Friday, May 24, 2013

Week of Odds and Ends and Asking for Feedback

This has been a week of 'exploration'. Part of the time I have been working on challenges for Art Quilts Around the World. One is due at the end of this month - Out of Asia - and the other at the of July. Since I won't be able to stitch very much in June, I decided to get a head start on that challenge. While I can't share my finished challenge for Out of Asia until May 31, here is a glimpse that I had posted to the group.

I am using both of these challenges to stretch myself - try methods I am learning or don't tend to use much so Out of Asia had some piecing, traditional applique and a bit of hand stitching.

I also spent part of this week playing with a small version of a print that I am thinking about making a larger art quilt from. Curious for any thoughts on it! This version is quilted and I have been adding some beadwork in the darker areas to see how I like it. I am fairly undecided on if I will make the bigger piece. My tendency now is to continue with the beading. I am fully aware that there is a stage in all my work where I tend to dislike it. That is usually the time to put it down and let it sit. Often, when I go back to it, I can see more merits. Sometimes, I just plug away and, in the end, wind up liking it more than I thought I would.

Finally, I am doing the prep work for a piece that I plan to work on this summer. I would love some opinions here between the two views for this piece. I have already blown the first up into full size but find myself hesitating. I am now leaning towards the second view which places the bridge further back in the landscape, has more of the landscaping to the left of the bridge and more of the pond and its reflections and less of the trees. The difference is subtle but I tend to be really fussy.

As you can gather from this post, it has been a different sort of productive week - laying a lot of groundwork. To get a glimpse of what others have been doing this week, check out Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.


  1. I like the first one better as it is less fussy. I would take some creative license though and lighten up the left side like it is in the second picture. Why not try converting it to shades of grey or black and white to check for negative and positive space and values.

  2. In the Out of Asia piece, I love the combination of the blue and brown; that is always a favorite of mine. Keeping with that preference, in the second piece you are showing, the textures are great, as are the value differences. I'm not sure if it would work or not, but I would audition some blue fibers or beads in very small quantities for contrast. It would either look awful or great depending on the hue and location. For the third piece, I like the second view because the reflection of the bridge gets put in a better spot according to the rule of thirds. And the bridge itself isn't dead center, which makes it more interesting. All in all, three good pieces!

  3. Curious to see the full quilt from photo you posted! My thoughts on the abstract- beading adds interest to the dark areas. Enjoy where it is going, but the question is do you? Re: bridge- I prefer the tighter first shot with a clearer focus on the bridge and reflection.

  4. Thanks all for your feedback.
    On the abstract, I will continue to play with the beading - Regina, I have actually considered running some color lines through the darker spots. Linda, I guess I need to more fully develop a purpose in making a larger version - that can only come with time.
    Re the two photos, I now have an enlargement of the second. I do convert to black and white before any enlarging. When I got the second view enlarged, the photo that I will work from actually printed out larger than my first enlargement. The bridge with its reflection and the reflections of the trees in the water are much clearer in the blow up with much more interesting in contrasts than in the first photo - amazing what a slight change in scale and a different size for a finished piece affected things.

    Since I am only using the blown up photo as a rough guide for fabric placement, I think it will simplify down quite a bit (be less fussy than either photo) and I will be able to correct areas which are lost in shade now by using varying dark fabrics to make the shaded images clearer while not losing contrast in values.

    I appreciate hearing what the three of you see - it helps me in sharpening my eye as I began to create the actual piece.

  5. Late coming to this party, but without reading the other comments first, I'd go with the second photo of the bridge. The first has too much deep shadow, to my view, which obscures the beauty of the bridge and nearby landscape.

    As for the smaller piece (you don't say how small), I am wondering about adding hand stitch --- maybe in wool...would it be too much texture? (Is there any such thing? ;-) )

  6. I think the second photo - I would like to see the water/bridge reflection as the focal point.
    Why? I don't know but that is the one that said something to me. The possibilities of what can be under the water........

  7. Those reflections are calling to me too, Carol. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Looking forward to see what you have done for your 'Out of Asia' piece

  9. Margaret, I'm a little late looking at blogs this week but my vote goes to the second photo. I think having more ground space to the left is good but do like having the water all the way across the bottom. JMTCW

  10. My vote would be for the second photo. The rocks and shrubs on the left side of the bridge gives the whole composition a better balance. And the reflection in the water has a better feel. I think the shadows might be throwing you off, though, because in the first pic, the shadow blocks some of those rocks. You might have another look at it, or if it is possible, go back on a cloudy day and take another photo.