Maker Talk: I don’t like showing projects still in progress. I don’t mind looking at them on other blogs, because I find it interesting to see how things developed from the beginning and came together to the finish. Only getting to see neat, tidy, staged pictures of the finished project doesn’t give me much thrill for the creation of the item, merely an appreciation for the end result. Seeing the construction is exciting, for me as a Maker. However, when I go back through my own blog, I don’t enjoy seeing many in progress pictures. They annoy me – probably because I’ve seen it because I made it. I’m going to share them anyway, because I NEED to, but I’m also going to keep them sparse, for my own preference.
While flipping through old sewing photos a couple weeks back, I saw my Gothic Log Cabin quilt. After having seen my Cutie Niece’s Scrappy Kitten pictures a moment before, I was stuck by the color palette similarities. I dashed off an email to Cali, asking her to show the quilt to Cutie Niece for her feedback. The response was positive, “the colors are good and it needs more kitties.” As I’ve said before, I appreciate this little girl who is so definitive about her style. Good colors, more cat – I can do that.
The design process was all in my head the next few days, and I decided that I’d need to do some combination of cat shapes and log cabin piecing. I considered piecing cats together like some currently popular patterns, but realized that was foolish. I already have a cat shape that I made; it works well for my style of creation, and I know for a fact that Cutie Niece likes it – the Scrappy Cat! So, a bit of mental rearranging, re-sizing, and some simple math later, I have a design plan. There will be small Scrappy Cats in large centers, with log cabin strips around the edges. Actually, they will be Courthouse Steps style, not log cabin, for the color arrangement benefits.
Needed to make the size of the Scrappy Cat smaller to fit in with my design. Shape and proportion look good. I’m still progressing on the construction. I think I’ll change it to have turned under edges while in the shaping and building phase, before block assembly. This cat might not make it to the final quilt, but this is the experimental, learning phase, too. If he doesn’t qualify for the quilt, he’ll make a great pillow.
I must keep an eye on this color palette. Easy to go too red, too black, difficult to keep the right amount of hot pink, without letting in too much light pink (which is “bad”). I remember, many, many moons ago, as a youngster when this was my favorite collection of colors, too. Hot pink and cats – that was the best. It was so long ago, decades, I barely remember. There was a hot pink, faux fur bathrobe from a junk store or yard sale (as most things were back then) and a cat – I don’t even recall which one – that I created a persona for. She wanted to be a movie star in Hollywood and the fur was perfect for her. I’m sure the cat was only playing along so she could sit on the warm and cozy faux fur.
What the test block might look like. I didn’t stitch all the fabric down, only placed strips there to get a fuzzy visual idea. Cat still needs tail, button eyes, etc..
Scraggly version of what the layout might look like. These would be straight lines, not all crazy-like. That is a lot of Scrappy Cat fronts. You know I don’t enjoy making things repeatedly, not more than a dozen or so, usually. These nine might burn me out of Scrappy Cats for a long time. Perhaps I can make them different enough so that it won’t be too repetitive.
[Many hours later]
Maybe I shouldn’t be piecing cats for the centers. Maybe I should paint or print cats in smaller, typical-sized centers and simply make log cabin blocks. Maybe this is TOO MUCH Scrappy Cat. Maybe there can be no such thing. This is why I make test blocks.
Log cabin blocks in color theme with cat center.
They wouldn’t be identical, like these are, of course. This is for a general, visual aid.
This version would be faster. I wouldn’t burn out on Scrappy Cats. I wouldn’t spend an entire month of evenings and weekends making something that is (let’s be frank, here, if no where else) probably going to be pushed off to the side in favor of the next novel treat by a small child. I would have to make the Scrappy Cat version because I’d love to make it, at the base.
I don’t know. I think I’d enjoy making the log cabin version better, sewing-wise. Log Cabin blocks are one of my favorite. But, they’re kinda boring, design-wise, with the preference limitations. Let me steer away from this version and back to the first.
The Scrappy Cats staying flat like that, never becoming full Scrappy Cats – I don’t know if I’d like that. Would that be okay? Maybe I should stitch this SootSprite down to the pink and see how I feel about his flat existence. Maybe it is fine. Let me try that.
Yeah, he is fine. Little SootSprite is okay flat. So, how to make it better? Maybe I can take all the exterior courthouse step stripes away. I could put the prints in some other way. Like stacked coin stripes.
Oh. Yeah. I do like that better. Not there yet. Maybe some black betwixt.
Black and some horizontal color coin stripes. Is this good? Hmm.
Wait. This is familiar.
I’ve recreated the Brady Bunch opening credits.
I’m going to eat some chocolate and play Minecraft now.
[Many hours later]
Okay, I didn’t have chocolate or play Minecraft – I ate a Twinkie, cleaned, folded laundry, hung some paintings, a did a spot of yardwork. The falling leaves outside are enticing and the warm wind was refreshing. Good break.
I showed Slick the Brady Bunch Layout above. He didn’t see it. That is encouraging, but it was all I could see. I needed a different view. He suggested I change all the backgrounds to black. I was concerned it would be too much black, for a youth, but the Gothic Log Cabin quilt was more than half black and she liked that, so maybe not too much. I gave it a shot:
Mmhmm. This is good. I don’t see Brady Bunch anymore. It is a lot of black, but I think it is okay – it allows all that bright color to breathe.
Yeah, I like this. A lot. This is where I’m heading, I think. I’ll wait a few days to make sure it doesn’t jump out and mug my creative spirits in the dark, then move forward. I need some time anyhow – I have some pretty extensive and complicated zipper plans to add in. Scrappy Cats must have zipper stomachs after all, but I also think there are some good zipper opportunities to be worked in to the edges and seams. I have some snazzy zippers solely for this.
Also, I am making a Halloween costume. I only have one, meager, little party to attend, but I’m doing it. The postman should deliver some materials for the costume project later this week and I’ll need to do a lot of stitching then. The rest of my year has filled up quickly, project-wise.