As usual, inspiration lead me a circuitous route to this quilt. For the longest time my plan was to make a fairly literal interpretation of the theme, maybe even something pictorial. Then a week or so ago, as I struggled to find any germ of an idea that would lead me to The Quilt, I had an interesting (probably only to me!!)epiphany about how I design. Often I'm asked to explain how my inspiration evolves and I struggle to put it in words. It always starts with colour and a mood. I feel a certain way, a certain visual atmosphere starts to form. The epiphany part is that this creates a kind of design board/mood board in my head. It has snippets of lines, shapes, but mostly waves and sparkles of colour, and they all merge and float and blend into a feeling. So then I collect together fabrics that match that feeling and think about how I want them to interact. The type of interaction (is it fluid, sharp, linear, etc) informs that technique that will be needed to join them together. The whole design is never made before I start. I just choose a beginning and go for it. The process is then an organic one; things just happen and every decision is made as the need arises. Another epiphany - that's why I have so many failures and why I should probably work in series! Often a mis-step along that way will create another problem that needs correction which causes another problem, etc, etc. (I know lots of you relate to THIS!)It's a haphazard way to work that, for me, results in many more bad quilts than good ones. I usually know immediately if it's been a success or failure. One of the more difficult lessons for some artists/artisans to learn is to cull their own work; to weed out the rubbish and get rid of it. When we began this Twelve by Twelve adventure, I made a commitment to myself that I would try new things, that I would be accepting of whatever I produced and not beat myself up about stuff that sucked. There would be no culling because, for me, this was a learning, fun project. I never imagined a book! or even exhibitions! And now my good quilts and my terrible quilts share a stage with each other and with the magnificent work of my colleagues. Looking over my quilts from the three series, I would still happily burn quite a number of them. But there are also a few that I am quite proud of and they would not have happened had the bad ones not been there to learn from.
Where do you find the time?
1 day ago