Friday, 14 September 2012

Windows of Provence

In one of the bees I'm in, Free Bee, Nicolette asked for blocks inspired by the windows of Provence.  As an aside, if you don't know Nicolette, you should really take a look at her work.  She has the most incredible variety in her quilting and (being a graphic artist) an eye for design which I really envy.

So of course off I went and googled "windows of Provence" and came across this amazing site full of beautiful photos taken by Richard Cobby including this one which he has very kindly given me permission to show you.


ARTIZAN HOME by Richard Cobby ARPS, CPAGB, NAPP

I went off and drew a version of the image on Touchdraw to give me some idea of the dimensions of each window pane, shutter, window sill etc. to get me started.  

Provence window

I then pretty much free pieced the block.  Measuring and cutting for the window panes but then building on the block piece by piece from there.  A rust Oakshott shot cotton gave the shutters a bit of extra depth and vibrancy.  The plaque on the wall came from a Basic Grey Curio print of which I panic bought the last couple of yards when it was on sale at Fat Quarter Shop.  And the weathered paint on the walls was another Curio print - this time one of their grunges.  

Provence window for Nicolette

As with 90% of the blocks I make, there's always a woulda-shoulda-coulda process that goes on in my head afterwards.  I wish I'd framed the plaque to make it stand out a bit more.  I wish I'd made the windows rectangular as in the original photo as I think that looks more interesting.  And I wish I'd made the darker panels on the shutters a bit wider and longer.  My rule up until now on this blog has been not to point out the woulda-shoulda-couldas but - especially in fabric choices - I seem to make the same mistakes over and over again so I need something to knock me on the head and make me see my mistakes before I make the block rather than after.  Any tips for that anyone?

33 comments:

  1. I love that the plague is kind of weathered too Lynne and I love this block so much!

    You should not question your work and fabric and colour choices so much, I love 99% of it!!

    I often see things I would have liked to do differently in a block or quilt after I’ve taken a picture. I try to take pictures of the process now, but often forget to do so!

    (and thanks for your sweet words and the linky!)

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  2. I think this is awesome. Really lets me see how you got from the inspiration to the quilted block. Love that you used Curio for this. The color does have that wonderful aged patina.

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  3. It looks wonderful. Well done.

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  4. I think you do yourself a diservice. This is a brilliant block. I think most of us find when you work on something the whole familiarity breeding contempt thing comes in to play and we've really seen the fabric and design soooo much we don't see the beauty just the bits we wish we'd done differently. I think your fabric choices are great here. I like the subtlety of the plaque and the use of that curio fabric for the walls and the oakshott for the shutter detail is inspired. So be kind to yourself!

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  5. What are you talking about missus? It's completely freaking amazeballs. Seriously.

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  6. I am not sure that the things you pointed out are mistakes. It just varies from some outcome that you were hoping to see. It would be nice if you could put the block away and judge it on it own merit when you are not kicking yourself.

    If you want a change in your process, go very very slowly and ask a set of questions each step and maybe take a picture or draw and color a full size block--step away for a bit and then decide if you have what you wanted.

    There is no one who will be as picky as you are about your blocks. I bet there is a better way for you to spend time then beating yourself up. --that is something I say to my self over and over.

    Enjoy

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    1. I don't know who you are but this was a wonderful, comment, thank you! Lynne X

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  7. If you like I'll email a "smack you round the head" then next time you doubt your awesomeness so much... I love it. And fabric choices? The best. Really. The grunge for the walls is inspired. Fabulous you daft woman, fabulous.

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  8. Isn't Nicolette simply gorgeous? So is your amazing block Lynne, the first thing I thought when I saw it was wow, I wish I could make blocks like Lynne! Perfection! xo

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  9. This block is just incredible, you did an amazing job!

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  10. shut up it looks fabulous!! Great inspiration and so well executed :)
    I try to stop those niggling doubts and voices in my head and accept that once it's done it's done! I always admire the work you do Lynne x

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  11. Amazing block ~ you did a fabulous job at reproducing the window and wall plaque!

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  12. If we didn't all do it, the phrase "hindsight is 20/20" wouldn't exist! Maybe there's something Freudian going on --like a childhood of "don't make me tell you twice!" instilling the desire to do something perfectly the first time or a critical voice that echoes in your head. Okay, so maybe that's just me!! I look at what you do and stand in awe, time and time again. I wish you could see what I see!
    And if you don't like this one, donate it to a charity (do you have something like AAQI in the UK?)(or save it--remember the triangle quilt that resurfaced as a new love?) and make the one in your mind's eye.

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  13. it's fab! I love the weathered look, and the gorgeous colours. Why are we always so hard on ourselves? It's a bit silly, really!

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  14. Perhaps after doing the design bit on the computer, once you've selected your fabrics you should use colouring pencils/ pens the right colour and draw it out? It's old school I know but it does help to give you a better idea of what your really getting. Plus who doesn't like colouring in? If you are a freak who doesn't like it, since you have small people, you can draft them in (/bribe them) to do that bit?

    nbnqx

    P.S. It took me ages to realise it was fabric not painted.

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  15. My kids grew up reading the Magic School Bus books - you must make mistakes and get your hands dirty to learn says Ms. Frizzle. It is not hindsight, it is the benefit of the experience you gained making the first block that you are seeing. The first block is beautiful, thoughtful and inspired and also still improv and free pieced. If you must, make another with the insights you gained from making the first, but guaranteed, you will then have more insights and would you make the next, and the next? But you cannot have the insights from learning until you take the first steps and make the first block, no one can. At least that is my view.

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  16. It looks great, Lynne. I might have to scare up some grunge for my block.

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  17. I love it! You just have to be very strict with the inner critic! I love the old Amish thing that a block shouldnt be perfect - perfection is not for us mere mortals! Love the windows concept - wouldnt a lovely french apartment block be wonderful done this way? Everyone could do their own floral display in the windowbox and paint their own shutters!

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  18. I think it's a fantastic block! Yes, there are things you wish you'd done differently but if you remade the block to include those changes you'd probably think of more 'I wish I'd done...' when you finished it and it would never end! I also think part of it is that you're too close to the block at the moment and 'what might have been' is standing between you and loving your block for the magnificent creation it is. If you could put it out of sight for a while (and forget about all the changes you wish you'd made) then I'm fairly confident you'd 'just' see a splendid block the next time you looked at it. Having said all that, it's comforting to know that a quilter I admire and respect a great deal sometimes has doubts and a feeling of deflation after finishing something as it helps me realise that it's part of the creative process. I'm going to embrace it the next time it happens to me (if I ever finish anything ever again!) and maybe I'll even remember this comment and take my own advice ;o)

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  19. I think you captures the window perfectly for Nicolette

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  20. I lurve the block, but I'll throw this back at ya ... view your touchdraw pattern as a large icon size ... you know how you can tell from the thumbnails on Flickr how good a block is....?

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    1. I bet you the square vs rectangle thang would've shown itself to your ultra picky eye ...

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  21. Have you tried making a written reminder list of things to consider when making a block, based on prior mistakes?

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  22. I have to agree with Sarah about the emailed "slap around the head". I think is excellent. the plaque is particularly effective i think and the whole whitewashed effect very effective. Your too hard on yourself as ever but that's all part of having artistic streaks I think. well done from me anyway.

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  23. I love it! I have recently bought some of that grunge fabric to make something inspired by old factory windows we saw in Cambodia.
    I know what you mean about shoulda woulda coulda. I do it too and beginning improvised piecing has helped me let go a bit. The best piece of design advice I've heard is: if you like it do it again; if you don't like it, do it again. That way we get to fine tune our process. Could! Should! But I've yet to actually do it again! Beating myself up is easier and habitual! One day I'll take that advice...

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  24. I think it looks fantastic, Lynne! I love the color scheme and the grunge for the walls is perfect.

    If it isn't matching what you had in your head, maybe it needs to sit a while before you put it together. On the other hand, with something this small, the seam allowances really make it hard to tell exactly what it will look like when it's all sewn.

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  25. I think it's just part of the process...especially with improv work. Each block or work is a stepping stone for the next. Just as our technical skills improve with practise so do our design skills.

    The block looks fabulous. I see things I could have done differently with everything I do....I don't really look at that as a negative thing....but a learning thing.

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  26. Seriously cool, and I love the windows in Provence!

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  27. It's a lovely block... And I like the plaque like that... You have to take a second look to take in the detail....

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  28. Don't all great artists think they could have done better? It's amazing.

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  29. Just make another one and call this one Version 1. You can try out those changes you imagine and then you'll have two pretty blocks.

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  30. Well I love it. You coulda made it precisely like the photo, but by tweaking it, you have made it yours. I just adore that background fabric and the plaque btw.

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