Thursday, July 31, 2014

What Do You Get Out Of On-LIne Classes?

     Have you ever taken an on-line class that you have found very freeing and refreshing? Well, I've just finished a piece from one that has done just that for me. Before this class, I've done most of my work on the sewing machine. This class and this piece was done totally by hand. It was pieced by hand, basted by hand, appliqu├ęd by hand, embroidered by hand, and quilted by hand. I never thought I would do such a thing, but I was so inspired by the artist's blog and art, Jude Hill at SpiritCloth that I signed up for her class Spirit Cloth 101. I started it in February by reading through all the text of the class and pondering about what my theme would be for quite some weeks while I worked on other projects.
     If you haven't followed my blog before, you can go back and see how I progressed on this piece here  herehere, and here.
     And here it is finished. The story is that the rocks fell from the moon into the river. There are eight rocks shown on the quilt. The river has eight eyes in it and that symbolizes the eight rocks peaking out of the river as they dance about in it.
Moon Dance

The background fabric is indigo I dyed several years ago with my art group. Most of the rocks I gelatin monoprinted and then hand painted the veins, two of the rocks are from commercial cottons. the "tree" is a piece of commercial silk, the multi-colored strip across the bottom is commercial cotton, and the borders are commercial from Marcia Derse.  I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by.
     I don't take many classes or workshops, but I'm glad I took this one. I learned some new techniques, but most of all, I learned about storytelling. And to let go more in my work. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What To Do With A Piece That Isn't Working?

      Haven’t we all had works that started out with such promise and us with such enthusiasm about them? And then either we’ve overworked them or somehow we just couldn’t get the tone we wanted out of them? Well, that seems to have happened with my latest small piece. It started as just a line study in crinoline. Then I wanted to develop it a little farther into a meditative piece with a Buddha. Since it was a small quilt, I felt I would just work free and easy and see where it went and have fun with it. It was great fun at first, but then I kept making adjustments. I thought I was liking it and when I thought it was done, I realized it wasn’t working out.  So how do I end it so that I’m happy with it?
     Since I last showed you the quilt, I added a fabric piece to the bottom. I had found a teal cotton piece that I had treated with some rusty hardware some time ago. To fit it with this quilt, I added some some texture rubbings with Shiva Paintstiks and left the rough edge of the fabric on the bottom edge. 
rubbing plate, paintstik, brush, palette,
tape to get pain on bottom edge of fabric
And I couched a fiber onto the border of it.  I found some sari silk ribbons and sewed those onto the other edges with the intent of squaring them off but then I liked the pattern of the edges they already had. So for the time being, I’m leaving the edges as they are. And I do love the edges. Funny that I love the fabric piece at the bottom and the sari ribbon shapes more than the actual quilted piece I started with.
     My stitched Buddha wasn’t the greatest. Since the quilt wasn’t looking good to me, I thought that was the problem. So I stitched another Buddha. The Buddha looked much better. Better face, better hand, better foot, but not a better quilt. 

with the new Buddha, couched fiber,
sari ribbon-borders, and bottom fabric

So I removed the Buddha and the squares and pinned a monk from sheer fabric in its place. 
Put a Monk on it!

A little better, but still, I don’t like the quilt as a whole. Next step was to look at the quilt without a monk or a Buddha or squares. 
Sigh (not the title)
It looks empty now.

     The end of this story for me is to put it away for a long time and work on something else. I sure wish I had a design expert on hand to tell me where I went wrong so that I could learn from it, but maybe in the future I’ll figure it out. So for now... Let it go... Let it go... Let it go...
Don't you wish you had a private art expert to guide you? Or would that take away your voice? What do you think? I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please leave comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by.