A study in problem solving

I have been home pretty much alone for 7 days. Ordinarily I would revel in 7 days free to quilt, but in this case I was sick 5 of those 7 days and did not feel like doing much except sleeping and sleeping. I managed to get into my studio over the weekend, and finally finished quilting the exercise I did at Nancy's class in October. And, I also got in a few hours on the larger piece I have been working on. I have been looking at this piece over and over and realized that while it is not my favorite, I learned a lot from it that will influence my new work. When it come to assignments I revert back to my architecture school days where you were graded on how well you executed on directions. Did you solve the stated problem? Sometimes there were beautiful designs that got a flunking grade because they did not address the problem to be solved. Other times there were passable designs that nailed the problem solving part, and scored high. At any rate, I learned carefully to listen to all the elements that had to be considered, and then made sure that I answered all of them.
I still have that practice today, which has helped me tremendously in business, and is part of the reason I like Nancy's classes so much.
I am one of those who pays attention to all of the elements and in this case she asked for a lot.
a. an area of predominantly flat color
b. an area of mixed flat and bright colors.
c. A calm area
d. A more complex area
e. shapes that fell into the background
f. shapes that pierced through the foreground
g. areas of color that twinkled against the background
h. a variance of scale from all big to all small

Some things I learned: I learned much more about color than I thought possible. I think that the addition of some of the flat colors really makes the depth work. I never combined scale of line work- usually I work in all think or all thin. This piece forced me to work in both, and I think it adds richness. I even "discovered" a way to inset my lines more precisely which I have already started to use. I initially went overboard and created a composition that was all flat. Adding the pops of intense color gives this interest. And for the first time I actually carved up my background more ( the green area) with pieced lines instead of only relying on the piecing.

Another experiment was to try different kinds of line work for my quilting. I quilted the background abandoning the parallel lines and instead did more frenetic line work. The jury is still out on that one.
As always I love the backside almost as much as the front side and I am seriously considering trying a whole cloth piece just with line work.Now if I could only quilt as well as Sandra Palmer Ciolino.

This piece will probably not be entered or shown anywhere. It may even turn into a lap quilt for one of the sofas, but it is a really important piece to me as it was a wonderful instruction tool.