Okay, so when last I wrote, my process journey had taken me here:
A couple of friends read my last post and responded with some ideas for moving forward. The wonderful HollyAnne (from String and Story) suggested a “birds on the wire” motif and drew me a picture, which I thought was darling:
It was tempting to go in this direction, but as I have been thinking a lot about abstract art lately, I decided that ultimately HollyAnne’s idea leaned too much toward the narrative/concrete/actual side of things for my purposes. I wanted my birds to be birds and abstractions of birds all at the same time. I remembered Matisse’s paper cut-outs (an early draft of the quilt brought Matisse to mind for my friend Kristin as well), and took inspiration from them.
Polynesia, The Sky – by Henri Matisse
Vicki (My Creative Corner 3) was kind enough to send a sketch that offered a different formation for my birds:
I liked that a lot and started playing around with my own sketches for a flight pattern. I could see in my head what I wanted, but it was harder than I thought to draw!
Ultimately, I decided to draw it with painter’s tape:
And from there, I started pinning up my birds. A friend, seeing the picture below on the show notes for the last episode of “The Off-Kilter Quilt,” noted that a gray background might help the lighter-colored birds stand out more, and she’s absolutely right. However, I had already spent as much money as I planned on spending to meet this challenge, so the background will stay as is.
I played around with some other elements, trying to figure out if the quilt needed something more. While I didn’t hate the additions I played with, I don’t think they added much, and my friends who were giving me feedback online (HollyAnne, Vicki, Kristin and Jen) agreed with me.
After I appliqued the birds to the background fabric, my main concern was that the quilt needed to be wider. To that end, I played with adding a border to one side. First, I tried this (please excuse how dark this picture is):
And then I switched sides and added another row, so it looked like this:
I liked the width it added, but i wasn’t sure about this border in general. When I sent a picture to Kristin, she agreed that it added something, but it wasn’t quite right–it didn’t fit in with the quilt’s curves. Maybe I should just add a solid border? So that’s what I tried next:
I also sort of liked this, but when Kristin said that it made the quilt look like a book, I knew exactly what she meant. So because I have other quilts to make and a life to live, I decided to simply have a skinny quilt. I’ll add a little color by using a variegated border made from all the fabrics in the line, but I’m not going to add any more width.
I made the binding last night (I’m trying to make this my new habit–to make the binding before I start quilting). To get an idea of how it will look, I hung it up alongside the top:
As of this writing, I’m at work on the back. In an effort to spend as little money as possible, I’m using a long piece of muslin I had lying around. It needs to be just a touch wider and just a touch longer. So far I’ve added a pieced trip to the back (and may add one more) and plan to add something to the bottom to give it a bit more length.
I’ve enjoyed how collaborative this part of the process has been. Even when people make suggestions you ultimately don’t use, they’re useful in helping you re-vision your design and consider other possibilities.
Next up, quilting the quilt!