Friday, May 30, 2014

Between a rock and hard place

     Did you ever have something that you just did not want to do? I mean, it just was sucking all the joy out of anything you tried? I did two things in one day that have been a big burr in my saddle. One, was finish sewing the gray stripey thing I started at the Hudson Valley Art Workshop. It was a challenge using two colors we did not like. Working in improv, without any reference, but just sewing and posting on the design wall I found was not in my brain capacity. It was very difficult and I felt lost at sea in a fog. I managed to sew one piece there and had this grey stripey thing on my wall at home just hanging out taking up valuable design space. My husband threatened to have it disappear one night because it was a dark cloud hanging over my head.
    To make myself work on it, I used the treadle (who could not love to sew there) and did color leader and enders while adding pieces to the thingey. That helped. I like the crumbs I was making with color scraps. Finally, last night, I said that is it. I trimmed it today. It is 36 X 35. So much angst for such a little piece. I am thankful people at the workshop gave me fabric for this as I did not bring colors I did not like. And the darndest thing now, is I think it looks better sideways than the way it was sewn. Figures. Do I quilt this or call it a victory to finish the piecing?
   I think I will call this Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The other tough thing will be in a separate post.
No clue how to bind it. I will straight line quilt it.

It seems better sideways, huh?


Micki @ 2 Dogs Studio said...

I am not sure which orientation I like best. Both look good. Great job.

Linda Swanekamp said...

I guess I am not sure either which way when I came back and looked at it. Thanks for the complimentary comment. I did not know whether I should have posted it or not.

Peg said...

I really like "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" and have since you first showed us the beginning of it after the HV workshop. I love the colors (you hate?) and that it's improv rather than some predetermined pattern. Hope you do eventually quilt it in wavy horizontal stitches. You could also name it "Lost at sea in a fog." Good for you for sticking with something you found difficult!

Linda Swanekamp said...

Peg, what is it that you like about it? The design, color, shape? I am trying to like it, but I can't get past the emotional furor. It would be easier to quilt if I knew what was appealing.

Gwen said...

I like it in both orientations! It's interesting to look at.

The name you chose is perfect!

Rather than a standard binding I
think I would face it. If you google
"how to face a quilt" you'll find instructions from Susan Brubaker Knapp and a great tutorial with tons of photos at

Would you enjoy the process more if you set it aside for a bit before quilting it or do you feel you need to finish it asap?

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more!

Ann X said...

It is amazing! I really like it, especial the vertical oreantation. The colours are shining and it is simply fabulous! It really deserves all the love and care - great project! Even the name really fits! So why you do not really like it? Quilt it, definitely quilt it, it's great!

Peg said...

Linda - first, I've never met a color I did not like, only colors that do not work with each other (and that's a matter of personal taste). I like the bright orange contasted with the greys - looks like the sliver of sunlight at dawn of dusk against the fading horizon of the landscape.

Lately I've been experimenting with using long thin strips of fabric cut on the bias that I sew onto the batting and backing to create a type of impressionist look of wavy lines (which I can shape because the strips are bias cut and have a lot of 'give.'

And I just personally prefer irregular, improizaltional or picture quilts rather than geometrical patterns. Not sure I like the windows - but I have a feeling that once you quilt it, I will like them better. Perhaps you should put it away till you're feeling less challenged with difficult projects. I'll email a photo of the piece I'm working on now so you can see what I'm doing with the strips.

Sujata Shah said...

This has taken me back to our conversations in the class and emails. Sometimes it is really hard to work with the colors you don't like but it sure stretches your creative thought process and teaches you more about working with what you have.
It also makes me be in present since my mind is so involved in making it right.
I like this quilt. I like the fluidity it offers. Gwen is right on this, straight line stitches and facing might be a way to go.