The spring light flooded our family room late this afternoon. I don’t remember it ever being lit up like this before. By the time I got my camera out, it was the shadows that interested me, so I haven’t captured the golden warm moment at all, really. I share the photo of our kitchen TV and dinner clutter only because it DOES capture the light a bit better.
When I look at this picture and I don’t think, “Gee, cool, there I am in the reflection.” No, I think, “Why was that light on?!”
Soon, our neighbor’s 200 year old copper beech will leaf out, and the light will be dappled and less intense (and that’s nice too).
With the poppy pillow commission finished, I can finally get back to my big-big quilt.
Recycled shirts and tiny pieces of Most Favored Fabrics (like a trading status!) are turning into huts and villages, here and there.
I took so much time to piece these big sections, that it would be a shame if I hid all the evidence of that work (i.e., the SEAMS), but that is the temptation right now…
That blue spade fabric (a roof of rain?) is cotton that K. brought back from India last month. It was hard to cut, because it was such soft cotton, but cut I did. It is one of many fabrics that translates into “RAIN” in this piece.
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.
Here’s “Global Warming IV” in progress. I am ‘letting’ myself work on it, even though I am in the throes of show preparation, and more dedicated than usual to being prepared.
Pricing work, delivering flyers, arranging press conferences, creating press packets, attending meetings, running to Staples, ETC! was making me very cranky…
like this guy, whom I call the
“Angry Sushi Chef”.
Can’t remember when I spelled this out, but finding it with my camera yesterday seemed rather perfect. I WISH I had a magic want to eliminate the baggage I carry around, and to make me immune to others’ baggage. But, I don’t, so I “let” myself work on something that won’t be ready for any of my holiday shows, that will be too big for most of my market, and may NEVER sell. But what a tonic! The tasks of piecing and pressing, looking, rearranging, kneeling on the floor… so completely absorbing, I can forget some of the daily irritations that seem to abound of late.
Total absorption: Priceless.