Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An overdue Cotton Robin post or Why I did what I did when I did it

First, I am writing this in February but queuing it up for July, when hopefully all the Cotton Robin quilts will have made their way home (& they have-if you want to jump ahead you can see the big reveal here).

Last December I joined the Cotton Robin.  & then I spent no time at all thinking about what I was going to make for my center because of a whole lot of reasons including but not limited to a cow's homecoming.  So the deadline kind of snuck up on me & I made something that was not exactly "me" but was not exactly "not me". 

I wanted to make a bird trap.  I REALLY wanted to make a bird trap.  But I figured that was not in the spirit of anonymity.  So I made a variation on one of the Mosaic blocks in Brackman & shipped it off with a quarter yard of the floral print & sort of forgot about it.  I thought.

Did I mention I made two?  I should have said:  I made two blocks as identical as I could.  I even used the same fabric scrap pieces in the same places in each block.

So off went one of my center blocks & I kept one & even though I tried very hard not to, I started thinking about the first round of my own center.  I tried not to because I did not want my own 1st round to unduly influence what I did with what I got.  Finally the center I was assigned arrived (I say "finally" but I am pretty sure I got mine first).  I took a scan & a few pictures & made sure I looked at it frequently for almost a week (I did this by putting the picture up on the fridge).

As it happened, this center was accompanied by several strips that while not exactly the same as the fabrics used in the block, they were close enough (same pattern, different colorway type things).  There was also a clearly marked (as you can see) top.  Harder to see is that outer border; it has script that the quilter went to some trouble to maintain in a consistent orientation.  In other words, there is a clear top edge, even if it isn't marked.

Things percolated for a while.  I was actually dragging my feet because I had a very firm idea what I was going to do with my own center block.  In the end, I did my own first border just to get it out of my system & then I added the first border for the center I had been sent.

Before we go on, here is my own center block with the first border:

I have been obsessing, maybe too much on flying geese of late, but I also liked the idea of half square triangles of the same fabric as the border they bump against.  The result: flying geese with half the background in the floral border already there & half the background the white on white dot.  Voilà!

& once I got past that idea, I was able to give the center I received my full attention.  I did actually briefly toy with the same sort of border, but this center was just enough bigger that it would have made the flying geese that much bigger & the overall quilt that much more bigger-bigger.  As it is, my own center is now almost certain to make a quilt larger than the recommended size.  I felt OKay doing this to myself, it was me making a decision for me after all, but I did not want to make that decision for anyone else.  Also, unlike my center which was mostly equal parts, this center had a stand-out central feature & my big-old-mess approach to layout would not highlight that which the quilter who made it chose to highlight.  Somewhere in here I realized the center square had a double frame (a mat & frame, if you will) border & I thought it would be nice to repeat that, so my borders were going to have to be narrow.  Flying geese were out; they never should have been in.

In the end, I used a green dot from my own stash that was very similar to the green dot provided (which I also used) & made a half-square triangle border with that green on one side & softer colors on the other (many of those were also culled form the strips provided). 

Because the center was in such soft colors but still so graphic, I pointed the border in instead of out, hoping that would give it more of a frame & not take over.  & then I repeated the same inner border/outer border look that was part of the original center block, ending with a light, lightly patterned border that squares everything up but can also be trimmed down if it needs to be. 

Before I packaged it up, I put back that bit of blue tape back that marks the center top. 

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about everyone's thought processes for the Robin rounds... personally, I'm not sure if I could articulate what I'm thinking!