Friday, September 1, 2017

Linda's block (progress report)

While not finished...thought I'd share what I've done so far.  Linda's block is the last block for me to mail in the traditional Floral & Roses round robin. Since I'm the last person to work on the block, it is my "job" to balance all the prior work across the block as well as adding to fill in any empty spots. The final result should be a beautiful and finished project!

Here is the block as it arrived in the mail. There are several areas of really pretty embroidery stitching and some gorgeous silk ribbon roses and iris flowers already here. (Well done Lonna, Marcy, & Lydia)! Here are some closeup's of the areas:

Lower Right (such pretty iris flowers) corner:

Center roses vine, is just gorgeous and so delicate!

Center and lower left areas (excuse the lamp neck). So much embroidery work!

Upper central and left area! You can see that there is a lot of work on the block already. Of course there is also still room for more in the lower center and upper center open patches.

So, another final look at the BEFORE block...there are some areas that strike me as being a bit out-of-balance.

You can see that there are some light areas in the block (white lace trim, white butterfly, white tatted motif, and cream iris flowers). But overall, the block reads more "brown" than anything else...especially close up. So, my thought is to add more "life" to the block by pulling some of the blue that's in the background fabric out more along with giving the block more texture with lace. There is one seam done in blue in the center (see the chain half-circle seam?). So, this plan would also help to build on that idea already started.

So, I asked Linda if it would be okay to really add to the block and she gave me permission to play as much as I wanted. You know that makes me happy! So, I've pinned all of the lace pieces in place to begin. These will be followed with stitching layers...but for now, here is the plan for adding the lace layer...and I'll give you some close-up photos too.

Some of this might (read that as "will" since I have already actually stitched everything by the writing of this post) change as this is just my PLAN at the moment.

The little blue flower in the fabric (see upper most area in the photo above?) is the key to the color idea. The first motifs to go into place were the tiny blue butterfly and neutral/yellow flower in the upper center area. This establishes the blue...and anchors it to the fabric color area by drawing the eye to that little butterfly.

The left central area gets some blue as I'm moving the eye around the block. Green is everywhere on the block, so more is not too distracting...but a lighter shade gives it motion. This placement also deals with the bulky area of the block were several seams intersect. The tiny lace trims in antique looking beige hide the raw seams there but are small enough to keep the focus on the surrounding embroidery work.

I want to add some seam work in the open area left at the center left (almost corner) but the blue needs to be pulled into that area this little floral motif with dragonfly should do the trick! It looks right at home next to the lace that is already beside the iris flowers. Placing the dragonfly so that it extends across the ribbon seam on the left will pull the viewer's eye to that area of the block.

The center right area has a dimensional flower there already. It is the only object on the block that is worked really "off the surface". So, it needs to be balanced with other dimensional work or be "anchored" so that it does not become distracting by it's "differences". These copper colored laces will give it some depth and provide a nice neutral base, while the bits of blue will pull the eye to the motif and cause it to be balanced in color across the block. The empty seam to the right gets a dragonfly to help it appear to be an intentional design decision rather than looking 'un-done'.
This little dragonfly also balances the one at the opposite corner of the block.

Last, right below the flow is the more central right area of the block. This needs some blue, so adding a small piece of trim on the empty seam line should do that. To balance all of the lace now on the left/center of the block there will be some tiny bits of lace trailing through this general area and a small lace motif in the fabric patch above the iris flowers.

After the lace has been sewn in place...I'll work the seams left to me and add whatever else seems to be needed once that has been done. Here are my ideas for "supplies". The threads are will be darker shades of the colors in the fabrics as the laces have brought more light into the we need to layer some darker shadows as well to pull together the existing and the new. The silk ribbon flowers include some blue but also some wine to pull that color to the front of the layers as well.

Last to be added will be some beads to accent the seams and add some bling to the dragonflies, etc. Just tiny beads nothing large and no button/bead clusters. Maybe some tiny beads in the seams? We shall check back this weekend, I hope to get all sewn and this block ready for the mail next week.



Catherine said...

Hi Kathy,
I found this post really interesting. It reallly helped me to analyse the block and explained what would help to make the design more cohesive. You are really a master of your art. Thank you for all the teaching you are doing with your courses too. I am going to a day course in Victorian crazy patchwork here in the UK in a few weeks and I have got a head start with your tuition!

desertskyquilts said...

So interesting to see the difference the changes make in the block. I probably do less adding than you do, and highlight stitching a lot, but it's interesting to see possibilities that wouldn't occur to me.