Rethinking and Reworking

Over the years I’ve built up a pile of pieces that just didn’t work even though I had finished them. When I cleaned out my drawers recently I applied the FAT (file, act, toss) guide to decide their fate. Some I pitched (i.e., put in the to be cut up drawer, ) some I just put back, and some I reworked.

Here’s the before and after for some of the revisions.

Autumn Before:

Autumn After:

I toned down the red/orange/golds in the upper left with two layers of green tulle and did more quilting. I added more lines to the right side, and carried through a line in the upper middle.  I think it’s improved, but not perfect.

Z Is For Zoom Before:

Z Is For Zoom After:

The colors on Z never photograph the way they are, though the first photo is truer. I decided to break up the long horizontal lines with rolled on fabric ink.  I’m thinking of adding more hand stitching to emphasize the new lines, but can’t work out colors.

7 Years of Bad Luck Before:

7 Years of Bad Luck After:

I really went to town on changing this one as I found it unwieldy. First a dye bath, then stamping with fabric ink. Now I’m thinking of cutting off the top bit, or maybe cutting out an irregular circle and facing it.


Stupendous Stitching Before (and after):

I created this practice piece in the Craftsy course Stupendous Stitching back in 2012. It sat in the drawer since then, even though I bound it. I decided the shape bothered me so I shortened it by cutting off the top bit, and adding new binding on the cut edge. I like it better now.

I find it educational to figure out what’s wrong with a piece and try to improve it. Some pieces can’t be improved without redoing them; but many can be dyed, painted, printed on, and cut up. If the amendments don’t work, all I’m out is some time.

I’ve linked up to Off The Wall Friday.

Update 11/29/18: I just read a post by Paula Kovarik about revisting old work.


Filed under Completed Projects

13 responses to “Rethinking and Reworking

  1. I find it so interesting to see the, often subtle, changes you make, and the way those changes pay off. I think this is really apparent in Autumn.

  2. Good for you! I have many old projects in need of this type of treatment and might even get around to it one of these days…

  3. Rosemaryflower

    Yes indeedy
    It is often good to let things sit and simmer, especially fancy creations.
    I like the changes very much!

  4. Great examples of before and after. I often do the analysis during and after a project (and frankly, sometimes I just don’t care enough about the project to bother.) But once something is finished, I haven’t gone back and changed it. Changing the proportions of Stupendous Stitching makes a big difference in it, for the better I think. Also Autumn’s change in emphasis really helps it. And 7 Years is so much more interesting to me in teal. 🙂 And yes, consider trimming the top edge of it. Somehow that would help it seem more consolidated. ??? Bad explanation but obviously you’re thinking along the same lines. Thanks for sharing.

    • If a project is done (for good or bad) in your mind, it makes sense to let it go. It’s a lot easier to change a small piece (less than 36 inches square) than a large one. Yes, I’ll be messing around with 7 Years soon as a way to procrastinate.

  5. Thanks for the before and after show. It is such a good idea to re-think pieces sometimes. I look forward to seeing any other changes/finishing you do to “7 Years of Bad Luck”. The change in “Autumn” (my favorite) looks subtle (on my monitor anyway) but it seems to have kicked up the contrast a bit. I appreciate learning the different techniques and methods you used to achieve these results. Also, reading what you did/didn’t like or thought wasn’t working. AND the reminder to pull stuff out of the drawers. Thanks!

    • I try to be honest here and show what I deem my failures along with pieces I’m proud of. Rather than rebury the failures I decided to use them as a self teaching tool. I found I like cutting up/overdyeing/changing old work. I think the next phase of 7 years will be reshaping the piece.

  6. I love this concept. I think I’ll go back and look at my older pieces too. As we learn techniques our tastes change and it’s a lesson in your style changes throughout the years. Also a chance to reflect on your work of the past and see if something you did in the past is truly your passion in quilting.

    • Also, I like to think I’ve picked up some critical analysis skills with the years, so I can figure out what’s wrong and ways to fix it. I find it’s always easier to see that something’s not right; but it’s much harder to see a path to a solution.

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