Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Glint of Inspiration

Maybe it was the pep talk in yesterday's post. Maybe it actually was a ghostly presence nudging me along. Whatever it was, I seized on a little inspiration yesterday and moved forward on the Little Rogue piece. Sometimes it's just a matter of cutting into the fabric, knowing that even if it is precious (and the price of silk organza certainly makes it so in my book), the solution will never present itself until you do. I sketched a few lines on paper first, slid it under the organza and chalked the guide onto it, then free-hand cut with a rotary cutter to get that biggest piece in the middle. The rest were additional free-hand cuts following the original one, by guess and by gosh. I immediately liked where this was going.

So after cutting and arranging and pinning and arranging some more, I decided I had enough pieces down to start stitching. This is the part that's been hanging me up, but by now I'd discarded my worries that the stitching might show too much or compress the top in ways I didn't want. I was not going to get the feel of water flowing over rocks if I didn't attach it some way. It was a day to throw caution to the wind - how unlike me. I even did the monofilament thread zigzagging with the feeddogs down, not something I'm vary comfortable doing. Shayla (the artsy one of my multiple sewing personalities) had come back to take control. I'd been wondering about that perle cotton twisted with a metallic thread, and now that I had some of the organza sewn down, I think this will work well to complete the look I'm going for. My apologies that it is out of focus in the picture.

Between the first cuts and stitching of the final arrangement, something else happened. I've been going through the bookbinding books and am so intrigued by the simple ones that can be quickly constructed by multiple folds and some cuts. Esther K. Smith's book, How to Make Books, suggests recycling copy paper printed on one side to try out some of these configurations and quickly make little books that could even be sent to someone in the same way we buy greeting cards to cheer someone's day. I had a draft printout on plain paper of some of my quilts and it was calling to me to become a little book. Because of its light printing, I figured I could easily write text over the images and add doodles. The cropping of the images might drive what I added.

Here is the paper opened up and showing the slit in the center that allows it to configure into the little booklet. I could choose which part ended up as cover and started adding text.

My quilts were all turned on their sides which made it easier to forget what they were supposed to represent and deal only with the shapes in each small section. I've shot this section so you can see that the areas I filled in with zentangle-like markings as they presented themselves horizontally are actually trees from my Emily Carr Skies quilt.

I could sense that with where my thoughts were yesterday, this might be therapeutic. Still, I was a little surprised at where it led me. I know many artists do a quick warm-up before diving into their "real" project for the day, often in paper or fabric collage, but I've never been compelled to give those methods a try. But this felt like it could be my answer to a creative warm-up. The recycling nature of it appeals as well. And the result of pausing to do this before continuing with the day's work was another sticky-note admonition for the studio and my life: "Lose the fear." Ok, fine. And I moved on more confidently to that free motion stitching of the organza.


bj parady said...

I like this. I was wondering about the tiny red bits, then I realized they were pin heads...so I'm guessing they're not a design element I don't understand. LOL

Margaret Cooter said...

A creative warm-up - what a good idea!