Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Creative process

I promise not to do this to you very often, but for once, I actually remembered to take photos of a project as I went along, in lots of stages - I think it's interesting to see hoe we think about things, and choose what direction to take, and today, as I was working on something with no advance plan, I thought it would be a good opportunity to document it.

Above is the sort of finished top - as you will see below, there will be some embellishments added once it's been quilted, but here's where I'm stopped for the moment. But, how did I get to this point? Well... A friend of ours is getting married in October, so Geoff and I thought - wallhanging. I started thinking about what I might have already hanging around which could be a starting point, and remembered the shoebox full of black and batik blocks in 18" and 9" sizes. Surely something in there might be a nice jumping off point?

And sure enough, I found this block. Resisting the temptation to take it apart to fix the seams that don't quite meet (which would defeat in part the purpose of using I block I already had), I scrounged around for batik fabric which coordinated with the block - as I didn't make the block in the first place (it was from a swap) I didn't have precisely the same batiks, but close enough.

Next order of business was to put a black border around the starting block. Again, resisting my normal temptation to arrange things symmetrically, I put different widths around the different sides. Then, a simple row of squares, batik and black down the right hand side. What next? Some more black, don't you think?

Yes, more black. Except, with the really wide border at the bottom it now looks a bit odd. It needs something in that space. I didn't photograph some of my failed attemps - first thought it might want circles (luckily, it didn't), then did some squares on their sides, but not aligned - didn't like that look either, looked unbalanced to me. So I decided that there is a time and place for symmetry, and this row at the bottom wanted to be symmetrical. And - stroke of inspiration! - added one of the squares/diamonds to the centre of the main block - and wow! what a difference that made.

So then, as I was standing there thinking about it, it suddenly occurred to me that what the piece wanted was some embellishments on top of the squares and diamonds. And what's my current favourite embellishment? You guessed it -
Faces. Of course, I didn't have the right sort of faces in stock, so them ones on the left are just there to see if it would work (it does) - so I appliqued the squares down (invisible thread using blind hem stitch) and later this afternoon, made some more faces in the right sort of colours. Which will be duly added to the top once it's been quilted.
How to quilt it? I don't know, that's the next thing to think about. Some sort of meander in the black, I think, but not really sure what I will do in the squares and stars - perhaps just simple outline quilting in the major pieces - it's got large enough pieces for that. Anyway, that's a project for another day.
So, there you have it - a glimpse into how my mind works (or not) - I did lots more stuff today as the kids were having one of those lovely days where the didn't argue and just played with each other all day without needing my input - so I will blog the postcards which I finished (I is for...) and the dyeing I did, a bit later.


joyce said...

It's so interesting to see different people's creative process. Everyone goes about it in their own special way. Lots to be learned.

Helen in the UK said...

I think the faces make a great addition tot his piece. I'd be inclined to do some qulilting that will highlight the faces in the places where they will go - like wild hair or sunsrays, maybe use some gold thread to highlight??? Look forward to seeing what you decide to do :)