Lining up

lower right section of Global Warming 7-footer

I keep going back and forth on this project.  Should I complete it as intended (roughly 7′ x 4′), or break it into sections and move the thing along?

This little section (photo above) floated upstairs today and looks complete to me.

But I’m not quite willing to give up the big design yet.

Because I am not a planner, at this stage of production I often find ‘log jams’, or areas where the rectangular pieced sections are not lining up and where I am not willing to chop or add to accommodate completing a rectangle.

Once I pinned up some green grosgrain to divide sections, it suddenly seemed (seamed?) do-able.  Note to self: remember that this is a visual process and that you have a visual sensibility (“DOH”).

There have been quilts that undergo enormous changes at this phase… quilts where I find myself swapping out some of the larger chunks.  This has been partially in service of making the rectangles fit (think “Tetris”) and partially  because it can be fun to see how things look when the design is a little less conscious.

This particular piece, however, has been in formation for well over a year and I am eager to get to the final stretch.  And, I am feeling a strange loyalty to the design as I have constructed it.

The edges will pose problems.  My plan is to use some of the cool-toned patterns (the Anna Maria Horner large blue floral and a shimmery green near-solid) to fill in and frame the edges where I need another inch or two.  I will TRY to avoid the temptation to keep piecing/adding complexity.

What will be fun is to create a slide show of the quilt in its many phases and see how it has changed over four seasons.

For the finish — instead of using a whole cloth back and pinning the entire thing up and shoving it through my Bernina with a great deal of cussing, I think I’ll quilt it in sections.  I plan to use some overlays on the back, perhaps even with raw edges, to connect up.

Given that one of the problems with this piece is its scale — I really don’t love working this large — then it is obvious that if I want to continue producing pieces of this size, I have to figure out how to do it in a way that works with my style, studio space, equipment, and temperament.

Which reminds me that my word for 2010 is ‘congruence’.

I am so, so eager to find both the style of working and the subjects & images that really line up with who it is that stands with the needle in her hand, with the scissors at her side, and with her particular demons at her back.

16 thoughts on “Lining up

  1. Kari of Writing Up A Storm

    This is an extraordinarily beautiful and complex piece of art, and I do think you have maintained a lovely color harmony throughout. Your repetitions tie everything together, the way rhyming words do in a piece of poetry. And I feel so much what you are saying about wanting to find the style and the images that fit who you are. I have spent years writing children’s picture book stories, and I find I want something else now, maybe to do my own illustrations, but still, I am not sure. I feel on the edge of something new in my writing, in my art, in my life! xo Kari

  2. Dee

    Hi Kari, on the edge is good, and I guess it’s worth remembering the business about it all being a journey… but sometimes I just want to be there!

    and thanks for comments about color harmony — I know some of my super-chaotic quilts are too much for some people.

  3. Jackie Wight

    I love your super-chaotic quilts…don’t break this large one into smaller pieces…it sings!!!!

  4. grace Forrest~Maestas

    i don’t know if you read the comment once on Jude’s
    site, but I talked about my daughter asking me for a quilt
    and I said…welll….uhmmmm
    if i were to make a quilt for my daughter, it would be like
    yours are. it would be a talking quilt, a quilt that would
    tell stories, that would maybe try to explain my experience of the world, my experience of LOVE of the world that included her but was not limited to her.
    that’s what I meant
    I really do LOVE what you do.

  5. grace Forrest~Maestas

    my vote is for taking off the green grosgrain and going for
    the whole. it’s magnificant.

  6. Dee

    grace, grace, grace (today’s post is going to be ABOUT grace!) — I’m glad I’m not the only “sequential comment-maker”!! thanks for your enthusiastic endorsements… I know your name from Jude’s site, of course, but I’ll have to go back and find that specific comment… I love what you say about making a quilt for your daughter… your intention is bigger, perhaps, than what I have been up to with this Global Warming quilt, and I’d love to see you run with it. Here I am hoping to suggest the run-away, chaotic effects of global warming — vegetation butting in where it doesn’t belong, human habitation butting in where it shouldn’t be, weather of all kinds wreaking havoc, the center losing hold. If it comes across as somehow optimistic, I’m glad, because consciously, I’m not.

    I WILL be taking the ribbon off — I placed it merely to facilitate piecing up the final chunks, so that I can see where I am going.

  7. grace Forrest~Maestas’s not just this quilt, the global warming quilt, that
    i meant. I’ve looked at all your Flickrs for a long time now.
    it’s your fearless use of form and color in general and
    the quality of collage too. so…all of what you do and
    how you do it.


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