Thursday, November 10, 2011

Connecting the Dots

I've had two days now of sun streaming into my studio - very uplifting! I've been getting the 3 x 3 discharge piece and the poppies and peonies piece ready for quilting. I've added Decor Bond interfacing to the backing for the discharge piece, hoping it will provide the extra stability I'll need for suspending the found metal plate within a cutout. Unknown territory here. Still pondering exactly how it will be quilted as I audition threads and try to envision the look I want in the finished piece.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that's too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven't had very diverse experiences. So they don't have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one's understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

- Steve Jobs in a 1995 Wired interview

I really do agree with this quotation and have experienced that sense of guilt when producing something that just seemed obvious to me but others seem blown away by. Be that as it may, lately I've been struggling to connect the dots, beginning to feel very linear and not sure how I've come to this place. I don't seem to be getting the same sort of stimulation from experiences, or the gap between the dot nearest me and the next one is too far to bridge. But I keep trying, like with poppies and peonies. I now need to decide orientation before beginning the quilting - how I quilt it definitely depends on which way is up.

So I need your help, need your opinion. Which orientation makes the more interesting quilt, is perhaps less predictable, is a less linear way to connect the dots? You should know I plan to couch a variegated orange yarn along the edge of each of the pieced strips which will set them off a little more.


Shirley Goodwin said...

Sheila, I prefer the 1st version - the vertical background with the horizontal strips. I can't give a reason, it's just more visually appealing to me.

Anonymous said...



bj parady said...

Flipping back and forth, as they are now, I think I like the vertical one...but visualizing the orange couched thread, maybe the horizontal wins...are you going to do the short ends, too with the couching? I'm thinking either way you can make it work. I like it.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks everyone - as usual, my asking for advice has verified I should always go with my gut feeling!