Monday, 22 October 2012

A design for the rubies

 

My sewing feels rather like it's been stagnating recently. Not because of any lack of enthusiasm or time spent sewing, but because the projects I've chosen to immerse myself in lately are so time-consuming and long-winded that there isn't a quick end-point to anything. However, the bits that are left for me to do on current projects are mainly either hand-quilting or machine work, which means that a window has finally opened for me to enter into another paper-piecing project to fit into my handbag for out-and-about sewing. I've long wanted to make a wall-hanging: something which I can frame, rather than lie beneath; something intricate, with tiny pieces, which replicates the enjoyment I found in piecing together the Tessellations medallion which ended up in this quilt (still being hand-quilted: too large to fit in my handbag).

Last week I fitted in the time to play around designing a few quilt patterns. Once I'd put together two options which I felt I might be happy with, I scanned in my intended fabrics and dropped them into place. On printing them out, my paper became so saturated by intense colour that the print-outs above are not entirely helpful, but the screen grabs below give a clearer idea.


The fabrics I've scanned in for this are some Oakshott Rubies which I picked up at the Quilt Festival over the summer.


The scanner failed in its attempt to capture the bright iridescence of the fabric and makes them look so heavily woven that they take on a distinctly more earthy hue than they possess in real life, but they are perhaps more successful than the print-outs. I'm quite pleased about that though, as one doesn't want the computer-generated mock-up to be so accurate that it dissolves the impetus to actually make the design up in fabric.

 
It's only in retrospect that I can see that I may need to go back and simplify whichever design I choose to make, unless I want another project that takes years rather than months to complete. I'm imagining the finished piece may be about 24" x 24" or a little bigger.
 
Any preferences?
 
Florence x


21 comments:

  1. lovely! I think you should design a third one and make a triptych. Sure it may take years, but it would be spectacular!

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    1. Embarrassingly, I had to look up the word triptych as it wasn't one I was familiar with, but I'm now looking forward to using it! Thank you for both the excellent (if time consuming!) idea and the new-to-me word. x

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  2. These are beautiful, to see them as a triptych as cateoh suggests would be stunning! You've inspired me to get back to paper-piecing again, so many projects so little time!

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    1. That's exactly it - paper piecing does give one a horrible feeling of there never being quite enough time.

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  3. I am only just learning to quilt (as an Oldie! wishing I'd learned years ago!), have just finished my first one; a second is nearly finished ... So much to learn and so little time! Sorry for the ramble. But how do you scan your materials to work out a picture for quilting? I have literally begun to make some pieces for a quilt and it looks very interesting. I would like to know more and to be able to scan my colours and come up with a pattern idea would be great. Will look back and hope you can give me an idea. Ann x

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    1. I use the scanner which is part of my printer to drop the fabrics in - you can do this in virtually any programme from Word to Powerpoint (until recently I've always mocked up my quilts in Powerpoint), but the one I'm using here is called EQ7. x

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  4. I like the subtleness of number 2.

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    1. I like that too - although having printed out some pattern pieces I've now realised I'd have to make it substantially bigger to produce workable pieces...mmm...

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  5. I love the top one with the big flowers! Either way, I think you've lost your mind!

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  6. They are both gorgeous design's but the 2nd one is my favourite.

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    1. Thank you - so lovely to have extra opinions.

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  7. The first one is my favourite but I like the other one too. I like the way the flowers frame the centre of the piece and make it a stand out design. The second one is more like an overall design like a piece of fabric. Do you use something like photo-shop to manipulate this kind of stuff? Is it tricky to get to grips with - it all seems very clever stuff!

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    1. I've always used PowerPoint in the past - it's capable of far more than most people would first think. However, these mock-ups are made in EQ7, which is more geared more specifically to this kind of thing so a little less work - more time for sewing!

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  8. Great idea to take your time at the design stage. Gorgeous selection of colours, but I think that the patterns are too busy and overly complicated. If it is going to be a wallhanging, you might like to have some bigger pieces to allow the eye to rest amongst the richness of the colours, and that way the angular and sharp shapes will lead the eye around the whole piece with rest stops of interest along the journey. (Just an idea from a humble beginner)

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    1. Thank you so much for the opinon - sometimes taking a step back and looking at it again with a very specific thing in mind is a really good thing - I did, and I completely agree with you - thank you so much for the constructive criticism. x

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  9. Wow! A work of art. Did you do the design on the computer or draw it? How much time a week would you have to put in to complete this? I am rather in awe to be honest x

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    1. No, I did the design on the computer in EQ7 - paper designs are never my strong point as there's so much rubbing out to be done...the paper can get thin! I tend to work on things rather obsessively, but for the more intense star one, I really have no idea as I think I may have got carried away with myself, however, for the simpler design I'm guessing I'd have it finished in a month of evening stitching. I finished the central Tessellations piece that I mentioned in my post in around 2 weeks, I think.

      How much time things might take is something I find rather fascinating too, but it's hard to quantify - in part because a sewing hour isn't the same as a real hour (as in you can sew for several hours, thinking only one has passed, so it's difficult to add up how many hours something might really have taken), but also because different people sew in very different ways - I do around 23 stitches per inch when paper piecing, but you could happily halve that number and I'm told it would be perfectly sufficient and in turn it would halve the time it take (maybe I need to work on reducing my stitches per inch!). x

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  10. I like them both but I do think that they are perhaps a little too 'busy' for a wall hanging? They both perhaps need to have a little less tiny detail and something a little larger to provide the focal point to then appreciate the detail in the background. Does that make sense?
    Lots of tiny intricate details in a quilt are different because the quilt is on a much larger scale that one isn't obliged to look at the entire thing in one go, whereas a wall hanging is like a screenshot - you look at the whole thing at once (at least to start with). I think I'll stop my rambling now as I'm not sure I'm making much sense!!

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  11. WOW. Whatever you do, however long it takes, it will be beautiful!

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  12. How funny, this is all the opposite of how I've been feeling with my sewing lately! I've got the end of my Epic Quilt just about in sight and I've managed to get a few other definitely stagnant WIPs over and done with. And these days I'm feeling drawn more than ever to making simple, useful items. I'll be very happy to watch you turn out amazing intricate wall-hangings, though, while I'm working on pyjama trousers and tea-towels! I think I like the first design most, by the way, but it's difficult to say. x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x