Monday, January 29, 2007


I had a very productive weekend -- and that's not even counting the mountains of stuff we cleared out of the kids' rooms. I got two small birthday gifts completed and mailed off. I paid for and printed out a labels using "click and ship" on the US post office website. So slick! I didn't even have to go to the Post Office. A very good thing. I also finished up the twin baby girl commissions. You'll see pictures of all of those items soon.

And then I had to work on Long Skinny.

You remember my local art quilt group issued a challenge to flood the "large applique" catagory at the upcoming Dallas Quilt Show by making quilts that are at least 72 inches long and not wider than 18 inches. Vertical! I must say, I would have been much more motivated if we were working horizontal. Then I could have done a landscape, but I'm playing by the "rules" instead.

Here is a (terrible) shot of the in progress work. This was taken after I unsewed the awful stems I had put on the flowers.

For the (now-trashed) stems, I used purchased bias binding and I did some hand writing and rubber stamping on them. I debated about ripping them off, but eventually they had to go. Mostly, they were the wrong color. And I also knew they would be a bitch to quilt over.

For me this is a struggle I often deal with on pieces which are being created for a specific purpose. Do I make compromises about the creative vision or do I just move forward? Which is more important: perfection or completion? Of course, it's always somewhere in between.

Then I figured it was time to start quilting. I haven't done much heavy free-motion quilting lately. So, this seemed the time. I needed new motifs so I checked out a couple of Klimt books from the library and did some sketching. Many of Klimt's works utilize "long skinny" composition elements.

You can see some of the quilting above. I like that oval shape with the parralell lines down the middle.

More sketching. More quilting.
More quilting.
I'm moving forward. I am not confident about the order in which I'm putting the whole thing together. I plan to do some more surface embellishment, so it seems a bit odd to do that AFTER the quilting. I have four organza flower shapes ready to fuse. You might be able to see the yellowish one on the bottom of the top picture. It's hanging off the edge right by the chair leg. We'll see.

I am confident that I don't like working this big. Too much to stuff under the machine. Too big too fit on the design wall. Shapes too large to accomodate small details like hand embroidery or small embellishments. (I know lots of people do big stuff with wonderful small details... but I don't.)

I'm also not feeling the color scheme or the subject matter. How did I get myself into this? On the other hand, I do feel motivated to finish it. And I think I mostly like it --- even if I can't put my finger on why.


dee said...

It's a departure but you're putting your own spin on it. Me likey...

Anonymous said...

Ah, but it's good to be forced out of your comfort zone periodically! Looks like it's coming along just fine to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Vicky about the comfort zone! I love the oval quilting too. Although I never worked "small," I did work larger last year to meet minimum size requirements of some of the shows, and I've found that it's hard to go back smaller. This may be the begining of something "big" for you!!

Anonymous said...

Not saying that this piece isn't fabu, but since you like making smaller work, why aren't you making smaller pieces and meshing them together to get the size you want? Admittedly, you could have explained all this before, but I've been out of it for a while.
When I work small, I want the thing to look huge and when I work big, I want the work to be full of detail so that it somehow has an intimate sense about it. Maybe you are just thinking too big because you have to make it a certain size. Think small and just make it bigger. I'm so deep. When I read my own suggestions, they frequently sound idiotic. HA.
Many smooches. Sonji

kathy said...

Even this is not your usual style, you're handling it in your usual gracious, stylish way. Your care and detail in the quilting will make the rest of the piece shine!

Anonymous said...

Re; Stems.....nothing like fused bias strips!!!

Like you, I still have trouble working big....but I keep trying!

teri..who is having trouble working at all with a 15 year old laid up at home.

Gerrie said...

I really love the Klimt inspired quilting motifs. Just wonderful. I have often done embellishment post quilting because doing it the other way around is not fun.

Nicky said...

I agree Klimt is the greatest!! Anything to do with him is cool. Love your sketchbook...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspired idea of using Klimt's motifs for quilting. I too am a big fan of his work and have used it as inspiration for quilts (still in the mind :-) But I never thought of using it this way.