Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cone Nebula Quilt - Section 5

Last Saturday I got together with some friends for a day of sewing. Our quilt guild makes quilts for the people who pass through the local domestic violence shelter. Each person gets to choose a quilt to use while at the shelter and to take upon departure. I think of these quilts as being tangible signs of the community supporting these folks in their desperate hour. In about six work hours, we were able to complete an entire top and all-but-the-borders of a second top. The gal who organized the day had a plan, she had made all of the fabric choices, and all the rest of us had to do was show up and work. We were SO proud of ourselves. Of course, I forgot to take pictures.

On the other hand, with a design wall at the end of a long room, I was able to pin up the four sections of the Cone Nebula quilt and actually see how it's coming along!
I think I'm in love! Well, after seeing this, I went into the sewing room on Sunday and laid out the next section. This is the section to the right of the top half of the section in this picture.
Do you see what I see? I have that bright star in the corner, butting up against a deep black. You know, I didn't see that until I looked at these pictures. Isn't that funny? That black fabric is so obviously wrong there, but as I was laying it all out, it seemed fine. This morning, after looking at these pictures, I went upstairs and auditioned a lighter fabric. So, here's the current choice:

Here's an alternate choice. (I apologize for not putting the white sheets over the bulk of it.)
Sigh. This means that before I start sewing together blocks, I'll get to cut out a few dozen triangles today or tomorrow. On the other hand, if I sewed this section together with that black fabric there, I would always know that it was wrong, and that I knew it was wrong, etc. The mottled blue-purple is much lighter in value and closer to the black-green (other side of the star) in both value and pattern. The black has little gold stars on it, but these pictures show that it reads deep black. I'll find another place for that fabric in this quilt.

Speaking of color value, I also experimented with different fabrics for the area surrounding the bright blue star. I knew I wanted that bright blue fabric as the focal point, but I didn't really have a plan for its "halo." In my scavenging through my stash, I came across a chunk of fabric that had possibilities, and here it is with the "right" side of the fabric showing:

Here it is with the reverse side showing:
I laid out the star both ways (forgetting to take pictures, grrr), and it was clear that the contrast was greater with the reverse side showing. It might be too much contrast, and the "big picture" pictures tell me that I'm not done thinking about this. I may have to take some more pictures in order to figure this out.

This week, I needed a break from the two big projects I have going - the Cone Nebula and the Every Way Wrap - no picture this week; it's a few rows longer than the last time you saw it. So, noticing that the dishcloths were looking pretty ratty, I had the following exchange with Hubby Dearest:

Me: When we're at [local non-WallyWorld superstore] on Monday, we need to pick up some cotton yarn for dishcloths.
Hubby: You know that [l n-WW ss] sells premade dishcloths don't you?
Me: Yes, but none have been made by me.

I see the logic, don't you? The way I figure it is that for $1.69 and about a dozen hours of meeting and TV time, I get three dishcloths that are unique to my household. Here's the first one:
 My rule is that unless the mistake makes it unusable, I don't rip back. It gives me a chance to play with patterns, learn some new techniques, and get something useful in a pretty short time period. This was seriously just two evenings of work. On the other hand, when I was trying to set up those first few rounds (cast on four stitches across four needles....), a certain someone got annoyed that my lap didn't belong to him. Here is a shot of him looking impossibly cute last Sunday (when I was taking multiple pictures of him instead of cuddling him, Hubby said, "Smile pretty for Mommy's blog!"):
This morning, before I came down to work on this, I fed the cats. Now, the Princess Kitty has special dishes (which came with her when she moved into the house), and everyone else has dishes from a set. Soon after we put the food down, though, she and Big Guy trade places; it seems to be a mutual agreement, and we've never seen them argue about it. I think they're darling, in case you couldn't tell.
In the last couple of weeks, I have read novels by Joshilyn Jackson (Between, Georgia) and Ruth Rendell (A Sight for Sore Eyes). These are both very good writers, and if you are looking for well-rounded characters in believable situations, check them out.

Jackson's stories are the sorts of stories one would tell around a dinner table - So, Nonny, how did you get your name? Well, let me tell you about the circumstances of my birth.... When I read her books, I feel as though I am having a long chat with an old friend I haven't seen in years.

Rendell's books, on the other hand, are dark and complicated. As I read her novels, I find my heart in my throat about what might happen to a character (and can envision several different paths for each to take). The stories are carefully plotted but without artifice. These are tales told by a masterful storyteller.

Right now, I'm about a day into a novel by Muriel Spark (A Far Cry from Kensington). This is sort of place-holder reading until I figure out which "big" book I want to tackle next. I do love Spark's novels, but in a backwards sort of way. She doesn't write to make you love her; she seems to toss things off, and you only realize afterward how well she led you along her path.


Delusional Knitter said...

Its true, taking a photo gives you a completely different viewpoint. I've seen it myself when I photograph things - like something that's blocking, I see areas that need to be pinned differently, but outside of the camera ... I don't see it!

Cute kitties!!

WonderWhyGal said...

ooooh, tough choice on the quilt colors. I like the black but I haven't been staring at it for hours either. My aunt quilts and I am in total awe of the talent.

I agree with the handmade items too. I am starting to weave some spa cloths using new techniques. As long as each one turns out decent, they will be used at home or as gifts. A few hours of learning a new technique is always a gift that keeps on giving.

I love that you make quilts for the shelter. When my father was in Hospice care, the facility had a donated quilt on his bed complete with a blank square on the backside that the staff could sign or we could write our own message on. I ended up giving it to my 15 year old niece because she was the oldest grandchild and dealt with his death in a different way. I love that we had that quilt. I'm glad there are groups like yours.