Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Update on my return to piecing.

I am doodling my ideas, and plotting them out on 4 squares to 1inch  graph paper.  I have several ideas  that look promising and one old idea I'd like to revisit. 
I am finding it hard not to see flowers when I doodle or draw circles.  I am going to stop fighting that and see where I go.

Since I am still  in the early planning stage for one of the compositions I want to make, I did decide to  work with the fabric I have on hand and supplement them with some new purchases as needed. 

I smiled thinking there was once a time when I was in the running to win the "who ever dies with the most fabric wins" competition.  Today that is no longer the case.  Here are some of the fabrics  in my small stash that are speaking to me.  This collection represent about one third of what I have on hand. 

Good thing I have two well stocked quilt/fabric stores.  Both depending on traffic are about 15 minutes away.  My first choice is The Sewing Studio which stocks more than just quilters cottons.  I think I've said before that they remind me of a mini Baer Fabrics (that's a reference that Louisville and Southern Indiana sewers understand)  and The Bernina Store in Lake Mary which is more of a traditional shop for quilters is. 

I know if I continue on this piecing path  I will have to get back to dyeing fabric and beefing up my stash with commercial prints that play well with the hand dyes.  But for now, as I said I am using what I got.

When I was about to get started on one of my ideas a light bulb went on and I had one of those slap to the forehead moments that brought my momentum to a screeching halt.  I had gotten way ahead of  myself when I put that 48" x 80" piece of freezer paper up on my design wall.

You see I am a planner and a plotter.   When piecing I work from full size freezer paper cartons/ patterns.  I do not have, not one,  free wheeling improvisational bone in my body.  So in returning to my piecing style I was missing a step.  What I forgot was; in order to go from scaled drawing on 4 squares to 1inch  graph paper to a full size drawing I needed   48" wide alpha numeric paper and sadly I have none in my house. 

Through an Internet search I found several sources for the paper.     I ordered some.  The shipping notice said it should be here by FedEx in 2-3 days.  Yeah! Years ago back in 1988 or 89 I ordered 4 or 500  feet of the stuff, but for now,  until I know for sure this is my new path,  I ordered  1/4 0f that amount.  

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

I've been away so long

mainly because I had lost my enthusiasm or muse if you will was taking a long very long vacation from which I could not coax it or her back from.  I have not made anything new for,,, I can't remember.  But about five  days ago at the back of my mind came this urging that got stronger and stronger until two days ago I got up wanting to do something new. 

So I looked through all of my flower photos and back through all of my past works.  I looked through some of my sketch books too.  To my surprise what got me wanting to get my hands on fabric again was some early 2000 quilted works I had pieced with joy back before I moved to Florida, back when npt sp simple piecing was what I loved doing, back before when selling my work was not top most in my mind and back before when I created works in series for solo exhibits was my  priority.

I have for some months been mulling over whether I want to continue being a vendor at local quilt shows.  I have decided that after March 2017 I will stop.  I have also decided that I will no longer get on a plane to go teach, but I am still open to teaching in Florida.  My last trip is scheduled for NY in March 2017.

That settled, I plan to work on projects for my own satisfaction.  They may or may not be ones that I will enter in national quilt show competition.  I know I will not work to a theme just to entry.  Rather I will create what I want and if it fits I will submit it for consideration to shows like AQS, or the Mancuso's or possibly if I think what I am doing warrants consideration, I will enter  Visions or Quilt National or several other art quilt venues. 

So thinking all that I said to myself, "Juanita, if you are going to be doing a lot of piecing again, you need to reconfigure your work spaceyou can get to the  design wall.  Done.

My way of working on a pieced design is to  doodle  my idea on a piece of paper and refining it on 1/4" grid graph paper. From that refined drawing  I scale it up on freezer paper.  The freezer paper line drawing becomes my pattern or templates.

By style, most of what I have done since 2009 has been whole cloth painted works and of late most of those have been rather small ( 20" x 30" or less) .  But now, what I am  thinking and planning to do will be large. 

Its been some years since I have worked large do long that to my surprise I was shocked when I began to pull off  2 lengths of 24 wide freezer paper to made my 48" x 96" full size cartoon for this idea I have.  I also under estimated the lengths and had to add 18 more inches.

I won't say that  when I left my works space last evening that I was overwhelmed at the prospect of making something that large again but I was,  shall I say,  I was second guessing my decision to jump back into working by starting with this large a piece.

But I must say that for the first time in months I bounced out of bed thinking I got to hurry up and  get dressed and what can I fix for breakfast that is quick.  I can't wait to get to work.  Fabric!
 I like the fractured random pieced  technique I used for this piece back in the 1990's.  

  I liked piecing this one too and working primarily with my own hand dyes.  If this is the way I find myself wanting to go, here in Florida, I am looking at least 5 maybe 6 months of being able to dye fabric in the garage without suffering from over heating.

 Another pieced work where both the hand dyes I love and the commercial fabrics played a big role.

 And another one using circles, a favorite design element. 
To give you a hint of what I am thinking,   I am seeing circles and other things, but not flowers for now. 

I am hoping this is the beginning of me getting back to my life as a quilt maker.