Tuesday, January 15, 2013

not so scrappy

This is one of those projects that totally got away from me.  It started with the hope to use my string scraps.  Long, thin strings are the only type of scraps (other than my nemesis, the triangle) that tend to pile up over time.  So, I designed this quilt composed of log cabin diamonds....

first thoughts

I was uber excited to make!  Using contrasting value (dark center/light outer or the reverse) in the log cabins would add an extra bit of interest to the design.

doesn't hit the spot

Here's my trio of test blocks.  Kinda pretty?  Perhaps.  Fun to make?  Not so much.  I wanted something scrappy, that would use all sorts of strings, but I soon realized that I had to be very careful about color and patterns to compose blocks that I liked.  After just 3, I was darn sure about abandoning this version.  My main concerns: slow AND not using my scraps easily.

not so scrappy

To speed things up, I threw out the log cabin concept and cut diamonds and triangles from whole pieces of fabric.  This much smaller scale block (about 9" tall) could maybe use scraps?  But, no.  After testing a block made scrappy (6 different, coordinating fabrics), I gave up from that mind-boggling feeling and started making a version with 2 different fabrics.

not so scrappy


So, the night before my trip, I was cutting out block sets to bring along to Florida in case I should want to sew.  As the sets piled up, all the different colors mixing together started bugging me.

Really!

I think I was stressed at that point.  I've noticed though, even when I'm calm, that it's easy for scrappy triangles to get to color-crazy.  Last year when I made the Triangling quilt, I used lots of solids to break up the prints and avoided multi-color prints to keep things pleasing.  It's something about how all those fabrics touch more often with triangle points, as opposed to squares.  Or, at least that's my theory.

 naughty scraps.

Well, that's when I really, really gave up and decided to pull fabrics (not scraps) from my stash to define a pleasing color scheme.  The purple and teal pieces shown here are "rejects" for this project, which means I inadvertently created more naughty triangle scraps.  Aaaaargh!  I've got lots more to cut for this quilt, so I can't show you the overall color scheme yet, but I think I'll like it.  I think.

potential?

Right now I'm pretty frustrated with this project because it's not scrappy and not using strings at all.  If I had started with this idea, maybe I'd be happy with where I'm at.  I don't know?  Still, I'm telling myself this design has great potential.  Maybe I should just sit on it for a few weeks and see....

25 comments:

  1. oh, i love the final shot here. but i totally understand your designer fretting... good luck!

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  2. For some time, I've been waiting to find the time or for time to appear, I've been wanting to make a quilt out of blocks similar to the ones in your final pic. It will use my scraps and use a coordinating solid. So I dunno, I guess I mean to say, I like it. But maybe with different colors as the background?

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  3. Well it's always worthwhile having a play.
    I think 2013 is my year for triangles!

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  4. Call me crazy, but I like your log cabin diamonds the best!

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  5. I like all the pieces that you have created. Don't fret you will make it all come together and be wonderful as always. You make it all look so easy and the speed at which you create is amazing!

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  6. Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only one with scraps of scrapped scraps!! Keep going! I'm sure you'll grab your own attention eventually...

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  7. I'd come back to it in a while if its not working - I think the saying is "a fresh pair of eyes......."

    Love those log cabin diamonds though, really pretty.

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  8. Those log cabin diamonds are stunning, but I can see how they would take forever. Just keep eremindung yourself that this is supposed to be fun. It's not about how fast or how close to perfect it can be. Just enjoy it!
    And I think each step would make a cute project by itself.
    E xx

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  9. I always tell my girls that you can't solve a problem if you are frustrated. So you need to do 1 of 2 things. 1) take a deep breath, calm down, and try again. If that doesn't work, then you need to 2) walk away so that you can give your mind the space to think about the problem. It isn't going anywhere, and it isn't going to judge you for taking your time. You'll do a better job with a fresh start...

    and you'll probably enjoy the process more that way too :)

    AAAAND anyway. Some of my best work (photography, cooking, drawing, etc etc etc) comes when something completely different and new comes out of a problem I wasn't able to solve. It's like a two-for-one!!!

    Ok, I'm done clucking around. I do want to say that I love those scrappy log cabin diamonds, and I hope that you'll turn them into a pillow. And send it to me. HA!

    xox

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  10. Personally, I often feel paralysed by my scraps but have recently come to the conclusion that it is okay to pass on scraps to friends who will find use for them if I don't think I will ever get to them.

    If the cost of the initial fabric is an issue, you can always sell scrap bags of fabric and get them off your hands. I have rarely regretting decluttering my scraps.

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  11. I love your test blocks, but can understand your frustration. I have a big bag of strips too that just never get used, but the hoarder in me won't get rid of. Someday I'll find a use for them. Too bad those took so long, because they are beautiful!

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    1. Thanks so much, Jess! I know the right string project will come to me eventually. And then, maybe you can join in =)

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  12. I think it's kind of awesome, but I get your frustration too! Honestly I am pretty terrible at using my scraps and you know what? That's okay! Scrap packs tend to sell like hot cakes... just saying :) Don't beat yourself up over not using them!

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    1. I think I must have come across wrong because I actually really enjoy working with scraps when the stars align. Still, I have been telling me the same thing about selling some as an option!

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  13. The pattern totally has potential! Maybe not for what you wanted, but an accidental awesome pattern was definitely born. Id say its worth finishing

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  14. I love it. I don't think I'd like scrappy but you never know. Right now I'm in love with solids.

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  15. I have a hard time with scrappy as I don't like just any color with any other color. I am picky. LOL I like to use scraps, but I have to consider the fabric colors or I know I won't like it.

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  16. I really loved the first pink test blocks the best.....But all of them look good. Just very different...You could do 2 different quilts perhaps...lol...yes more work easy for me to say that....When I try to make things look scrappy they don't it always too planned and coordinated ...I actually decided to hit a thrift shop while in Columbia today and found a bunch of old vintage scraps...I'm thinking now I definitely have some scrappy looking scraps but not enough to really do anything with quiet yet...I'm thinking time to hit some more thrift shops and see if I can find some more old scraps.
    comm_and_vans_mom(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. hahaha! Those darn strings are hard to use. This story reminds me of the time that I set out to your join scrapalong with a string quilt but completely made the wrong thing. My husband still teases me about it. It's one of his favourite badskirt "ohhh... I totally made the wrong thing" moments. Clearly it is the fault of strings. They've cursed you too! http://badskirt.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/one-where-she-fails-lot.html

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    1. Oh, yes, I remember that! Yes, it must be the strings ;) I do fully intend to find a fun way to use them. Um... later.

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  18. yes the strings- they are so piled up!!! Love what you are doing.

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  19. I like the direction you are going. I love this about quilting, you start with one idea and you end up doing something totally different. I think the creative process is what is so gratifying.

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  20. Yes Ifind that sometimes Ihave to let an idea or project just sit and percolate for a while then I can return to it with a fresh perspective. I agree with nicke about the creative process.

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  21. These all have much potential, but I do really love your log cabin diamonds and the colors you used are really fun! Good luck designing!

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  22. I would definitely sit on it for a little while. I think really beautiful results can happen when we get stuck and have to think creatively about how to resolve it. I really like all of these iterations though and can see a lot of promise here! :)

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