Flowering Snowball

I wish this quilt block had a better name–Flowering Snowball–well, it is kind of hokey, but there you have it. It is a solid quilt block with lots of potential, and I am going to get over the name and see what I can make happen next.

This journey started last fall in Nancy Crow’s class Potpourri II.  I was stubbornly insisting that I use a traditional quilt block as my starting point–Nancy threw up her arms and walked away. This was our truce. An unknown student made this flyer which really says it all. It drove Nancy quite crazy trying to figure out who did it. If you really want to know who the trickster is, you can by clicking here.

Maria Shell Flowering Snowball

And if you want to read more about those particular two weeks at the barn you can by clicking on these posts-

A message from the Barn, Crow Barn Week 8 into 9 Part I, and Crow Barn Week 8 into 9 Part II

I had been working with straight lines in my Color Grid series which is based on the traditional quilt block Squares and a Square.

Funky Monkey by Maria ShellI thought I would challenge myself by adding curves to the mix. The possibilities of interesting figure ground compositions is really endless here.

Here are my initial sketches in fabric.

Maria Shell Flowering Snowball Maria Shell Flowering SnowballAnd here are my initial sketches in pen.

I decided for the assignment, I would blow one Flowering Snowball block up to massive proportions–90 inches by 90 inches and fill in the elements of that one block with interesting piece work–stripes, lines, dots, triangles. This is as far as I got before it was time to go home.

Maria Shell Flowering SnowballThe next year included two solo shows, an Alaska State Council on the Arts Conference, a Rasmuson Fellowship, a group show where I had to produce a solo show worth of work, a two month residency in Charlotte, North Carolina, and, of course, there is a family with a husband and three boys some where in that frenzy of stitching.

But all of that is in the rearview mirror, and I am ready to get my snowball on.

But before I do that, I need to back up a bit. In the fall of 2011, I took my first online class with Lisa Call called Working in a Series. If you haven’t taken a class with Lisa, you really should. She guides you towards being the artist YOU want to be. Out of that first class came my chair series. You can see all of them on my website, but here are few of my favorites.

I am currently enrolled in Lisa’s Master Class. In my mind, this class is really about Lisa coaching each of us to reach our potential in the way we want to reach it. Lisa has just created self-guided versions of several of her classes. She offered her Master students the opportunity to be her guinea pigs for these classes. She would work out the kinks, and we would get the opportunity to experience the class. I choose Working in a Series again, because I wanted to jump start this Snowball series, and I knew I could do it by using Lisa’s assignments as a launching point.

We are encouraged to create parameters for our work–both in what our subject matter is and in how we will approach our studio time. I decided that my series would be entirely focused on working with the Flowering Snowball quilt block.

Maria Shell Flowering SnowballThis was a hard decision–I have so many ideas I want to explore!

After sketching and making a maquette, the next assignment is to work with color. Well, that is one of my favorite things to do. This morning I finished my first version.

Maria Shell Flowering SnowballBesides committing to this particular quilt block, I am also challenging myself to try and make each version wildly different from the next. Okay, maybe not wildly, but at least significantly.

Maria Shell Flowering SnowballCan this quilt block be pushed around, stretched, blown up, and manipulated? We will see.

Maria Shell Flowering SnowballIn the meantime, I’ve been arguing with a few critics living in my head. But I will save that for another day….

This entry was published on December 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM. It’s filed under My Process-Quilts, Quilt Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Flowering Snowball

  1. barbmort on said:

    How do you know who made that poster???!

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  2. You exhaust me and inspire me at the same time. Go Maria go ! This will be fun to watch.

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  3. What fun you are having and your readers too! Variations on a theme can be fun and endless. I always give up bored with the repetitions (probably just when the excellence is about to begin) but we all have different attention spans. I love the shapes of your piecing and the initial pleasing proportions and color values are what is making the effort worth it. Of course, your colors vibrate as usual.

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    • Thank you Carole. I know what you mean about the repetitions–it can be hard to come at the same thing over and over again, but I find in the end the results are worth it. I love seeing the idea change over time.Af or that, I am willing to Begin Again.

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  4. I love color, but the black and white sketches, both fabric and paper, are great!

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  5. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Lots of possibilities!

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  6. You go girl— get that snowball on! Looking forward to hearing all about it next week during a crunchy walk in the snow. XO Amy

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