Friday, April 19, 2019

Learning by doing... line and balance

It started with the kind folks of my Maryland bee who sent me scraps from a group project.
This pile of scraps led to two quilts, and three bookmarks!

The angles intrigued me. I  soaked and washed the large pile of scraps for days because batiks, lovely as they are, have a lot of chemicals in them that cause a reaction when you press them.

I began deciding which angle to join them trying different ways to put the uneven tiny pieces together. I'd sew enough to cut them into larger different sized blocks.

Then I started moving them around the design wall til they sort of formed a long rectangle.

I realized it needed some warm colors. By inserting skinny (1/8" to 1/4" ) strips in warm tones, between the blocks. I hope I haven't over done it, but I like the shots of color. Kind of gold to orange to pink.
I've learned by doing it, that those are the eye catchers, so the concept of line is very important, line and balance.  I feel I still struggle a little with abstracts.

This is about the time I'd like a road map!

As I put  blocks together, then played with where to insert the warm colors, I began to learn about repetition and balance. The sewn orange/pink/gold strips sometimes finish at 1/8th inch or less, up to one that's about a half inch.

I may have put in too many, what do you think? I  usually do curves with improv, but these angulrar pieces have been a terrific learning process, and I like the finished top.

The larger one looks like a fractured glass mosaic of mountain views to me. Wild flowers in groups along grassy slopes, with peaks into the sky beyond.
This smaller one has one peak, with a sort of glacial slope.
There is a lot of bias along the outside edges, so I decided before quilting to add a tiny one inch  border. Oh, crikey! more fabric choices!

Blues and greens melted into the top, but this gradation seems to work and remind me of the intense sunsets here.

The fabric is by Caryl Bryer Fallert.

The gradation from green to warm corals to blue repeats the colors in the quilt too.
As to the quilting... angles repeating the idea of slopes... strong lines, with hand dyed Oliver Twist threads I think, some pebbling in the warm colors to remind me of circular flowers.
The book marks came at the end of the day. Tiny sewn bits I cut off the larger pieces looked like bookmarks to me. Interesting thing was as I finished the third one, I realized how interesting they looked together. A tryptich  of sorts.
Is that the pearl of an idea for another quilt?
linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays to do Tuesday 
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  


  1. I would never have thought to add the warm colors, but it worked beautifully.

  2. Those bookmarks are awesome. I love how the little bits of orange and red pop on the larger piece. Really pretty!

  3. I love the little warm strips you added! They liven up the whole piece! And I definitely don't think there are too many. The balance is great.

  4. In my mind, you can never go wrong with blue! Well done.

  5. Lovely piece--those warm additions really add so much. Nice work on this hugs, Julierose and Happy Easter...;))))

  6. No, the warm bits are not too much. They greatly enhance the finished piece. I like it. And I like your triptych idea for the bookmark sections. I have a hard time sewing crumb blocks and random odd cuts. I keep spend too much time trying to make them come out even when I should just sew pieces together and trim them down later. But I keep trying cause I want to use up some of the triangle bits I've been saving.
    Happy Easter

    1. You'll want uneven triangles because they start to look like HST's if they are the same size. The magic is in odd angles coming together.

  7. I love this piece! You are inspiring me to to to my scrap bins and play...

  8. How much is TOO much, Leeanna? Only you, the artist, can decide.

    I learned about balance when making one of my first quilted jackets. My "Snowman" jacket was dark blue with snowflakes and such, but for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to add some red accents.

    Note to self: When adding "accents" the strips should NOT be as wide as all of the other strips in the garment!!

    Needless to say I learned that a strong color can overpower and should be used in small doses, lest they become a feature. (My DH refers to the resulting jacket as my Flag jacket.)

  9. Good Morning, Lee Anna ... lovely use of scraps. I like the warm touches and your analogy to patches of wildflowers on the mountains. The angles of the blue/green/purple scraps do suggest mountains. Great choice of backing fabric for the quilts. For you bookmarks, do you use something for a foundation? I have made them with just fabric, back and front, and the have been floppy. I have made them with batting in between and they have been too thick. Someone once suggested that I sew the pieces for the front directly onto card stock, sew and flip method, but I have not tried that yet. Always looking for ways to use up small scraps and I have a lot of very small but pretty pieces right now ... bookmarks would be a good way to use them up. May you and yours have a Happy Hoppy Weekend ... :) Pat

    1. instead of batting I inserted buckrum, used in clothing it's thin but stiff

  10. A lovely quilt. You learned so much and have shared your process so generously. The blue and green scraps are luscious but the warm strips make the quilt. I'm glad you used the angles as they came. And this generated even more ideas for you.

  11. Wow! Everything just works and plays together perfectly - nicely done

  12. The strips worked perfectly - I think you got their balance and number just right - and your finished piece is lovely.

  13. The lines of warmer colors are genius! I would never have thought to do that, but it's striking and soothing all at the same time. I absolutely love how your improv work turns out, and that you share the process too...whether it works or not. And it most definitely works here! WOW!

  14. You are indeed the artist! I learned so much from this blog post about becoming childlike and playing with color. Your work should be shown in Santa Fe or similar shops. Thank you for sharing your thought process and designs!