working with balance

Earlier this month I did a couple of posts (here and here) on a design I stitched.  The piece seemed out of balance to me. I started working on the balance with scissors, paste and a lot of great ideas from those of you who stopped by and left comments or sent me emails. The input was encouraging and eye opening. I’ve learned and am thankful for every bit of it.  Some of you will recognize your ideas being implemented below. Many thanks to each one of you. I only wish I was a more apt student.

This is what the design looked like in that last post.


There are four versions of the designs that I’m planning to stitch. I’m only putting two of them in this post. If you don’t see some of your ideas here, they are no doubt in the other two versions.  My printer’s quality and getting good photos of cut and paste work combined against me on those. And these two I’m posting are extremely poor. Still they are a rough idea and when I squint, I can live with them.


In the photo above is a change of orientation. The flowers and scrolls are positioned horizontally instead of vertically by rotating the design ninety degrees counter-clock wise. Once I did this the orientation of the original motif at the top right and lower left were sticking out like sore thumbs. So I change their orientation to vertical instead of horizontal and placed both in the same rather than opposite direction. More symmetry was added by repeating the floral shapes and scrolls on the lower right.

And then I still had the positive “b shape” to deal with. It was hard to let go of that shape, but it has been removed from the right side. In fact it is so hard to let go that I’m thinking of stitching or beading that shape along the narrow left and right blank border areas. On the left from the line extended from the top of the center area to bottom margin. And on the right from the top down to the line extending to the right from the bottom of the center area.

Today I was showing someone the work on this design. They were stunned at the difference in the design caused by the change in orientation of the positive “a shape”. These are the rows/columns of over-dyed orange shapes on the left and right of the center area. 

Changing one thing easily leads to another. Making one change may lead to an unintentional change that is either a happy coincidence or another aspect of the design to played with.   

Below is the next version and an one hundred and eighty degree flip.



Here I widened the left and right borders. I’ve played around with making both sides as wide as the center. But I couldn’t do it. The idea might grow on me if I play more with some of the other aspects of the design.

One thing I want to do is extend the black scroll line along the bottom to the left margin. I was going to block out the last row of green stitches. But I want to leave them and work the black stitching between them. I think doing these two things may anchor that part of the design so that it doesn’t float so much.

In this version the number of positive “b shapes” declined/increased to lead the eye along to the second group of flowers. This is one of the suggestions that came in via email so you won’t see it in some of the comments. Many thanks to this kind friend for this idea and I’m not sure about how many others but a lot.

I’m also trying to decide about the placement of the flower and scrolls on this. Some times I want to pull them a little more away from the center and add more scrolls to connect the inner flower to the scroll framework more directly.  At other times I think the only thing I don’t like is the outer flower. Would I be happy, if I just changed the petals a bit?

What do you think? Any further suggestions? Things are glued down but I’m still open to more cutting and pasting.

On another note, my header photo is still lost. I wish I would find it soon!

Next scheduled post: Wednesday (us, west coast)


3 Responses to working with balance

  1. Nancilyn says:

    I think you have several nice variations. Why not a little series? 3 or 4 of them individually framed as a wall grouping, or framed together but individually matted.

  2. cat says:

    These are so cool. I love how you’ve kept the energy of the original piece whilst also making it more balanced, as you wanted. I like the extra scrolls.

  3. Cindy B says:

    Just wanted to tell you how much I like your design. Excellent work.

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