Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A second update on the Cotton Robin post or Why I did what I did next I left off last week, I had sent the center block with the first border I added on to its next stage.  & then I had a good long time to stare at my own spare center & the border I had added to it.  Unlike last time, I had no idea what I wanted to do next.

Soooo...this time I decided to let it lie until the next Cotton Robin block (a different center plus someone else's first border) got here which did not happen until late March (more or less the deadline, so that was hardly a problem).   But I had sent my first round off very early; I knew the beginning of March would be madness.  Even though I had no idea what would arrive & even if I knew which of the starting centers I was getting, I could not guess what the last person might have done, I still kept going back to look at all the possible centers I might get-which was all of them minus my own & the one I had just shipped off. 

Then, shortly after that I happened to be looking at the blog of another Cotton Robin member & there big as life was my focus fabric in a completely different kind of project.  & I couldn't help it, my brain started rolling in a completely different direction.  Between this & the length of time between rounds, my Cotton Robin fever had a chance to subside (a good thing). 

Then it arrived.  I followed the same drill as the first time:  I took a picture & put it where I would see it several times a day (the fridge).  I would love to be able to clip the actual quilt-in-progress to the fridge, but I really did not want to get it dirty.  & I had a small but steady fear the magnet clip would fail & slowly creep down the fridge & a dog would tear it into pieces.  So.  Picture. 

At this point, I had been feeling guilty for a while that the border I made for the previous center was "not sophisticated enough".  I could always see the border I made my own block was "more", but the first center I was given was more complex than my own center had been.  & if I had made the same border I still think it would have detracted rather than enhanced that center.  I also turned that block around super-quick, mostly because March 3rd was the Monday of Spring Break & I knew that week & the week after would be hell (the deadline to get it where it was going was March 20th; if I didn't get it done early I was almost certain to be late), but this was contributing to my guilt.  If I had been able to keep it longer, would I have done "more"...?  Probably not. 

The block arrived with a note from the previous rounder.  She had gone a bit bigger than planned & hoped I could work with it.  I thought what she had done was way-worth the extra space & started thinking small for my own round.  The detail in the center was also small scale, so small seemed the order of the day.  Applique is really not my thing, never mind small applique & I thought the triangle round could not be matched so I thought about small & square.  Square & small.  I cruised a few quilt shops looking for batiks & hand dyes & eventually settled on a blue, a green & a brown that I thought worked with what was already in use.

The more I looked at the picture, the more I realized there was a wave type pattern throughout the whole block:  waves in the fabric dye, waves in the center curls & a wave across the peaks of the triangles of the border & I really wanted to continue that.  First though, I needed to make a narrow border to top off what came before.  I could not find anything like the very pale blue that is the background of the first border, so I went with brown instead.  I was fortunate that my predecessor had stay-stitched just under 1/4" from the edge, making it very easy to catch her perfect points. I added a 1.5" strip knowing that I would be trimming it down to whatever worked best with whatever I did next.

Because the center is on a small scale & again because a note was included the first border was a bit wider than intended (& worth every extra bit of space), I wanted to keep things small but interesting.  To that end, I mapped out a wave pattern using the batik fabrics I acquired.  In an effort not to distract from the complex center & elegant first border, I decided to go with a modified checkerboard.  The strips started at 1.5" so the whole thing was less than 6" all around.  I did add a very wide (2") border around the whole thing, but that was because I like to "quilt off" into extra border that I can cut away.

For my own I did go for a busier checkerboard & I didn't worry about being too large-I'm the one who will live with it & if it's OKay with me it's OKay. 

That I made another simple border was not lost on me.  But at least this time I made more or less the same one for my own center.  Somewhere in here the notification went up that two people were dropping out, deadlines were being extended & so forth, but I was already in gear & mailed this center with the second round border by the original deadline. Just as well, as I was mailing overseas & it took a bit longer en route than I would have liked.  Still it arrived where it was going well before the final center now with two borders arrived here.

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