Saturday, July 29, 2006

Desire to Work Returns

So, week's goals are met (yes, I've even been stitching on the Lone Star); I can quit now and go do something else, right? But a funny thing happened on the way to quilt that batting sample. It was to be the warm-up to stitching down the trunks on the Chinese Poem Challenge, a task I planned to put at the top of the list for next week. But why wait? I could feel the creative urge returning, the inability to focus dissipating, the desire to work welling up. It's been awhile since I've felt any excitement, too long that I've felt distracted, eons is seems since enthusiasm and not just guilt have motivated me in the studio. Perhaps it hasn't been as long as it feels, but I do know I've been tiring of the sense that what I did accomplish was because I made myself work, not because I couldn't wait to get to work. These are the times that makes one wonder if one's lost interest and needs to move on. But not today. Today I definitely want to be in here creating!

I've been thinking about one of the sunprinted pieces I'd reworked and planned to use as the background for a second grid quilt. As I put away the freshly washed batiks, I couldn't stop myself from going through the rest of my stash to see which of them might make good squares. I settled on two, grabbed a packet of decorative threads that might work with it and will play with it next week (even though the overwhelming urge was to proceed right now!)

And now to the challenge quilt. It's been on the design wall for a bit, and I wasn't sure I'd arranged the trunks on the best part of the fabric. I was hedging a bit too about how to sew them down. I referred back to my journal quilt journal to jog my memory of how I'd done it on this quilt.

These trunks were cut on the bias so I didn't have to worry about fraying edges. My notes said that with the tight weave of the batik background, I didn't need to use stabilizer and I'd just pinned the trunks in place. I found myself not believing me plus I wasn't sure which color thread would look best, so I tried a sample.

The bottom part of the trunk is free motion stitched with white Madeira 30 wt rayon thread. The upper part is done with Sulky Ultra Twist - a black and a greenish-grey thread twisted together. I opted for the darker Sulky rayon. I ran the stitching over the edge to keep fraying at a minimum. And I was not lying in my journal notes - by holding the background fabric taut with my hands, there was no need for hooping or a stabilizer, no drawing up of the piece. I'm still amazed at this. The color in the scan of the sample is a little truer than the picture below, brightened by the flash.

No comments: