.

But step away and the stems disappear, and the purple does not pop off that green like I thought it would. It just looks kind of weird. I added the additional grass in the background to try to balance the design, but they too don't show up like I had hoped. I've tried numerous threads along the main grass stems - you can see that the outer ones have a very dark green along the outside that I do not like at all and that stitching is coming out. I've used prismacolor pencils which have helped but not solved the problem. And I really should have hooped it before stitching - the decor Bond stabilizing isn't really enough. I'd come to the conclusion that it wasn't worth trying to fix, just finish it out as a journal quilt. I've used journal quilts in the past to try new ideas and serve as future reference. They do not have to be perfect or even work to be valuable.

Well, no sooner had I decided that and started considering some purple batik as a little border than I noticed how my extra shadow grass panels which were shading more to purplish brown than black might help this ailing design. I'd already pulled some fabric I thought would work as background for them and was considering a different approach (with lots of stitch) than my other shadow grass idea. But that idea was not very well formed. By combining the two ideas, I think I may have jump-started something better than either one. Well, at least different. And so up onto the ponder wall the beginnings of this new idea have gone until I either have time to play with it more or my subconscious works it out and taps me on the shoulder.

Time to move on to the other quilt I want to finish by the end of the month - the Palouse Hills Spring Greens. When I sprang for a laptop last year, this was one of the ways I envisioned using it - in the studio so I had ready access to my reference photos without having to print them out or run from the studio at one end of the house to the office where the desktop computer resides at the other end of the house. I haven't really used it much that way until today, and boy, was it nice. Yes, I could have sat in the office, surrounded by its business clutter, pulled up this picture and sketched out my furrow lines. But it was much nicer and more relaxing to sit at my worktable in my studio, surrounded by all things related to making my quilts, and work out quilting lines from the photo on the screen right there.

I've traced the design onto Golden Threads Quilting Paper - I've managed to misplace my pad of tracing paper that I used before, but I probably should be using this anyway since I plan to lay it on top of the quilt and stitch through it. It may be a bit easier to remove since that is what it is designed for. I'm not sure if I'll use the same base fabric as on the first Palouse Hills or opt for a lighter colored linen. I'm pretty sure I don't have the right thread, so there will be some thread shopping in my near future. But at least the design is ready to go.


Red said...

I'm looking forward to how your Palouse Hills Quilt progresses.

BJ Parady said...

Ponder wall. Love it, plan on stealing the name :)

Margaret Cooter said...

For "pop" (the grass) - perhaps some yellow (complementary of purple)? Or perhaps it's a matter of tone/value...