Monday, May 23, 2011

testing 1--2--3--4

Sometimes all I can do is make the quilt, Ann. Start sewing. Too much thought is not going to help. You see this time I have an order for a large quilt similar to endless fields. Maybe you remember this quilt--I made it during the winter and wrote about it HERE and HERE and HERE. Now I love this piece, simple and elegant. Thinking of the fields stretching into the horizon off into the unknown. I love the potential of those horizons, those dreams. The thoughts of that place out there. My photographer called this piece "regal". Elegant.  I'll take that as a complement.

But alas--endless fields is the wrong colors for the room. Now it is the sweetest room--overlooking the woods. Great art in the room. Simple and cozy. Tucked away. It needs a happy quilt. Lighter and less dominant. More summery but not too much green--she doesn't want too much green. And I want the quilt to be absolutely wonderful--the customer is so wonderful herself--I want it to echo her lovely personality.

So I have to rethink the quilt. Now sometimes I can just see in my mind's eye what a quilt will look like. I can picture it in the room just like that. It's fun. But this time I am not sure. There is so much potential here--but can I get the colors to progress without too much green? I play with the fabrics. Arrange them on the cutting table. Step back. Re-arrange them. Hmm. I could do this a long long time. But I must make progress on the quilt--I have been thinking about it long enough.

Time to make a test piece. Maybe even two. See what happens. Learn the potential of this pattern. Oh how I dislike those discussions wanting me to always make something new. I want to learn from what I have done and push the designs--but that may be a different blog post. Instead I start. Of course it seems really dark at first. I remember the same feeling in the first quilt. Lovely colors but dark.

It is nice to be working in a smaller piece. Let's me try out the ideas without sewing for days and then finding out it's not right.  Then I have to stop and think. Green to teal is easy. But teal to blue is harder. I put up different test fabrics. Which color works? I step back and squint. Think. Start.

Not bad--it may be a bit bright. I keep going. Is the blue too strong? Should I have tamped down the other colors? What will happen when it is sewn together?

I remember in endless fields it was only the last row or two that tied the work together. Will it be the same for this quilt? Did I allow myself enough room for the change or should I make the test piece longer? Should I just go browns and greys? So many questions. I must piece some more. See what happens and then insert the quilt in the room in my mind's eye. So much to do. So exciting to see what happens.

What do you think? Do you ever try test pieces? Will the light colors at the top--the ones not pieced yet--tie the quilt together? Or is it just a test piece?

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