Cream on Cream RR block

So I haven't done much in the way of RRs for a while. I was very busy finishing up the black CQ last year. I have had poor Rita's block for quite a while longer than I should of, but it is finally done and will be heading home to her soon.

Round Robins are fun, and a great learning experience, there is, however, an knack to them, and a certain amount of consideration needed for each block, depending which number stitcher you are. I love to stitch first on a block. I go big and bold, and try and set the tone for the stitchers following me. I also quite enjoy being last to stitch a block. There is a challenge in pulling together all the elements stitched previously by 3,4 or 5 different (in our group, some do many more) women, each with a different style, skill level, and mostly importantly, a different vision. For me, it is important that a block leaves me looking as cohesive as possible. I have seen many RR blocks, and the most disappointing ones are the ones that just have a whole lot of seams and motifs, but nothing pulling them together.
Some blocks will 'speak' to you immediately. Some blocks you dread because the colours are just nothing you would EVER choose to work with (my tack with those is to use black LOL). Even the Do Your Blocks (DYBs) need some thought. Even though you have 6 individual blocks, and you are stitching a whole block, the idea is that the blocks work together as a group.

Anyway, where is all this rambling leading. Well, just to some pictures actually. Before and after on Rita's block.
Now, despite all that rambling, there is none of the above things mentioned awry with Ritas block. This group of ladies in this RR are exceptional stitchers, and it is always a pleasure stitching with them.
I was left with the large rectangle in the bottom right. Rectangles are always a hard space to fill on a crazy block. I also needed to add 'visual weight' to the block to balance out the heavy embellishing and embroidery in the top half.
So, what did I add. Well I had stitchers block for a while (the block did not 'speak' to me). We had to develop a relationship, kinda love hate. I love the CoC, but hated that the deadline was looming and my muse had seemingly gone on holiday early.... I started with the trellis and decided to tackle (once again) the Melainie rose. These are hard, and while mine turned out Ok, I could use some more practise.
I was struggling with how to add that visual 'weight', so played off the butterflies that Cobi had done. Beading the lace motif added not only the darker colours, but also that heaviness.
Next was the feather stich vine with ribbon leaves (under the 'r'), wandering over seams to break that long straight line up the middle of the block. ( I would of preferred a lighter, or slightly 'browner' ribbon, but this was all I had). I added the button cluster to balance the SRE motif up the top, and then the little 'vase' of sweetheart roses. This filled the gap, and moved the gold ribbon around the block a little more.
I considered for a while embellishing the paisley lace, and frogged quite a few attempts at different things. In the end I added some bullions and the butterfly placement broke that long straight seam of the lace. (straight lines will drag the eye to them, and the brain forgets to look at the rest of the block). In retrospect, heavily beading that lace would of also added the weight required to balance the block, however it can be difficult to 'see' a block when you are looking at it all the time. *A great trick is to take a picture and look at it on your computer screen, or even just on the cameras LCD screen. It helps you see the block as a whole.
Finally I did the (very quiet) feather stitch vine around and across the bird. The flatness around the bird was bothering me the whole time I was working on this. Some neutral thread and tiny beads added some texture.
So thats Rita's block. My thoughts are by no means right (or wrong) but I thought that you might find my thinking and reasoning behind the embellishment interesting.

Note to self...all this typing must mean that I have left the 'depression' and slid nicely into 'manic'...yay!! At least I'll get stuff done. Every cloud has a silver lining, eh!


shawkl said...

What a beautiful block. And, thanks for the peak into your thoughts as you worked it. Very enlightening. Super job, as all your work is!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Lovely block...and so interesting to read about your work process as you went along. Thanks for the hint about taking a picture to 'see' the block better...great idea!

Sewing Up A Storm said...

I so appreciate you thoughts about round robins. I agree that if there is a weak link in the group it just makes it frustrating for everyone else. I have been in too many round robins where a weak link has set a bad tone for the work.

The work you did really put that together nicely. Thanks for going thru your process of pulling it all together. I am next to the last round on a crazy quilt round robin and I am trying to pull elements together as well and your thoughts about it are great!

Gerry Krueger said...

We share a lot of the same philosophy on working on blocks...especially the first and last stuff.... I loved being last on your COC as I could go a little crazy.... I would add that when stuck with an awkward space, stitchers can consider visually "changing" that space by dividing with cording, trim etc....which is what I did with the UR large triangle on your block....
Hugs Gerry
p.s. I added and beaded the butterflies by cobi's work on this block.... for the same reason you added the vine... the space was flat!!!

Mary Corbet said...

It's great to hear the thinking process behind the decisions! I think it turned out utterly lovely.

I'd kind of like to meet your Muse....

TattingChic said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful block.

Nathalie L. said...

Lovely, I love it.

Ati. Norway. said...

You have done it again, the finishing touch, beautiful Jo !!

Wilma said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to pull this block together. I love the way you added the yellow roses and MOP buttons to give the white block some more warmth, hope you understand what I mean. Once again beautful work!

MichelleMermaid said...

Hi JO,
Thank you very much for your detailed explanation of your approach to the block work. Learning how to balance the block and judge heaviness or lightness needed is a challenge for me, so I eat up all the info I can.
Your Melanie roses are exquisite. I haven't tried them yet. And I love the little rosebud trail that leads your eye down to the bottom of the block. Very clever.
As you know, I'm participating in my first RR, so all the tips are appreciated...the one about using black, too. That might come in handy!

Candi said...

Jo, you always have such wonderful explanations of what you do and why. It's so helpful to those who get "stuck" (like I do a lot! lol) Thank you!

Myfanwy said...

Thanks for letting us share your thoughts, Jo. The block is beautiful

Anonymous said...

The block is beautiful, and I think you added a dimension that was really needed. Especially that light feather stitching around the bird, it just made it perfect. I love the trellis idea, too.

Marie Alton said...

Hi Jo ... I have to agree with everything you said about CQ RRs!
I think you did an awesome job on this one...your Melanie Roses look wonderful...especially love your addition of the woven sepals...way cool!

Thanks for sharing your creativity.

Asphodèle said...

This block is splendid.
Thank you for your explanation of your work.
Bonne journée.

Kimberly Snover said...

Hi!! It's Kim, from Southern CA USA!! I wanted to send you a note re. the size of the patches on these antique style blocks I did on my blog. They are most likely the size of a cell phone, the smaller ones, and bigger than a coin. As for your blog, I love it!! ANd love your trellis work and I've never seen those kind of roses. I'll have to try those some time. Happy stitcing, Kim