How to assemble 32 pieces into one coherent composition? In the early days, I would have spent many hours pinning pieces to my work wall; looking, taking them down and re-pinning. Now I use Photoshop (photoshop elements, for non-techies like me). I take pictures of each piece....
..by laying them down on the floor, with yardsticks so I can keep sizes consistent. Then I combine all the pictures on one big jpeg.
I can easily move each section around until I have the composition I want. The big grayish section in the center represents the area of the column (8' x 4') - I move pieces onto that.
I print out the image and I gave a composition plan to follow.
All the pieces get pinned exactly where they should go, on a woolen backing, and sewn together.
Meanwhile, I've been fighting with a heavy roll of fencing material. Here, the framework is ready and about to be encased in an old blanket. The assembled composition is sewn over the blanket layer, and I have my column.
Part 3 will cover photographing this monster.