Monday, August 25, 2008

August TIFC

Today's my birthday, and I didn't want it to be just another Monday doing ordinary Monday things. The plan was to pack my bathing suit, a novel & my sketchbook and head for the city park on the lake, stopping along the way to pick up a huckleberry milkshake. Even a few hours spread out on the sandy beach vegetating, interrupted by the occasional dip in the water sounded like a grand way to treat myself. However, 60 degrees and rain does not a fun day at the beach make. So I've done my best to shun the ordinary, and enjoy my day at home.

And that is how the piece above came about. I let myself get intimidated by the tie quilt Friday. I did get it layered for quilting, but then found myself panicking about how to quilt it. It was the old fear of ruining the piece, fear of picking the wrong thread that would either show up too much or not enough., quilted in the wrong design There was even fear that the basting spray would not hold everything in place (that slick tricot interfacing doesn't stick as firmly as cotton does). So instead I found myself playing with these "off-cuts" left over from the fun tropical project here. They were what was left after cutting a design element and had fusible webbing on them. Couldn't let THAT go to waste. I got as far as determining they really might make a decent design, and picked out the black fabric for the background.

Today it just felt right to finalize the positioning of them and get them fused down. This all plays into my current strategy for clearing my work table - whatever project is on top gets worked on. It was pretty close to next (I really didn't want to start that quilting although I'm not intimidated by it anymore) and in my mind is a good fit for the Take It Further Challenge concept for August: balance. (Read more about it here.)

Attaining balance is an ongoing theme in my life, and in my designing in particular. I often have a very difficult time achieving a good balance when positioning three similar shapes. I'm fairly pleased with how this worked out, even though there was a frustrating few moments when no matter what I did, it didn't looked right let alone balanced. Intertwining some of the elements, and the narrow stem-like strips helped create a flow for the eye to follow. Isn't that just like life? We'd like to keep everything separate, but it is always a balancing act with many facets working to keep it all together. Maybe it's all those Olympic gymnastics I just watched, but I found myself thinking of this piece as "Balance Check."

Once it was fused, I suddenly saw how well running beads along those negative spaces could work. It should be a nice link to the vivid quilting I plan to do in the background, something different, interesting ala Dijanne Cevaal, author of Seventy-Two Ways Not to Stipple or Meander. In fact, I realized that my shapes reminded me somewhat of her pomegranate series, a sample of which you can see here. I really admire her stitching and the way she can take a simple shape and keep it fresh and interesting with so many variations.

Will I finish this by the end of August? I doubt it, especially if I add the beads. But considering I haven't worked on May through July challenges, I'm just pleased it's on its way.

8 comments:

THE WEST COUNTRY BUDDHA said...

Happy Birthday to you!

Lindsay Jean said...

Many happy returns of the day! Your project is very nifty - what's the finished size?

Felicity said...

Happy Belated Birthday Sheila! Days in being creative sounds lovely! I love the orange and purple combination here.

Exuberant Color said...

Happy birthday, a day late. I really like your play piece, free and graceful.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks everyone! Lindsay Jean, I'm not sure of the finished size - depends on if I decide to add a border or mount it in a frame, but probably it will be around 14 to 16 inches. Square? I don't know that yet either. :-)

Lisa said...

Happy birthday! (obviously a bit behind reading blogs...)

Red Eyes of Fire said...

Happy birthday from a new reader.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks and welcome, Red Eyes of Fire. What brought you here? I see you are an avid reader of some very serious literature.