In my re-evaluation of early blocks which I wish I’d done differently, I decided I could make this funky owl, which I wanted to keep, less cluttered.
The one on the left is the original, the one of the right after I reworked it.
The bright orange round the centre square is a fabric I bought early on (I think because it had the word ‘autumn’ in the title on ebay!) and in the light of what I’ve done and fabrics I’ve found subsequently wish I’d never gone near – though it’s not as bad as the yellow version of the same pattern!
If I’d had enough of the brown fabric with orange leaves I might have made all the flying geese around the outside with that as the base fabric, but I didn’t and there’s none to be bought anywhere that I could see. After a lot of faffing about and laying different fabrics alongside each other, I eventually decided to take apart the centre flying geese and replace the orange with dark cream / beige. Happily, I had the fabric I bought at the Edinburgh Knitting and Stitching Show but at the time didn’t know what I’d do with!
The main thing was to get rid of the busy patterns next to each other that create a diagonal of messiness at the wine-coloured corners. Although it might have been better to change the dark fabric in the centre flying geese, in the end I just remade those which had the multi-coloured leafy fabric as the base and replaced it with the dark orange, which has a fairly plain pattern.
Not perfect, but better! It fits better with the other blocks.
It took a lot of fiddling with to get the pieces to fit, for some reason they didn’t want to very neatly, so I admit it’s better from a distance than close to.
The other block I took apart is this one, which I put on the reject pile:
The red had to come out, but I thought the outside flying geese could be recycled, if I replace the camouflage-type triangles on the geese with the dark orange base with the same green as the alternate flying geese, so they created a more symmetrical pattern.
I took it apart and actually made the altered flying geese, convinced I could make something of them.
Here are various options I came up with:
None of them quite worked! The one in the biggest photo was, I think, the best, but having pale squares at the outermost corners sucked the whole thing in and made it look squashed, but putting the darkest fabric at the corners made the pale inside square too much of a contrast.
In the end, and after driving myself nearly made, all I kept of that original block was the bold autumn leaf fabric of alternate outer flying geese. It seemed to work with dark corners and middle and the rest paler. For the centre flying geese, I ended up using another fabric I’d bought without purpose (though I’d bought it with three others with the same design theme and which it was intended to complement, so I must buy some more to replace it before it’s discontinued, as everything seems to be so quickly).
I think I’m pleased with this, it showcases that fabric, which initially I loved (except for the purple), but it’s hard to get anything to go with it, and I realise now I should never have put anything with it except the plainest patterns.
This weekend, apart from swimming, going to church, and having another bad driving lesson (sigh), we went to my in-laws on Saturday afternoon and my mother-in-law started making a top with me. I brought pattern and fabric, but of course didn’t get it right in both cases! It was very good of my m-in-law to help. By the end of the afternoon the heat in their tiny flat was such I was ready to keel over. We got as far as cutting out the pattern pieces, my mother-in-law sewed the darts in the front then when I asked explained what she’d done, marked out the seams using tacking, and sewed back to front. Trying it on at that stage, unfortunately it doesn’t suit me at all and looks like a tent – not my finest fabric-choosing hour. Next session, m-in-l will have very kindly sewed on one sleeve and will then use the other to show me what to do. There is then the notch-neck to do and we’ll take up the hem, as at present it is far too long.
Next weekend, however, husband has agreed to take me to a fabric sale at a warehouse 20 miles away. A website that I occasionally use (I’m now trying to remember if I’ve ever actually bought from it) has a warehouse that opens Mon-Fri, no good for me as I work, but on special occasions opens at weekends. It’s opening for a sale this weekend to make way for autumn stock, so we’re going to investigate. I hope to get material for another top, which I’ll try to make myself using the same pattern but for the sleeveless version, and will choose a better fabric, which is easier to do when you can see and touch the fabric instead of buying online. I’ll also look for possible patchwork bargains, and / or the cream fabric I used for that last block, and I fancy getting some thicker tartan / plaid / brushed cotton, but am not sure for what (other than some pj bottoms if ever I make it that far) or whether they’ll have that in a sale of summer stock.
Something to look forward to to get me through the week!
Best do dishes now – 10 mins before Poldark starts!