Monday, March 10, 2008

Personal Aesthetics

I've had to neglect my blogging a bit along with some studio time, (paperwork issues now blessedly resolved), and only now have something worth showing. I truly thought I'd have my February Take It Further Challenge quilted, if not fully finished, by the end of last month. I failed to account for how long it would take to pull threads to the back, knot them and bury them between the layers. There weren't as many quilting lines running edge to edge as I thought; once they were done, I was relegated to many lines ending (and sometimes starting too) at a previously stitched line of quilting. To give you an idea of the time it takes to bury thread ends, I finished the quilting today in an hour, not every line needing to be treated to this method; it took me nearly twice as long to get those thread ends tended to.

An acceptable solution to the more time consuming method I chose is to gradually reduce the length of the stitches to almost nothing as you approach the end of the line, then snip the tail close to the quilt front and back. But I've never liked that look, even when done by top notch quilters like Diane Gaudynski. It's taken me a long time to accept that I don't have to do it that way, that my personal aesthetics incline towards a different look. There are times when I'd be willing to use it, but on this particular quilt, I know it would have bugged me no end. Aesthetically, even-length stitches throughout was the look I felt was best, and I was willing to sacrifice speed for aesthetics.

I find it ironic that in an endeavor that is all about individuality and originality, so many of us continue to be influenced by what the majority seem to be doing. How often have you caught yourself wondering, "I'm I doing this right?" Do you involuntarily find yourself rehearsing rationalizations for why you are choosing a certain method or material, as if you will have to defend yourself and your choices? Are you brave enough to break away from the pack and court your personal aesthetics?

1 comment:

Anne Wigfull said...

Oh yes, though I always assumed it was people of my generation who felt that way. Belonging to a fairly rigid profession(nursing, where rules of all kinds were very important helped reinforce the idea. It's taken a long time to throw that feeling off.