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.


kathy loomis said...


This is so exciting!

The world will be a better place with you piecing again!!!!

love, kathy

Susan Turney said...

I'm so glad you're back to blogging and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with this new/old approach!