Monday, September 21, 2009

Setting for Swap Blocks

I've been trying to develop a setting for the blocks I received through the craftster block swap I participated in at the beginning of the year. I've had a basic idea, but was not sure which of the many possible variations I wanted to do. Any of the versions would require more blocks so I started this past weekend by working on more blocks:




By the time I finished these blocks I had landed on a setting idea that I thought I was happiest with, so that's what I worked on the rest of this weekend. None of this is sewn together yet except those strip set borders:


To guide your viewing, let me just say that it is "upside down" in this picture, but I did not rotate it because then the angle looks funky. Also, I can already see that in the center section I will switch the top middle and the right middle blocks (according to where they are in this picture) to balance the colors more. Also, sorry it's dark - it was late evening by the time I got around to this. Keeping those things in mind...

Actually I'm finding I like it more today than I did yesterday, but I'm still going back and forth between liking it and fearing it might be too busy/funky/weird/? I mean it certainly is busy, and the borders and lack of sashing do nothing to calm it down. It does have a certain charm to it, though.

Now wait, I am anticipating that someone somewhere will want to know what it would look like with the strips sets flipped around so the white is on the outside, so I laid that out, too. Try to cleanse your palate before you look at it, though...








Ok, here it is (and the good news is, this picture is right side up and all the blocks have been moved around):


Hmm...personally I definitely like the first one better. I will continue to mull it over. I have one more block and lots of scraps that will go on the back.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Steps Completed


Here is the finished London Steps top. While I realize it is not something that is everybody's taste, I am pretty happy with it. I enjoyed experimenting with more non-quilting fabrics and mixing lots of different kinds of fabrics, and it has the look I was going for. To finish this I think I am going to combine two quilt ideas into a two-sided quilt, so I will be soon be working on another "top" for the back of this.


I am now working as a teacher's assistant in a pre-K classroom at a public school. This is still not my long term final destination job, but as jobs go it's a definite step up from substitute teaching, and I'm enjoying it so far. It has put a limit on my sewing time, I think mainly because it's been taking me longer to think about and transition between projects. I've had other jobs where I actually thought about sewing projects at work and came home ready to work on them, but so far I find I don't have time to let my mind wander while corralling three and four-year-olds all day. I actually kind of like the fact that the job absorbs me while I'm doing it. It has made me realize, though, how much thinking I actually do about quilts before and while I work on them, and that thinking time is an essential part of the process.

As a bit of an aside, flipping through my Hancock's of Paducah catalog I notice they are selling Gee's Bend quilt kits with a pattern to make a Gee's Bend style quilt, and a fabric line called Gee's Bend solids. I admit my initial reaction to that is not a positive one, given that patterns, quilts, and fabric lines seem so far from the things I love about Gee's Bend. Am I being narrow minded? Maybe it's just a way to make the aesthetic more accessible to people who have trouble working in a liberated way? Maybe it's positive because it's ostensibly making money for Gee's Bend (says they "partnered with the Gee's Bend Quilter's Collective). What do you think?

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