Here I am back again. I began with the unused diamonds leftover from my first attempt and recut them – this time making sure I had a 45° angle at the top/bottom apex. The length of the diamonds remained 8 1/2″, the width, however narrowed to 3 1/2″. That gave me 76 diamonds – I needed at least 150 in total, so I had to cut another ~75+ diamonds (turns out I actually needed 173).
I went to my stash – I collected a pile of batiks – more gold, added magenta, and a variety of pale blue, turquoise, and purple fabrics. I also looked through my scrap boxes to scrounge what I could.
I spent the morning cutting diamonds until I had enough. Here they are laid out on the floor:
Diamonds – Restart!
I was aiming for a colour flow from dark in the upper left to light in the bottom right. Now comes the moving around to balance the colour better. With all 173 diamonds laid out I can see what I have and can improve on the flow and establish a couple of accent blocks in strategic spots.
Yesterday I picked up another metre of the “inner border” fabric from which I will cut half diamonds to fill in the outer edges. I may then add a second narrow border in that same fabric (say 1″ or 1 1/2″). I’m sure that won’t be enough for a good sized lap quilt/throw. I will need another outer border but I don’t know what that is at this point or how wide it should be. I have to get these rows sewn together with the end half-triangles; then I can start auditioning fabrics for an outer border. And the quilt back? Not thinking about that yet.
If you look closely you will see what remains of the original half-triangle diamonds from the jelly roll; I wasn’t able to use a lot of them because they weren’t long enough – my original cutting was at issue. This time, however, I tried being very precise – so fingers crossed this version will lay flat after I’ve stitched it together.
I finally finished the wall art piece yesterday. It took some time to do the careful hand stitching – to tack down the mitred corners, and the hidden binding and hanging sleeve on the back of the piece. It’s now done.
The piece turned out to be a bit smaller than I was originally thinking about it: 21.5″ x 18.5″ – but it’s still a good size. Now to find a place to hang it in my place until it goes into the Art Labs exhibition during the summer.
It’s hard to tell from the photo that the grunge blue framing strengthens the blues of the sky and water and brings out the greens of the bank in front of Ruby. If you click on the photo you’ll be able to see the thread painting more clearly.
So this project is now completed. On to something else. Yesterday I brought out the bag with the diamonds pieces and put it on my cutting board. I want to see if I can salvage that project in some way before scrapping it permanently and moving on to something else. I still need to make two more quilts and some other small pieces before July – there’s time, I’m not panicked and if I don’t make my goal, I do have a closet full of finished quilts I can bring back for the show. I’d just like to get more new projects in the works.
I finally started stitching this piece yesterday. I filled in the sky and worked on the mud flat with blues/greys and brown/rusts (to really see what I’ve done, click on the image).
Today I worked on the land in the distance (still have the headland to work on). Then started in on the vegetation on the bank. First I had to modify some elaborate floral stitches on my machine to get the feel of the taller plants on the edge, next the long dried grass; after that the shorter dried grass next to the gravel (which I haven’t done anything to yet).
I’ve begun stitching the dark lines on the sun-bleached bench; I still have more to do there – just not sure which elements to try bringing out.
The gravel will present a bit of a challenge – I’ll probably use wandering straight stitching with a mixture of lighter and darker thread.
The most difficult element will be Ruby herself – I want to bring in the construction elements of her jacket – cuffs, the yoke and pockets, the collar. I think I’m just going to outline her hair, her face, and her hand, and leave the fine facial detail alone!
Maybe a bit more later this afternoon; if not, I’ll work on the piece again tomorrow.
What’s sticking out in the photo is my attempt to bring a bit of grey cloud to the upper right corner of the piece. I’m seriously thinking about taking out the grey thread and replacing it with the paler blue I used for the rest of the sky. The darker stitching seems a distraction. Retracing the stitching will have to be done v-e-r-y slowly so I can reuse the needle holes from the stitching I’ve taken out! Fingers crossed that it’s doable.
Grey Thread Removed From Sky
I did it – took out the grey stitching in the sky. Looks better. Check on the closeup (click on the image) and you’ll see the needle holes I now have to use as I stitch with lighter blue thread!
I finished this pair of socks a couple of evenings ago. I was using a second ball of this Opal yarn but this time I used turquoise as my accent colour rather than the navy I used in a previous pair.
Turquoise & Mauve
I was intending to keep this pair but for now it’s in the “give-away” pile. My sock drawer is full and unwashed these socks are a bit long in the foot for me even though I knit them with the same number of rows in the foot I always use. I may wash them to see how much they’ll tighten. If they firm up a bit smaller they may make it to my sock drawer.
As soon as I finished this pair, I set up the next using a synthetic lightweight sock yarn I bought at Michael’s a month or so ago. My friend Heather can’t wear wool so I’m trying this synthetic blend of viscose (from bamboo), acrylic, polyester to see if it works for her. I’m not liking how it knits – the fibre doesn’t have the same grip on the needles that wool does – I’m finding my hands tire when knitting with it. However, the pattern is a pretty one – I know the socks will look fine when they’re finished.