Having this quilt on my wall for a while meant a couple of poor color transitions had time to prick at me. When I decided to give the piece to my brother for Christmas, I decided to tackle those spots before shipping it off. It’s not always advisable to attempt “improvements” of this kind.
First, I added some yellow in the foreground to pull the eye foreword and interrupt the blockiness of the patchwork.Stitched a few dark patterned strips on either side to lend depth and to interrupt what had been a distracting light area to the barn’s left.
And finally, I applied more hand quilting here and there and added some red bits to adjust the perspective lines on the cupola and far right eave (not terribly successfully).
The tweaks are okay. Maybe not what I hoped for. With additions like this, you always risk of either disrupting the spontaneity of the original design or of creating new problems while fixing existing ones.
This piece ran the additional risk of spoiling the (possibly impressive) fact that it’s almost entirely pieced.
Anyway. The upshot is that my remediation, successful or not, has whet my appetite for learning. How come I never learned perspective? Really? And, maybe it’s time to learn how to manage transitions more skillfully by attending to color values.
Technical jargon offers specificity. Like any vocabulary, it often resonates with multiple meanings, meanings that don’t have much to do with the task at hand. Every time I ‘true’ a quilt top, for instance, the other senses of that word ‘true’ are present.
Aligning a design’s intended sight lines brings deep satisfaction – perhaps satisfaction that is very tied to the processes of ‘aligning’ and ‘righting’. Maybe the more we recognize how much of life is beyond our control, the more satisfaction these miniscule attempts at order are (enough said! enough said!).
The final six or seven seams of a mid-sized or large pieced quilt top require more precision than comes naturally to me. Since I know what the pay off is here (for pinning, for cutting straight lines, for re-working the crooked), I settle into a slightly different rhythm and mindset. In other words, I don’t mind.
‘Re-working the crooked’. There it is again! Language that describes both the inner and the outer. If I had to describe one inner crooked line that could use some re-working? That strange belief that holds one person can change or fix another.
Barn II. The final six seams of the quilt top were machine-stitched and the seams pressed, on Monday. I won’t go into what yesterday entailed. On to quilting!!!
The snow started in a light flurry. Big flakes, so it must have been warm. I ran to the store because although I don’t get into that pre-storm shopping frenzy that empties shelves and renders lots a tangle, it seemed like a good idea. Everybody must have shopped yesterday, because it was a ghost town. The snow has come down steadily all day, but only a few inches have accumulated. Our local schools were closed. My husband’s office was closed. And the T stopped running two hours ago. It seems a little over-reactive, but then, you just don’t know with these big storms anymore. And anyway, I understand the bulk of the storm is due to arrive tonight. Here are my plaster friends before I went to the market.Here they are midday. I could see them from where I was pressing seams.And here they are in the gloaming.
Progress is being made (that is, “I am making progress”) on the second barn quilt.
The rooflines have been tricky. And scale matters so much.
The FIRST barn, dubbed, finally, “Blue Hills Barn”, is hanging at the B.J. Spoke Gallery in Huntington, NY, thanks to my cousin, Ginny.
I had to scurry on Monday to get it trued, bound, signed, sleeved, and photographed.
I include the above picture for scale, and also to note that if it doesn’t sell, I won’t mind having it back to hang exactly here.
And finally, what a good day it was for homemade chicken soup (is there EVER a day that is not good for homemade chicken soup?!)
Stay warm all you readers under the same Arctic air!
I am back to piecing a big ole barn. Some windows are pieced. Some will be appliqued. The sky will not remain all one fabric as shown, and the foreground will extend downward, some. It is cold in the basement now, so I won’t last too long, but it occurs to me that one to one and a half hour increments of effort on this is probably about right. The first barn, some of you will remember, is now in the quilting pile.