Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Creative Process, V

I was supposed to be sailing on the Chesapeake Bay this afternoon, but the trip fell through at the last minute leading me to believe I was destined to quilt. In the spirit of the 4th of July and its associated picnicking, I asked Mr. Mac to play me some Laura Nyro to set the appropriate mellow mood.

When last we met here, I had various pieces laid out that I thought might complete my mountain cabin scene. I won't make you go back to find it. Here's what I had laid out. Looking at it this afternoon with fresh eyes, I decided that the porch needed to be made longer, and that the grass should start closer to the bottom of the cabin rather than up along the sides. Maybe something like this. Of course, it would be simpler to just have the grass start at the very bottom of the cabin, so that's what I decided to do.

The first step was to make a new porch. The short porch I had been using was a piece left over from when I made the big part of the cabin. I had to make a new piece to start from, so I cut 10 strips, sewed them together, rotated the resulting rectangle, and cut out a piece with the slats going in the appropriate direction. I also had to cut a larger piece of black and make a longer white strip, but here's what I ended up with. Here's what it looked like after I sewed the red and black pieces together and was deciding on the angle the white would take. At this point, I realized that it was quite possible that I would get the side unit pieced only to figure out that I should have added the grass and sky to the center, cabin unit first. That's how things happen when there's no real method to one's madness. Here's the grass going on, and now the sky is on as well. Now to finish the side unit. First, the grass under the porch. This was the easy part, because as long as I made the grass piece below that porch long enough, it will work. In putting on all the other pieces, I would need to worry about matching the seams between the side piece and the center one.

Before I worried about matching those seams, however, I needed to get that diagonal white piece sewed onto the background in the right place. Sewing it onto the porch unit was easy; any angle would work. Now, though, I would need to get the top angle done so as to keep the side straight. First, play around a bit...
and then start to figure out the angle. Here it is done,
and if you think I hit it right on the first time, well, I you'd be wrong. That's what the baste setting is for on a sewing machine.

The next step was the white edges to the roof. They were diagonal on the original photo of the cabin, but I was going to make them straight here. Of course, that either meant setting them in on three sides or sewing them on the top of the pine tree fabric, which is what I decided to do.

Once the white was in, then I had to put the sky on, matching the seam in the process.
I actually got that done fairly easily, but then you know what? Yeah, I didn't like the way the white stood out; I didn't like it at all. What to do? Time for frog-sewing, so called because of its "rip it, rip it" nature. How was I doing? Not too badly given that I wasn't aiming for total accuracy. I must admit that at this point I considered quitting for the day, but I decided I should go ahead and do the other, simpler side. It ended up looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. As I was taking this photograph, I was thinking that I should probably add some more grass, pine trees, and sky to the left, porch side so that the cabin is more centered. At the same time, older son looked down from upstairs to where I had the piece set out on the hardwood floor and said he thought it would look better if the blue sky fabric went down a bit into the tree fabric and didn't line up precisely with the top of the roof. He may be right; it might look better that way. Does that mean I'm going to do more frog-sewing and change it? Probably not, because I don't think it looks bad this way. I'll look at it again next time (tomorrow?), but I'm pretty sure I won't change the sky but will add a bit more to the left to center the cabin. And at that point, some borders will finish the cabin unit, the soundtrack will get livelier, and I'll put the pedal to the metal doing some liberated blocks to go around the outside. I do love it when things start to come together!

No comments: