Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bit of a Breakthrough

As you probably gathered from my posts about June's challenge, I've been struggling and frustrated with executing my concept. I could barely do anything on it yesterday I was so depressed about how it was going. As I dropped off to sleep last night, I told myself I could not waste anymore time. Today was a totally free day, so I promised myself, one way or another, I'd finish the thing today. I woke early (a good omen), and continued my mulling over morning coffee. I was ready to run from the challenge, to junk this and start on something totally different. An easier (hopefully) but more predictable idea I had early on. But I gave myself a stern talking to, a pep talk as it were, and it worked. In the studio earlier than usual, I pushed through the unpleasant parts, focusing on the immediate task at hand instead of focusing on my worries about the outcome. I added the accent applique to the top portion, taped off the finished size of the quilt on my cutting mat, and positioned the top and bottom so that I could add those side triangles and everything be square. It's tricky keeping things lined up when you're not working with a grid pattern and this worked better than any other method I've tried.

I was already feeling better about the piece when I started this morning, but the real turn-around came as I was contemplating how to add some patterning to those side triangles. I wasn't sure I wanted to cut narrow pieces of fabric, but I also wasn't sure just quilting thread would do enough. Then I noticed the squiggly bit of dark blue that I'd cut out from under those applique shapes between the sky and sides. I free hand cut strips following the general curves of the cut-off, laid them over the plum and liked what I saw. I tried one in the dark purple I thought I would use, but it simply didn't contrast enough. I pinned these in place, appliqued them down with a zigzag stitch and invisible thread, gave it all a good press and layered it up for quilting.

Remember me saying I was working too hard, thinking too hard? Today, I was just doing, observing, noticing what was at hand, acting on gut feelings. Once those dark lines were added, I realized what was bothering me so much before. The design as I was rendering it in fabric had lost the energy of the original computer-generated design, and I had lost my energy too. Now the energy was back, both the design's and mine. I wish the colors photographed better but I think the photo does show how there's a lack of definition in the lower part. I have an idea for the quilting that should solve that and with any luck, really bring this design alive. Again, wish me luck!


freemotion52 said...

I think the work you did is great. And personally I think your fabric selections have more impact than the computer generated designs from the painting. "Don't wait for inspiration. It comes while working." Henri Matisse

quiltcrazygal said...

Wow I really like your ideas and the fabric selections. You are such a wonderful fabric artist:) Jenna Louise

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks to both of you. There are plenty of times I question myself, my grand ideas, and this project really tested me. Love the Matisse quotation - so very true.

Quilted it today and am really pleased with the results. Final reveal tomorrow!

Deborah said...

Looks good!

June said...

I've seen the final result and I'm stunned. You really moved into a new realm, Sheila, and while the process sounds frustrating, it was well worth the agony.

Wonderful job.