Sunday, 13 May 2012

Need to try harder

In his month in Free Bee, John Quiltdad asked for sets of three totem blocks inspired by Erin Wilson's totem quilts.  I tried my hardest to be free and easy and wonky but the brain I have really prefers things neat, tidy and symetrical so this is always a challenge for me.

Three Blocks for John

I feel like Ethne Flaming Stitches and Marianne The Quilting Edge are more natural at this kind of thing than I am.    Here are Ethne's:

May's block/s for John

And here are Marianne's and they both feel more artistic than mine.  I'm not fishing for compliments here by the way, just saying that, however hard I try to be wonky, I just end up all straightened out. 

Free Bee 2012

34 comments:

  1. Having the same kind of preference for neat, tidy and symmetrical I love your blocks best. They reflect Erin Wilson’s blocks in a great way. It’s hard to work more free and improv and I’m not sure if I will ever achive it, but that’s why I love the Free Bee!!

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  2. I really like your blocks - I find it pretty hard to get my wonky on too - I guess brains just work differently :-)

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  3. I do really love your blocks, but I know how you feel. What do you think keeps you going so straight? How about sitting down at the machine with some fabric and scissors, no mat or ruler or cutter or pins. What you get might be good for nothing, but it might help you see what you need to ditch physically or mentally to do wonky!

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  4. Haha! Wonky is really easy for me - it's when I try neat and tidy that I have problems - lots of fudging or slow, precise construction...but I have got better and you would too if you practiced!

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  5. Wonky quilting is more scary, I suppose. (Well, I could do a wonky star!)

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  6. I'm the polar opposite because I have days that no matter how hard I am to be straight and tidy and symmetrical - it all comes out wonky! I wouldn't worry about it though as your blocks are gorgeous.

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  7. I love the constrained tidiness of your wonk. I

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  8. whoops ... pressed publish mid sentence ...

    I think everyone has their wonk limit ... mine, like Susan's, is pretty limitless as even my strictly straight is actually wonkily wobbly!

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  9. Wonky is going against the grain,,,, out of my comfort zone for sure. You have done well! Di xo

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  10. I love doing the wonk but I have to be in the right frame of mind, I find I have to stop thinking and just cut/sew where whim takes me...I love your blocks (and Ethne's and Marianne's) and I'm off to drool over the totem quilts - I've not seen them before and I want a closer look!!

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  11. I like your tidy wonkiness!!
    Not all blocks need be wild and over-wonky. It would be like eating cake at all meals: nice in the beginning but not so interesting if it was all the time/everywhere...

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  12. I think yours are more graphic and those will be a plus in the whole design!

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  13. I am seriously in love with your block with the circle

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  14. I really like yours, especially the one with the circle

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  15. My brain must work like yours because they are my favorite.

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  16. If you have to work hard at being "free" are you still free? Seem to me the point is relaxing and having fun.....mission accomplished!

    Love your blocks. They are very organic and a nautalus shell sort of way

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  17. I think you are doing fine on this one, your blocks are a nice reflection of the inspiration pictures. And I really like them, colours, composition and all.

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  18. I have just the opposite problem...I just couldn't get my blocks neat and tidy enough. I think your blocks are a better representation of Erin Wilson's work. My brain's just a little wonky, I think. I love your blocks.

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  19. There is NOTHING wrong with your blocks - nothing at all
    You'd think that with me drawing 'straight' lines all day on a computer I'd be creating blocks with a ruler in my hand constantly - it's probably because things have to be so symmetrical at work, that I tend to be free'r in my quilting at home.
    Please don't be so hard on yourself ;o)

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  20. I really like your blocks! I've been practising my improv piecing this year because I too have a hard time letting go of precision. When all else fails, the best way to add wonk is to cut the block in half at a random angle and then sew the halves back together. It forces me to stop thinking of straight lines and precise points so I can wing it from there.

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  21. I'm very neat and straight edged , too. Your work is still beautiful.

    Amanda Rose
    http://sewmuchtosay.blogspot.com

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  22. I love your blocks, they have a Rennie Mackintosh feel to them

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  23. I agree with what everyone else has said. I think they're beautiful, and they feel very southwest to me.

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  24. I also really like your blocks - I find it quite interesting how many of us are bound by symmetry and straight lines, something to challenge us...

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  25. All I could sew was wonky! Recently that has improved! Just trying sewing not in a straight line =D

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  26. Your blocks are great but I know exactly what you mean - wonky is hard for me too :) But the great thing about bee quilts is that even when everyone gets the same "instructions", the blocks still reflect their makers. And that is the true treasure for the block recipient.

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  27. Although your blocks are definitely straighter, the bigger difference I see is the clarity of color and line. Ethne's have a soft, watercolor feel, very soothing. Marianne's are intricate and funky. Yours are more graphic, bolder because of the straight lines, negative space and higher contrast in fabrics. All three sets of blocks are gorgeous, they just bring different things to the party. That's a good thing. Imagine the olfactory problems if we all brought bean dip!

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    Replies
    1. Piecemeal Is an excellent analyst. You've got a slight wonkiness there and it suits your work style. Not many of us are able to attain your precision. Looks to me like you are stretching yourself while playing to your strengths and who could ask for more than that?

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  28. Welcome to living with the left brain people. Most likely you prefer organized and tidy clean lines. I encourage you to keep trying. It will come easier as with your attempts. My friend teaches a class in free form curves. I bit my lip and took two classes, it is quite freeing once you let go. The next thing you know you will be making modifications to your liking.

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  29. Funny how we are always our own worst critics. :-)

    Your blocks have a balance to them so maybe that's what makes you feel like they're a little less organic than the others but there's plenty of wonk, just on a smaller scale. But they are definitely artistic in "feel". The others have quite a bit of straightness to them, too, so keep pushing yourself past that comfort level when the word "wonky" rears its head in future. You've done beautifully so far. You'll only get better.

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  30. Funny how we are always our own worst critics. :-)

    Your blocks have a balance to them so maybe that's what makes you feel like they're a little less organic than the others but there's plenty of wonk, just on a smaller scale. But they are definitely artistic in "feel". The others have quite a bit of straightness to them, too, so keep pushing yourself past that comfort level when the word "wonky" rears its head in future. You've done beautifully so far. You'll only get better.

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  31. Not to be critical of the others--they are beautiful too--but yours are more pleasing to my eyes. Like you, I tend to prefer things neat and orderly. Improvisation and creativity do not come easily for me. I'd love a quilt made from your blocks.

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  32. I like how each bee member's quilting personality shines through in their blocks. Yours are perfectly Lynne's and I'm sure John will love them exactly for that reason. Lovely work as always Mrs. G.

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