Monday, February 18, 2013


I had a huge epiphany while working on an art quilt last week. Two epiphanies, actually.

Actually, not really an epiphany. They were lessons I've learned over and over, but had simply forgotten and had to learn again. You know?

I had several pieces of fabric pinned to my design board. I was arranging and rearranging, folding, scrunching, squinting and futzing trying to settle on a pleasing composition. Nothing was working.

I also had a vision of using a large piece of lace in an interesting way. More folding, futzing, pinning, etc. Nothing.

I went off to read a book and wallow in my frustration. Eventually, I realized exactly why I was having trouble.

Epiphany #1: Working on the design wall wasn't working because I was fighting gravity. Pinning and repinning and stepping away to evaluate each adjustment was too complicated. I simply needed to move the whole work-in-progress to my studio table so I could arrange and rearrange without having to pin everything and without pieces slipping to the floor.

Epiphany #2: If I want to use a piece of fabric -- lace in this case -- I need to cut into it in order to really see how it will fit into the composition. The lace felt precious and it was hard to cut into it. But, it had to be done.

When the piece was on the table and the lace was chopped up, the design came together beautifully.

Then I had more trouble. I embroidered these Y stitches and French knots.

Then I cut them out.
It's a process. Every little design decision. Every step in the process. And misstep.

The quilt is finished now. I completed the binding and cleaned off all my chalk markings today. I'll photograph it early next week and share it here.


Kristin L said...

I'm assuming I saw it after the frustration, because what I saw looked great. I can't wait to see the bound and finished quilt! :-)

Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz said...

I like what I see, can't wait to see the whole thing! I made good progress on what I am calling "The Language of the Tree".

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

Having just gone through a similar situation, I so relate! I did stick with the design board, but finally had to start cutting! And then I smudged graphite on part, so had to end up laundering the piece, and it came out even better... serendipity! It is hard to change our ways, but sometimes it is so worth it!

Natalya Khorover Aikens said...

I know what you mean.... looking good, can't wait to see the whole piece and I am extra curious about the lace ;)

Diana Pease said...

Thanks for sharing your process of design, Deborah. We miss you here in Texas, but keep up with you and your family thru FB. Will be watching for the finished art piece.