Saturday, November 11, 2017

Circular Anomaly on the Last Day of Class

One of the problems with taking a class {or attending a retreat} is which fabrics to take. And how much of each. I'm not sure which bothers me more: running out or "wasting" fabric by pre-cutting the wrong amount. In consequence I bring laundry baskets of fabric. But this time especially I'm determined to try something different.

Deciding a little waste beats a lot of fabric hauling, I precut both the reds and the blues into squares. It was only during the class I determined to fuse the foreground. {It's not my favorite method but makes the most sense in this case.}

As another change from my usual practice, I chose her Circular Anomaly design. {It's the fifth image on CT's page.} This should allow me to delve more deeply into her process and circumvent technical issues. Usually I try to branch into my own design during the class. According to Louisa's plan the background is squares or rectangles. {No waste there. ;-) } It is layered with what she calls hugs and kisses.

In both her book and her class Louisa shows several construction methods including piecing and applique with and without fusing. Intended use informs your sewing choice. I'm cutting the centers out of the fusible to minimize stiffness. Even the best fusibles make quilts quite rigid and this only needs to hold until it's sewn. {I did consider glue basting, something Louisa didn't mention. I forgot to ask her why.}

Progress by end of class.

Circular Anomaly quilt in progress
Top layer arrangement of my Circular Anomaly quilt
Why isn't the lower left covered with reds? Well... They simply didn't work. The blues run from white to navy but the reds only ran to medium pink. There wasn't enough contrast at that end. Louisa and I placed those pink circles on the dark blues and it just looked lost/washed out. By moving them to different areas, I realized where they looked best. That's fine but means I will be digging out more fabric when I get home. {Perhaps I should have brought it all.}

No. I wouldn't have gotten further with more fabric. I'd have spent all my time picking and choosing colors. Made that mistake last class with her. Time to move on to a "new mistake." Ha. This way I concentrated on color placement of what was here. And there's quite enough - over one hundred squares. Including the backs, that's more than enough choices to make during one day.

BTW, Louisa doesn't overlay her foregrounds as squares. It was my own idea to make the single color flow across the quilt. This idea is another coping mechanism from Strips 'n Curves where I used way too much fabric. It sounds great; after all, who doesn't love more fabric. But in reality, the colors didn't segue quickly enough. Templates ended up covering only a single value when they could have ranged much further.

I pulled some pink fabrics at home that evening. Some don't seem quite right but it's late and the color is way off in this photo. The blue tints into white. Should the reds range into a white background Should there be more medium pinks? Things to consider.

Here's the final shot of the evening. Watching the grid emerge in the top right is quite exciting.

Top layer choices for Circular Anomaly quilt
Top layer choices for Circular Anomaly quilt

The Double Vision book is quite thorough on its own. Louisa covers an amazing number of variations on the theme of optical illusions. She makes these complicated patterns doable. When instructions repeat, she refers the reader to another section. Some readers didn't like this but I found it more honest than pretending each quilt is entirely disconnected from the others.

Louisa also discusses fabric, color, construction, and thread in her book. You could learn her technique without a class but you'd miss her upbeat personality, her hands-on attention to each student and her contagious enthusiasm for quilting. If you have the opportunity, take her class, too.


Reading
Reading blogs about everyday life in various parts of the world is one of my secret treats. Bookreader blogs are also a delight although most don't last that long. I like to think they've gotten lost in their books.

More recently I've found a couple that share poetry. I'm so well-trained by book reading that I often read cover-to-cover in one sitting. Reading one poem a day in a blog post causes me to stop and think more. Threadcatcher posted Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye. What do you think? Can we only become kind after sorrow? Are older people kinder? Why do some people choose kindness while others choose hatred? How do we make the kind choice?

Enjoy the day, Ann

22 comments:

  1. I have Louisa's book bu haven't really delved into it as yet.. Your piece is very colorful...hugs, Julierose

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    1. Louisa's work is always colorful, too.

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  2. omg... this is fabulous. As is your process. How intriguing. You make me want to drop everything and go make stuff.

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    1. It does look like something you'd excel at, LeeAnna.

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  3. I am loving the direction your Hugs & Kisses are going!! Looking forward to watching the grid progress!!

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    1. Thanks, Mel. It's fun to work out.

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  4. Such an interesting post. Your work is looking wonderful, and that grid effect is very clever. Must try & get the book from the library.

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    1. You're very kind, Linda. Louisa has an interesting style. I think the book is worth it.

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  5. Very interesting way to make a very interesting quilt.


    And I don't think you have to experience a need for kindness yourself in order to learn to be kind. I think you need empathy. Not sure how you teach empathy or learn empathy. I don't think we are born with it.

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    1. Thanks, Cathy.
      I've been thinking about this poem frequently. Perhaps she's suggesting a difference between the casual kindness we give before we've experienced tragedy ourselves and the way we behave after. But you're right; we need empathy to be kind.

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  6. Wow, you're making a lot of decisions on the fly.
    Lovely colors.

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    1. Well, I'm trying to blend two color ranges into one piece. I'm amused I chose the two color families because they were most common in my stash. Ha.

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  7. What a great pattern, and your colours are looking wonderful! The final effect is going to be spectacular!

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    1. Thanks, Monica. Louisa is a great designer.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. Obviously I like these colors, too.

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  9. Wonderful idea for quilts! I have not seen any of her books, but I'll definitely be looking for them. I love the way this technique turns out. You seem to be having a grand time with it, too. That's always encouraging.

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    1. I think you'd like her books, Mary. This one is fun and the other participants liked the designs they chose, too.

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  10. This is very clever! I like your colours and the way it is shaping up and it's interesting to read your reflections on your process too. As for kindness, I think there are always some children who are naturally kinder than others, and who seem to retain that empathy, to use Cathy's word, as they grow up.

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    1. Louisa is a clever designer and generously shares her thought process and methods in her book as well as in class.
      Yes, some people are always kinder than others. A children's show host, Fred Rogers famously quoted his mother. "Look for the helpers. We can always find people who are helping," when we are scared by events.

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  11. My goodness you've packed a lot to think about in this post! First, I think your composition is really interesting, there's a lot going on but I'm sure you will work it out! I particularly like the positive/ negative thing going on with the upper right and the circles mid-way. Also the dark blue contrasting with the rich red. My humble suggestion is to take a few random red patches from the middle and give us a few more peaks of that aqua underneath. sincerely, CW
    As to your question at the end; There's a great deal of polarization these days, us vs. them. Tribal behavior. But we have only to look at all that we have in common to see we are more a like than not. We all love our families, children, want peace etc. It's much more difficult to be unkind when you see your fellow people this way.

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    1. Louisa's process is quite intriguing. I'm glad I chose to work through it almost directly this time (only changing color and amount of fusible) because it allows me to study her style. The upper right is my current favorite, too, and that's why it's taking me a while to uncover the middle. I'm trying to figure out where to transition from kisses to hugs.
      Good point about tribalization. I call it the Balkanization of the world. Instead of uniting in our humanity, we are dividing along ethnicity. Fairly foolish since most people are mixtures of many races and we all had a common ancestor. I love your statement that we are more alike than unalike. We need to maintain our vision of all people as fellow humans. Thanks.

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