Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm stuck

I've made it this far and no more. It needs something (I think) but what? So far, the fibers are the only thing actually attached to the quilt so I can move the guitar around if need be. Angled maybe? More lines of fibers? Some of the cool deconstructed sheet music I've been playing around with? This is not like me at all to get stuck in the middle of a design either. My normal mode is to start and keep going until I'm done, without a lot of moving stuff around and decisions to be made in the middle of a piece. I'm happy with what I have so far and I don't know why the creative block. I'm happy with the colors, the wide variety of textures (wool, upholstery fabric, sheers, the silk linen-weave background, tulle shadow and fuzzy fibers) and the shape of the guitar. So why can't I finish it?

I have detail stitching and such things as the strings and small buttons for the things where the strings connect still to be added, and that will help some, but I can't help but feel it's missing something. Arrgghhhh.....any suggestions are most welcome.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My first public appearance!

I spoke (at great length!) to the Mississippi Quilter's Assn last night and had a blast. They seemed to enjoy the talk and the quilts, and I've been approached about speaking to 5 or 6 other guilds for their programs later in the year. Only 2 agreed on for sure, but I passed out a ton of cards. I could definitely get hooked on a roomful of 150 people clapping and laughing and ooohing and ahhhhhing at the appropriate times. I've been sweating this since they called me last summer to ask if I'd do a talk on embellishments, but I didn't have notes or an outline or anything. I figured if I can't talk for 45 minutes on something I'm so passionate about, then I probably need to get a real job. Well, THEY said 45 minutes to talk but it was more like an hour. I had no idea I went that long, honest! The most surprising thing to me was that so many quilters don't consider themselves artists. They've never thought about all of the principles of art they use every time they decide on fabric color, or border width or finished size of the quilt. With the exception of a quilt made from a kit or duplicated exactly, right down to the fabrics, there is an element of art (some good, some truly horrid, but art nonetheless) in every quilt.

One of the questions was "How do you know when you're finished with something?" It was a good question even though I wasn't prepared for it. Surprisingly, most of the audience seemed to actually understand my response of "When it says what you want it to say, in your own voice, you are finished." I can get a bit woo-woo when trying to explain that a piece should SPEAK to you on more levels than just visually, but they seemed to grasp what I was getting at pretty readily.

The most satisfying thing though, was the fact that there were a bunch of women there from my old guild. You know, the ones who laughed or zoned out or turned their noses up at the few pieces of embellished or art quilting that I ever got up the nerve to show at the regular meetings. My work wasn't good enough, or quilt-like enough, or "real quilting" until the state guild decided it was. Funny how many of those women suddenly decided it was acceptable once I had the official seal of approval. But, if I managed to spark a little creativity in even one person in the room, then it's all good.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I love batiks

...but I don't use them as much as I'd like to since they are high as a cat's back for the good ones. They are exactly what I wanted for this one though. The mouths aren't cut out yet and I'm thinking a small satin stitch around the appliques. Another one I have to decide if it goes with me to the show at the end of March, or in the shipment to Minnesota at the beginning of March.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Current WIP

This is my current favorite WIP. I have a few others in various stages of completion, but I'm having so much fun with this one I've set the others aside for a couple of days. This is the overall layout of the backing and borders, with the sax player set in place.

This is a close-up of the ribbon things in the horn. I saw this on Simply Quilts, but I'm drawing a blank on the name of the quilter.

Taking the plunge.

I read a lot of blogs, but I've been resisting creating one of my own. I kept telling myself that I did NOT need one more thing to distract me and keep me sitting on my butt in front of the computer, but I finally realized that I spend more time emailing pictures and writing the emails to go with them than it will take me to post it all at one time. Hence, the blog will actually SAVE me time! I can rationalize anything.