Playing Catch-Up

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Well, in the days leading up to the Antique and Artisan Fair, I managed to finish quite a few WIPs, as well have a few unexpected start-to-finishes. (I clearly need a handy nickname for those – STFs, perhaps?¬† They so often crop up and are rarely weedy… ūüėČ I’ve been busy uploading and labeling pix for the last week or so, as well as a few other things that deserve their own posts.

So, first WIP is this wall hanging¬†– “Random Thoughts,” so named because I think it is a fairly accurate representation of the mix of stuff going on in the back of my mind at any given time.

Random Thoughts 36" x 56" Wall Hanging/Throw, 2013

Random Thoughts 36″ x 56″ Wall Hanging/Throw, 2013

Patterns forming and juxtaposing in the shapes, colors and contrasts.

Random Thoughts - Detail, Lower Center

Random Thoughts – Detail, Lower Center

Motorcycles, birds, flowers, flashes of bright; dark patches, quiet, greyed colors and soothing repetitive (hypnotic?) curves.

A tessellated pattern of sorts,¬†all 4″ HSTs, perfectly traditional except, perhaps, for the seeming lack of disciplined organization to the setting.¬† This is one of a series of recent experiments with HSTs, started last¬†Fall as I began making the quilt I gave to my¬†mate for Christmas.

One of my boxes of stock squares contains 5″ squares and the HSTs I often make. ¬†A bunch of 5″-ish squares trimmed from whatever scraps I’m reducing/managing currently,¬†pair, cut in half from corner to corner, sew on diagonal, press and trim to 4.5″ squares.¬† ¬†The possibilities are endless and I had quite a few of those HSTs made.

The quilt I intended to make wanted Autumn colors, so (as I usually begin!), I started separating all the HST’s by color family.¬†first into warm and cool, and, as I moved through, the ‘discard pile’ evolved into more piles such as pastels, jewel tones, brights.¬†etc.¬† This happens often when I sort stock shapes, and the little collections of color spark all kinds of ideas.

When I was done, I had two¬†piles of blues, purples and greens – it’s hard to define exactly how they were different, except that one pile was a bit more vivid, a tad more saturated, a little lighter.¬† The other similar pile were all the ones that were less so, that didn’t quite fit in that other pile.¬† There were quite a few ‘other’ piles, too – a lot of pink-and-grey, pastel/Spring-y, some ‘real brights,’ black/white/grey/reds, blue-and-white, etc.

I looked at all the little collections of HSTs, thinking of all those possibilities, and I decided to start with sewing 16-Patch squares of HSTs in no random order or pattern.¬† I started with the “more” pile of blues, and starting with the number of blocks I could make from that pile, divided that pile into smaller piles, one for each, trying to make sure that there were no or few fabric repeats amongst the HSTs in each block pile.

Once divided, I laid out one block in no particular order or pattern, tweaked the arrangement a bit, then sewed it together.¬† I liked the way it looked, so I made more blocks.¬†¬† I went back and forth with the “other” blue pile several times, switching out squares, until I had 9.¬† I liked it so much that I started sewing that “other” pile into squares the same way.¬† That yielded 15, and they looked ok mixed all in together, but I didn’t have enough for one more block, and I wanted to do something with them now,… In the end, I settled on a throw/wall hanging with the 6 and a bigger throw/wall hanging with the 9.¬† That larger one is still a WIP called Wildflowers Don’t Care Where They Grow awaiting quilting, but the smaller one became Random Thoughts.¬† The more I looked at it, the more fascinated I became noting how the pattern of shapes and color flowed (or didn’t), picking up the common themes of some prints and how they sometimes appeared in clusters or just as individual islands amongst others.

While I was waiting for my tags to come, so I could finish a bunch of little stuff for the fair, I looked for something I could finish that wouldn’t require more than the 3 tags I had left.¬† Random Thoughts was in the quilting queue and I grabbed it.¬† Quilting HSTs is usually pretty fun and I got it done and labeled in time to take it with me.

Several of those other piles of HSTs became pillows, both last Fall and more recently.  Altogether, I think I made over a dozen, although I used the more traditional Flock of Birds arrangement for them.