Having finished the blue section of "Shelter," I'm taking a break, and have made a half-dozen coasters, 4x4," piecing leftovers from the strip-pieced strata, and adding in an accent color. These make up quickly, especially if I sew just one line of stitching around the edge, rather than quilting lines inside the square. I didn't think to take a photo of version #1, where I had sewn a continuous row of navy blue stitching around the edge of the coaster. The blue stitching across the red/orange stripe was distracting. "But it's just a coaster," I told myself. But I also kept noticing the blue stitches interrupting the contrasting stripe. So, the next coasters I sewed a start-and-stop line, thinking I would leave the earlier ones as they were. In the end, I ripped out the stitches in the earlier ones, and re-did them. Better. At a retreat this winter, Bill Kerr of FunQuilts gave a talk about the importance of details--to carry out one's work into the smallest detail. The point seemed somewhat obvious, but in these past months I've felt the influence of the talk a number of times--pushing me to consider a detail that I was tempted to skip over. Now, these coasters are far from perfect; they tend to have dips or bulges on one side or another, not easy to control for. That I'll live with, but the element of contrast was too important to mess up. . . even for a coaster.
Here's another one. A quieter contrast--I like this one a lot. I just finished reading a collection of essays by the composer Roger Sessions, Questions about Music. (Not a usual subject of reading for me, but I'm participating in my public library's summer reading program, which challenges you to read a book in eight different categories over a period of six weeks; music is one of the categories.) The book includes two essays on composing; lots of analogies to the process of creating a work of art. For example, he talks about a composition being built on elements of association and contrast. I tend to be drawn to fabrics closely associated with each other, and have to push myself to bring in the element of contrast of value and hue.