Thursday, December 4, 2014

Working With Lights & Darks

There are two successes today, both because I followed directions and both because they came from great patterns.

This is the way yesterday's block is supposed to look. Blocks for this swap were requested in any holiday fabrics.

I really like this pattern and my version of it is called Naughty / Nice. Both blocks were relatively easy to make as long as the directions were followed and contrasting colors were used. Both measure at 12.5". This month's partner has not emailed to say what her plans are for the blocks she gets, and that always can change. What she did say is that she is withdrawing from the swap due to personal time demands.

It does take time to do these blocks, and a 'fail' means starting over. Its like being in quilting school or having training that you do on your own. It means being exact, knowing what your skill level is and then, as they say, pushing the envelope.

One of my closest friends told me that her black cat died last week. I plan to make her a comfort quilt that has cat blocks. Merlin was the only cat whose company I enjoyed who was not my cat. For as long as I can remember, whenever I visited my friend, Merlin slept with me. I think the quilt will comfort me as much as her. This is the quilt pattern we settled on from the Jinny Beyer Studios called Tessellating Tabbies, and it is paper pieced. I plan to make it with a tone- on-tone black for the background cats, and use batiks for those shown here in colors. Guess I am upping my game with this one and the paper piecing. I really like the play of lights and darks with this and other quilting choices I make.

The JBStudios presents a lot of free patterns online that have always both intrigued and challenged me. There is so much to be found on this particular site, including some of her fabrics, which are advanced high quality as artisan pieces.

Lights and darks have had controversial meanings in our culture, much like north and south, mainstream religions and politics. I wonder why humans need the opposition or contrast, and yet here I am loving the work with it in the fabric arts. Clearly in this art form, the high contrasts make the piece pop so much better for some of us than monochromatic projects do. While I like fabrics that 'go together' or blend because of their harmony and peacefulness, they don't hold the same interest for me.