Tag Archives: Stretching Art

Mental and Visual Planning

I have thought on the various options I left off with and finally decided to cut strips to see how the veins would look.  “Make visual decisions visually” is advice I’d gotten somewhere; perhaps in the Masterclass with Elizabeth Barton a couple years ago. In the Masterclass, I’d been faulted for laying out strips including the seam allowance.  Trim or press it; it’s only fabric . . . But pressing seam allowances on narrow strips seemed too much handling. And of course I was always sure I’d end up just that one or two inches short. So on to viewing the plan with strips.

attempt 1

Besides trying strips in the correct size, I auditioned two possible fabrics for the possible varying of the background. I did not like the three colors of veins nearly as well IRL as in my head. And my first thought for the background variation was to add some color to the rather bland winter block. Not thrilled with that either. Moving on

attempt 2

This one seemed too dark.

attempt 3

I tried the varied background in different places.  The bottom fabric drew too much attention to itself for a background. It would maybe have worked had I stayed with Plan A to replicate the leaf segment, more or less.

To view more than one segment of the less bright color I needed to cut fabric. Since I had only a fat quarter, I had to be sure I had enough. So I went ahead and drew the “map” of the plan and the tissue paper templates. (Yes, I decided on templates instead of improv, mostly because I had to end up with a specific size.) There was enough fabric, so I laid it out.

attempt 4

And I switched out a couple leaf veins to a lighter orange and liked it. But wondered if I needed more of the alternate background. So tried one more layout.

attempt 5

You may have noticed that the spring tree doesn’t have as stable a position as the others. I’ll need to decide soon.  I like the idea of a narrow piece of the second background, maybe down the whole right of the main vein. but I don;t like the two background colors together without the vein between, and that is not a place to put a vein. I’ll probably go with the fourth layout.

I realized that I don’t have a clear focus area.  Not sure what, if anything, to do about it.

Come Friday, I’ll link with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays (link in sidebar). You might enjoy a visit, check it out.

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A New Year and a New Quilt

With a due date the beginning of February, I guess it is time to get beyond mental quilting. The Stretching Art theme this year is “Under Scrutiny.” (The Stretching Art challenge is to make an art quilt 18 x 36 on the assigned theme and to try some new technique. The quilts are hung in three or four Mancuso shows in the East, so I’ll probably never see them hanging.) This theme was daunting for quite a while. Last year’s, Dream Big, was much easier for me (Dreaming of Cool, Clear, Abundant Water here ).

What hindered me was that the theme, asking us to look deeply and drill down, seemed to invite representational art (even though the challenge mentioned abstract ideas) and I prefer abstract design. I didn’t get an idea till Fall came, and gorgeous leaves filled the sidewalks.

So I took a walk, camera in hand. From the photos, I selected this one and cropped and cropped and cropped. Idea one was to replicate the last one, more or less. But before I started sketching, I remembered an ancient start of a tree themed quilt. I’d made four test blocks, one for each season, and gazillions of  one-inch HSTs. The plan had been to make the first four the center of a queen sized medallion quilt, either as four blocks on point or as a square..

I got stumped on the decision of whether to keep the season represented by the center tree for that whole quarter of the quilt or to intermingle the HSTs randomly or to keep seasonal coloration by rows. I set them aside with the fabric the HSTs had been cut from while I thought on the dilemma. And you know all about “out of sight, out of mind.”

Having remembered them, I thought, Why start my scrutiny from the tree when I could start with ecosystem, forest, tree.  Finally I was ready to sketch. Although I did the outline to scale, I’d made the 6-inch tree blocks too small, but the idea seemed a good place to start..

leaf sketch

I’d gotten this far before Thanksgiving, but set it aside again for the holidays.

Today I dug the old tree blocks out from the bottom tub in a four-tub stack and began auditioning fabric.

leaf fabric audition

The leaf “veins” will be much narrower, of course.  And I’m still debating whether to vary the shades of gold in the background or use just one. I’m leaning to the one. I also have to decide whether to make the “veins” straight or slightly curvy as in the sketch. I’m leaning to straight. Curves can come in the quilting. And I’m pondering whether to make templates or do improv piecing. I’ll sleep on it.

Linking with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.

 

 

 

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