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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A little problem with scale......

While at the CO retreat I mentioned I wished I had joined the "For the Birds" RR when it came up as all the blocks were just great...  Connie just happened to have her last block available   and while I was working on it, Janet just happened to have her last block available... So I worked on Connie's and took Janet's home and it was the perfect size for something to work on in the plane to Wichita... I did the focal area around the bird going and all the seam work coming home...  I wanted the color to be concentrated around the bird which is the focal area...and that is why all the seam work is green...  I did stitch around the bird, then made a slit in the back and stuffed him a little to make him plump. Then I added a nice quiet little spider web near the center.

Last I wanted to add just a little more pink upper right to balance out the pink in the bottom patch and the pink flower...so I added a little lace dragonfly... and therein lies the problem of scale...  It is much too large.. almost as large as the bird and detracts from the bird.  The pink flower, the dragonfly and the bird are all about the same size and my eye hops from one to the other... When that happens the best thing is to make something smaller or bigger...  In this case the bird and the flower were predetermined by the block so it was only the dragonfly which could be changed.

I should have hand stitched a dragonfly and you can see the difference that would have made in the center photo...the bird again is the main focus. It  would even look better with no dragonfly rather than with the larger dragonfly on the left.... There is a point to this post and it has taken me a while to get to it...  Sometimes when you are not satisfied with a block it's not easy to identify why... Trust where your eye travels and why!  Often it is some small thing that makes a huge difference..and it is easy to change the wrong thing...  And most of the time if you don't change it, it is not long before you forget what bothered you.... so relax and enjoy!!!!!   On that note the  important dragonfly decision is going to be left to Janet.


Here are the before and after shots of the block....and as you can see I chose to extend the image out into the block....  Now next on my UFO list is Kerry's beaded block and it will be a block makeover to show you...I have just one corner to do on it but since it is beaded I have to work on it at home...  Then Ritva's and I will be caught up and can think about setting up the RRs...


  1. I love the idea of a dragon fly- perhaps a much smaller one with a small beaded body and hand stitched small pink wings!!

  2. It is nice to know even the pros make a miscalculation occasionally. What makes you a good teacher is the fact that you could spot what was catching your eye and recongnize what you did not like.

  3. i learn so much with every Block Talk post. Thank you.

  4. So it's up to me, huh? I'm not sure which I like better. Guess I'll have to see how I feel when it arrives. Thanks so much for doing it for me!

  5. I can see the inspiration you gained in Wichita on the seams of this block. They are broader, more complicated, quite original and lovely! Looks like you are having fun with the templates already... I can hardly wait to see what you come up with next!
    PS I didn't read one complaint of having to do seams - could it be you like that part now?? hehehe