Wednesday, January 23, 2013

No Clue

The Cliff's Notes version of this post:  
  • I don't exactly know what I'm doing.
  • Not that it matters.
  • Whatever I am doing is interestingly uncomfortable.
  • That is probably a good thing.
Ever get an idea (maybe even a bad one) that you just can't leave alone?  It starts out a seemingly simple thing, but when that doesn't pan out, before you know it, it has morphed into something unrecognizable.  And yet you still feel compelled to keep at it.

Kind of like a bad poem.  (Been there, done that.)

Let me explain.

Last summer, I bought a bagful of fabric at the thrift store.  There was a little bit of everything in that bag, some modern, some vintage.  There were a few true "dogs" as well, which went back to the pound during my decluttering phase.

This piece I kept, however.  A vintage, I'm going to say early '70s, navy and yellow-gold, paisley-tulip thingamabob.  Yards of it.  Some would call it ugly, and they may have a point, but to me it was...interesting...and I was determined to use it somehow, some way, some day.

The other day, I saw it in the stash and pulled it out and started thinking about what might work.  How about a Lemoyne Star, something simple, maybe use up some other odds and ends while I'm at it.  Here was my little stack.  

Here is how it looked cut and laid out on the table.  Yuck.

I tried this and that, but no matter what, I didn't like that fabric in the mix.

Same fabric, different day.  I played with the HSTs of the navy print and the yellow brick road type fabric.  Maybe I'll just make a simple block.


How about I cut it up and sew parts of it back together again?  

I made three strips.  That was fun.  Now what?

Let's put some other colors around the strips and then cut those strips in half.

Rearrange them on the cutting table a bunch of times, and finally sew them together again.

It looks like butterflies chasing each other.  Can you see them?  Kind of cool how that happened.

But wait, there's more.  Cut a 12-inch square on a wonky angle.  

Lay it on a dark background to see how it might look framed.

Put some other triangles, trimmed and saved from a recent project, around the square just for kicks.

That's where it is so far.  

It continues to pester me like a sliver.  I have no idea where it will end up (possibly the trashcan), but I do know that feeling my way along like this without a map is well outside my comfort zone.  

And maybe that's the whole point?


  1. I've been there and I know exactly that feeling of needing to make it work.

    I kind of liked that first Lemoyne Star.

    Your Frankenstein is pretty interesting, though. Love the sawtooth borders. And I do like that paisley.

    xo -E

  2. thanks for sharing this look into your process :) I think there is a difference between good ugly and bad ugly, especially with fabric. personally, I love a good ugly fabric - I have a soft spot for them :) I can't put my finger on just wake makes the difference between good or bad ugly, though...

  3. Oh you are going to laugh - I actually Love the first lemoyne star. But I really like how you kept at it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. It's called being CrEaTivE, and that is learning in itself! I probably would not have chopped it up, but lookie what you have from your willingness to do that. Keep it up, and do not walk towards the trash ~

  5. Don't ever trash it, donate it. Kids would love it. I think it looks cool. The lemoyne star maybe would have looked great if the navy/yellow was the background instead of the peace signs?

  6. Well, Ann Marie beat me to the punch - I really like this top, and kids would love it - so don't trash it! If you don't want to finish it up and donate it, send it to me and I'll find it a good home. I think you're doing a great job working outside your comfort zone - and it looks like you're having a whale of a lot of fun!!

  7. Ahhhh very interesting certainly. I like the whole road map design...maybe with some contrast/solids? Go can let the fabric go could find a good backup home...don't feel guilty :-)

  8. Amazing! I am way too analytical to take the chances you have with this. Although I might change a plan, I have to have a definite one in my head when I start.

    Just a note, when I first saw the fabric my thought was backing for a quilt for a girl going to michigan state... thats where my head is now.

  9. That vintage 70s fabric is very cool. :). The peace signs are fun too!

    I can't wait to see what this grows up to be. No matter what your bravery in experimentation is to be applauded! :)


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