Friday, August 21, 2009

Mulling


I feel summer slipping away, especially since last week's weather was more like fall. Temps are back up and I've spent time the last few days taking advantage of Sandpoint's beautiful city park on Pend Orielle Lake. It's a great place to walk, swim, sit, clear your head and mull things over.


Mulling is an important part of my creative process. Some may scoff and say I'm merely procrastinating (and Lord knows, I DO partake of a great deal of procrastination), but there are definitely times when it is best to take a breather and consider the possibilities rather than forge ahead merely to be making progress. It was this mulling by the lake after my day of designing that produced the realization I needed to use two sizes of squiggles on my June's challenge piece. I also became convinced that the navy tulle was what I wanted to make them out of. Yesterday I followed up on these hunches, cutting a few squiggles to test the idea. This does seem to give me the feel of spirits and meditations I'm going for. The stray squiggle at the top was a trial to see how stitching rather than fusing them down would work. I just couldn't see that fusing would be a good option.


I traced my squiggle shapes on scraps of freezer paper and ironed them to the tulle. It stuck reasonably well while I cut out my shapes.


Continuing to mull, what color thread would work best? I tried Sulky sliver opalescent and a regular Sulky metalic variegating dark green and purple. The darker thread gave more definition than I thought I wanted, plus showed any wavering of the stitching line. The opalescent more or less disappeared like a monofilament thread would, but added glints as well. I also thought it would work for the quilting. If once everything was quilted and I didn't think my squiggles stood out well enough, it would be simple to stitch around them with the darker thread. I stitched all the squiggles into place, and then it was off to the park again.


I don't have a lot to show for today's effort. The mulling continued as I cut batting and backing and layered it up using 505 spray baste. I was uncomfortable with the thought of all that glint over the top as I plan to quilt it. But I didn't think I had any other thread light enough for the job, getting a little hung up on what I had available in rayon threads (a bit of sheen without the in your face sparkle of the opalescent.) In the course of basting around the edges, I remembered a light blue King Tut stored separately from my other threads. That led to pulling two other cotton threads and laying them over the top as I traced with my finger where I thought my quilting lines would go. I think it is just what I want - giving just the right amount of definition and not overpowering the main design. I'll do some test stitching tomorrow, probably, and should have this quilted up in no time. The mulling has paid off.

1 comment:

Felicity said...

I used to think my mulling was just procrastination, but if I rushed to push an idea, it was usually bad. So I think mulling is actually essential, part of the process. It is frustrating though!