Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Radio Silence

This week has been taken up by an unexpected, non-craft project, leaving precious little time to do any sewing or knitting, and nothing to blog about. The project will continue for some time, but I expect there will be more crafting time later.

My next oblong is dark green outside, with a pink inner rectangle.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Concentric Oblongs progress

The second column (or row in the photo) of oblongs is nearly finished.

When I realised how long each colour block takes - between one and two hours - I stopped spending as long sewing on it. Even two hours is not very long, but it is significantly longer then 30 minutes each, which was my first estimate. OTOH, my first estimate for the number of oblongs was forty, and there will be only thirty.


I still love seeing the colour combinitions that my dice throws up, and it is a good study in colour values. In real life, the two greens are quite contrasting, whereas the orange and yellow blend. Similarly, by pairing a specific colour with two different colours you get a different feeling of dominance. More pictures to follow!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Origins of a design

Fired with enthusiasm, I am designing a cross-stitch picture. Yes designing it - no kit, no chart, and only an image in my mind to follow.

It started with the colours, and a discussion on a forum of decorating schemes. Browsing blogs like Attic24 and moogsmum, there is an abundunce of crisp bright colours. Although we have those colours in my house, but they don't stand out, because they are tucked away among the wooden boxes and other neutral colour ornaments we have. So my plan is to pull them all together in one place and have a bright cheerful spot. Along with a cross-stitch picture in similar colours.

So on Thursday, I went to Threads and Patches' new shop in Fenny Stratford (much bigger then their old one) and had fun choosing the colours and the fabric. I came home with seven floss colours and some white Aida. (And some other stuff. And a desire to visit their car park with a camera.)
square of

Having chosen the colours, I needed the design. I thought I knew some of the design, so I sketched it out on squared paper and added some bits and rearranged bits and finally thought I had the arrangement right. Then I got out the Aida, and counted squares to find out how big it was going to be, and it was tiny. Because 14count Aida has 14 squares to the inch, and 5mm squared paper only has about 5 squares to the inch. Whoops.

That was Friday lunchtime.

So I thought about adding bits to the design but that would not be true to the layout I wanted. So I wengt back to my design inspiration, which was "modern quilt", and I googled and followed up the links - I'd already come across the modern quilt guild, but there were lots of others.

And one style of design stood out: the one that encapsulated my idea is in this link. The colours were wrong, but the shapes were right. So I came up with a few ideas for the blocks, and I measured them out on the Aida, and I nearly started to sew.
square of I wanted to randomise the layout, and came up with the idea of rolling dice to set some paramaters. But the first set of options were way too complicated, and it took thought to simplify them to fewer options.

And now it was 4pm and I hadn't done anything else all day, so I stopped to do some of that anything else.

On Saturday morning I was at last ready to sew. But maybe I ought to check I was on the right lines, and I tacked (With sewing cotton) a few lines to ensure the layout was right.
square of
But it wasn't. So I thought some more, and retacked the lines, and finally I was happy with the layout.

After lunch I made the first stitches, at last. But although I'd worked out I might even be able to do two blocks an hour, by the end of the afternoon, I had one block done, and I still hadn't been doing anything much else.
square of
On Sunday, I started sewing again, and I seemed to spend most of the day sewing, so I should have made lots of progress.

Ho hum. I calculated I had done 275 stitches in the entire day. I've since worked out that a row of 11 stitches in a single colour takes over five minutes, so of course it is taking me longer then I expected.
square of
But there is another reason - which I will reveal later, and I'm very pleased with at the moment.