Nancy’s classes were so large this time that several of us worked downstairs for week one. Being downstairs at the barn was very nice as real estate was cheaper–we had loads of space AND we could have tasty beverages whenever we wanted resulting for me in an endless cycle of caffeinated drinks in assorted forms.
On Friday afternoon of week one, I moved upstairs. At first it felt cramped. It was a bit like moving from the suburbs to the city. You trade space for proximity.
One of the things I love about a Nancy Crow workshop is the opportunity to hear her yell from across the room, “Before you go any further, I am going to just tell you to take that down.” Or “That’s constipated. Are you constipated? It sure looks like it.” And my personal favorite, “How do you say wimpy in Japanese? “ But sometimes things are going right, and we hear,“That’s a knock-out.” Or we get to see this.
Being able to hear these impromptu critiques and see these spontaneous moments made the move totally worth it.
But enough with the massages, it is time to get to work. You can read about my early ideas for this assignment here. Basically, I had decided to blow up a traditional quilt block to about six feet by six feet.
I wanted to fill each area of that giant quilt block with pieced fabric, that I normally call bits, but I am now beginning to see how those bits are really me making printed fabrics out of solid fabrics. Here are some of my ideas for making prints.
Finally on Saturday, I am ON THE BOARD. That is how I think about it. It is a big moment for me when I get on the board and start to move things around.
I stitch and stitch. Why do my shapes have to have so many bits in them? Sometimes I hope it is a phase in my artistic life–like disco dancing or the Macarena–that I will grow out of.
And then I put it on the board and move it around.
Until it becomes evident to me that my brilliant idea for completing the assignment is not really a brilliant composition. AHA. This is what always happens. I get to the point where I can finish the assignment correctly OR I can make an amazing composition. But I don’t get to do both. I always choose amazing composition. But this time, I am smart. I ask first. Nancy agrees I should bail on the assignment and do what it takes to create an amazing composition.
It is Wednesday. I spend the entire day stalling out. Feeling sorry for myself because I did a bunch of work that was not WORKING in the composition. I was hitting the bonk. Somehow I needed to get back on my sewing machine and stitch it out. Instead, I tidy my area.
Finally, I had an idea, I sketched it.
The background of the piece needed to read as strongly as the foreground. I start stitching.
I happily stitch all day Thursday.
I know I can resolve this piece.
It is just a matter of time and stitching.
Soon, when other projects are cleared out of the way, I will get back at it. I think it is a a keeper.
Still a knockout! What a pleasure and an education sewing beside you. I’m sure glad you moved to our side of the tracks.
Keep going!! I think you are on to something!!!!!
I love how these designs remind me of test patterns on tv back in the day when there were test patterns. They were in black and white, of course, but this is probably what they would look like in color 😉
Thank you for the note Denise! I am actually going to be back to working on this quilt here shortly. Your message reminded me that I have this documentation of the quilt!