I wrote last week about the first couple of days of my second week at the Crow Barn. I managed to finish the first assignment. Things move pretty quickly at the Barn. So, there was no time to celebrate–we were on to the next assignment.
For the next three days, we created an assortment of fabrics composed of lines and shapes. Nancy gave us particular formulas for creating these fabrics. Each formula was designed to help us learn about color as well as line and shape.
From there, we moved on to working with prints. It is the only time I have used printed fabrics when studying with Nancy. Adding print really does create a whole new set of information to work with. I like it.
At one point, Nancy tells us, “You must urge-push-SCREAM at the individual strips of fabric to work together effectively.”
Finally, we were to take these fabrics and restructure them into new fabrics-that is what restructuring is all about. You cut and you piece, and then you cut and you piece some more. Who knew what a Pandora’s Box this exercise would be for me.
And then we were to create an original composition using our restructured fabrics. As you can tell by this photo the barn was a rocking. Fabric was flying, and people were getting buried alive under their compositions.
As usual, I could not stop making the fabrics. If I made a dud, I would repeat the exercise and try to make a better one. The clock was ticking. Other students were designing their final compositions. I was not. I was working, but I was not doing the assignment. This is a reoccurring problem for me. This is when Nancy told me that I have obsessive compulsive tendencies. Who knew?
I like to sew. I thought people who had obsessive compulsive tendencies liked to wash their hands. I never realized they were the same action–one can result in art, the other, in dry skin. This is to say that at least I am channeling the disorder in a positive way. Except for when I am not finishing the work.
I was so in love with the new fabrics I had made, I could not bear to cut them up. I stitched some more. Finally, I managed to get myself to switch gears. I cut the fabric up.
Then Nancy got the flu. Final presentations were cancelled for the week. While this was disappointing to those who had stayed on task, it was a relief for me. Knowing there would not be a final critique, the pressure was lifted, and I began to restructure my fabrics.
I worked all weekend in my hotel room.
And I have pulled this unfinished assignment out many times over the years.
While I have gone on to use the lessons learned from Strip Piecing and Restructuring extensively in my work, I have never finished this assignment.
If you would like to read about my first week at the Crow Barn, you can here.