Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Red

If I could remember exactly why I decided to make a red doll--that is, a doll in red--I'd be better off. But I can't. It might have been a reaction to the color issues in the January BJP. Red sounds simple, right? Huh!

I wanted to make the doll red, red toward rust not red toward magenta. So I got my fabric, stitched the outline of the doll, and got the beads. Double huh!

Since then, there have been numerous incidents. I did such a fantastic job of matching the thread outline to the fabric that I could hardly see it. That was quickly, if temporarily, resolved by drawing on top of the outline with a soapstone pencil. Voila! Instant outline! That was a minor, but recurring, incident.

The majority of the incidents involved the red beads. Don't believe them. A red is not a red is not a red. A red by any other name is a different color. And it's hard to tell when a red is not a red or what its name is until after you've stitched it down.

The top picture shows the doll front in process. Before I ripped out a bunch of beads. And stitched more down. The lower photo shows the doll front in process. After I ripped out a bunch of beads. And stitched more down. Check out the spiral in the middle just above the hem. Does it look different? I ripped out one curly row in the spiral and replaced it. Then I ripped out another. Interesting process. I ripped out more beads on this doll than I did on all the others together. Lucky for me, I have a seam ripper in every room.

The more analytical among us are wondering why red is so difficult to work with. Am I becoming more discriminating? Fussier? Pickier? A perfectionist? Or is it the light? If you look at the two photos, you'll notice that the colors are different. The first was done in natural light. The second was done in artificial light because it's dark outside. And neither one is exactly the color of the fabric, although the lower one is closer. So I'll give that two points for the lighting.

I'll keep working on this little red doll to see how she turns out, still wondering if that large bead will stay on her head and why I didn't sign up for the color theory class at the quilt show.


Plays with Needles said...

I think you're overanalyzing. I think she's a beautiful red spirit doll. I love that the beading on the bottom switches direction; I love the silver heart charm over her heart; I love the swirls on her skirt; and, I love all the motion that your bead choices have created. Stop obsessing about color and look at the big picture. She's beautiful.

Sandy said...

The piece is working very well; the reds look good.

Sabine said...

My guess is that you are a perfectionist. Big bead on the head or not, your doll is going to be lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece.