Monday, March 30, 2015

This Quilt

I have stitched on this quilt until my eyes have practically crossed. Then it gets set aside for work on something else. Each week though, I consistently keep coming back to this quilt, and as always, I'm seeing the kind of progress that eventually should gain me one of those things we love to call a finish.
Baskets on the main panel....
As you know, I prepped the baskets with the outside seams already turned under on the machine. It was a great method as far as placement and speed of stitching, but wowsers! It has done a number on my fingers. Having thicker seams means that it has taken more effort to slide the needle through the edges of the applique pieces. That extra bit of 'oomph' slowly adds up to a very tender spot {um.. hole?} on the finger pushing in the needle. I ended up having to use a lightweight leather thimble. gah! Honestly, it just feels awkward and clumsy and I really, really don't like using thimbles with applique work.

Tho it was nice to finally figure out that the hand motion is different {duh!} when sliding the needle in down and sideways rather than using a rocking motion like I am so accustomed to. I couldn't figure out why my thimble was continually falling off my finger! Ah the disconnect between creativity and logic. Sometimes the most obvious things take awhile to be well.., obvious. Thankfully, after these baskets are all stitched down, I should be able to stitch sans thimble again and then we'll be back to business as usual, albiet with a sensitive spot on my finger!
Looking at the back...
The joys of implementing the things we want to make! I have definitely struggled with all kinds of feelings in making the panel below, but the rest of the quilt seems to be getting easier all the time. A lot less dread, irritation, and that itchy 'I don't wanna to be doing this' feeling concerning putting all the little pieces into place. Definitely more excitement at what it's turning into right in front of my eyes. Hmm... crazy busy? Emotionally messy? lol
Done with this panel for now.
After the baskets, I will have three out of five panels completely done except for a tiny bit of applique work! Yay! There's a point at the end where I just have to see everything laid out in front of me {lined up together} in order to place those littlest pieces for optimum impact, flow or spark. Whatever the word is, I'm sure you can get what I mean.

And yes, I already do that occasionally, how could I not? It's important to continually check progression. Does it look cohesive enough? I check for possible color problems in how the eye will move across the quilt--the flow. As there is a lot of wording, I try to have different things grouped together well enough so that it's easy to quickly understand my point.

I also try to plan far enough ahead so I don't have to go back and change anything major, just fine tune a few details perhaps. I've been lucky with this quilt so far and haven't wasted or ruined too much of the wrong thing until I've completely used up an important fabric. I think the main thing for me to continually keep in mind is this: whatever applique I decide to add at the last minute {and I do have ideas for that, believe me}, it will be MUCH easier to add it on one panel at a time than wait until the entire quilt top is sewn together! Experience is such an excellent teacher in that regard.*wink
Always stitching in the evening....
My youngest daughter has been especially supportive in my efforts to make this quilt which helps tremendously. It's the sort of quilt that a few people will probably shy away from at our annual quilt show, thinking it's really busy, odd and entirely too emotional to be interesting or relevant. Some people just don't care for non-traditional quilts. That's perfectly okay.

Others, especially those similarly affected by the fire, will no doubt be very drawn to it just to see what it says about our town. Ahh... They are the ones that make me extremely nervous as I've never entered anything remotely like this. A potentially 'stand out in the crowd' type of quilt just because of how 'personal' and 'different' it could be. Most people are way beyond wanting to be viewed as victims and have been busy picking up the pieces and trying to move on. This quilt could be something they don't want to talk about anymore. Or even think about! What if it makes people angry? Sad? And so I go round and round in my mind, yet basically ignoring all my trepidation and worries anyway in my determination to be getting on with the implementation of this quilt. I guess that's what us quilters do. Use fabric to get a message across and let everyone else deal with it exactly as they choose.....

19 comments:

  1. You can't help but feel vulnerable with all your feelings exposed to the viewer in this quilt. I hope it brings closure to people who are still struggling. You continue to amaze me with your fearless approach to quilting. Love it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It sounds like you are struggling like all artists do.... I remember reading something when I was in art school... "art is anything that evokes an emotion". Now, that is pretty general, but I guess the bottom line is that it all doesn't have to be pretty.. as long as it touches someone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are progressing well... with the help of your daughter... lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have difficulty using a thimble when I applique too I know of that hole, yes it hurts. I have starte forcing myself to us an adjustble thimble by clover. It works well and the needle doesn't slip I just need to make that finger work when it is on my finger. I know if I practice I will get better!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always have trouble with applique and a thimble but finally found the little stick on leather circle helps me and doesn't get in my way. I hope you get finished with your quilt for your deadline and will love to see the whole quilt spread out! Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know what you mean about that little hole in the finger, it hurts and the needle always finds it!
    I think it will be interesting to see the reaction to your quilt. The only quilts that I don't like are the ones that are vulgar and I am sure that is in the eye of the beholder too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOL. I Always use a thimble when I sew.
    You are facing the struggle anyone does when they expose their inner self to the world. You'll win. It will all be out of your system and not bottled up, and when all is said and done, what the world thinks of your quilt is irrelevant.
    Hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am very interested to see how it all comes together! I love all those baskets, but I think I will avoid any machine prep! Good to know. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Having written my previous comment I began to read an article written by the Bishop of our Diocese. One of the sentences leapt out at me, and states exactly what I was trying to say. "Speaking truth, even uncomfortable words, is healing". He was speaking about justice and reconciliation.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is much more challenging to make an original design, and one that is a story quilt brings a lot of emotion with it. I hope the viewers will feel all of that! And those people who can't take it in, will just need to walk past, and that's okay too.
    Take care of your stitching finger... I know that once you have made a hole, it's a bit harder to heal up if you continue to stitch ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm a thimble wearer for everything. I've even caught myself wearing it to the grocery store. :0). Hope you're pokey part in your finger goes away soon. Love the direction of your baskets and, of course, your fire storm quilt. Maybe the healing is just for you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm looking forward to hearing how the show turns out, and how this quilt is received!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I guess people's responses to your quilt will be varied, just as their ways of dealing with the events will have been, but this is your way and is as valid as anyone else's; you are speaking (quilting) for yourself, not claiming to know what other's would say. Even if someone isn't too comfortable with the message, I hope the art and artistry will be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You're doing so well with this quilt - ouch for your poor finger. keep going - it sounds like it's being therapeutic for you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. An artist needs to make what he/she feels compelled to make ... what's inside just has to come out, you know? So if others don't "get it", try not to fret about it ... your quilt speaks for you, no one else.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Audrey, I can't thank you enough for continuing to post your progress of this quilt. I know it sometimes hard to not worry about what other people will think. I think we all struggle with that, but I for one am proud of you for sharing this incredibly personal quilt with the world. Throughout history, women have expressed their feelings in their work with a needle and thread. I'm happy to see you carry on this tradition. I only wish I could see it in person when it is done.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just went back to your daughter's post last summer after the fire. I didn't have a blog then but I followed a few and I remembered reading about the fire after you had returned to your home. After re-reading her post and your subsequent ones, I can't believe you have the strength to do this quilt so soon after such a traumatic event. I'm even more proud of you now and I only wish I could be one of the lucky ones who gets to see this at your show!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What is important that you are doing it for you, not for everyone else. It is going to be a great healing quilt and I can feel it already for you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love your quilt, but I "read" it very differently. They all look to me like all little Inuit papooses all cuddling together. Never mind what we think, it's a great quilt!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for visiting! Getting comments always makes me happy. I try to respond personally to each comment but if you happen to be a 'no-reply commenter' then you'll have to leave an e-mail to be hearing back from me!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...