Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday January 31

Ah, I've fallen behind on my entries. I haven't really worked in my studio this week either, so there is no real enthusiasm to communicate.
Well, that's not entirely true. I have a piece in my studio that I put together Saturday...that I literally cut apart and put together.... that is bright, bold and graphic designy. I love it and have been looking at it all week.
I also, just this morning while at work, came across an image that gave me an idea how to quilt another piece I have to finish. I have uploaded it here. These circles are going to look really nice on top of a fabric collage I put together. I just need to figure out if I should use regular quilting threads or couch funky yarns.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

sunday, January

Well, yesterday was a wonderfully productive day. But, surprise!, the one piece that I thought I would slash, remains intact, and another which I thought would be fine, has been cut and resewn. I LOVE it too. It just goes to show, that one day you feel one thing and another day can be completely different.
My show dates have been set and it has had a sobering effect on me. I'm down to business now, but if today is like yesterday, it's not all bad. It's enjoyable, exciting and amazing!
So here I's snowing outside, I've got my story tape going, the lights are on and I'm looking at the piece I left out yesterday. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Continuing Convergence

I have named my next quilt show, "Continuing Convergence."

My bio:
I am an Art Quilter.  I create my work based on how the fabric "talks" to me.  I do not use templates.  My pieces come together as I lay them out, attach them and cut them apart again.  There is a lot of experimentation.  I use techniques I learned from several different sources and incorporate them into my quilts to create my own unique voice.  This quilt show reflects the changes in my quilting style and shows the progression to my latest pieces.
My current work uses fabrics that I mono-printed, then draped with sheer
fabrics. I love creating depth and movement using fabric overlays. I also enjoy bobbin drawing with metallic threads to add new shiny elements into the overall image. I use rectangles, circles and spirals in my pieces with meandering threads and yarns incorporated on top. I find these shapes soothing.
Why did I choose Quilts as my art medium?
I like the idea of entirely creating the top fabric, embellishing it to a point, adding the batting & backing and then quilting over the entire thing. The batting, when sewn, creates a whole new texture and can really enhance the overall look. Then finally attaching beads and other enhancements...the options are endless.

Thursday, January 24

Yesterday I went into my studio and started yet another new piece. I was tired and not able to concentrate on any other works that I had started. But this one piece of fabric that I had cut away from another quilt had been calling to me, and continued to do so, so I started sewing it to other fabrics. This particular "siren" piece I see as a teaser, one that calls to be sewn together only then to be cut apart into smaller pieces. These tiny pieces could go in other quilts or become a quilt of its own. Not sure. This afternoon I become the slasher....Yee haw.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Day

"One of the biggest risks you can take is to break with your rituals. You'll need to leave your Comfort Zone in order to take risks."
This quote I got from a page on creativity. Notice I italicized and capped comfort zone. It is because that is where I am right now. I need to take risks.
I have created two art pieces. I have done what I know, what I am comfortable doing, creating. Both pieces are hanging on my design wall pretty much in the same state of unfinish.
Now, finishing, and letting these pieces mature beyond my self is where they need to go, outside of my comfort zone. It is time to take risks.
How do I know when I get there? Well, the path to finishing is constantly interrupted by a luring dance that gets bigger and tougher to resist. Fear throws distractions and beacons in my path, like the sirens, luring me away. If I can get past a certain point, if I can stay at it, then I am home free...transcended into that place I so desire to be in but am so afraid of at the same time. Give me the strength to transcend myself and finish these pieces without a struggle. I CAN do this.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday January 20

Yesterday was good, not great. I found my mental turmoil getting in the way of my creativity. It took me awhile to focus and get myself into the studio, but I got there. The piece I created (a new one) reflects the muddled brain I had, but it's not bad. I now have two new pieces on design boards to look at and finish. Finish is the key word here.
I did go through the UFO's yesterday and none of them really propelled me forward. I hope to move in the UFO direction again this morning while I have a little time to sew, to look at it in a new light.
In finishing these new pieces I'm making, I just had a thought. I can see myself finishing these pieces on the day that I create them, however, the time it takes to sew and make decisions on what direction the piece will move seems to take up my day. Thus the momentum on that piece is lost when, not finished, I turn the lights out in my studio for that day. I also find that when I look at the piece on the design wall later, I think of so many directions the piece could go that I am afraid to cut and move forward because I may lose what I have achieved. I need to photograph the progress. That's what I need to do.
Huh, I just thought of something else. When I work in Photoshop, I usually copy the picture I will be manipulating, just in case I screw up, then I can return to the original if I need to. Creating in fabric does not allow me that option. I need to go forth and cut and see where it takes me...thus the fear factor. There is a sense of adventure in it too though.
"Do not follow where the path will lead, rather go where there is no path and leave a trail." (I think that's Emerson?)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday January 19

It's Saturday. I have the whole day ahead of me to sew. I'm worried because it is right now that I need to identify the "dance" I do to avoid getting right into the studio to work. Things such as laundry, my computer Scrabble game, that video I've been waiting to see, etc. all seem to call out, distracting me. Why? I am avoiding the pleasureable feeling I get when I become immersed in my work. That feeling of becoming a little lost...But loving the moment anyway? It scares me sometimes how very blissful that place can be. I think sometimes I feel like I don't deserve it so I numb myself out with other things.
So, what do I need to do to get by the dance? First, I'm typing here, then I will set up my story tape. I will turn on the lights around my studio space, and see what teasers are out there. I usually pick up simple sewing to begin with but today I may go through all my UFO's (unfinished objects) and figure out what needs to be done to get them ready for my show. Then I will start with the easiest thing to finish. If I get challenged by it I'll move on to the next one. I probably should create a time line for finishing things today too. That should put things in perspective. Over lunch, I will write my bio and think of a name for my show.
Well, that's enough for now. A start anyway. I may add more to this blog later as I think of things. You go girl.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday January 16

It's Wednesday and I'm better today from my fall, but still very sore. I can't laugh without it hurting...but I guess that's a good thing, I'm laughing, right? So it hurts a little, at least I can still feel things. If anything, this fall has made me more aware of walking and paying attention to details. I was lost in a reverie when I slipped. I was taking in nature, enjoying the beauty of snow covered pine trees and fresh air. Now, I will need to incorporate an awareness of the space I am passing through. I think I can do that.
As I was entering into this blog, I was thinking how today, I will not have time to work in my studio. So what can I write about? Ha. I can't fool myself. I am thinking about my art quilt pinned to the design board a lot. I can process my fear of moving forward with that piece.
This is a common theme for me. I work on a piece and get very excited. Then, I take it to a certain point, hang it on my design wall, stare at it, show it to friends and get critique, then I stop. There it sits (or hangs) unfinished. Sometimes these pieces get stashed away. I have several that have reached this point and remain undone. What am I afraid of?
Here goes......
I am afraid of ruining it.
I am afraid I will over do it and not know when to stop.
I am afraid I will cut it the wrong way.
I am afraid I will not have a day when the planets and stars line up and everything flows from my hands like magic.
I am just basically afraid. Let this fear out in words. Let these words remove themselves from my body so that I can move forward with this quilt. Can I do this? Work with me here.
o k.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday, January 15th

I spent the morning Sunday sewing that silly donation quilt and I found that toward lunchtime, I was spending more time with a seam ripper. I decided I may be getting a bit tired of sewing, so I did some other chores around the house for the rest of the day. Well, yesterday, Monday, was a bust. My daughter had no school because of the snowstorm so I worked at home taking care of payroll on my computer. My studio and computer are in the same room, so I was able to look at all my stuff while working. At lunch time, I decided to take a break and go outside to move the garbage can at the end of my driveway before it got buried in snow. I was almost to the end of my driveway when I slipped on the ice and fell flat on my back. I also hit my head. It happened so suddenly I didn't have a chance to put my arms out. So I laid there, for about a minute, catching my breath and deciding if I could move. I had a headache and was in a mild shock. I managed to get up, then made my way inside, but I didn't feel so good. So the rest of the afternoon I was keeping an eye on myself to make sure I was o k. The incident made me realize how vulnerable we are in the world and how much I rely on my good health. I am still sore today and cloudy headed. It puts a damper on my creativity for sure. But tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday January 13th

Yesterday I had a sewing day with my WOW group. I lugged my stuff to the local library, set up and started working on a volunteer project I'm doing for a local nursing home. I brought my design board with my latest Art pieces so I could look at them in a new setting and light. I am still very pleased...that's good. And I got a constructive critique from my friends.
I need to finish this volunteer piece, just a lap quilt, and it's so boring compared to what I do now. Yet, it is such a departure that the contrast is actually good at this time. The colors in it are pastels and soft like a summer breeze. It is a traditional quilt with a slight modern slant. The palette is not my doing, it was a packet of fabrics I choose to take and of course to challenge myself. It's coming out nice, but I don't think anyone would guess it was made by me! I'll be starting with the traditional quilt now and then when I'm good and warmed up with sewing I'll dive head first into my art quilt projects and see where it leads me. I have an open day today so here goes....I'm off into my studio.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday January 11

There was a two hour delay for school this morning so I went right into my studio to look at my artwork. I laid out a few "teasers" and fantasized about how I would add some bobbin drawing with thick metallic threads to my newest piece. I have to think about my processes to make sure I do them in the right order. If I add thick metallic threads now, I cannot continue to overlay sheer stuff on top or it will create a bump. So I need to hold back the enthusiasm....and sometimes it's hard to because I get so impatient! I just want to get it done...then sometimes I get scared of the possibilities, the depth I could achieve with the endless layers, so I get paralyzed. The teasers are a distraction technique to get me out of the funk, but also to create new ideas for the next time I go into the studio. Question: How do I get myself away from the standard square/rectangle edge binding without looking too contrived? My work calls for uneven edges, but because of that it's hard to conclude what the natural ending shape should be. Write an entry from the quilts point of view...that's where it will come. ok.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10

Well, yesterday was wonderful. I started a new piece.
I'm using the fabrics that I mono printed over the summer. I start by draping sheer fabrics on top and then mark the shapes I want. It's neat to work this way because the sheers interact with the background fabric and make a really cool water color painting effect. I sew some sheer shapes permanently to the fabric and then cut away other parts with my tiny scissors. I will continue layering like this creating depth. When I am finally satisfied with the effect I use a close satin stitch to cover the raw seams and couch on some funky yarns too. Then, I will cut the fabric up and sew it all back together again! Ye ha!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

First Day

I have left work today early to sew. I am currently working on a piece that has me very excited. I am preparing for a show I will be putting up at a local library in March. I have a lot to do. I have set up this blog with the hopes of having a dialogue with myself, and others, about Art quilting.