I LOVE talking about blocks, studying blocks, and playing with them in Photoshop... I am always on a quest for great blocks and trying to figure out what makes them so great ... So I started this companion blog that will be devoted to this quest. But also check out my regular blog at http://olderrose.blogspot.com

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's the little details.

 I don't often get to all the posts on CQI but I do check the updates and sometimes a 1/2"  thumbnail of a block immediately catches my eye...  That is what happened with this Autumn II block done by Rita.. It would make a great poster and look good on a calendar.  It has strong graphic qualities which I will touch on but she did some other subtle things I want to point out...

First the block by Cathy K. she began with....The colors are perfectly suited to the autumn theme..  There's a nice contrast of patterns... stripes, prints and textures...  I only see two problems....the long diagonal seam that cuts almost across the entire block and a worrisome little triangle upper left...

Well Rita rose to those little challenges and added a lot of interest elsewhere...
1.  In this area Rita put these bold sunflowers... It is not a color present anywhere else in the block so it jumps right out at you.. Three of them makes a nice impact...  But what is really cool is where she placed them... right over the patch with all the earthy vertical lines... can you see what a nice background that makes for the stems and leaves?

2. Then she added one more sunflower leaning back into the composition... a very nice touch... Notice how the centers of the sunflowers and the brown glass leaves are like stepping stones around the block. 

3.  Right now on CQI there is a lot of interest in creating lace with your needle and here are two examples. Instead of covering the seams on the beige patch Rita used two lacy treatments.  The one on the right actually extends the beige patch and if she extended it even further out it would lighten the whole area.  The one on the left adds texture to the green patch making an embellished but quiet  area.

4.Rita  used one treatment along that diagonal seam and divided it with the turkey and the flower stems.  The seam treatment looks for all the world like a rail fence.  Then there was that worrisome little triangle in the corner...  Remember "divide and conquer"? Well she ran right over it two times and that fixed that.   These little triangles appear a lot and it is nice to have some options...

5. Rita ran the bold orange rick rack clear across just above the curved seam...  It effectively lumps all the little patches into a unit.... there is no rule that says you must do EVERY seam.   And the simple stitching she used on the rick rack was perfect..

This is a block with great simplicity and a very graphic composition.. Not all CQ has to fussy and heavily embellished...

1 comment:

  1. As the lucky recipient of Rita’s stitching, I was so thrilled when she put her signature sunflowers on my block. Nobody does them better than Rita! NOBODY!!

    The small corners in the piecing (and, in fact, the long seam) are a regular result of doing Martha Green’s method of piecing - the Carney Roadside Attraction method. Martha herself loves little tiny patches and considers them a fortunate happenstance. She often considers two or three as a single patch, much as Rita did with the curved area above the rick rack. Oh, the possibilities! But one definitely must break up those long seams, and Rita’s work was masterful!

    Thanks to Rita and you for sharing this block!