The class was Sets and Variables III. I am not sure why in my mind I always call this class Linear Motifs. I have said this before–my current body of work is really a mash up of what I learned in Strip Piecing and Restructuring I, II, III and Sets and Variables I, II, III. Add the traditional quilt block, stir, and that’s sort of where I am at.
Nancy has tried to teach me other things like complex figure ground composition, but my heart is devoted to pattern and repetition. I have come to realize that I do good figure ground work–it just isn’t complex. If you are interested in amazing COMPLEX figure ground work, I highly recommend you look at Judith Kirpich’s work,
In Sets and Variables III, we were to select a linear motif to work with. I will confess that I REALLY wanted to work with the nine patch. I know I am not the only one out there who finds this simple block inspiring. Here is a very early piece of mine from 2006 called Boxy 9-patch.
I did not use the 9-patch for two reasons–Eleanor McCain had kind of cornered that market, and I really wondered if I had anything to say that would move the nine-patch beyond her beautiful work.
I was feeling pretty good about things. If you have ever been in a Nancy Crow class, you know that if you are feeling good–things are about ready to awry. Am I right?
The next assignment was to make a large, abstract version of our motif using only two colors. Two color assignments get me every time. I just feel so limited, but I did it.
I stitched and stitched.
Finally, she came over and said. “I’ve been waiting for you to figure this out, but since you have not, I am going to tell you. Those colors are terrible. You need to take it down and start over.”
My defense was–”I’m not very good with just two colors.” It’s kind of a lame excuse isn’t it? But at the time, well, when you are in that deep, you just don’t know what’s going to come out of your mouth.
She said she didn’t care. I could use as many colors as I wanted, I just needed to make something worth looking at.
Tomorrow, I will tell you what happened.