Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Tracing, Cutting, Tracing, Cutting

I've been diligently working on the second "wine-dark sea" quilt, tracing a different set of mast reflections which require layering a narrow squiggle onto a wider one. (This is another case where the tackiness of Steam-a-Seam II is a godsend.) Again, this means multiple tracings; first, to pick out the lines to use from the printout, second, retracing on the back for the mirror image necessary for fusible applique, and third, tracing one last time onto the fusible web. There were two like this in different colors, and thus I got bogged down in the always frustrating fabric auditioning process. Grey is grey, right? But the grey didn't look at all right against the background fabric. This is actually a very dusky blue which reads the perfect grey on the "wine-dark" background. Ditto when I went to find a tan. At least it gave me breaks from the tracing and cutting.

The third reflection on this quilt is more like the ones on the other quilt, only in black. As I cut around the shapes of the reflections for this piece, I found myself reminded of jigsaw puzzle pieces. As I cut these last skinny bits, I thought about vermicelli (which is Italian for little worms).

I played around with the position of my three reflections, and for better or worse, this is what I have settled on. There will be quite a bit of visible quilting to enhance the effect of rippling water and reflected images (she says with more confidence than she really feels). You can see to the left that I pinned my master pattern next to the quilt top to help me get that last reflection with its multiple pieces placed accurately.

I can say without a doubt, I have had my fill of tracing and cutting these skinny squiggly pieces. And I would love to announce that I am indeed done with tracing and cutting. However, the first quilt has spoken. Here it is as I originally envisioned it, with just those two reflections. But something kept nagging at me about that big space in the middle. Even with quilting, I don't think the pattern in the fabric is enough - those white squiggles really jump off the fabric visually. Maybe add a black squiggle or grey one down the center, I wondered? To help me visualize this, I held the white and grey layered reflection from the second quilt over it, just off center, and it was immediately clear this was what it needed. I'm not copying that particular one again because of its size and the way the lines ripple, but I am going to use that last skinny one, adding a second layer behind it in that actually blue but grey-looking fabric. Tomorrow, that is. I truly am tired of tracing and cutting.


Living to work - working to live said...

I feel your pain - but the effect is beautiful. Hilary xx

Wil said...

I presume that you will do the rippling quilting before you fuse the squigly pieces? Although the task was tedious, the result looks great.

Lucia Sasaki said...

Wow, Sheila, thanks so much for sharing all your efforts.
When I saw your first picture I thought to myself "it seems like a suminagashi (japanese marbling) pattern. Your idea of rea wine sea is beautiful, but the execution... I shuddered when I saw the so narrow strips...
Good Lord bless your effort.
Thanks again!!

June said...

Looks like a winner to me. And I suspect you are learning a lot from the process:-)

Chris said...

I know how hard cutting out those small shapes can be. I finally bought a pair of Karen K Buckley scissors and they seem to be very helpful for cutting out small fused pieces. I used them to cut out my piper and he was very small. The quilts are looking good. It is amazing how much the background fabric contributes to the ripples. The quilting will make these wonderful.