The Bargello Situation-Day Two

I’ve sliced and diced and rearranged and reassembled and I have a banner of sorts.

When you use this technique with a close colour range, ie. a lot of colours that are very similar like in this case a range of browns, it becomes more about shading.

I like it that way.  I’ve used it before with a wider range (it was a mystery quilt, I didn’t know what I was in for) of blues and I liked it but not the same way. There wasn’t enough dark and the pale blues took over, if I had known, I would have tightened the range and darkened the entire thing.

Shading can be a challenge with quilts as you deal with discrete blocks, too much difference between shades and hues and it starts to look a little too pixilated. A sharp edge throwing off the harmony of the hills and valleys.

The pattern is based on Florentine needlework
(although the Italians actually called it Hungarian needlework, I don’t
know what the Hungarians called it). There was a mathematical progression to it and doesn’t that sing to my inner statistician?

I’d like to do a landscape like this, really close gradation and long sweeping hills with dark earth, maybe leading up to a pale blue sky with a strip of yellow.

Yep, everything becomes a landscape and it’s all about the prairies for now.  I like playing with monochromes, never done browns before but have played with blue a lot.  That will be my next strip piecing adventure, something in blue, something a little more modern for such an old technique.

Maybe I’ll treat this one as a background and see what happens.

The Bargello Situation-Day One

This will be a short post brought to you by the Committee for the Education of Joe on Quilting Terminology (we’re so official that we don’t have an acronym).

Bargello is a two step process.  Basically, you cut up fabrics and sew them together into a new fabric.  Sounds like regular piecing, I know. THEN, however, you take that new fabric that you made (pictured left for those who like the visuals) and you cut it up again only in a different direction.

So. My fabric is pressed and I’m ready to start cutting… again.

Polymer Play

I wasn’t trying to make anything specific today, this was more along the lines of play. I still don’t know if I like any of the pieces. No, that’s not true, there are a few that have some serious potential for me (can you guess?).

This was mainly playing with silver and black Premo! I rolled it out into flat sheets, some thicker (the rectangles) and some thinner (the fancier shapes). I started with silver and then added black background pieces to some of them for emphasis.  The stamps were just various ones that I’ve picked up along the way, Some look like postal marks (okay, I’ll confess, those are my favourites), there are some that are like a background pattern, the quilted ones at the top, the fan and the medallions.

I played a little bit with Color Box Cat’s Eye pigments on a few of them, the face and , more importantly, the rusty finish on the postal mark pieces.  I was trying to make it look a little like rusted metal.  I like it and I think I’m going to turn it into something… I just don’t know what yet.

The Fences of West Broadway

So I’m fascinated with wrought iron fences. Always have been. The really ornate ones down in the South almost look like lace but are intensely strong. It’s kind of a neat paradox.

And they’re pretty.

I’ve been walking around the neighbourhood a lot in the mornings and I’ve noticed a lot of them in the area.  Probably because I’m surrounded by heritage houses.  This one is located on Spence Street, between Portage and Broadway.

I’ve got the original picture up there for reference but there were a few changes just for scale.  I couldn’t get quite as many curves into the top part without sacrificing smoothness.  This is done with bias cut strips of cotton sewn onto a strip of (sparkly!) cotton that measures about 18″x6″.  I cut the strips in 1/4″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ widths.

I’ve used this technique before for Celtic knots but haven’t done anything with the pieces yet.  I have ideas for a few more but, as weird as it is, as soon as I’ve finished these work-intensive hand sewn pieces, I want to take my rotary cutter and slice them up into smaller pieces.  Right through all of the little strips of 1/4″ fabric that I just spent weeks stitching smoothly into place.

I’m weird. But I love hand sewing so it balances out. I SAID… it balances out.

Orchard/Vegetable Patch Update

So I sort of have a deadline on these pieces now as the farm has sold. I’m intending to give them to my step-mother Margaret to remind her of their little farm once she moves.  The possession date is November 1 so I’m aiming to have them bound and completed before then.

I’m loving the paper piecing and I’m riding that learning curve for all it’s worth.  The precision corners are the best part.  I did the two trees today as well as two pears and one watermelon slice.  I’m not sure that I’m grooving on one of the pears but i don’t really feel like changing it.  I’ll just have to pull it together in the end.

Someone offered me a whole case of overripe bananas this afternoon, just out of the blue.  I’m going to pick them up in the morning.  Banana bread with chocolate chips, mmmmmmmm.

Scrappy Like Me

I don’t know if women my height generally get described as “scrappy”. Ah, well.

Actually spent most of the day getting things a little more organized in my apartment. We’re going through the Sense of Momentum this month with my Artist Way group and that was one of the suggestions in that chapter, getting yourself organized. I’ll probably be moving in a couple of years or so and I was thinking that it would be a really good time to take on the bulk of the organization because I could just leave something in the box until I designated a home for it. Knowing me though, I would probably just call the box its new home and that would be the end of that.

So in the spirit of moving forward (nod to Lynne), I pulled out some of the bundles/clusters/clumps of smaller scraps that I had bunched into crevices in the shelf. I’ve pulled all of the ones that are scraps from as yet unfinished projects and bagged them according to project. I’ve been using them for the backs and don’t want to lose track of them.

The picture above is from the Scrap Bag Star quilt that was stuffed completely forgotten into one of those same crevices. I separated the ones that are actually for the top from the extra and found a few more neutrals to add to the scraps until it’s ready to piece. I bought it as a kit and, instead of scraps for the background it was a large chunk. Not what I had in mind so I used the large chunk for something else and started collecting.

Stubborn Chunk of Snow

I’m not even going to post a picture of this one yet and I’m not going to say anything about it. Well, almost nothing. It’s another snow landscape and this was the first one where I tackled the hoarfrost.
Everything else is fairly simple. The trees were awful. So far, most of the techniques that I’ve tried look pretty good on the little samples and then like complete suck on the piece.

I think that’s my cue to call it a night. Oh yeah, end with the lemonade. I blocked and trimmed Stubborn Chunk of Snow (working title, obviously). I also pieced together some of the binding for the first snow piece. I’m going
to bind them all with straight on white cotton, probably 1/4″ when it’s finished, mitered corners. I’m thinking that it will look like the edge of an old photograph. Well, actually, I’m hoping it will look like the edge of an old photograph.

You know, I think I’m going to leave the trees off for now. I’ve got an idea for the sky. I’ve got a little bit of that blue left for another run at the trees with a different layout. Ah, lemonade.

Snow Testing Testing

4″x 6″ postcard. I have a lot of winter photographs courtesy of my mother. Any morning that we woke up to hoarfrost was an excuse to drive outside of town and take pictures of the trees with their ice coats. Every one of those pictures had the shadow silhouette of my mom, elbows sticking out, stretching forward from the bottom of the picture as the sun was at her back.

I was really tempted to add a little gray smudge at the bottom with her elbows sticking out. Maybe I will in the larger version.