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

Friday, October 12, 2012

Achieving balance

I dropped out of this RR because of overload at home so I am watching closely as it progresses and wishing I was stitching along....  This is Hideko's work on Cathy's block and CQ doesn't get more luscious and elegant than this...  I love the flatwork ribbon technique she used for the frame and the eye movement around the block is easy and direct...The ties on the fans are beautifully used to lead the eye to the image.

And it is the perfect  example of achieving balance.  Balance, unlike other elements of design, is easier to recognize because it can be related to your physical being..  Try standing on one foot very long and you immediately grasp the concept of balance.  Everything you add to a block has "density" or "weight"  Dark colors are denser than light colors, many smaller elements balance out a larger one, etc. If you squint your eyes or stand back from your work, you can learn to see the weightier areas...

In this block Hideko added a very dense (weighty) floral element to the bottom corner of the frame... To balance this she added the the delicate fly stitch spray upper right..  Even though it is more delicate, the color is deeper and stronger.

Look at what happens to this block if the darker floral spray is removed. Even adding something lighter but heavier helps some but not as much as the solution Hideko used..

It is really evident how important that delicate spray is when you see the two examples together.

 Cathy made some superb choices for her images as they are all Victorian women engaged in some meaningful activity...  If you keep a file of extraordinary blocks, you must add this one...


  1. Hideko is one of my idols (along with you). Her work is always so elegant. I keep trying to do that but always end up going overboard...sigh.

  2. This is an absolutely stunning block. Every element adds to its beauty. Cathy did an amazing job.

  3. Gerry, thank you very much for your compliments!!