Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Demand A Re-Count

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
–Benjamin Franklin

Grace, my ever faithful sewing sidekick, is away on holiday. It will be three weeks tomorrow since I dropped her off for a nice spa retreat. I'm hoping she'll be ready for pick-up tomorrow. In her absence, I've been doing a lot of prep work on quilts I hope to someday finish. One of those prep projects is the result of a half-square triangle swap I did almost a year ago. I got my triangles-in-the-rough back about 5 months ago, and I've been pressing. A lot. Approximately 600 freshly pressed HSTs showing here:

When I put together my triangles for the swap, I formed a plan for what to do with them based on the instructions of putting together a light and a dark fabric for each set of HSTs. I actually heard “neutral and print” and was pretty meticulous with how I put them together. I did roughly the same number of HSTs of every color and split my white and off-white neutrals evenly between the two. As is always the case with swaps, there is room for interpretation and some of what I got back didn't fit in my plans. No matter. The fabrics were still really great, so I unpicked about 300 HSTs {yes, I know :crazy:}, which left me with 600 orphan triangles who needed neutral buddies to become HSTs again. Enter the Go! Fabric cutter, and in a few hours, I was all set to go {yeah, I know. Bad pun, but I couldn't resist. I puns}.

I also put together a few fabrics to fill in on some of the colors I didn't get much back on and will sew those up using the triangle papers we used originally to put our HSTs together. But I'm not showing those because that passes up “particular,” “picky” and “persnickety” and crosses over into “obsessive,” “complusive” and “just plain nutty.”

As I've pressed and cut and sorted, I've been turning over ideas for how to use up 1400± 2½” HSTs. While I was getting my swap triangles done last year I saw a quilt called Triangle Confusion and decided that I wanted to do that. Now that I have the raw materials to work with I've tried a couple of Triangle Confusion layouts. I liked the explosion of triangles with all its patterns and sub-patterns. Then, just for fun, I arranged the HSTs into a more obvious pattern and put it up for an unofficial vote.

I was kind of surprised at the results. Everyone who expressed an opinion chose Diamond Illusion. Although I didn't really know which layout I favored until people started offering opinions {which is why I ask for opinions; it helps me to know what I really want}, I realized that I was leaning more towards Triangle Confusion. It was so bright and cheerful, if not somewhat frenetic. Diamond Illusion was very drab to me even though you could see a definite pattern. Perhaps here was too much brown and orange and green and not enough yellow and pink and turquoise. So I laid it out another way. What do you think?

Green was the color I'd gotten the most back from the swap, so in my first layout I used that for all the small diamonds. It just wasn't working for me. In this new version, I used a different color for each diamond and I think I like it a lot better with more color.

Triangle Confusion is still on my mind, though. I mean, there has to be some way to make it work. So I tried organizing the colors a bit more. I am totally in love with those partial diamonds. The shape is incomplete but the eye finishes it. There's still a lot going on there, though, even with an attempt to make it play nicely by using color to force the sub-patterns. Do you see the large pinwheel in the center?

Still, there is something I really like about Triangle Confusion.

As you can see, I'm still undecided on what to do with all these half-square triangles. Unless I make a king size quilt {which would require another 1700 HSTs and I've almost entirely ruled that out}, I have enough HSTs to make two nice lap-sized quilts; one Diamond Illusion and one Triangle Confusion. The only problem is that I don't have enough of some of the colors to use an even amount in both quilts. Only one of the quilts could be rainbow bright. The other one would have to be mostly green and brown and blue. I could break up the left over browns, blues and greens a bit with solid {meaning unpieced} blocks between pinwheel blocks made of the HSTs and come out with two baby quilts to donate, plus one lap-sized rainbow-y HST quilt for me {design yet to be determined}.

Or, if I decide that I absolutely have to make both a Diamond Illusion and a Triangle Confusion quilt and they both have to have a balanced amount of color, I could make more HSTs, in which case, Jeanette, a swap would definitely be in order :wink:.

And there would probably be enough left-over HSTs for a donation quilt.


P. said...

I like the Diamond Illusion layout very much. I am having a harder time, quite honestly, with Triangle Illusion. It's as if my brain is struggling to make sense of it. I do see the pinwheel and I do like it just on the basis of color alone. Maybe as it becomes bigger, it will resolve some of that, like when you're too close to something to get the true big picture.

I admire your perseverance with remaking some of those HSTs!

Shay said...

Im with P - I think for me triangle confusion is too confusing for my brain to take it all in and process it. That might be because Im only seeing a small part of it though rather than a total quilt laid out?

You should go with your gut.

DeAnna S. said...

Wow...lots and lots of HST. Your options are endless, but I know you have to pick only one. I see the pinwheels the most too. Looking forward to seeing what you finally decide...it will be beautiful no matter what!