Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Several Improvs in One

It's been a while but I finally pieced the border of the Square Deal. After swearing I wasn't going to make more blocks... I did. The top needed a few more strong reds and light blues.

The top is made of multi-color striped triangles paired with reds. There are two rows of Crossroads blocks as an outer border.
The Square Deal quilt top

What's different? Compare the upper right corner of the final version above with the previous {partially sewn} version below. Five blocks were changed out on the top and right. They were lovely blocks but "pushed the envelope" a bit too far in value. The borders were getting muddled. That's always an issue with printed fabrics where several colors coexist. It can add movement or simply cause designs to become lost. Now there are still diffuse areas but also more definition.

EDIT: I reshot and replaced the photo above. The colors were too acid. I still think the photo below has truer colors though.

This layout has slightly darker Crossroad blocks in the border. A few were exchanged for lighter background Crossroads.
Previous layout for The Square Deal quilt
Do you notice my crosses became much wider with each set of Xs? The last set is pretty wide indeed. The first ones were so narrow that the seams overlapped after pressing. Guess I loosened up as time went on.

Evaluating this quilt it meets criteria for:
  1. Chinese Coins {because those were the original units for the striped triangles} 
  2. Two Blocks
  3. Red is a Neutral (because I played with several fabrics before deciding red looked best with those striped triangles}
However, this is not exactly what I envisioned as a Red quilt. Here red becomes the foreground while I wanted to use it as a background - more like Cathy's Confetti quilt. So another quilt idea goes on the {increasingly} long "to-be-made" list but it still feels good to combine several challenges into one quilt especially since life intervened several times keeping me from fully participating.

At some point I need to make a back and baste this top. That's a task for another time.

Enjoy the day, Ann

23 comments:

  1. The top turned out so beautiful! Good job!

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I wasn't sure about the reds but now see they help make the quilt.

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  2. This is such an interesting top with so much to look at! Quite a success!

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    1. Thanks. Is there it fun to have different things to consider in a quilt?

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  3. there is so much to see here. The foreground background discussion is just one thing to note. That's what I noticed first, the crosses make what ever light or dark shade is used, go forward on the cross and back on the other color. So interesting. I am really drawn to the use of color in the crosses blocks, and found myself dwelling on them not the center. It's all such a learning experience... then there is the beauty of the whole piece to take in.
    You are very talented.

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    1. I hadn't realized how the crosses push to the front until you mentioned it, Lee Anna. That blows all the color theories to pieces - you know - that dark recedes. Improv certainly helps us learn, doesn't it? Thanks for writing such a thoughtful comment.

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  4. I think the top is wonderful -- so much to look at and enjoy. And three challenges in one is pretty impressive!

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    1. Thank you, Julie. I enjoy that the ahiq invitations are open-ended. There seems to be lots to explore and I'm always glad to study them in more depth. Similar to the lovely quilts you make exploring a theme

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  5. The changes are not immediately obvious, but after reading through your thinking, a perfect fix. Lovely, lovely quilt! No doubt it would have always bothered you to leave it as is. It's funny how some pictures are so easy to get true to the color and others almost impossible. Must be the lighting! Thanks for sharing your thinking, contemplation for changes and tinkering. I always tremendously enjoy that part!

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    1. Time kerong. Perfect word for the way we futz over small changed in placement and fabric. It just occurs to me that this is what designers do. I don't put this energy into anything else but realize we are all related now. Ha
      Yes. Those blocks kept bothering me. I hope I've learned to stop and contemplate and fix things as I go. No need to hurry here.
      I read your blog patly because you make exciting yet approachable quilts that show your soul, but mostly because you share your process. It's the modern equivalent of pen pals.

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    2. Tinkering! Not time kerong. Darn spell check. Some day I'll read before hitting publish. Sigh.

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  6. Lot's of energy, I love the red mix.
    The crosses wider and narrower are a good design feature.
    Congratulations on your top finish.

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    1. Janie, thank you for reframing the cross widths. Stated that way they look so much better I stead of just looking sloppy. Many of our design features started as mistakes

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  7. Wonderful! I really like how the center looks 3D. I would never think to add a King's Cross block as a border. What fun! I've had it on my list to make some of those. Congrats on the top. That must mean you are regaining some energy I hope?

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    1. It does look 3d, Cathy. Thanks for pointing that out. If I hadn't had some Lattice blocks sitting around from a workshop I would t have tried them here. I did try them on a Chinese coins quilt where they looked terrible. So like you, I stashed them for another try.

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  8. There is such a lot to like here and looking at both pictures your tinkering was worthwhile. I think your red coming to the fore in the centre part but not in the crosses is very interesting; in the lattice section I was drawn to the greens and the very darkest darks, but having looked at those my eye jumped back to the little dark strips in your centre triangles, not to the reds at all. It's a lovely top.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. It's become my opinion that tinkering until we're happy is usually worthwhile. How kind of you to look so closely and share your thoughts. The lattice has such a different feel although I like the two blocks together. Perhaps it's because they are all prints. I think the solids take the foreground but the darker values in the border add a good shading. And all the colors do make my eye move, too.

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  9. Sorry this is such a late comment Ann!! This is a quilt which can be studied over and over again because of the wonderful colour and your design. I just love all the colour you have in this, the border of lattice adds another dimension.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. I find the quilt very attractive. Much more than when I started. Hopefully I will have time to make a back for it soon but right now there are many things clamoring for my time and attention.

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