Thursday, March 27, 2008

Take It Further Challenge for March

Yesterday saw me sewing the sleeve and inking the label info on my February Take It Further Challenge as well as hitting it with a lint brush and giving it a final steam. After a quick photo session today, it and another quilt got packed up and shipped off to the show in Wisconsin. Just in the nick of time, I can start on the current month's challenge.

March's key concept is quite simple: to notice the little things, the small moments, the details in life. Pay attention to the tiny details because sometimes the small things become emblematic for something larger. It immediately appealed because it will allow me to use this challenge in the way I'd originally envisioned - not to generate new ideas, but to be the catalyst for working on ideas sidelined for one reason or another.

The pictures above and to the right are ones I took shortly after I moved to this property. Working with a digital camera has helped me see differently, see details I think I was missing before. The small detail I noticed while zooming in to capture the texture of this tree trunk was that there was an underlying peachiness to its color. I wasn't expecting that. I was thinking white and grey/black and noting the green from the lichen. The peach was a surprise.

I knew I had that peach in my stash. I had a piece of autumn leaf fabric leftover from Wisconsin Memories just big enough for a background to the trunks. I thought I could incorporate a black sheer that I'd stamped with willow leaves. I laid it all out together...and never got any farther. The reasons are several: it was no longer fall, and I found I didn't have the same drive to work with that color palette as I had when all the world outside my window was full of it; I'd have to work with soluble stabilizer to create thread lace representing the lichen - a method I'd tried only once before with limited success; other projects rose to the top of the priority list.

I never moved my little stack of fabric from the work table, just kept piling other "great" ideas on top of it. As I've worked my way down the pile recently, it has felt like an archaeological dig. I've made it down to fall 2006 again, and this challenge, to notice and work with the tiny details, is pushing me to finally proceed with this quilt. Perhaps it's just as well it was put on hold. I've gained new information and skills since conceiving it that will make its making easier, or at least go a bit more smoothly. Stay tuned.

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