March 12, 2013

Debra: WIP-Christmas Wallhanging

I wanted to show you a pretty good set of progress photos today. I worked yesterday more on the composition. I spent a good deal of time thinking about what I really wanted for this wallhanging (keeping in mind my question: Is it Worthy?).  It took some effort to get back there in my brain and pull it out but what I want is a "nordic/victorian" looking wallhanging.  I want lots of white sitting on a textural background of red.

My overriding goal for all my projects forward is to use my stash.  I am trying to make the best possible compositions with what I have on hand.
Toward that goal, I have a large collection of trims that a lady gave me a few years ago.  I added a huge tub of doilies to the mix a few summers ago.  I bought the entire collection (for peanuts) at a thrift store.  I've been itching to use them and I think this is the perfect backdrop.  I'm treating the small doilies as snowflakes and I'll augment with embroidered ones.

Everything is pinned in place --  I have a lovely filet crochet edging of roses on an apron that I am going to use for the bottom of the focal central panel.  Then, I can move the rose trim to the other three sides.
I plan to use alot of eyelet on this piece.  You can see I cut the poinsettias apart and removed the pale white leaves.  I will need them for the intersections to cover trim ends. (I could make roses but again, I have the poinsettia so I want to use them [up]).

I am thinking of delineating the corner blocks (like the left block) with trim and adding a large embroidered motif.  The side blocks (I am thinking) will just have poinsettia and snowflakes with red textural embroidered stitches.  I only want them as supportive blocks for the focal central panel.

Not sure where the Santa or heart will go but I sure love them.

I may let this simmer today and do something else.  I do want your opinions, though.


I followed Cy's recommendations below and stripped the CQ down to the basic layout.  What do you think?  Compared to the original layout with the trims?


cq4fun said...

That will do the job nicely! I thought it was the squares that were the UFO you wanted to work with, but this is going to be a great project. The white leaves on the poinsettias will work in perfectly with all the lovely laces. I look forward to seeing each lace and doily you use!

Debra Spincic said...

I was trying to make that previous wallhanging idea do too much. When I stopped and thought about it (and listened to Cy's comment that it was 5 projects!), I realized that the bird diamond squares would be better as a table runner. Taking them off this piece freed me to explore the nordic idea and do more tone-on-tone stitching.

Since both pieces will be very near each other when done, I am going to try to put more of the doilies with the birds. But, that project is for another day. I will probably machine quilt it.

Right now I want to get this one to a spot where I can start the hand embroidery in the evenings.

Cy said...

I like this idea Debra. It is far more 'balanced' than the last place you were with it.
IMHO though, the rose lace trim around the centre focal blocks is too wide. It actually takes the focus AWAY from the embroidery features in the middle.
The dove in the cage embroidery is great for this quilt, but I'm not sure I like too much of that white doily showing behind it, and I'm tossing up whether it (the doily) needs to be of irregular shape to be compatible with the cq. It just seems too formal there.
Maybe your Santa embroidery can be placed in the middle focal area too. Actually, now I look more closely, I don't think either of those square/rectangular doilies are needed in the middle. Just have that area for the embroideries straight onto the cq blocks. No ric-rac either.
Now, about the outer cq blocks. Love, love, love the red. No need to delineate the corner blocks with trims. They are FABULOUS without.
The Snowflake doilies and poinsettias will be great scattered around all the outer blocks like that, and will have the white show up so well on the red without 'other' distractions of lines (as in trims) . Love that idea.
One last thing......I would move the top row centre block (the one with the green fabrics in) and put it in the centre focal area, to stitch the embroidery pieces on. It will be perfectly acceptable there as the green will not look out of place as it matches the greens in the embroideries.
You did want my opinion, right? =)

Debra Spincic said...

I'll do some thinking about your ideas, Cy.

One thing I noticed when I had the embroideries in the middle without the doilies is that they looked like they were floating too much; not grounded enough.

One thing I discovered with my Sewing CQ is that I don't like the seams between the blocks in CQ very much. The trims are a nice bridge between the areas. Plus, the trims seem very nordic to me and I want to use them. On the other hand, I don't want to shoehorn a design element into a composition that doesn't work just because I want to use that element. So, I'll have to think about that--I also don't want to do tons of embroidery and the trims can help carry that load.

That bit of green is on its way out. I just haven't redone the block yet.

OK, then, onward we go!

Cy said...

If your embroideries in the middle area need grounding, audition some of the doilies or trims just at the bottom edge of the embroidery. Fold doilies in half, or smaller, to see if it has the grounding effect, and then cut them if they suit the purpose. Rather like Connie did last year for her photos in her blocks, with just one lace edge at the bottom that the photos sat on.
I was thinking that the snowflakes would be randomly placed over the block joining seams as well. That would eliminate your aversion to the block joining seams showing.
We all have different likes, dislikes, and ideas, of what we personally would do with other peoples projects. That's why we all come up with completely different projects here. Make sure YOU are happy with whatever you decide. Invariably, everyone else loves the outcome, no matter how much trouble you had getting there, lol.

Suztats said...

I like this simpler red and white scheme. Looking forward to seeing more as this progresses.

Debra Spincic said...

Are you talking about the 2nd photo, Suz? the one without the trims?

Suztats said...

Yes, I am. I'm not sure about the santa/tree/poinsettia/bird pieces, but I love the red blocks with the white doily snowflakes! The warm red vs the cold white and the linear quilt blocks vs the curvy doilies are wonderful contrasts. I find the simplicity of it very appealing. To me it feels nordic.
I know you'd like to include the machine-stitched pieces, but they look very small and lost as they are now. They are also complex designs, and I feel they take away from the simplicity that to me spells nordic. But maybe that's just me.Just IMHO.

Debra Spincic said...

They are lost & although they are as large as my machine will stitch, they are still small on such an expanse of cloth. Those blocks are 15" and while I originally thought the designs with trims would need that space, now I am thinking everything is too big.

My husband suggested I do the 12 Days of Christmas on the 12 blocks. He also liked the middle outlined because he thought it looked like a Christmas package with the poinsettias on the corners as bows.

I've been struggling with the complexity of the designs too. There aren't a lot of nordic machine embroidery designs & I don't think I can face hand cross stitch.

I could go back to my idea of a traditional CQ with lots of classic motifs. If I do that, the already stitched motifs would work.

I'm going to think about the whole doily on red blocks idea---I find that very modern and appealing; especially with a lot of bold tonal stitching. I could do a montage of larger doilies in the middle. Maybe I can mock that up tomorrow.

This really is valuable help. More editing and refining!

Cy said...

Lovely job Debra. Are you happy with it though?
I've been 'playing in Photoshop again and will post my ideas on this.

cq4fun said...

I like your husband's idea about the 12 Days of Christmas. However, I also like the plain red, with a sort of meandering border of the doilies. I don't know if that's what you intended that to look like, but it's what I'm seeing. Do you necessarily want all the appliques in the center two blocks.