Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the Random

Are you one of those people who can do the  messy-but-fabulous hair updo?  I'm not.  I've tried, believe me, but I feel completely undone with my hair all "whatever".

I think this applies to piecing.

Color, color.

The other night I pulled out my bin of strip scraps to make a set of string blocks for this month's do. Good Stitches "love" circle.  Chris asked for blocks that were very colorful and eclectic.  I made my first block with an "anything goes" mentality, forcing myself not to edit the placement of the strips.  If a scrap was long enough to fit, I stitched it in.  And, gosh, it wasn't fun.  Oh, and there are parts that I don't much like either!

String blocks for do. Good Stitches

For my second block (on the right), I gave in to intentional placements.  I still used only scraps from my bin rather than dipping into any new yardage.  Much better!

So, I guess this is just to say that free, random piecing isn't for me.  At least, it wasn't last night.  I suppose that one of the things I like the bestest about sewing is creating a composition of color and pattern.  Allowing things to fall into any random place steals some of the fun.

Hope you get to stitch today!  Besides making the living room curtains (which I'm desperately trying to avoid) I'll be starting on some new embroidery projects soon.  Ya!

14 comments:

  1. My first quilt was based on DS "Drunk Love" quilt. Oh. MY. GOSH. Worst thing ever. I mean the result was great but the piecing was the most aggravating time-consuming thing ever, and I felt like I wasted so much fabric cutting each strip as I went. Ugh. I'm with you, I like putting it all together in my head first and then following my plan. Ha ha I guess I'm just too uptight.

    Oh, and I can't do the messy updo either, but mostly because my hair is too straight.

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  2. I can definitely relate. I think I'm too much of a control freak who loves traditional piecing. I have a hard time just pulling scraps and running with it. I'd rather agonize over every little decision. :)

    BUT, I do rock the messy updo all the time... what is up with that?

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  3. i had the same problem making these blocks! i tried to just pull out scraps and if they were long enough, that's where they went. but some of the placement really bothers me.

    but the thing is, i am loving both of your blocks. i think the randomly pieced one is really lovely and all that color explosion totally works!

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  4. Thanks, Ara! And, I totally loved your blocks too. So, perhaps, just as with the messy updo, it's just a matter of letting go.

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  5. i think we come from opposite sides of this story. The only quilts I've made have been random scraping & I LOVED it. While I've fallen behind on the brick quilt (still intending to pick up where I left off), learning how to measure, pattern, etc. is fascinating, but not my first choice! We're keeping the world spinning... ;)

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  6. I actually really really like your random block! But I know how hard it can be to just let go, in many aspects of life!

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  7. i actually think they look great! both of them! and ditto on the messy updo ;)

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  8. I am SO with you! I like your chosen block better, though the random one is not bad. I just like the color distribution of the one on the right a little better:)

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  9. And I thought I was the only one who had trouble with random! I have tried to just grab and go to make string blocks but it just felt so terribly wrong and I wasn't happy with the results. Tried and true with order and reason - that's the way I like to go.

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  10. Me me! *I* have trouble with "random" - even when I've been provided with all of the fabric (e.g. a bee block), I still agonize over each decision. Head, hurty, etc.

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  11. I think both blocks look great. I am actually partial to the one you pieced willy nilly. Both look great though.

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  12. Upon closer inspection, I do like the arrangement of the 2nd block better but the first one really is pretty two. I think it's great that you stretched out of your comfort zone to try the random. It keeps us all a bit more flexible to stretch every once in a while :)

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  13. I'm different, but can relate to the feeling of "nope, this isn't my way". I'd much rather jump right in, and enjoy the serendipity. I can plan if I have to, and I definitely design/plan the big picture, but I know it's not my way to plan every detail in advance.

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  14. I know exactly how you feel about the fun of creating being the really intentional process. I love the results you got on both the random-placed square and the more planned one- both have a great improvisational quality, but one was just a more enjoyable process for you.
    I feel the same way about choosing fabrics. I know a lot of people like to just use everything from a collection or colorway, but the most fun for me is in combining prints and colors that aren't made for each other. Buying a set means your fabric will match, but it "steals the fun!"

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