… And She’s Off
The question is am I launching myself from the starting gate or totally off my rocker? It feels like a combination of the two. After a change of focus in the studio from working on artwork I hope to exhibit, to creating “product” for the upcoming Cohasset Open Studio event, I’m back working on an exhibition piece.
The first step, after choosing to use the above portion of a photograph, is how do I want to interpret it. My typical style is to create an homage to, rather than a realistic portrayal of, an image. I do this by selecting several traditional blocks that blend well with each other. I’ve used a variety of blocks, but they all involve straight line piecing with no Y seams. However, looking at the gorgeous curves and flow in those rolling cumulus clouds, I knew I needed to get over my reluctance to do curved piecing.
Designing the Blueprint
EQ 8 to the rescue. Two hours of playing with a variety of traditional straight seam blocks, then playing with the traditional curved Drunkard’s Path block, I knew the curved one won. Depending on how the block is positioned I could create all sorts of undulating curves, puffs and movement. If you download the .pdf blueprint, available above, you can see the general direction I am heading. Each block will finish 3″ square. What can I say? I am a gluten for punishment.
Working Out the Kinks
Curved piecing is not at all as forgiving, especially if you are extremely fussy as me, as precision straight seam piecing is. Why? It’s simple really. Curves are cut on the bias. This allows the fabric to stretch the way cuts on the straight of the grain don’t. I know how to clip seams, pin baste and iron curves into submission. Nevertheless, the end result is likely to undulate, shrink, pucker and pleat in ways that give me conniptions. This is very clear in my first attempt using scraps from my stash.
I could have tried hand appliqué. No way. Definitely not my thing. I could fuse the arc, but that leaves a raw edge. Too messy for my tastes. Then I recalled how nice machine appliqué using a blind hem stitch can look. Perhaps I will write a tutorial on how do this method. I have a couple of tricks for turning the seam prior to appliquéing the piece in place. Now I’m looking forward to selecting my fabric palette and starting piecing in earnest.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.