March 10, 2013

Debra: Christmas Wallhanging

I'm not feeling the love.  This is starting to annoy me.  When I first envisioned this wallhanging, I had planned plain blocks with just a little bit of hand embroidery around the ornament blocks.  Now that I have made 12-15" blocks, I think the original idea is better.  There is too much background noise with the CQ blocks.  The large ornament blocks also cover most of the piecing so then it really looks disjointed; especially since most of these blocks were enlarged from smaller blocks.  And what is with that green & red fabric in the snowflake block?  that is really wrong.

I think they will be more handsome on plain backgrounds--more formal looking since they are so balanced with the appliqued diamonds.  And can that trim --looks ridiculous.

I like the idea of the poinsettias in the middle but I think I need to trim out some more of the white leaves.  I had hoped to use my Santa and Tree but they look silly in the middle just floating around.

Possible Solution---treat the diamond ornament blocks more as patchwork with machine quilting. Sew smaller blocks, trim the poinsettia and sprinkle  the snowflakes around as an outer border. 

Use these CQ blocks with the Santa and Tree and other Christmas motif in a more traditional CQ patch styled piece.  Take my time and just embroider it as a long-term project.

Or, throw it all back in the Christmas UFO box and move on. 

Suggestions or ideas?


Caroline Heinrichs said...

So orginal, I love it!

Suztats said...

Wow! I love the diamond blocks,and I think they'd go well with the CQ'd blocks as their background, but only if there was nothing else going on. The poinsettia trim is very pretty, but I find it distracting in its present spot, and the snowflake block just doesn't seem to go with the rest.
However, if you removed the diamond blocks, and increased the poinsettias to completely fill the center,replaced the snowflake block with another red CQ'd block, then sprinkled the snowflakes all around the outside, I think you'd have a splendid Christmas quilt! IMHO

Debra Spincic said...

Thanks Suz for commenting. I'm looking for ideas.

The poinsettias are from a table runner I bought 2 years ago on clearance. What you see is what you get on that. I do think trimming some of the white leaves off will help that "spotty look" going on now.

The snowflake block is just to show what a snowflake "border" might look like going around the outside edge. All the blocks would have a variety of snowflakes.

My big question this year is: Is it worthy?
Right now I don't feel like those ornament blocks are worthy of a lot of hand embroidery in the background. If I had my Santa and Tree, then I would think the project is worthy of the handwork. So, the real decision is probably what to do with the diamond blocks. Maybe I should make them into a tablerunner.

Judy S. said...

I agree that it's a tad busy. If it's not too hard to change things, how about using the diamond blocks with a plain-colored sashing and the CQ blocks as cornerstones or for the border. IMHO the poinsettia trim and the snowflakes, while pretty, are over powering. Is there a photo somewhere of Santa and the tree?

Debra Spincic said...

Look here for the Santa and Tree---

I need to stay close to this size to fit the designated wall space. I don't have a lot of wall space options in my house, unfortunately.

Debra Spincic said...

Everything is just pinned to the design wall except the panels are sewn in long lengths. (But a seam ripper would take care of them!)

ladyhawthorne said...

I like the ornament blocks as they are with no embellishment, if not a wallhanging then a table runner would be wonderful. I agree the snowflake block looks totally out of place with the other blocks. I'm leaning toward snowflakes scattered as a 'too busy' idea with the ornament blocks. The whole center section just doesn't seem to go. Trimming more white off might be better but I think it is so much stronger than everything else that it overwhelms the piece as a whole. While I love cardinals those 2 blocks just don't seem to work for me and I think it's because they have the strong red.
If it were me I would do the 8 ornament blocks with the plain cq backgrounds all by themselves or make up a few more ornament blocks to fill out. Then I would add some fabulous sashing maybe in a Christmas plaid with metallic shot thru it but not super bright in color.
Alternately I might try the cq blocks without the ornament blocks as a border for your Santa & Tree.
I could see the 2 cardinal blocks as a small hanging by themselves to put on a door instead of a wreath and the poinsettia border looks great with the birds as is.

Suztats said...

Hmmm, then I wonder how the snowflakes might look inside the poinsettia border? I think that might look nice with the red CQ blocks surrounding it.
I do really like your Santa block and tree block. I wonder how they'd look inside the poinsettia border on the red CQ's blocks. Maybe Cy can photoshop them so we could 'see' the different looks.
I think the diamond blocks would make a great table runner. Wonder how they'd look with a border of snowflakes on a sold dark red or green fabric........hmmm
IMHO, anything you enjoy doing is worthy of your time and efforts. I know you do so much volunteer quilting, so maybe you're considering how much time this takes away from that in your question of worthiness.

Suztats said...

I like your idea of the cardinals with the poinsettia border. That would be so pretty on the front door, or as a small hanging.

Debra Spincic said...

I originally thought of the poinsettia as the outside border but when the wallhanging got to this size, there were not enough. I did take a photo of them as corners and thought to add snowflakes between so the snowflakes and poinsettia would be the border.

I've been looking through files & have found some of birds flying in with both ornaments and snowflakes in their beaks so maybe I can do something that looks like they are decorating my tree.

I think having just finished 2 major CQs has been a serious ton of work and I am tired. I'm having a little trouble getting the enthusiasm and energy to tackle another big project just at the moment. If it were falling together easily, that would be different.

I do have a stack of quilts that need to be quilted (with gift deadlines) and I do see those as quicker to finish. Plus, I bought some longarm tools in Oct that still have their wrappers on them.
CQ has been dominating my life lately.

Debra Spincic said...

Yes it would. I may consider making that idea!

Judy S. said...

Thanks for the link. You posted that when I was gone, and that's why I totally missed it. That's an amazing embroidery! Sounds like you have lots of suggestions, so it will be fun to see what you do. Just don't UFO it!

Cy said...

I hear that Debra, now you know why I wanted to be 'minimalist' on my quilt, lol.

Cy said...

Woah! Debra. Put your train into reverse and go back to the last station because I think you left your 'dream' on the station platform there.

When I look at the photo above..... I see five SEPARATE projects.

Enough said !!!

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Debra, I love the blocks. If this was my work, I'd loose the busy poinsetta's all in a border kind of row. I'd place these blocks apart and start playing a bold solid color sashing maybe, maybe something like the color of chocolate. Do you have any white/black striped fabric? That could be lovely as a identifying inner sashing on each of the blocks. This is very orginal and I wouldn't change the blocks, just enhance them by giving them their own identity.

cq4fun said...

My free advice, worth what you paid: Take out the snowflake block at the top and put in another one like the others, tea dye the white leaves, and I think it will look *great*. There's too much going on the way it is. I think the patchwork is fine, if it all has that faded red look to it. I like the poinsettias, but the white is too stark.

Debra Spincic said...

Some of these elements have already hit the "cutting room" floor! I should have something to post soon.