Crow Barn Week 8 into 9 Part I

I always feel like I am time traveling when I go backwards like this with my blog posts. I have already told you something new, and then I go back and write about something old. Part of me just wants to keep barreling forward, while part of me wants to stop and assess. The part that wins gets to write the post.

So, today we are back at the Crow Barn. When I last left you, we had just been given a new assignment. I had a plan of action for this assignment.

  1. I was going to follow the assignment exactly.
  2. I was going to use a traditional quilt as my motif/source of inspiration.
  3. I was going to make the piece as big as my design wall–about six feet by six feet.

Here is my motif stitched two different ways. Maria Shell's Motif 2013Maria Shell's Motif 2013Here are some of the versions of this block in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. My favorite is the upper left one called Flowering Snowball. The motif also resembles the Maltese Cross and an assortment of other quilt blocks that fall into the category of Nine X.

Barbara Brackman's EncyclopediaAt first I wanted to alternate and repeat both blocks as you see in this sketch.

Maria Shell Repeating BlockAnd then I thought about blowing the motif up to the size of the design wall. I’ve played around with this idea many, many years ago, but I never did follow through with it. Here is an example taken just days before I left to study with Nancy for the first time in 2009. Maria Shell Super StarIt is a blown up Sawtooth Star set on point. And now, four years later, I’m back to that idea. The circular nature of our lives never ceases to amaze me.

Here is a sketch of the background of the blown up version. If I do these things in the background, I will succeed in following the assignment exactly. Maria Shell Sketch Book 2013And here is a fully sketched out version. It’s a little messy, but you get the idea–busy, crazy, patchwork. Maria Shell Sketchbook 2013I began to understand that I was going to be making “prints” out of solids to fill the X portion of the piece. So I start stitching. Here is a sketch of what some of my print ideas are for the piece. Maria Shell Sketchbook 2013I did a very similar thing when I made Colors Unfurled. Each stripe of the flag is represented by a different quilt block pattern.

Colors Unfurled 77H x 126W 2009

Colors Unfurled 77H x 126W 2009

Here is a close up. I am very glad I am no longer super attached to my ruler–the precison and accuracy achieved with a ruler is no longer that interesting to me.Colors Unfurled by Maria Shell 2009 DetailIt was one in the afternoon on Friday as you can tell by the clock in the upper right  hand corner.

Maria Shell's Design Wall at One O'ClockNoticing the clock in the photo, made me think I would try and take a picture every hour to show my progress. So, here is two c’clock.

Maria Shell's Design Wall at Two O'ClockAnd three o’clock.

Maria Shell's Design Wall at Three O'ClockThese photos make it seem like I am wasting the day away and the only thing that is happening is the pile on the stool just keeps getting deeper.  This made me realize that my work is just not that interesting in hour increments.

I secretly worked on both of my ideas for several days. I say this jokingly, as it is kind of hard to hide anything while you are at the Crow Barn. We all see exactly what each one of us is doing. Some people throw up a big idea right at the beginning and then nothing changes for days. I, on the other hand, frequently have a blank wall for days. And then suddenly there is an explosion.

To be continued…..

P.S. I am sharing this post on Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays. Click here to see what fiber artists from around the world have been doing this week.

This entry was published on October 24, 2013 at 3:00 PM. It’s filed under The Crow Barn and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

22 thoughts on “Crow Barn Week 8 into 9 Part I

  1. Barb Mortell on said:

    Aha… Some insight into why your wall may remain blank…. Secret work!

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  2. Barb Mortell on said:

    And I love that sawtooth star.. Will you revisit that project?

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  3. love the top block….can really see it “wall to wall” !

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  4. Really enjoying reading these reports…. the cliff-hanger is torture though! I’m curious what Nancy’s reaction to your traditional sources is…

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  5. Lauren Strach on said:

    Very interesting to hear the thinking behind your way cool design! Thanks for sharing that! Love to hear your perspective about our Nancy time!

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  6. The B & W is very dynamic. Brave you to take pics every hour!! Haha
    LeeAnna Paylor

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  7. I miss my girls! I miss the Barn. I miss the push it takes to grow form within and from Nancy.

    I love your account of the workshop. You are an amazing writer as well as artist.

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  8. I too love to read your writings. It brings me back to the emotions I had during this amazing two weeks.

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  9. kathleenloomis on said:

    great motif! please let us see what happens next

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  10. Pingback: Crow Barn Week 8 into 9 Part II | Maria Shell

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