A little ruthlessness can go a long way, particularly with little pieces that seem to be going nowhere. This chunk was the bottom of a piece roughly four times as big. It started as pure abstraction. It started as another lap-size piece that would accommodate my need to work upstairs, without my machine. It was a continuation of a new-found love of handquilting with buttery layers.
I then thought I saw a figure in the shapes and started to turn the blue shape into the dress of an angel (the little green tip of embroidery, upper right, was a foot). I kept stitching, kept adding thread and time, and the result was getting further and further away from anything that I could stand to look at.
At first I was going to chuck it. Something I plan to do more of in the future. Just chuck it.
But then I cut it up and now I have some pieces that I want to play with. I have a drawer full of cut-up-quilt chunks. The new thing here is — What if I created something specifically for cutting up (as opposed to cutting up rejects, only?) We shall see. We shall see.
I also cut up a piece that had used a lovely, transferred image of an angel from a notecard as its centrepoint. Even though the image had been cut out, incorporated into a collage, then transferred to clear acetate and then sewn onto a quilt… everytime I looked at it my heart said, “Copyright violation. Copyright violation” (think of the ‘land shark’ from Saturday Night Live in the late 70’s to get the voice right). Even when I considered finishing the piece as a gift or for my own wall, I felt the drag of the copyright violation. So, I chopped up THAT angel too (jeez, this is starting to sound like a nasty theme).
The upper left teeny bit shows just a corner of the acetate collage.
I am reveling in the process of letting go of objects that feel negative and seem destined to continue provoking a negative response.
(This is NOT like the difficult part of constructing a quilt where design problems need to be resolved… where you are INVESTED in the process, you CAN’T WAIT to see how it turns out, where you feel ONTO SOMETHING).
In the case of the Acetate Angel (sounds like a name Craig Ferguson might have danced under — you’d have to watch his show to get this reference), I was dreading the prospect of spending many hours to quilt and bind a project that screamed ‘copyright violation’ everytime I looked at it, even if I was never going to put it near the public’s eye.
Not so long ago, I would have done so, out of a kind of compulsion. I suppose that’s why it feels very liberating NOT TO.