Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Meh Quilt

Since writing my Perspective post a few weeks ago (in which I lamented among other things, a total lack of sewing energy/time) I have done very little sewing. It's taken time to want to sew again, more than I expected, but school went back today, and to distract myself from my youngest starting school, I decided to do a bit of sewing. And it felt GOOD. I'm so relieved to have my motivation and passion back at last, and I have a whole pile of things I want to make right now - so things are very much back to normal. I'm a happy little quilter :o)

Having said that, I'm not so delighted with what I put together today. I don't hate it, but I really don't love it - 'meh' is seriously the best description for how I'm feeling right now. I've been completely fascinated with Storm at Sea quilts and blocks since I started quilting, and a Storm at Sea quilt is the next project I want to embark on. This mini quilt doubled as a test run for my planned larger version (although this uses a totally different palette), and as a class sample for a Storm at Sea class I'll be teaching this year at Frangipani Fabrics



For this version, I was playing with a gradation in colour from yellow through to green to see how effective it would be in this block. I think it kind of works, but could be improved on (using fabric with little/no white for example - those blocks jump out too much to my eye, and also a smoother transition would work better I think). The other thing that makes me a bit ambivalent about it is that it screams 'Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oy Oy Oy' to me - as Jodi so rightly pointed out on Instagram today, green and gold together evoke certain feelings in Australians. For me, they're not always good feelings.  

I'm hoping that once it's quilted I'll like it more - but regardless it has been a valuable learning experience and hasn't put me off making a big version, which is a wee bit surprising. I swore I would never make another completely paper pieced quilt again after making Roundabout midway through 2013. But now I think making a completely paper pieced quilt is a bit like childbirth - you forget the pain after a while and want to do it all over again ;o). 

I'm off to start ripping paper out of the back of this so I can quilt it and see if that helps me love it more. I know I'm not alone in making things that are 'meh', but what do you do in this situation? Dump it and work on something you do love, or persist and see if you can grow to love it? I need advice peeps! 

xx Jess


21 comments:

barcord said...

Don't abandon ship. Keep going, and you may just find you love it. I like it. Then, I like green. Upwards and onwards.xx

Yaharalady said...

Here in Wisconsin USA we call that a Packer quilt because those are the colors of our football team, the Green Bay Packs. Like your gradation of colors. Storm at sea has always been one of my favorites.

christinepaul said...

My thought is to set it aside and work on something you love. I have done this before and found a whole new perspective. Seems you have been in a slump and you may just feel that energy in the quilt.

Sarah Fredette said...

I like it - but yellow and green were my wedding colors so there's a certain fondness there. I would say since its a small sample for a class, just push through. If it was a full throw size quilt, I would probably throw it in a corner while yelling obscenities. :) I'm not too child friendly when frustrated.

Charlotte said...

it's beautifully made, but I totally get the aussie thing! Makes me think of cricket ;-)

Patchwork and Play said...

I don't think the Aussie green and gold always works but I think this does! I really do like it. As this is a sample just do your best quilting on it and maybe that will bring out the love! Then move on! Give it away if it seems to bring bad vibes to you....

Dianne said...

I'm not an Aussie so have no aversion to green and gold. I agree with you about the white/green print in the 3 outer diamond squares, they distract from the flow. That said the sparkly aspect of the pearl bracelets and cotton & Steel fabrics makes me SO happy that I feel drawn to this piece. Have you considered toning down the white in the three offending blocks with some watercolour pencils or shiva paint sticks? It could be a great example of how to fix a project that you aren't quite happy with.

Charlotte Scott said...

Definitively Aussie! And it is also my primary school uniform colours so green and gold always make me gag a bit. But if it's a sample and you don't love it, no stress. Samples of stuff you don't love are helpful to show too, Keeps your students from believing that you can do no wrong...

Leanne said...

I think it is a great class sample, so have some fun quilting it when you are ready. I sure hope to find a version of that quilt that is not paper pieced when I finally make one but with paper piecing you would sure get all the seams lined up just so.

Carla said...

Actually, it has a lot of movement. The colours are lovely

Joanna @ Riddle and {Whimsy} said...

My primary school colours were bottle green and gold so as well as the Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi reminder, the colours also make me think of daggy trackpants and polo tops so sometimes it's hard to get into the Aussie spirit with these colours!

When I think things are meh, it depends on what I'm making it for and how far into it I am that changes my decision. I did meh quilting on a quilt once and left it for a year before I started to tackle unpicking it so I could do it again. If I'm only a few blocks into a top I might hide the ones I don't like and start again.

Di said...

View it as a test piece. We don't get it right all of the time. Finish it and keep it as a learning piece. Now move on.... Di x

Stitchin At Home said...

I like green and don't think this is 'meh' I do agree however about the white it is too stark for the green/ yellow combination. Have fun quilting it and use it as a class example or give it away. Now if you want to give it away to a good home I'd gladly welcome it into my home...:)

Pierro said...

Rosemary b here:
I suggest you finish up this block or make three more and give it as a gift as a table topper.
Green and Gold. Isn't is interesting how color combinations bring up feelings. When I was a child, my mum would NOT let us ever ever wear red and black (NAZI). Both of my parents are from Holland, they married right after WW2. It took a long long time to move on, but they did. God protected their healing. They are both 92 now and I take care of them. I do not hear my mom scream anymore at the sight of contruction sights where they are diggng huge holes etc.
These colors remind my of my alma mater http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_of_William_%26_Mary
and my daughters went there too :-)

Quilting In The Cold said...

I actually really love this. They are not colours I would normally go for but my first reaction when I saw it was WOW that is stunning.

Sandra W said...

You've done better, much better. I think the piecing looks great, but the colour looks flat. The greens aren't green enough and the yellows aren't yellow enough--and the whole effect is not effective.
I would cut it up--perhaps vertically and horizontally--and add some colour pop. Maybe even diagonally would work.
If your heart isn't into that--add some pop in the bindidng--green neon?--finish it up and move on.

Willit Neverend said...

My very first thought when I saw the picture was Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!, but I see I was not alone in that :) It's a shame it's a little too late for Australia Day :)

I actually think it would look great in different colours, so I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

DeborahGun said...

Hehe - being English, green and gold does not produce good feelings in me! But the rest of my family would love it!

Renee said...

I think this quilt was successful in being an experiment! Storm at sea has been on my list for years too, but after making one tester block I questioned making a whole paper pieced quilt too, ha. My new plan is to make a fireplace cover with the pattern...you know...someday...

Jessica said...

I agree with Sandra W, seems a bit flat. However, I think the greens are good but not so much the yellows, they look like a greenish-yellow which may have been what you were going for with gradations and all.

Maybe go with a stronger set of one color for gradation, or if you want every other block to be a different color pick 2 complementary colors to get a lot of contrast but keep the idea of gradation. At first the white dots didn't bother me, but a second glance said they've got to go as they distract the eye. But I still think this block is stunning!

Move onto to something you love of course! It may give you the inspiration you need for this quilt so you don't feel so 'Meh' when you get back to it.

Katy Cameron said...

My mehs I donate even as WIPs to someone who does love them, totally gets me past the guilt!