Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tessellations

Tessellations block in Liberty prints

Over the last few weeks I've spent much of my time working on various hand-pieced projects in tandem. This one, which is based on Brigitte Giblin's 'Tesselations II' pattern, has now reached a fork in the road where I need to decide what to do with it. So I thought I'd share my conundrum here, in the hope that you might offer your opinions.

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When I began work on this pattern, I decided that the small-scale Liberty prints I wanted to use wouldn't work or allow for fussy-cutting the prints (isn't fussy-cutting the most hideous phrase), so I massively reduced the scale of the pattern pieces. I'm really pleased with the way that this has worked, but it does mean that it's a great many inches away from being anything approximating the size of a quilt like the one you can see in Brigitte's book above.

MIniature progress tessellations block in Liberty prints

Brigitte's pattern is so beautifully designed that with every new round of pieces added, a different outline is produced and each could serve as a block within a quilt in its own right and I may actually make something doing just that at a later date.

Miniature Tessellations block in Liberty prints

This is the stage which I'm now at and adding the final pieces will give a finished block that looks like the picture below (the pieces in that photo are unsewn and simply pinned in place on a foam board).

Miniature Tessellations

If I add the final pieces then I will probably frame it in an old wooden frame and hang it in the dining room. In many ways I quite like this idea. It will remain true to Brigitte's original pattern (albeit in miniature) and will be a daily reminder of my first English paper piecing project that made me truly happy (as opposed to this one which I found less satisfying). The care and hours that have gone into this, the happiness and delight in working within an area of sewing new to me, learning about pattern and colour from studying the work of someone so incredibly talented, all make it feel worthy of a place on the wall.

Miniature Tessellations block in Liberty prints with, um, me.

Planning, trialling different prints, and wrapping the papers for this took two days. As my family sat glued to the first few days of the Olympics, I sat crouched on the floor of the living room with a mess of pins of fabric pieces surrounding me. It was a really happy time and each night when the others had gone to bed, I stayed up until the early hours unable to sleep in my excitement to finish my mock-up of the pattern. The photo above was taken very early in the morning after I'd finally completed it. I rarely (barr modelling the clothes I've made) have my photograph taken with something I've made...but rather like a proud two year old who has spelt her own name correctly for the first time, I wanted my photograph taken with this. I was yet to get dressed, my hair is what my mother and father would affectionately refer to as being similar to a pan scrubber (due to its dense knotted texture!) and my eyes like dark hollows from my lack of sleep, but I like the photograph because it reminds me of my elation at having finished (not, the sewing, just the planning - the pieces were just pinned to the board at that stage).

Miniature Tessellations block in Liberty prints

I've enjoyed working on this so much that I'm tempted not to add on the corner pieces that turn it into a square block, but to continue adding pieces as before, working in rounds, radiating out from the centre until it has grown into a quilt. As I've now reached the end of Brigitte's pattern, due to my making it in miniature, this would mean that from here on in I was improvising with both the pattern pieces, colour scheme and probably many other things that I haven't yet contemplated and although I have ideas as to how I can do this, I also feel slightly worried that I may ruin something that I'm currently really happy with.

What do you think - a framed block or a quilt? The closer I've stitched to this point, the more confused I've become by what to do and I've now reached a paralysis point. I would love some input.
Florence x

23 comments:

  1. I think it'd look lovely as either, maybe amalgamate the two & make it a quilted wall hanging?! Hmm.
    I like it as it is in the last photo, perhaps you could hang it in your sewing corner as a proud reminder? :)

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  2. I think it would look lovely framed - it is beautiful. But, if you love what you've got, and have really loved doing it, and if you have enough fabric, would a compromise option to be to piece a few more without corners and then turn them into a quilt by interspersing them with white? That way you could keep going without, as you say, ruining the lovely thing you've made. Also means that should you decide that a hanging would be the right way to go after all you could stop before you'd committed yourself too far.

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    1. Or joining them together, rather than connecting with white!

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  3. If I were you, I wouldn't add the corner pieces. It is perfect at its current stage. A wall hanging would be a lovely way to display and admire your masterpiece but what about a flower-shaped cushion? You know, cushions can be displayed and admired too ... but also - and most notably - cushions can be huged! ;)

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  4. Isn't it the most wonderful design! My full size version is progressing slowly/ Steadily. Love the miniature and the Liberty prints are at the best scale for this. I can see room for both options, - mm, that doesn't really help!

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  5. I say frame it. You can always make another larger quilt... But you won't capture the joy that this one holds within it because it's not the first. I think you should frame the joy and gaze upon it frequently :)

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  6. I love either ideas! Although if I went for the quilt option I think (given enough patience & fabrics) that I would create some more of these motifs and then applique them on to a plain, pale coloured background because I think it would look stunning spread out on a bed. Beautiful work! Sx

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  7. I love the idea of framing it. It's just gorgeous and you should be proud!

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  8. I think it would look so amazing framed! X

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  9. I am liking the quilt Idea. I f it is going great just continue it. And if it comes to a point where you are fed up, then leave it there to be framed or hung.

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  10. I'm working on a machine pieced one and stuck...like you on "What next?". Although mine is larger...thanks for sharing your experience and ideas...I've gleaned a lot from the other commenters too!

    Your piece, is stunningly beautiful!

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  11. I think It's beautiful Florence. Why not frame it for now and admire and then you can always add to it at a later date when it feels right.
    If it makes you feel good to look at it then do that! Makes me want to sew madly looking at it!!

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  12. I would frame it, and not add the corner pieces. It would make a stunning work of art.

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  14. Frame it! It's a beautiful piece of work that should be in full display flat on a wall. Without corner pieces.

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  15. I'd vote for framing it - it is absolutely beautiful and looks stunning on the white background!

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  16. Leave it! It is amazing as it is and would make a beautiful picture/hanging on the wall. The fabrics you have used are so beautiful :-)

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  17. Those dark-toned corner pieces do not seem to me to fit the design or palette terribly well. I would have preferred something that drew the eye to the centre, perhaps a repeat of the pale green or something used just a little already. On the other hand, I like the circular shape without the corners. My choice would be to frame this piece behind glass. In my home it would become a round table centre/doily or a tablecloth. I find your colours more appealing than the ones from the book.

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  18. I think you have three options that would look amazing:
    1) Leave it as it is and frame it
    2) continue the pattern to make it larger (you can always take it back to what you have if you decide you don't like it - ignore the hours of work and unpicking)
    3) or make a number of the same blocks in different colour ways to make it a larger quilt

    Unless you have enough fabric to make another block exactly the same and then you can do all the above and more!

    I would say leave it and work on a different project and you will wake up one morning and know exactly what you want to do with it.

    It is gorgeous and well done! I have become thoroughly addicted to the 'sport' too and love every moment! Just started planning my own piece, so thanks for the inspiration!!

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  19. Florence - I was at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham yesterday and would strongly recommend that you check the requirements for their 'minature quilts' section (there are maximum dimensions) and perhaps complete it in time to submit next year. The definition of a minature is along the lines of 'unable to tell the size as everything is to scale' and yours is beautiful (and significantly superior to some of the items I saw there yesterday). However, framed on the wall would be beautiful (and possibly involve less stress). I'm inspired

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  20. Having read your blog for yonks, I'd say frame it, as you're a real perfectionist, and it would be so sad to keep adding loads to it, and then realise that you don't like the additions very much. Though I would then be temped to make a larger version as a quilt! I look forward to seeing what you do with it! Cx

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  21. If you're scared of messing it up by going bigger, then I'd say frame it. I prefer it without the corners.

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  22. I like the quilt with its corners Florence... Do make a big one too! I look forward to seeing that too! Lovely work...Brigitte

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x