I had a wonderful time teaching at Quilter’s Affair in 2017. My students were brave fun souls.
I know it is difficult to create in an environment that is not your own.
Many of the students had limited fabric selections, borrowed tools, and new neighbors. (If you want the full story including awesome quilts in progress, you can do that here.)
I tell my students that claiming you don’t have the right fabrics, tools, space is a form of procrastination.
Working with limited resources can be a great way to challenge yourself. What can you make with what you’ve got?
This is a woman’s metaphor. It’s what we do. We are not known for conquering and pillaging. We are about seeds and starters, raw ingredients, handfuls of scraps. And that is a good thing—it is being tenacious.
My students so inspired me that I decided I would try an experiment on myself.
The Stitching Post sells small scrap bags for eight dollars. I decided to buy one. I wanted to see what I could make using only the scraps from this small bag.
Once I was home, I sorted, pressed, and assessed my materials.
I began building bits.
The process starts with a blank canvas.
Bit by bit, I filled the void with color, pattern, and repetition.
The last open space is always the most difficult to fill. It is a bit like a Rubric’s cube. Sometimes sliding one bit into place knocks the rest of the composition out of kilter. I move the bits, I assess, and then I move them again.
I think this quilt is a success for what it is—a composition built from the fodder of a scrap bag.
I love this quilt, but I doubt it will ever be shown beyond my website and blog. It has already been rejected twice.
The same is true for the quilt Solar Blue.
I am not exactly sure why these pieces are consistently rejected. As in never been accepted.
I see them as abstractions of the traditional quilt, and I find that idea very interesting.
Or to put it another way, I use patchwork as a language for telling a visual story–about making do, about creating with limitations, about creating color, and pattern, and repetition with what I’ve got.
I find these pieces to be the most interesting work I am doing. Or to put it another way, the work I am most excited about making are the pieces that jurors and judges are least interested in showing.
What’s up with that? I don’t know. This won’t stop me from making them. My comments are simply a confession and a question. Neither need to be taken too seriously.
I had a great family vacation in Hawaii, I wrote a blog post, and I have got good works on the design wall right now. How are all of you doing? I hope the New Year is treating you right.