As many a recording artist has told us, in life we have to “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive“. Lately I’ve been doing the opposite and giving prominence to the negative, that is, negative space. With my January blocks for the #NGAQB in the safe keeping of their recipient, it was time to get back to old WIPs abandoned in the name of Christmas and camaraderie. Top of my list was the Gossip Quilt, which I desperately want to finish. As I pulled out the blocks and put them back on the design wall, creativity, much like Frodo and the One Ring, took a path I did not expect. I had negative space on the brain from the ideas formulating in my head for the February #NGAQB block and the more I looked at the Gossip Quilt blocks the more I liked the idea that was forming.
You see, my original plan was to have each 12.5″ block be a full log cabin, joining them all together to make a 5 x 6 block quilt top. I took some solid black and began revising the arrangement, adding areas of negative space to and around the log cabins. I loved it! Such a simple thing, similar to what I did with the Dinosaur Quilt. So now, as well as the full size blocks, I’ve started to make smaller log cabin block and sash them in varying widths of black. I might even have some full 12.5″ square negative space too. That’s the joy of the design wall; nothing’s place is permanent on it. Now that the some of the blocks have been reduced in size they’re coming much quicker, and I hope to have the top pieced by next weekend.
Today, I took a break from the Gossip Quilt to work on my February #NGAQB blocks. All was going well until I came to square up one side…
Yep, I was that much short. You know those days when nothing seems to go right? When fabric doesn’t want to play ball and you drop your pins all over the floor, well today was one of those days in the attic. The negative, the real negative, was well and truly being accentuated. Apart from some paltry scraps, I had no more of the background grey and didn’t have the patient to order more and wait for it to arrive. I panicked and got stressed. I called out to my bee mates for suggestions, taking myself away from the machine whilst I waited for their responses. A calm descended after a dog walk and a cup of tea. On my return I looked at the block differently. They say things happen for reason and I think they really do. A quick slice and dice of the block allowed my to add some wonky sashing that has totally transformed it to something I never envisaged. A happy case of measure once, cut twice! Don’t you just love it when things like that happen. My quilting is far from perfect but sometimes, in the mistakes I make, I see the potential for something closer to it!
Have you ever turned a problem into a positive?
lovely! i’m digging these text prints. new obsession. i can’t wait to see how you rescued that block. i will say that nothing angers me more than messing up on a paper pieced block – can’t rip those seams out easily! grrrrrr. it always happens at the end, too!
Sometimes I’ve had to make fabric substitutions due to messing up, and have found I like the replacement even better than the original choice. Being a klutz can sometimes pay!
Loving the Gossip quilt! As for your wee problem, I can’t wait to see the rescue job.
Accidents are the best! It’s hard to see it at the time, but you’ve made some real winners here!
Not me … when I make a mistake I just cry and scream and throw things … Haha.
I’m an elementary art teacher by day, and a quilter by night. I have been trying desperately to instill this idea of accentuating the negative in my students. They easily find fault in their work and want to immediately throw it away and start new. I try to have them look at the work differently and find a solution other than tossing out their hard work. When we use creative problem solving, often the solution is better than the original intent. 🙂 Thanks for the post.
So true Jan! I hope you get your students to embrace this way of thinking soon. Thanks for visiting.