Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Brief Blog Discussion and Tons of In Process Shots

I've been blogging and reading blogs for more than eleven years. I always hate blogs that start off with something like, "I've been a bad blogger." Really, as a blogger you just have to chose to blog or not. Readers can clearly tell which choice you've made. You don't have to tell them.

And yet, I can't figure out that choice for myself and I really have been a bad blogger. I'm not apologizing to you as a reader (if you're even out there), I'm just trying to figure out what I'm doing here.

As you know, I have a book coming out in the fall. I'm teaching and lecturing more. I'm showing and selling more work. I love all of this! I really do. So, it makes sense that my blog would complement those activities. But, then it starts to feel like a marketing tool rather than a personal journal. So, I'm seeking a balance. 

How about some images of an in progress work? I always enjoy writing about my process and readers seem to enjoy it too.

I love the Tactile Architecture special exhibit at Quilt Festival in Houston every year. I love architecture and I think it's a never-ending well of inspiration for design. I've had the pleasure of being included in the exhibit a few times and I'd like to enter again this year. So, I set out to create something to fit the theme and size requirements.

I began with some brown, gray and black fabrics. I'm having a moment with neutrals this year. I added an orange mono-printed square... which looked awful.

I adjusted the proportions of the fabrics, cut the black to suggest a tree line, added a pop of red and swapped the orange mess for an off white fabric.

Crop lines?

No, but those lines could become a fence. Off white fabric gets folded into a house shape.

Brown bush on the side of the house? Hmmm. Looks like a pile of mulch. Or a pile of something else.

Pop of color with a blue door?

Would more "mulch" improve the design?

Definitely not. How about adding a branch? (You can see the bits of handwriting I've added to the brown section?)

Two branches suggesting my beloved arch over the top of the composition?


This is the first stage in my process. I've settled on the fabric foundation (and added just a tiny bit of surface design with the handwriting). Some of the fabrics are fused to each other at this point. The next step is to make sure every piece is the shape I want and ready to fuse to batting. 

Then I add more surface design. Then hand stitching. Then machine stitching. 

Actually, I created a video about this quilt and another follow-on quilt. You can watch it here.

So, should I keep blogging? More personal stuff? More process stuff? Just whatever comes to mind?


Deanna said...

I love everything you blog about! You've inspired me to start blogging again, too. :-)

Deborah C. Stearns said...

I enjoy reading your blog, and I like that it is a reflection of you as a whole person, not just a marketing tool. Your voice always comes through, giving me a sense of the person writing the blog, not just a "brand." And thank you for sharing your process! It's always fun to see how artists work.

Jo said...

I like reading your blog, but you have to decide what the purpose of your blog might be. I write mine for myself so that at the end of every year I can look back and see what I/we were doing and it's a way to share with family and a few friends rather than blasting it to several hundred people-I-know on FB. I also have my blog printed and bound each year. As a geneologist, I think it might be the kind of thing that might be enjoyed after I am gone as a record of my daily life without getting all maudlin about it.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

I really enjoyed the video-two great quilts! The house in the one on the left seems to glow. I like your blog as is-a mix. I unfollow blogs that are marketing tools-ugh. Reading about your process is inspiring.

Laura said...

Deborah, I love your work and your blog. I especially like seeing your processes...including your thought processes about your actual process...and I like it when you write about what inspires you when you're on trips or visiting museums, etc. I always look forward to your next post and never feel that it's a marketing tool. Your posts are sources of learning and inspiration to me, and I hope you continue to write them in much the same vein as you have been....Eleven years is a long time. Clearly, you're doing something that people respond to!

Joanne S said...

Terry, you and I all began this blogging thing about 11 years ago. I started mine as a journal of sorts: what was going on in my life. My kids and my friends read it. Now my co-workers read it (talk about limits on content!) All three of us have had the same question. Why do we do this? The second questions why do we keep doing this?

Other bloggers have just stopped posting--no farewell. I would miss posting. So that answers my question.
I think you still have interesting content, great projects, a learning experience with the videos and most of all you are a friend of mine and I love reading your blog. And I LEARN things.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed every post. I hope you will continue to share your life and your art.
Donna A

Stacy Hurt said...

I love the process shots. The help and also remind that it doesn't have to be visualized as complete and done in your mind before you begin. As in all things in this life, it's the journey.

Stacy Hurt said...

I love the process shots. The help and also remind that it doesn't have to be visualized as complete and done in your mind before you begin. As in all things in this life, it's the journey.

Unknown said...

Yes! Keep Blogging! your process and /or personal/ I'm about to go look at the video.

Rose said...

I agree with all of the others here! I love seeing your three bits of inspiration come through my email. Sometimes it's just what I need to brighten up my day. I love, love, love your work and having the opportunity to hear and see how you process your work. Please keep on blogging, I am trying to get back into regular blogging myself. I even enjoy going back and reading through some of my older stuff and reminding myself of what I have done. So even if no one else reads it it works for me!

Mary Ann Littlejohn said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your process. I always hearing the thought about the journey.
You sprinkle in just enough of your family and adventures. Keep up the good work.

Vivien Zepf said...

FWIW, I like to read about Deborah the artist and Deborah the person because, to my mind, they're intertwined. I say blog when you have the urge to share, in whatever form that might take.