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
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I hate the short stubby dragonfly who looks like it has been overdosing on ice cream and is flying right OFF the block.... It is so heavy and clunky that it ruins the block...
I put the block in photoshop and played with it and then this morning I wrote to Ritva and asked if she could send the block back so I could fix it...
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Now that I've gone on and on about focal points and framing I want to switch gears... Overall balanced stitching is another approach seen in CQ blocks. The needlework actually works like a texture on the block as a whole.. This is such a block.. Your eye is not drawn to any one area and all the seam stitching is similar in size, pattern and color.
This block goes back several years in the CQNovice group and belonged to Susan... It was worked on by Emmy, Ruthie, Cathy and Beryl.
There are a lot of fun details going on in this block and I want to be sure you see them all... many have to do with seam treatments or NO seam treatments
2.This little spray of flowers again envelopes the seam and fills the area and brings your eye to the little bridge.
4. The seam treatment on these two seams are different but very similar and it's carried over into the block.. simple, delicate, effective and works great with the butterfly.
5. The butterflies are very close in size and spaced nicely around the block... The overall stitching on the blue patch is very similar in shape, color and size of the butterflies.. It is a very subtle and elegant addition.
All in all this is a great block and an example of exemplary teamwork. EVERYONE paid attention to the block and also paid attention to each other's additions.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
And there's that word again.... contrast.
This is my work in a really old Roses RR and I included it because I wanted you to notice all the beading around the inside of the frame... It does look pretty but its main purpose is to really secure the silkie in place and anchor it..
So framing is far more than just a box around something.. It should be in harmony with what it frames and also add interest to the block.
The next post will include the patch as part of the "frame."
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
And a tiny thing that pleased me... Alice used the beads in chain stitch around the image but look closely at the upper right... She echoed that by using knots in chain stitches on the seam... Those little echos whether technique, color, shape, etc. help bring a block together... Thank you Alice.
Now an explanation on what blocks I'm using and why... For the most part at the beginning of this new blog I'll be using images from older RRs... Not that they are any better than current work being done but because they are being lost. The sheer number of ongoing RRs and the limited storage available on Yahoo dictates the older RR files disappear.. So I am trying to rescue examples of my favorite stitching before it is gone and also add newer stitching besides... Likewise I'll use a lot of my own work on RRs just because I still have all the photos easily accessible on my computer... I spend a good deal of time searching in vain for some of my favorite blocks. So bear with me and thanks to all who have generously allowed me to "block talk" about their work....
Sunday, June 12, 2011
to form or make, as by fitting and uniting parts together .
I have been following Pam Kellogg's progress with her Marie Antoinette quilt for some months.. She has all her blocks done now and they are just dripping with elegance and opulence. And that is just how she chose to enclose or "frame" all her pictures of Marie Antoinette.
Any conventional frame would have been completely out of character with the theme of the project... You will notice that her treatment fits the verb definition of the word "frame".... fitting and uniting parts together. With the colors in the gowns as her guide Pam has used bits and pieces to completely enclose the images. Over the next few posts I will be sharing lots of options for "framing"..especially frames that suit the block or image.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
But in a recent post I showed how Cathy K. used ribbons and beads to turn a print into a motif and here is another example by Ritva who did it with just stitches.. simple and elegant solution.
And speaking of Cathy K. you might want to pop over to her blog as she posted about a busy print block she is just finishing. This subject has come up often.
My brain has been buzzing with ideas for Margreet's blocks which I hope to be in today's mail when I go to town.... I'm ready for an attack of "whimsy."
Thursday, June 2, 2011
What a great question and I have a long answer for you.. First I have never been in a UTS RR for two reasons... not my favorite colors and there is always a sameness about them... It's like you are looking into an aquarium with the sand on the bottom and sea plants going up, a sunken treasure chest and a mermaid..
Since the water in the sea actually is in horizontal layers dictated by temperature and currents I see no reason for the seams to be vertical.. You can certainly add vertical needlework without regard for seams...in fact it adds more interest.
You didn't say if it were a traditional or DYB RR but either way if it were me I'd start doing some research and probably focus on one species or scene... Maybe a huge grouper peering out from a rock cave and watching his prey or a large school of jellyfish presents all sorts of possibilities with beads, ribbons etc. I think a whole block of multicolored jellyfish has exciting possibilities... Try to think of doing something different and I will be watching..
Now having said that I did have to do just one traditional UTS block in an RR in which I was angel... When the block arrived to me the obligatory treasure chest had already been added.. But I was thinking currents and looking down from above and wanted a circular motion... I began thinking "sea life on parade" and added the large beaded fish, the school of little fishes, the family of turtles and the dolphins on the wavy seam. (an of course the button)
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
So in closing I am going to repeat what I said about blocks you send out to stitchers in RRs
What you send is actually the canvas for their art, the stage for their creativity and the backdrop for all their time and effort...
This set of blocks by Misty is intensely colorful and almost all prints again...but prints that can show off any stitching done. DMC has a set of "neon" threads that I bought to use on a block of Laurie Bs and they would work well with this block.. Strong color blocks needs strong colors of thread.
I believe this block was by Alice and shows a different approach to patching... Later I will show this block finished.
Do you see a point I'm making.. Blocks can be all colors, all kinds of fabrics, all kinds of patches, all kinds of textures, and all kinds of patterns but they all have to still provide the stage, the canvas, the backdrop for the efforts of the stitchers who will be doing their best for you... When you make your fabric choices this should be foremost in your mind...