Saturday, August 6, 2011

adding some method to the madness

My Loulouthi hexagons have been driving me slightly mad.  I love making them, but am unsettled every time I try to arrange them together.


I have had very generous and positive feedback from my QAL friends in the flickr pool, but still I have been feeling...troubled.

I know my sweet husband thinks I worry too much about...well, everything...but, honey, please trust me that it's okay.  I have to have problems to solve; I think it's in my DNA.  Bear with me!!

Here's my analysis and the approach I'm currently taking.

The "candied hexagon" project that is the inspiration for much of Lynne and Gayle's Hexalong lends itself really well to fussy-cutting and a diverse range of hexagon types.  But I have spent some time staring at the works-in-progress and the inspiration quilts for the HAL (cue knowing laughter from loving husband), and have concluded that -- to my eye, anyway -- the organized disorder of the design lends itself to a relatively limited palette.  Having multiple fabrics that read similarly in tone and hue helps that quilt to work.  And when it works, it works beautifully.

I say all this with the benefit of retrospect, since I chose a gorgeous line of fabrics -- Anna Maria Horner's "Loulouthi" -- and one that is great fun to work with, but one that it is also very challenging for this particular project.

Initially, I had hoped that by introducing a few solids (I used dark brown, a sage-y kind of aqua and a deep teal) I could tame these fabrics and make the project harmonious.  But it just wasn't working (to my eye). I had reached a point where I just didn't know what to do next.  I have never abandoned a quilt project, and I certainly didn't want to do so now.

I needed some order, some method, an anchor.  So I am now turning my tumbling block stars into "constellations": a Y-shape of 3 tumbling blocks, each using one of my green-blue solids, surrounded by 3 60-degree triangle stars, featuring the other green-blue solid. Each constellation features the same three Loulouthi prints.

Here's the first constellation:



And a second one is in progress, reversing the positioning of each solid:


With these constellations as visual anchors (and ones that have a balance of the two solids), I think I should be able to reintegrate some of my oddball hexies and still have something that is pleasing.  I think.  I hope. Fingers crossed!

8 comments:

Helen said...

I've just a left a ridiculously long comment on Flickr about your wonderful hexies but just wanted to say that I love how you're using the Loulouthi!

Judith said...

Love both your constellations! Keep going! Jxo

Sheila said...

These are beautiful fabrics and I know how you feel, I am so enjoying making the hexies but am hoping that they will all live happily together at the end.........

Jennifer said...

it looks good to me; perhaps introduce a bit more red?

Prof. S said...

Thanks so much for these comments and for the suggestions too!

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

I think you've nailed it! These look great ...

LizA. said...

Interesting observation. I like the idea of the constellations. I keep thinking when look at the original one that I don't have enough color variation!

Janine said...

That looks like a good plan. I agree the candied quilts seem to lend themselves to a relatively limited palette but you seem to be bringing them all together well :)