Thursday, April 12, 2012


I am continuing with the Ugly Unit Rehabilitation project.  I keep believing something good can come out of them...

I put together a whole seen in the previous post. Then decided it was too heavy, clunky, awkward, so I cut it back up into four criss-cross units with blocks on top and bottom of each, thinking to disperse them around with 3-4 other types of units.   I did a lot of sketches based on how I thought this could happen.  I have been studying Leslie Joan Riley a LOT.  I love her plaid pieces. But it was premature to start thinking about an overall composition without first having the proposed units MADE.  It's backward from my typical mental process.  Think it all out then build it.  But I get bored with that.  I DON'T get bored with designing on the wall, or on the fly.  I also spent a lot of time looking through all the photos I took of my classmates work at the workshop, and how some of the more experienced students produced walls full of units, without any thought on plan for how they would go together.  I am still learning from them.  But I still don't understand their design process for the full quilt.  I don't see a comprehensible overall strategy for how the pieces go together.  I've been searching the web for other Crow disciples to see how they work.  I have discovered the blog of Judy Kirpich, who just happened  to have her piece on the cover of the Quilt National '11 monograph. But she doesn't work in strip piecing.

So - back to my progress.  After cutting the big strip back up into four units, I played around on the wall even more, and decided that they needed a green line through them, as if it was going under the yellow section, and over the orange:
Like the dog food bowl ? Not a good place to drop fabric!
 So I tore off the tops and bottoms of each unit (8 pieces).  I'm still in the process of cutting each side of each of the 8 (so 16 pieces) in half (so 32 pieces) and then running a green strip (16 more pieces) through the left and right side of each, and sewing all 48 pieces back together.  But who's counting?  This helped me move forward with the composition, and I brought out a few more made fabrics from the workshop stash, that I though might balance the lights and darks.  But I was aching to go to the prints and see what I could find of interest.  I pulled four or five, and found four with potential.

I really like this gradated stripe between these units, if I end up pairing them that way.
The rest of the striped fabric looked  good - until I pinned it up - too much, too wide, too busy.

Not as sure about this one, but the various stripes in the Laurel Birch fabric seemed to tie the lighter and darker oranges together, and had some nice relationships to the strips with orange and aqua that I keep trying to use.

I also really liked this stripe, but not sure which way to combine it, with what, and how much.  

Polka dots are questionable but they worked with this purple and black strip.  

I ripped up the 45-degree miters I had made out of the purple/black/yellow strips (in the first photo) because I just couldn't adjust to putting in triangles in the strip piecing.  Either need lots more, or none at all.  I opted for none.  I am trying to sew them back together, because I want the colors and don't have any yellow left.  And I'm cheap.  But I suspect the 45 degree cuts won't pass muster either.  Still trying to think of a way to piece them into a unit as is...  

Anyway, that's the progress this week.

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