Wednesday, May 01, 2013

There has been progress on the sewing front, but I'm still struggling with the layout of the sewing room.I have to have separate lighting for each area, and I haven't quite perfected it so there are no dark spots.  I know a lot of American women sew in their basements, and produce beautiful quilts, so I should be able to do without natural light, but I'm having a hard time adapting.    I keep taking my fabric choices out to the front room, to make sure that they actually look good together.

Last night I pushed and pulled furniture around in the front room and set up a design wall where the light from the door will reach it, so at least I can put my blocks up somewhere and check that they look OK.  Then it's back to the Quilt Cave to sew them together.  Mereth's suggested solution is to build an annexe to the shed for my sewing room, but I need a bit of a break before I tackle another major building project.

My Mitchell St blocks are piling up now, they do go together quickly once all the units are made.

I'm a bit disappointed in my fabric choices, I seem to always go for the safe option, which looks OK but predictable.  To counteract that I've been dragging out all the wildly coloured, large print madders, and trying to use them to build a block around.
 This one is my favourite so far, that large paisley is gorgeous.
I think I love madder so much because it can be a combination of brown or red or orange or pink or rust, and it all goes together beautifully.  I tend to gravitate towards the brown and pink colours, but it's the orange that grabs my attention in the shops.  Why don't I choose them for the blocks though?  I'm just too conservative, so I will try to be braver in my fabric choices in future.

There is an article by Barbara Brackman on madder style prints here, and she also write an article for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine

Brackman, Barbara. "Madder-Style Prints" Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, March 2003, Number 350, pp. 45-47 

I've torn the place apart trying to find the magazine in question, but I have no idea where it is.  And I probably won't rest now until I find it.  That sort of obsessiveness is tiring, when you find yourself going through yet another cupboard or drawer, convinced that you've remembered where you put it.  False Memories are real, folks.

I'm going to make another 4 blocks for this quilt, and that should be enough, unless I decide that there are a few more fabric combinations that I just have to try.  I will probably end up with extras, but they can just join the crowd in the orphan box.



antique quilter 2:04 AM  

I love your blocks, I tend to go safe too . But when I look at your quilt blocks there is a lot of interest, I was pulled in to see the block with the purple on the outside and then the pink t in the center and the first two blocks on the top I wanted to see the fabrics...
I really Love the look of this quilt keep going!
My sewing room is upstairs bedroom in our home the back of the house and the lighting isn't the best I have a lot of ott lights in the room I tend to put fabrics under those to check out if I like them . Do you have an ott light?

Gypsy Quilter 5:58 AM  

In the last house I rented, before I moved to my forever home, I had a basement sewing room. I lined the concrete block walls with white sheets from the thrift shop and set up hanging fluorescent shop lights with "daylight bulbs." I was told about them by a watercolor artist. Perhaps you can find something similar.

Nancy Anne in the Finger Lakes 3:26 PM  

I love that paisley block, too, especially because the blue just really sets things off so beautifully. I think I would commit major mayhem to get my hands on your orphan drawer. Please keep inspiring me, in spite of your environmental issues!

Jan 7:08 PM  

Your blocks, and quilts, have gobs of interest, I think! Big prints, cut up, bring great movement. This will be another lovely quilt!

Karen 4:55 PM  

What helps me to make a dark area of the sewing room lighter is a floor lamp with a glass shade that is open on top. It sends the light to the ceiling and spreads it out. Also, I use a daylight type bulb in it.

Stephanie Newman 7:33 PM  

I find its really hard working in sewing spaces without natural light especially as eyes age and when working on black or dark fabrics.
I think even with Ott Lites etc there is really no substitute for sunlight and like you take thread and fabric to a window to be sure I like the colours together.
Still no matter where you sew its a matter of making the best of a less than ideal lighting level. Bouncing Ott Lites off ceilings over works space, floor lamps for cutting area, extra lights (2) around sewing machine...the determined quilter does what she must to quilt!

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